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Agnes Sailing Programme 2020 - Southern and Western Ireland

Explore Ireland on a traditional wooden gaffer. Photo Helen Phillips

Agnes Summer Expeditions - Sail in South West Ireland

At the end of July 2020 adventure charter boat Agnes is heading for SW Ireland from Cornwall. Her skippers have made forays over in West Cork before, but this time they are offering a mix of sailing holidays way out west in Southern Ireland with Baltimore, County Cork as their crew change port.

There are two longer voyages from Cornwall to Ireland via the Isles of Scilly in late July, and a similar offshore voyage back via Scilly in August.

During peak summer holidays in August there will be as far from the 'madding crowd' as you could probably get, with 3 coastal exploration voyages starting and finishing in Baltimore. Whilst the sailing grounds this far West of Cork are not busy, no voyage to Ireland is without excursions ashore to meet the locals and seek out a bit of live music. Soulful or foot tapping fiddle music is not hard to find here in summer, and the sunset views from waterside pubs are nearly as good as a beer or wine on Agnes deck before supper. Enjoy the best of both worlds  and leave  your car behind.

sea kayaks love wild coasts and safe landing beaches, and so do we
sea kayaks love wild coasts and safe landing beaches, and so do we. Photo Melissa Williams

Agnes sets Sail for Fastnet via the Scilly Islands

If journey making is your preferred style of voyage then why not join Agnes next year as she sets sail for Southern Ireland? This 9 night summer voyage has an intrepid feel about it, whilst visiting very welcoming communities in remote coastal villages. Sail the extremely seaworthy pilot cutter Agnes to the Isles of Scilly and then head off across the horizon to Southern Ireland.

This is prime pilot cutter territory. Scillies pilot cutters and their bigger sisters from the Bristol Channel and Falmouth would be out looking for tall ships in the 1890-1900's. It was a lucrative trade to put be first to put your pilot on a heavily laden cargo ship and help it navigate safely to the ports of Europe.

Pilot Cutters like Agnes were built for the Western Approaches and the worst that the Atlantic and shallowing Continental shelf could throw at them. Hopefully you won't see that sort of weather mid summer, but it is always nice to know these vessels can 'hove-to' mid ocean and sit out bad weather if they have to.  We are guessing that if this trip has caught your eye, you are up for a bit of adventure anyway.

We can't imagine skippers Luke or Brendan will be able to resist a quick circuit around the Fastnet Rock before you land, but it depends how strongly the Guiness is calling after 150 miles of open sea.  On the voyage back to Cornwall at the end of August, it would be rude not to toast a goodbye to this famous race mark.

Approaching from the sea you have some pretty rocky landfalls to aim for. Ireland's five great peninsulas - Mizzen, Sheep's Head, Beara, Iveragh and Dingle dip their rocky toes into the Atlantic and provide great coastal walking if you have a head for heights. 

At the end of August  Agnes heads back on the same journey in reverse.

Want to explore Ireland? explore by classic pilot cutter Agnes
Want to explore Ireland? arrive on this

6 day sailing voyages - explore Ireland Under Sail

A 6 day adventure voyage exploring the South West Coast of Eire. Hilltop forts, towering cliffs, ocean facing bays, islands and rocky peninsulas are all there to explore from Baltimore in West Cork. So close to the ocean this can be a challenging sailing ground but with offshore islands creating shelter from the swell, you have an amazing wild playground where other yachts are rare. Agnes makes the perfect expedition vessel with loads of wooden deck space, and light and airy below decks with full headroom. She even has a stove if you need to snug down somewhere.

Natural Harbour of Baltimore
Natural Harbour of Baltimore

Travelling to Baltimore. There trains from Dublin to Cork and daily direct flights to Cork Airport from most UK airports and many European airports. Baltimore is 60 km west of Cork in great sailing grounds but tricker to get to by public transport. Agnes crew are going to arrange a mini bus pick up from Cork at 12pm on the day the voyage starts. If you would like help organising transport then email for details.

Where will be Sail in Ireland?These 6 day voyages that start and finish in the same port - Baltimore, which gets you to the centre of some of the best sailing in Southern Ireland and starts to reach around into the wild West Coast. Each 6 night voyage has no tight itinerary. Its all about exploration. Ideal for adventurous beginners and sailors who want to explore the rugged peninsulas and wide bays of SW Ireland. Baltimore is ideally placed to explore Cape Clear Island,  Dunmanus Bay, Bantry Bay and perhaps sail past Fastnet Rock.

This is way out West on the edge of the Atlantic, where a beach to land on is more likely than a marina pontoon. In summer finding a pub in the coastal villages with some live music is not to difficult. Agnes is an eye catching vessel so her arrival is unlikely to be missed by the locals so you instantly have a conversation opener that is different from land based tourists. 

Historic Landscapes, Castles & Myths

This is a sparsely inhabited landscape where stone walls and clifftop castles and forts are constant reminders of centuries of farmers toil and survival in a land where weather is king. The night skies are without light pollution, and to wander on deck by the glow of the anchor light is a timeless activity where you can listen quietly to the surf on the shore or bird calls, or dip a rope end and catch some glittering phosphorescence from the inky depths. As you arrive in any bay, Agnes will attract a great deal of attention and conversations will flow once ashore in the pub as enthusiasts ask you what it is like to live and sail on such a beaut! 

SW Ireland - Land of the Gannet. Photo Debbie Purser
SW Ireland - Land of the Gannet. Photo Debbie Purser

 

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