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Leader in the Scillies - 2019 Sailing Programme

Isles of Scilly St Agnes beach towards Annett

Explore the Isles Of Scilly on Leader


The voyage starts and finishes from Falmouth in Cornwall. Leader will then take you out of the mouth of Falmouth heading West down the stunning coastline past Coverack, around the Lizard and across  Mounts Bay towards Lands End. From Wolf Rock lighthouse you really feel you are sailing out into the Atlantic Ocean. The 65 mile passage to the Scillies is a really great way to start your holiday and get to know the ropes. This passage can be either benign or challenging . There are strong tides and shallow seamounts around the Lizard Point and Lands End which create up-wellings and currents ideal for sealife and where there is food in the ocean you are likely to find basking sharks, ocean seabirds diving, dolphins, or perhaps whales -  so be sure to have your camera ready!  

The journey to the Islands is part of the adventure. Once around the Lizard, Mounts Bay is huge so you may now be out of sight of land until you get to the islands - if the conditions are hazy. The thrill of spotting the Isles of Scilly when this fascinating archipelago first appears over the horizon never goes away, however many times you visit. Choosing and making your destination in the Scillies is greatly cherished because not only do you arrive in style under sail but you have been part of the journey, your effort and team work has made it possible. You get a sense of achievement never found arriving by ferry or plane.

Leader in New Grimsby Sound between Tresco and Bryher
Leader anchored in New Grimsby Sound between Tresco and Bryher

Islands to Explore

This granite archipelago consists of fifty small islands and reefs which include the main islands of St Mary's, St Martin's, Tresco. Bryer, St Agnes and Gugh. Many of the islands are uninhabited so wildlife is in abundance and fondly protected by the local humans. 

The first thing that strikes you about these islands is the vivid colours that surround you, particularly the tropical flowers, the white sandy beaches and the turquoise blue sea.

Although the Isles of Scilly are situated just 28 nautical miles away from the southern tip of Cornwall, these group of exotic islands experience much improved air quality, away from the pollution on the main land. There are no rivers so the seas are crystal clear and the white sand glitters with mica.

This is also evident when the days draw to a close and you get to experience fantastic night skies with crystal clear views of the constellations and the most stunning sun sets. 

Watching the sun set over the Western Rocks
Watching the sun set over the Western Rocks on St Agnes with pints from the Turks Head

Sailing amongst the islands, you will have plenty of time to explore ashore, swim in the blue sea, watch the island’s wildlife and enjoy the fabulous, dramatic scenery. Of course if you prefer to just relax, there are some wonderful pubs and cafes to sample and just watch island life go by!

Navigation and pilotage is fascinating as there are many sand banks and reefs, so deciding where to go is very tide and swell dependent, so when the skipper explains the route, you will see a very busy nautical chart.

Leader has been travelling to the Scillies for many years.  For a vessel the size of Leader the possible anchorages are slightly different from our smaller vessels or she just has to anchor that bit further out from the beach but she has a big inflatable ships tender and outboard to reach the shore. This enables her to also anchor in places like St Helen's Pool or off iconic landmarks like Cromwell's Castle.

TRAVEL ARTICLE- Classic Sailing Top Ten Anchorages in the Scillies

Gig racing happens twice a week in the summer in Scilly
Gig racing happens twice a week in the summer in Scilly

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