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Grayhound Sail Cargo Programme 2019 - Brittany- West Country- Scillies, Madeira & Azores

Grayhound and La Cancalaise

Eco Trading Under Sail 2019 - New Routes for Grayhound

Eco trading under sail, where you deliver cargoes without resorting to fossil fuels, not only sharpens your sailing skills, it creates an active holiday with a feel good factor. Sailing Lugger Grayhound is Britain’s first registered vessel to provide a regular cargo runs under sail between the West Country and Brittany.

In 2019 Grayhound has some new eco trade routes. On the cargo runs from Douarnenez to Devon and Cornwall, she now delivers French organic wine and champagne to small businesses in the Isles of Scilly as a regular route.  Once in the Scilly Islands you can help her load a cargo of ale and then sail to the mainland for a spot of coastal hopping along the Cornwall and Devon coast with trading goods to and from brewers, restaurants, farm shops and waterside cafes.

This summer she is also going off on ocean adventures for the first time since her Atlantic Circuit of 2013.  Whilst these are not purely cargo delivery voyages it would be rude not to pick up olive oil in Porto for Madeira and a tea cargo in the Azores.

This fast 108ft lugger is a replica of an 18th Century privateer that was originally built to chase smugglers but now brings home the goods legitimately and with great panache. Be part of a growing 'Green Transport Revolution', meet inspiring people on both sides of the Channel who are making a difference in the world.

Grayhound hitting the magazine covers again.
Grayhound hitting the magazine covers again.

Douarnenez is the Hub - Our Home Port

Grayhound Lugger Sailing might be a Cornish Company, but Douarnenez is her other home. The waterfront and warehouses* at Port Rhu is the hub for the oceanic transport of French wine, Caribbean rum, gin and British organic ales. The organic and fair trade goods are promoted and cargo space organised by the inspiring founders of 'TOWT Transport a la Voile'. If you help sail Grayhound on a cargo run to or from Douarnenez you are likely to meet the very welcoming Guillaume Le Grand and Diana Mesa.

Douarnenez has two ports on either side of a medieval town full of ancient buildings, cobbled streets and waterfront cafes. Port Rhu is on the River with a locked Basin full of museum ships from the Maritime Museum. The larger port and fish dock reflects Douarnenez's roots and modern role as a fishing port, but the setting in the outer harbour is good enough for artists to paint. Every second year this side of the town hosts the DZ Temps Fete Maritime Festival and wooden boats of all sizes fill the harbour.

Grayhound has very much been adopted by the town and was centre stage in a mock battle with the full size replica of French 1779 frigate Hermoine at DZ 2016 Festival as the festival Grand Finale.

summer picnics in Douarnenez
summer picnics in Douarnenez

Cargo Run from France to Cornwall via the Scillies

Grayhound only has 5 cargo runs across the English Channel in 2019. In the western approaches the Channel is quite wide and over 95 miles from West Country Ports to Ushant on the corner of France.

We want to change the perception that the cargo runs on Grayhound Sailing Lugger are all about crossing the channel between France and Britain. In actual fact the 90-100 mile Channel crossing can be all too brief as Grayhound skipper Marcus is rather efficient at picking the right weather window to make a fast passage. The offshore bouncy bit could be over in 10 or 12 hours. On a 7 day voyage you then have quite a bit of coastal sailing in Brittany or the West Country, with the perfect excuse stop in small ports, anchor for a swim or drop off a small cargo and meet the locals.  

The voyages beginning in Douarnenez and sailing to the UK now all go via the Isles of Scilly. A great excuse to go ashore and meet island business owners and learn about life there from a local. From this archipelago 35 miles off Lands End you have a shorter offshore passage before you are under the granite cliffs of West Penwith. If the weather is fair for Falmouth and beyond you might shape a course for Wolf Rock lighthouse, cross the wide Mounts Bay and then tuck behind the Lizard Peninsula. 

Organic wine bound for Britain by Sail
Organic wine bound for Britain by Sail

A Cultural Experience - Meet the British!

These voyages create a real sense of purpose and a chance to meet people who want to maintain links between the UK and Europe and find solutions for our fossil fuel hungry world. You can meet the café, restaurant, farm shop owners that have the vision to buy organic French Wine with a low carbon footprint. You can be proud that the cargo you delivered was transported by wind, tide and your physical sail handling efforts.  Many of the cargo buyers have waterfront premises like Dibble and Grub on Porth Cressa Beach in the Scillies. A cause for a celebration in every port we think.

St Agnes in the Scillies
St Agnes in the Scillies

Going the Other Way - Cargoes to France 2019

Grayhound is well used to making the best of the wind and tides for a fast crossing and then you have some interesting sailing grounds to navigate through.  The 7 day cargo voyages generally allow plenty of time to anchor on the way in places like Lampaul on Ushant (Isle d'Ouessant), Cameret or some beautiful bays below high cliffs on the way to the huge Douarnenez Bay.

Load up with supplies on either side of the Channel and promote green transport and fair trading. Hand load organic wine from the historic port of Douarnenez in Brittany into the ship’s hold bound for the West Country suppliers and restaurants.

Sail the ship across the channel laden with goods where you will use the engine as little as possible. Meet the Bretons and take pride in delivery under sail. This voyage also includes loading and offloading cargo, night sailing across the Channel and sailing in a watch system. Stopping in Camaret sur Mer on your way towards Cornwall and also delivering to Plymouth if the wind allows.

This trip also includes ale and wine tasting, as well as entry to Douarnenez maritime museum.

Receive 10% off if you book both legs!

Olive oil for Madeira

Load a cargo of wine and olive oil in Porto in Portugal and sail on great voyage to the flower island of Madeira.  Enjoy some trekking there along the famous Levadas (old aqueduct paths contouring the mountains.

Azores tea for home 2019

An adventurous ocean passage of 1100 nautical miles for agile and intrepid sailors, with an outdoor lovers taste of the Azores before you leave. A must to try on Faial is to join Marcus and Freya on a downhill bike ride (hire bikes) from volcano crater to the sea, through the forest and villages. Get a taste for Horta and Azorian life before Grayhound departs for a 9-10 day passage back to France with a cargo of local Azores tea.

Grayhound - ocean bound again 2019. photo Patrick Holihan
Grayhound - ocean bound again 2019. photo Patrick Holihan





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