Comments from past Classic Sailing sailors...
Re Annabel J
- What aspects of the voyage did you enjoy the most? "The beauty of the boat and the sailing experience." Sandra W 2011
~ "Phil and the crew do a great job of making the guests feel extremely welcome and part of the team and it's a real pleasure to spend time aboard the Annabel-J. Each day starts with tea in bunk followed by an excellent breakfast - and then it just gets better. Especially if the sun shines and the wind blows. Even if the weather is less inspiring it's still a great way to get away from it all, make new friends and learn new stuff. The only thing is, I'm not sure plastic boats will ever be quite so appealing. Suffice to say I enjoyed my weekend so much I'm booked up for another trip! PS I still think colour coding sails and ropes would be a good idea ... might look a bit uncool though! See you soon Phil (and Steve, John & Sue), looking forward to it" - Alison P. 2005
~ " We enjoyed everything about those two days and particularly appreciated your patience and your quiet words when we needed prompting. You seemed to be part of the group of us in no time at all – you have a great ease of manner which is really great for the rest of the crew. Annabel J looks great – now I really know what “ship-shape and Bristol fashion” means!" - John Burgess, 2005.
~ "Best food aboard ever!" - Karen Ward, 2006.
~ "The cruise was a constant delight, I particularly enjoyed the spontaneity of the days course of action starting with plan A and sometimes ending up with plan C or D. I was instantly made to feel welcome and felt at ease" - Robert Chester, 2007.
~ "Thanks for a brilliant holiday and great food!" - Peter N.
~ "Thanks for the best holiday ever!" - Jacqui.
Re Bessie Ellen
"Ruud, Nikki and the crew created a wonderful experience. Bessie Ellen is a special boat and the area around the Inner Hebrides is ideal for this type of sailing. We had fine weather, skipper responded sensibly with more time ashore and met up with the tall ships. It could not have been a better holiday." John L. July 2011Best bits were "Great mix of 'mucking in' to get sails up and down / not having to clean the toilets. Crew were brilliant. Nicky amazing." John A. July 2011"Thank you so much to Bessie Ellen and her owner, captain and crew. It was a long held dream of mine and my cream came true. Fantastic ! "
Bits enjoyed most - "getting involved, learning sailing, meeting the other guests and crew, delicious meals, scenery, wonderful anchorages overnight, watching wildlife, climbing mast and bowsprit and steering." Anne S. June 2011
Most enjoyed " getting to St KIlda, wonderful scenery, excellent and plentiful food, excellent crew." Cliff S. July 2011
" A journey I will remember for the rest of my life - most enjoyable was sailing to St Kilda and landing there; island hopping, Shiant Islands, and the guests and crew were great." Jane H. July 2011"A wonderful break from the real world - It was all fantastic. Loved sailing at night, the moon and sun rising and setting, dolphins, sharks and whales. Bananarama and Boy George at Whitehaven Festival on the last night ! Fabulous company, excellent food, stunning boat and exhillerating sailing. " Claire H, June 2011"Two days of heaven. excellent food, company, good team spirit, safe and fun ship." Wendy W. June 2011
"one of the most enjoyable, exciting + relaxing experiences I have had - wonderful" - Alan W. Gift voucher recipient - June 2011"Very helpful, willing and 'forgiving' skipper and crew. Was luck to have a great guest crew with varied expertise. Landing on Lunga to see the puffins was the hightlight. In summary - exceeded expectations; challenging; over too soon. " Steven H. July 2011
"Brilliant experience to be on the water under sail. Aspects I enjoyed the most were getting away from normal life for a few days, sailing such a wonderful ship. learning to sail the boat, taking the helm and being fed with great food and no washing up !" Claire J June 2011
"Absolutely fantastic. The skipper Ruud and owner Nikki were excellent at telling us novices what to do in a non bossy way, letting us get on with it, but being reassuringly close by. Food was outstanding." Hilary M. July 2011
"Utterly content, happy, satisfied, did'nt want to get off. Nikky's crew go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and happy. Sam and Neils two lovely young men - very polite - (they never make you feel old or stupid etc), pleasant and cheerful but also very good at night helping you pull the right rope in the dark. Skipper Ruud was very calm and always ready to answer silly questions. Nikki is like you Debbie(Eve's Skipper) - everywhere at once, she puts a lot of effort into getting it right. She went to a lot of trouble to make sure we had a good look at Europa - we tied alongside her and Nikki arranged a tour. So yes, I had a good time, such that I was fighting back tears when we had to get off. Only an enormous seafood platter with lobster recovered my spirits." Liz L. July 2011~
"Good fun good company" Tony S 2011~ "I feel totally changed by the whole experience, and can't wait to get back sailing again." Sarah S. May 2004
~ "It has been a good tonic, to keep us sane and stress free on our return to work" Jules and Sandra.
~ "The weather was mild, a little wind and the seas were flat, the voyage highlight being an excellent view of basking sharks." - Jim Cadle.
~ "I had a great time sailing on Bessie Ellen. Sailing through the Scottish Highlands via the Caledonian Canal was just beautiful." - Laurie Edland, 2004.
~ "Beautiful Ship, excellent skipper and crew, good company, good food, great sailing." - Chris Barnes-Holmes, 2005.
~ "Lovely old boat, great company, excellent food. “There is room for improvement in everything” but on this occasion I have to disagree!" - Derek Ames. 2005.
~ "Great crew with wonderful leadership from Nikki. Food first class. All in all fully up to expectations. A really great holiday!" - Jim Kennedy, 2005.
~ "This holiday was fulfilling an ambition. I’ve always been enthralled by stories from authors such as Arthur Ransome and Patrick O’Brian – yet until last year I had never sailed. Aboard Bessie Ellen I saw so much that I have read about: the phosphorescence, dolphins squeaking in the dark, the wealth of the bird life, to name a few. I loved night sailing and the sound of the water as I was tucked up in my bunk, relaxing to the roll – fantastic!" - Sally-Ann Edlin, 2006.
~ "I have recently returned from one of the best holidays of my life aboard Bessie Ellen. Everything was so much better than my wildest dreams! I loved sitting on deck watching the gannets, the islands the clouds and the guillemots. I also loved hauling on the ropes. Nikki was great and her cooking was fabulous! Waking up in the idyllic anchorages was just sublime!" - Deirdre Hoyle, 2006.
~ "I think that Bessie Ellen under Nikki’s supervision has been restored to an extremely high standard." - David.
~ "I had a fantastic time on board Bessie Ellen. The crew were fantastic, the sailing was fantastic – I haven’t laughed so much in years!" - Alan.
~ "Sailing in the Western Isles of Scotland is one of the best ways of exploring these remote islands and lochs. You do not have to worry about accommodation, it’s close to nature but cosier than camping and the midges get blown away or stay ashore." Joy M.
Re Stavros S. Niarchos
~ " I was extremely impressed by how well organised the whole voyage was, and running the ship in general. I thought the crew were superb the way they motivated and encouraged everybody to do whatever it took to ensure the ship could continue to sail through the day and night. Thanks again for a great holiday!" - Maryjane Crane, 2003.
~ "We did plenty of sailing, had great weather and plenty of shore leave. The watch system was great fun and even mess duty was great. I ended up making up the “track chart” which seems to be a custom of each voyage. I would not hesitate to recommend one of these trips to anyone." - Scott Caple, 2005.
~ "Can’t see my feet swaying on the foot rope, or the deck below, but I can hear my heart pounding." - Dave Midnight.
~ "Most of all I enjoyed “learning the ropes” and steering the ship whilst on watch at night." - Esther.
Re Eve of St Mawes
What aspects of the voyage did you enjoy the most? "What made the difference was the skipper who managed the balance of Boss, host and shipmate marvelously. I was never in doubt as to who was in charge and who to listen to, whilst enjoying Adam's company." In a few words "Liberating, awesome, farout!" Charlie S 2011
~ "A very big thank you for a most enjoyable and memorable trip, the boat and voyage far exceeded my expectations." - Richard S.
~ "Taking the decision to stretch myself outside my comfort zone.. has taken me by surprise - how glad I am I took the risk. Both you and Debbie are doing something exceptional." - Tracy, Eve Voyage 2004
~ "Thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. It was a real escape. I pretend I'm on the boat at home. I haven't slept so well for a long time." -Liz L
~ "What a grand way to spend a Monday morning." - Pierce Brosnan after a day sailing on Eve of St Mawes.
~ "Nobody would have guessed this was a brand new vessel. The feeling of history inherent in these vessels was present in Eve." Classic Boat Magazine article on Eve of St Mawes 1997.
~ "Dear Adam and Debbie, thanks for the pleasure of seeing you both in your natural element. You are that rare breed of people doing the thing they thoroughly enjoy." - Bob T.
~ "I have very fond memories of my first, but certainly not my last sailing trip. Your postcard is on my wall next to my skiing posters." Sue, Newbury.
~ "I have regained my enthusiasm for sailing and I have remembered how brilliant it is. I keep finding myself singing sea shanties" – Penny Evans, 2001.
~ "I enjoyed the company and the excuse to get away from my books" – Kirsty Bruce, 2001
~ "Many thanks for a super holiday" – Graham Webber, 2001.
~ "Exhilarating without being scary" – Angela, 2001.
~ "Good Company. Good Boat."
~ "The thrill for a boat moving under wind power alone – peace under the stars at night." Maureen Knight, 2001.
~ "It was great for building confidence and being on the helm" – Lucy Boslev, 2001.
~ "The whole experience was absolutely magical" – Simon Hooper, 2000.
~ "The best bit was being involved with the sailing all the time, getting to try everything." - Liz Houscham, 2002.
~ "The scenery, the sensation of sailing, steering the boat, being the “dangly” person!" - Rose Seber.
~ "It was brilliant and I achieved a lot more than I anticipated. I will be enrolling on my day skipper course this evening!" - Peter Thompson, 2001.
~ "By Saturday it was hard to believe some of us had only met on Friday!" - Mark Coates
~ "Traditional boat sailing, friendly instruction and running commentary on wildlife, scenery, shipping and life." - Malcom Ramsdale.
~ "It was a privilege to sail aboard Eve; I would love to come again!" - Helen Smith, 2000.
~ "We saw a lot, learnt a lot and met some very nice people." - Brian Thomas, 2001.
~ "Exploring beaches and coves. Seeing phosphorescence." - Charlotte Mathews, 2002.
~ "Thanks for a wonderful few days for escape and exploration. Every trip really is a new adventure!" - Marjorie, 2002.
~ "I can’t fault anything with the holiday. I had a brilliant time!I was especially pleased because I am a vegetarian and a lot of thought went into the meals – not an omelette in sight!" - Melody Hewlett, 2003.
~ "Thanks a million for a wonderful time I spent on Eve last week. It was a really amazing experience!" - Emily Richards, 2004.
~ "Eve us such a beautiful boat, and I learnt loads thanks to your very patient teaching. The food was wonderful!" - Jane Robinson, 2004.
~ "We are well and truly hooked, and had a brilliant time!" - Nichola Van Der Bij. 2004.
~ "Thanks for a lovely weekend. I have come home relaxed and re-vitalised!" - Marjorie Hudson.
~ "Just wanted to say thank you for all lovely, relaxing weekend, yet again full of lasting memories. Sun and glorious sail on Saturday. There may not have been any wind on Sunday, but the picture that will stay with me is the molten silver sea and the dolphins revolving though the water.
~ "Thanks for all your support, help and encouragement. I hope we meet again soon – I’d love to sail on Eve again!" - Penny McDonald.
~ "The voyage was a surprise birthday present and I loved every minute of it. I wanted to do something memorable for my 40th and this was as memorable as I could have wished for! Fantastic! Thank you!" -Andy Goodall, 2005.
~ "Thanks so much for a wonderful week on Eve. She’s a beautiful boat and sailing on her was, for me, a perfect way to connect the experience of Bessie Ellen and the bits of dinghy sailing I have done. You are all brilliant and inspirational teachers and I learnt a huge amount." - Nick Sorenson 2008
~ "Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognise a mistake when you make it!" - Judy.
~ "We had an amazing holiday sailing across to France on Eve, and then having a few days in St Malo. Our only problem is what we can do next year to match it!" - Janet and Mick Cole. 2005.
~ "Many thanks for the Paimpol trip – it far exceeded my expectation. The atmosphere around the dock was extraordinary and the music just great." - Tony. 2005.
~ "I enjoyed our trip to the Scillies so much. We had great weather an exciting fast sail to St Agnes. The Cove was just beautiful and I’m glad we had a few hours "lying on the beach and swimming in the sea! I had a lovely time, I felt as though I had had a rest and break from London – so thank you again!" - Sarah, 2005.
~ "I’m still on a high from when I left you yesterday morning. It was all too wonderful. The sailing, the eats the jokes, thanks a million." - Brian Gasgione, 2005.
~ "I was amazed how quickly we felt safe – I had felt quite anxious about the boat as it was only my second time on the water. The food was great and always served just at the right time!" - Megan Rose, 2005.
~ "I sharn’t forget the coast of Brittany rising from the sea after my first channel crossing, nor the magic of the preceding night, the moon suspended in the starboard shrouds and the breaking crest of Eve’s bow wake caught in the gleam of her navigation lights. I can’t wait to go sailing again! James Boyd. 2007.
~ "I should have done this 10 years ago!" - Chris Truman, 2008.
~ "Amazing – I never thought I would enjoy it so much! I’m booking another one!" - Sarah Edwards, 2008.
~ "Being allowed to make mistakes (over and over!) and learning from them, being a part of Eve’s crew. I felt very proud sailing into Fowey under a full press of sail! Dinner times and telling stories… the list goes on and on!" - Tom Grahame, 2008.
~ "An exhilarating and inspiring introduction to classic sailing. A wonderful experience – I shall be back!" - Nick Elvey, 2008.
~ "Normal life was a thousand miles away so I came back having had a proper rest (even thought I was shattered!). Oh – and I really enjoyed swimming off the boat!" - Clare Drakely, 2005.
~ "Learning to sail should be one everybody’s list of things to do in a lifetime." - Nikki.
~ "Many thanks for the wonderful week I had on Eve. I loved sailing, the Scillies, good food and company." - Jo.
~ "" The highlight of the week was quietly rowing back to Eve, the stars above, the owl nearby and phosphorescence in our wake – Magic! " -
~ "I would like to say how much I enjoyed my voyage on Eve. The relaxed and informal atmosphere on board I feel greatly added to the experience and has started me thinking about future voyages, hopefully with a bit more wind! Many thanks." - Mark.
~ "Eve is a beautiful boat, outside and in, and the all wood construction adds a charm distinctly lacking in most modern boats – real character". - Rob.
~ "St Helens, Isles of Scilly, - sanctuary for birds and sailors offered us a sunset unique and sublime; we hoisted a hammock next morning and took it in turns to recline." - Ditty by Scillies crew.
~ "Thank you, after only one week on Eve I feel more like a proper sailor." - Mel.
~ "Thank you for all your efforts in making our time on Eve as enjoyable as it was relaxing and informative. We saw a lot, did a lot, learnt and met some very nice people. The whole experience of a week on Eve has proven to be worth a good deal more than the normal weeks break, Sue and I really did enjoy ourselves." - Sue and Brian.
~ "Absolutely brilliant sailing, have been on a high ever since, which couldn’t be removed even when sitting on the underground and walking under grey London skies." - Anna P.
Gilbert Pépin Location: Vernon, France 29.5.2009
I want to thank the crew for the three magnificent days passed on board, between "Golfe du Morbihan" and "Le Havre". I sailed on numerous occasions on about ten different ships, and this sailing on Oosterschelde is the best experience I ever had. I was impressed by the good performances of the ship, and by the way the crew adjusts sails permanently so that the ship always gives the best ; it was an immense pleasure to participate of my best in all these operations. I regret that our different languages did not allow us to communicate more, because all the crew members were really very nice and very thoughtful with us. I have now only an envy: to embark again on Oosterschelde, to be on the deck to participate in the laborers of sails, to climb on the mast to help the crew, and to share again these excellent moments given by sailing on Oosterschelde !!! (Excuse my bad English, which is the one from a French...) Thanks again Gilbert
Adam / Debbie,
Yes the adventure is now completed for both Janet & myself. No major problems except landing at Ascension Island in 20 foot surf eventually achieved with the use of a long jib crane and a cage. Only the 4 new crew and ourselves managed it! (That was all the required people then! Adam)
According to Janet the sailing from Ascension to Bermuda was brilliant and engine assistance was for two days only at the end of the trip.
We both fully recommend the Europa for sailing, comfort, food and experiance with very professional crew.
The below deck improvements of new showers and air conditioning is the icing on the cake!
Best wishes Peter & Janet
5 Star Europa Falmouth to Amsterdam Aug 12
I most enjoyed the great weather that enabled us to use the sails as often as possible, a fab week sailing in great weahter.
5 Star Europa La Coruna to Falmouth Aug 12
The experience of sailing in challenging weather - One of the most exciting things I have ever done.
Europa the Azores to St Malo - June 2012
The freedom to get into the rigging and particpate in the watch system, helm. lookout etc. One of the most exhilarating and magical trips I've ever experienced.
RE Lizzie May
I've just got back from a Classic Sailing trip from Largs to Oban. It was a wonderful holiday. I enjoyed every minute of it. The Lizzie May is a beautiful boat and Laurie, the skipper, was fantastic. He made us all feel very welcome and at home in what, for most of us, was a completely new and daunting environment. He encouraged us all to join in and 'have a go', and did so with great skill and patience. He is also an excellent cook!
The holiday was great value for money and I will certainly be recommending it to friends.
Many thanks, Best wishes, Catherine July 2010
~ "He does well who moors his boat by two anchors" - Publilius Syrus, 1st Century BC
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