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Winter Sun on Tall Ships

Beat those winter blues, say goodbye to gloomy dark days and say hello to sunlight, spectacular ocean sunsets and crystal clear waters. Look forward to your winter with some amazing tall ship autumn and winter sunshine sailing. Re energise watching sparkling seas and sea creatures like dolphins and seabirds revelling in their element. Swim off the boat, climb high in the rigging, stargaze under tropical skies, take in some much needed vitamins and have a really unique sailing adventure.

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Tall Ship Lord Nelson has wheelchair access onto the bowsprit. Enjoy!
Tall Ship Lord Nelson has wheelchair access onto the bowsprit. Enjoy!

Tall Ship Sailing in the Canaries

Sail in the winter sunshine in the Canary Isles with a typical average temperature of 70 Degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). 

Excellent sailing winds between the group of five mountainous islands and quieter areas closer to shore. A great mix of daysails and overnight passages will really give you some thrilling sailing across the deep seas between the islands.  

The Canary Isles is home to a variety of dolphins and whales and is on the migratory route. You don’t need to sail too far from the coast to come across dolphins, finback whales, pilot whales and sperm whales to name just a few! Many cetacean research vessels study here and there is a breeding ground for pilot whales off Tenerife.

Experience a wonderful starry night sky under sail or a quiet stroll on deck in a remote anchorage studying the expanse of the universe in all its glory above your head. Many of the world’s astronomy telescopes are here in the mountains as the night skies are so unpolluted and excellent for astronomical observations.

Walking in the Western Canaries has come a long way in recent years with clear access and good pathways. The surprisingly lush vegetation, pine trees and terraces of bananas and many crops and local fauna make for interesting walks ashore.

Voyages in the Canaries

Cape Verde fish catch. Photo Arthur Smeets
Cape Verde fish catch. Photo Arthur Smeets

Tall Ships in Cape Verde - Tropical Sun and Breezy Trade Winds

Fabulous sailing and awesome exploration trips ashore make this a very different way of seeing these splendid islands.

  • The inhabited islands include Brava, Fogo, Santiago, Maio, Sal, Boa Vista, Sao Nicholau, Sao Antao and Sao Vincente in two distinct groups - windward and leeward islands. 
  • The seas are rich with fish like wahoo and tuna and the locals still sail in and out the surf in small boats with lug sails. Flying fish skip between the wave crests and you may see whales or dolphins.
  • The tropical climate is similar to the Caribbean but drier. Cape Verde has suffered many droughts so rain is very rare. Average monthly temperatures in January and February are around 23 degrees Centigrade (74 F) and the sea is a balmy 23 degrees C average too.

Cape Verde has a dark past as Portuguese colony and holding station for the African slave trade.  Miles of cobbled mountain roads were built by slaves. There is a rich culture, awareness of their past and hauntingly beautiful music and singing, telling the tales of the islands and fight against slavery.

 

Tall Ship Voyages in Cape Verde

 

Oosterschelde in the Caribbean

Sailing Adventures in the Caribbean

Explore some remote islands and enjoy the sun on Oosterschelde in the Caribbean. See Bermuda from a tall ship and explore each island whilst sailing in paradise. 

  • Lush rainforests, mountains and waterfalls, If you have been dazzled by the natural scenery in the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movies then both Guadeloupe and Dominica are much closer to that lush volcanic island paradise than more well known Caribbean tourism locations. The second movie 'Dead Mans Chest' and 3rd Capt Jack Sparrow adventure At 'World's End' were filmed in the rainforests of Dominica, close to Guadeloupe.
  • Coral Reefs & Marine Wildlife, some of the best dive sites in the world are in the Caribbean. Alive with fish and coral and up-welling plankton, this sunken volcanic crater is also deep enough for sperm whales to swim close inshore and frigate birds cruise the skies.​​
  • The average daily high temperature in January (Guadeloupe) is 28 degrees Centigrade (83 F) with lows of 19 degrees centigrade. The voyages in January and February are well outside the wettest months (July-Nov) with the driest period being Feb- April, but the humidity is high. The ever present trade winds are the saving grace, so particularly at sea you can enjoy hot sun and cooling breezes. 

Voyages in the Caribbean

 

Musicians on the street in Cuba
Musicians on the street in Cuba

Schooner Voyages around Cuba

Cuba is the biggest island in the Caribbean, but because of trade embargoes with the USA and political isolation, the island is still uniqu. Whilst Havana is visually in a time warp with crumbling architecture and 1950's classic cars everywhere, there is a real feel good buzz here. Music and in dance seems to be in the soul of every Cuban and on every street corner. In the countryside there are virtually no cars and the island has coral reefs and incredible beaches of offshore cays around it. 

Steeped in maritime history, Havana was on the Spanish galleon gold route from Yucatan Peninsula and in more recent times the whole communist revolution and story is well told in the museums of Havana. Adam and Debbie from Classic Sailing office sailed the Spanish Main and around the North coast of Cuba on Oosterschelde and ashore in 2018 and loved it. Blue Clipper is visiting the South Coast in 2019. 

Voyages in Cuba

 

Tall ship In search of desert islands

Ocean Voyages in the Sunshine

It’s in the autumn that lots of our ships head south for the sun or further afield. Cross the Atlantic or head south to the Cape Verde.

Crossing an ocean on a square rigger - real voyages of discovery from 8 to 66 days

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.

"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."

All Ocean Voyages

 

Helming Blue Clipper as the sun rises
Helming Blue Clipper as the sun rises
Sailing experiences you might like
Recommended vessels and why

Each winter three masted schooner Oosterschelde offers a great combination of trade wind sailing and island exploration in Cape Verde and some years she goes transatlantic to the Caribbean. In the past she has offered voyages from Martinique, Guadeloupe, St Martin, Cuba, USA and Bermuda.

Schooner Blue Clipper has been working with us since 2017 and certainly notches up the miles. She usually has a full winter programme that follows a classic Atlantic Circuit. Typical destinations and port changes include Portugal, Canaries, Cape Verde, Trans Atlantic to Barbados. Caribbean island hopping voyages from Barbados, St Martin, Havana and Cienfuegos on Cuba.  Trans Atlantic is back to Europe via Bermuda and the Azores.

Lord Nelson and Tenacious are run by the same British charity that encourages able bodied and disabled crew to sail together as equals. The two ships take it in turns to offer exotic destinations outside Europe in the Northern Hemisphere Winter. Sometimes it is an around the world voyage including the Pacific or Australia. Other years it could be that one ship is in the Canaries or Western Mediterranean, whilst the other sails to the Caribbean. 

Europa is a classic square rigger that crosses the Atlantic diagonally - heading towards South America. This trade route picks up both the NE trade winds and the SE trade winds, plus the sailors rite of crossing the equator with all skysails and stunsails set.

Three masted lugger Grayhound has some early summer voyages in Northern Spain, Madeira and the Azores which is stretching the definition of winter voyages but worth a look.

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