Ocean Passages - 8 days to 79 days
Crossing an ocean on a square rigger - real voyages of discovery
It is possible to live ashore comfortably, and dare we say boringly, but you will never know your true strengths and weaknesses, or what you can achieve working with others. Crossing an ocean sailing on a square rigger or a smaller traditional sailing boat is a challenge and a lifetime ambition you should seize whilst you still can. It is also a very ethical way to go between continents - powered by the mighty trade winds - as part of your world travel plans.
The beauty of the open ocean sailing
Is it boring ? What will I do ? Paint a sunset, mend a sail, follow an albatross, help the cook bake bread, climb higher up the rigging each day, switch to ocean time, breathe deep and take stock of your life.
What did civilisation do before TV, facebook, the internet ? They talked, entertained each other with stories, co-operated with their fellow humans to achieve things, taught each other new skills, read books, shared dreams for the future, set each other challenges, lived in fear and wonder of nature. Without Google you turn to each other and books for information. Let the people onboard surprise you with their indepth knowledge of very diverse subjects. All our ocean going vessels have a collection of reference and inspirational books on board.
You establish a routine that is relaxing and comfortable but keeps you occupied. Sailing at night with absolutely no light pollution makes the night sky brilliant. Experience all the seas moods from glassy calms to white capped swells launching flying fish from crest to crest.
Am I up to extended offshore or ocean sailing ?
These longer voyages are ideal adventure sailing holidays for the ambitious sailor, world traveller or determined romantic. Some love the physical challenge of being hands on crew, others muck in but their real passion might be ocean bird spotting or just finding time for themselves.
Though no experience is required, you do need to know you enjoy sailing and be reasonably confident about your health and stamina. It can be a long way from the nearest hospital - days rather than hours. These voyages are long and you will be part of a watch system helping sail the ship day and night (typically 4 hours on, 8 hours off type rota). The ship will be in constant motion so things like getting into a top bunk or eating meals at an angle can be hillarious but also exhausting. Sleep is not usually a problem, once you get used to the pleasant concept of naps in the daytime, whilst the ship rushes on through the waves.
Mile Building Voyages
Barque Europa - Circuit from Antarctica to South Africa, Europe, South America.
Barque Europa is a classic three masted square rigger with a reputation for ocean wandering, In tropical seas she can really spread her wings with stun'sails and skysails which extend her canvas to an amazing 30 sails. Whilst she is off on a Round the World Route in 2013 (places still available on some legs) She typically spends summer in the Northern Hemisphere for Tall Ships Races and sails thousands of miles back to the Southern Hemisphere for an Antarctic Summer Season.
There are usually discounts if you sail on several legs on Europa, so you could spend a substantial part of a career break or GAP year signed on as crew 'before the mast.'
South Ocean Roller Coasters & Antarctica
Antarctic Voyages involve some impressive ocean passages including sailing in the Roaring 40's, Southern Ocean in the wake of Shackleton, Scotia Sea, Weddell Sea and the infamous Drakes Passage below Cape Horn. The longest Europa Antarctic Expedition is 52 days and 5500 miles.
Lord Nelson - Caribbean, Panama Canal and Pacific Central America.
British barque Lord Nelson is off on another ambitious ocean oydessey this winter. In 2013-14 she was the first square rigger to sail around the world with able bodied and disabled crew. Her next sailing adventure will involve a transit through the Panama Canal to the Pacific Ocean and exploring the wildlife rich rainforests and beaches of Costa Rica. The programme includes a Trans Atlantic Cross to Antigua. Christmas in the Caribbean and a series of month long expeditions in the Caribbean, Central America, Cuba. The route covers a huge amount of sea miles and much is well off the beaten tourist track.
For the historians amongst you, her sailing ground is the Spanish Main - a vast area of the Caribbean, Venezula, and Central America under the influence of Spain and her Navy.
Schooner Oosterschelde - Cape Verde Sunshine & Easy Ocean Sailing
Mini Ocean Voyages on tall ship Bessie Ellen
If you really want to be a valuable part of a small, close knit team on the open ocean, then our smallest tall ship Bessie Ellen has a maximum of 12 guest crew. This 1904 hist oric wooden ship once carried cargoes around Europe and Africa and now safety coded for ocean sailing worldwide. A gaff ketch with 4 headsails, she has a more versatile rig than a square rigger to sailing in all wind directions.
If you want a genuine ocean sailing experience without expensive air fares then Bessie Ellen often has shorter ocean passages like Cornwall to Northern Spain accross Biscay, or UK to the Canaries or Azores.
Ocean Going Sailing Lugger Grayhound
This replica of a 1776 privateeer was built to go ocean cruising. She set off on her first ocean Atlantic Circuit in 2013 -14 exploring Madiera, Canaries, Cape Verde, a classic trade wind passage to the Caribbean and a series of voyages throughout the Caribbean Sea. She returned trans Atlantic in the spring 2014 via the Azores.Three masted lugger Grayhound will be back in the UK for a short summer season in 2014. She will not be going back to the Caribbean in winter 2014-15, but owners Marcus and Freya have has lots of exciting plans for both local and worlwide cruising beyond summer 2015. You don't have to 'sell up and sail' to experience cruising on a family lugger. If you want to sail oceans on a 68ft lugger with only 8 guest crew then ring us and might be able to tell you her plans as they develop, before they are officially published.
This is a good sized vessel to learn Astro Nav on as both Marcus and Freya love teaching sextant skills on the longer voyages. There are potential berths for anyone wanting to gain their RYA Ocean Yachtmaster qualifying passage but you will need to sail as a watch leader at least so do ring us for details and book early.
We are always adding more voyages of discovery so please watch our News and Updates for the latest information,
or tell us what you are looking for below and we will e mail you.
Pick your Sailing Holiday
"A special sailing experience. Delighted to have the opportunity to sail with Luke and hear all about his boat build...
"Best aspects - active involvement in sailing and rowing: learning how the boat was made and works: shore visits, w...
Two voyages to change a life "Outstanding and unforgettable experience. Loved learning the lug ri...