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Mid Week Escape to Cornwall - Sail & Beach Camp

Just pack a sleeping bag and a sense of adventure and come coastal exploring in Cornwall. Outdoor Girl is a 17ft Spritsail yawl and her skipper Debbie can be your adventure buddy, teach you to sail or tempt you to wild swim. Journeying by open sailing boat offers more room than kayaking but we can reach into tiny coves and sail and row up beautiful tidal rivers to places the beach goers rarely find. Camp overnight and reconnect with nature and your practical skills.

Embark
Wed, 26-08-2020 - 10:00
St Mawes, Cornwall
Disembark
Thu, 27-08-2020 - 16:00
St Mawes, Cornwall
Duration
2 Days
Vessel
Outdoor Girl
Voyage No.
OG260820

Berths and voyage availability

TYPE: coaching for 2 persons - price per person. AVAILABILITY: Available. PRICE: 250 GBP. BOOK NOW
TYPE: Whole boat price for one person. AVAILABILITY: Available. PRICE: 299 GBP. BOOK NOW

Outdoor Girl - 2 day wild camping and sailing expedition in Cornwall

IDEAL VOYAGE FOR...

Outdoor lovers and independent types who don't yet have a boat and camping kit to do their own thing, but want a taste open boat creek hopping and close to the coast exploration. Solo travellers who want to go on a nautical wildlife 'safari' or try but don't have any friends adventurous enough to try wild camping by boat without backpacks. Sailors who love the idea of messing about in sailing boats close to the shore, and all the seamanship skills that go with it. Eco warriors who care about the planet and want to minimise their carbon footprint but still see beautiful wild scenery and have thrilling experiences.

Getting Outdoors Whilst Covid-19 is still around

In many ways the Coronavirus lockdown in the Spring has focussed our minds on what is important to us: Being close to nature and maximising our time outdoors soaking up the sun; discovering what is on our backdoor; creating our own mini adventures, seeking the hidden places where the wildlife outnumber the humans. Outdoor Girl's skipper Debbie is lucky to live in Cornwall, so her backdoor is well worth sharing if you have exhausted the possibilities of your locale.

Debbie has modified these voyages for the summer of 2020. See the link below on how Outdoor Girl Operations will seek to mitigate the risk from Coronavirus, whilst it is still around in parts of the country.

COVID Precautions for Outdoor Girl

The beauty of only taking small numbers of guests sailing normally (1-3) is that it is just about viable to run a voyage with a single person, if you are up for it. The skipper can tailor it to suit either experienced sailors or beginners - both with the skipper encouraging you to do every aspect of the sail handling, steering and even navigating and beach landing skills.

The core activities and sense of adventure remain the same. The scenery and settings are as lovely as ever. Being on a small boat, away from the crowd, should be the perfect place to chill.

VOYAGE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Learn boatcraft with sails, anchors and oars
  • Local skipper as your guide & adventure buddy
  • Go places too shallow for yachts
  • Enjoy wild camping without the 'walk in'
  • Sail right onto Cornish beaches & step off
  • Row into tiny historic harbours
  • Cook up a feast on camping stove and fires
  • Watch the sunset and rise with a bit of yoga
  • Modern mountaineering tents to try
Cornish Creek hopping in Outdoor Girl
Cornish Creek hopping in Outdoor Girl

FULL VOYAGE DESCRIPTION

Try a small boat adventure with Classic Sailing co-founder Debbie Purser in Cornwall. Outdoor Girl is a 17ft Spritsail yawl - an ideal rig for sailing, rowing into very tiny places and carrying tents and camping equipment. A wooden replica of the 1882 Gorran Bay crabber Ellen,  Outdoor Girl is equally at home exploring an open coast as she is, gliding up wooded creeks, but this week we are taking full advantage of a full moon and really big tides to venture deep into the creeks and salt marsh of either the River Fal and its tributaries, or if the winds are more suitable, a dash to the Helford River and places less well known than Frenchmans Creek.

beach camping on outdoor girl

Micro Itineraries with Pre Planning

Outdoor Girl is a historic design based on Gorran Haven fishing boats which would venture out to sea from this tiny coastal harbour to lay crab pots off the rugged South Cornwall coast. The fishermen learned from their ancestors what weather and sea state their boats could cope with. Outdoor Girl is rugged, fast and seaworthy but she is still an open boat.

These voyages are micro adventures and the distances Outdoor Girl will sail are very small compared to some of her bigger sisters in the Classic Sailing fleet. Without an engine* the skipper always has to think about being able to reach a safe haven in daylight hours without an epic row. In order to maximise your experience of sailing and camping, we may pre position Outdoor Girl before you arrive in the best sailing ground for the wind and wave conditions (your transport to the boat from our normal rendezvous point will be organised for you, or agreed amongst us in advance). It may not exactly match the voyage description but safety and keeping guest crew active, warm and having outdoor fun is our aim on every voyage. The skipper is not trying to turn you into a Royal Marine. Cornwall has wild beauty but it is not 'the wilderness.' If we have to resort to a warm cafe or pub in a waterside village to escape bad weather we will.

Skipper Debbie taking Sophie for a spin across Falmouth Bay
Skipper Debbie taking Sophie for a spin in Outdoor Girl across Falmouth Bay

Tidal Estuaries & Creeks

South Cornwall is blessed with miles of drowned river valleys called rias. They typically have fishing villages or ports near the estuary mouth and quite a bit of yachting activity and moorings. Luckily the signs of human habitation disappear quite quickly as you sail further inland. In the Helford River anchoring is restricted beyond Port Navas to protect the oyster beds, which means there is an empty wild playground for a small boat without a deep keel (Outdoor Girl draws 60cm). In the upper reaches there is salt marsh and you might see otters. The stunted sessile oak trees hug the rocky shores and several stone quays can be found. In spring there are bluebells and primroses and in autumn 

Inland of St Mawes Bay is the Percuil River which has moorings for a mile and then just steep farmland and woods. This is our backyard and we know several landowners.

The River Fal and its tributaries is heavily wooded with steep sides and overhanging branches. There are a few gravelly foreshores above the high water mark, with overhanging trees and a few private quays with grassy areas. Far up Ruan Creek are very shallow channels through the salt marsh that were once commercial waterways. Romans used to trade all the way to Tregony, but the furthest we can reach on a big spring tide is Ruan Lanihorne. Old lime kilns and ospreys have been sighted here and the salt marsh is a nature reserve.  

easy to sail onto the beach or into the trees
easy to sail onto the beach or into the trees

South Cornwall Coastal Landscape

If you have never been to this part of Cornwall it is very different from the surf beaches on North Cornwall. The Lizard Penisula and angle of the coast protects it a bit from the Atlantic, and a series of headlands creates bays and sandy or gravel beaches. There are many caves and small islets where seals and seabirds hang out.  The whole coast is part of Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural beauty and protected from development. In addition to the popular village beaches, there are many small coves backed by cliffs and gorse which are inaccessible to the public.

Outdoor Girl is typical of the beach fishing boats that used to operate under sail and oar from Porthholland, Portscatho, Portloe and Gorran Haven.

Gig boat in a secret cove
Roseland gig boat in a secret cove

 

Wildlife You might See

The Atlantic is so close and the English Channel is wide here in Cornwall so the acrobatic common dolphins from the ocean are as common as the coastal bottlenosed dolphins. Rarer sightings include Risso dolphins, minke whales and pilot whales.Outdoor Girl will never be offshore more than a couple of miles so marine creatures of the foreshore are more likely - Western Grey Seals are here all year round. Ocean birds like guillimot, shearwaters and razorbill breed in the cliffs. On the beaches turnstones, oystercatchers and  curlew are likely to greet you when you emerge from your tent. There is edible seaweed, samphire, wild garlic and mussels to pick for the pot. Ravens, Peregrin falcons, buzzards, great blackbacks, herring gulls and gannets rule the skies. 

Up the creeks you can hear owls and foxes at night and many waders and wildfowl can be spotted on the muddy banks. Otters and Ospreys have been seen but are rare.

Western Grey Seal identifying an isolated danger
Western Grey Seal identifying an isolated danger

Sailing Skills & Beach Craft

Nudging Outdoor Girl onto a shelving beach is fine in calm weather, but she weights over 700kg so the trick is not to get stuck on the shore unless you mean to. Stern and bow anchors, placing temporary outhauls, utilising boat legs and laughing at the skipper as she wades or swims back to shore after anchoring is all part of the fun in summer. The boat also has a stand-up paddle board,  and the skipper has a drysuit/waders for later in the year.  Sailing into small ports for icecream or beer is not too stressful as it is easy to brail up the mainsail and row the last few yards onto steps or a pontoon.

Setting sail and getting going under sail are key sailing skils for any size sailing vessel, as is helming and coastal navigating. Sailing Outdoor Girl is not hugely complicated despite having 3 sails. You can try sailing her single handed, which is a bit more challeging. Using our body weight to trim the boat properly is important if you want to sail fast or upwind. In moderate winds with strong gusts you may have to sit and lean out like on a dinghy, but Outdoor Girl has a lot of ballast to keep her upright. It is a different mindset to dinghies. The seamanship you are learning is to carry the right sail area for the conditions. Keeping a lookout is very important as the sails are low with many blind spots so it is a team effort.

Spritsail yawl Outdoor Girl amongst the moorings
Spritsail yawl Elowen amongst the moorings

Wild Camping - Where Might We Stop?

We are not stopping - we are just sailors resting for a bit.....

Wild camping is clandestine and secret. We ask guests not to reveal our landing locations blatantly on social media. If you are not happy with this concept then this is not the holiday for you.

There are very few places in England where wild camping is legal without the landowner's permission. Scotland and some national parks have right to roam and wild camp, but these freedoms were often hard fought from the landowners.  This does not stop South West Coast path backpackers discretely camping in remote spots. Sea kayakers often pull up on Cornish beaches to rest and camp overnight. Pilots in Cornish pilot gigs would often pull their 32ft wooden gig boats up on the beaches of the Lizard Peninsula and camp underneath the upturned boat overnight, rather than row 10-14 miles back to port.

The foreshore is the area between the high water mark and the low water mark. When the tide is in there is an absolute right to navigate through the shallow water. All foreshore belongs to the Crown unless it has in the past been sold or given away. In South Cornwall this normally means the National Trust or the Duchy.

Where we stop overnight, it will be a mix of special spots where we have the landowners permission, and other more secluded places where we have simply come ashore to 'rest for a bit.' In the morning or on the high tide we will move on.

In some places we will actually sleep on board on comfy mattresses with a boom tent. This not so easy to accommodate whilst social distancing is in place but if you want to experience it then it can be arranged.

The Wild Camping Code for Scotland will be followed so we leave no trace.

Accommodation overnight & Covid - Are you brave enough to camp?

The price of these voyages is set to include meals and camping overnight. We will accomodate you in a 2 person tent on your own if you are coming solo, or sharing the tent with a member of your household or bubble. There are full details of these mountaineering style tents in the accommodation section. The skipper has her own tent. 

You can opt to camp on Outdoor Girl under the boat tent instead of ashore, but during Covid-19 pandemic the skipper will have to be sure she can get to you in the boat quickly if she is social distancing in a tent ashore. Two people from same household can sleep on the boat. It is very romantic and more spacious than a tent, but there is not room to social distance. The boat is 6ft wide (183cm). Tent is 136cm wide with full mosquito net doors.

Camping or Glamping not for you?

If you really don't want to camp and you are prepared to book more conventional accommodation ashore, Debbie is happy for you to come back in the morning and carry on with the next day sailing. There is no reduction in price, but we can probably give you a lift back to your hotel or cottage. Please let us know where you are staying when you book. Cottages, campsites ashore and hotels may be very oversubscribed in 2020 summer due to it being shortened by the earlier lockdown.

4. Catering

Debbie will cook and adhere to standard food hygiene requirements. As a covid precaution a cutlery/crockery set will be yours for the trip and your responsibility to wash. 

Wild swimming and washing can be combined. Eco friendly soap products please if you bring your own toiletries.

As well as soap and seawater we will have hand gel, but please bring your own if you have a preferred brand of sanitiser that you are comfortable with using.

camping with wild country quasar tents
camping with wild country quasar tents

Wild Swimming

Debbie is a big fan of wild swimming and trains for open swimming events with 'Into the Wet Stuff' a local Cornish fitness coaching and swim training company run by Binnie and Nick. She swims in the sea all summer after work in Classic Sailing office and has spent years encouraging guest crew on pilot cutter Eve to jump in the sea.  With Outdoor Girl things are a bit more gentle in that we are already on the beach, so you can walk in....if the mood takes you. The water can be crystal clear on South Cornwall beaches and the exotic looking scenery can often lure you into the sea on sunny days....even though the water temperature is pretty refreshing. The sea is warmest in July - October but the brave can venture in all year.

wild swimming in Cornwall
wild swimming in Cornwall

 

WINDS, WAVES & WEATHER

The outer limit of our sailing area in summer is Nare Head to the South of Helford River and St Anthony, but within this sailing ground is a huge range of sailing and landing opportunities..

 

small boat sailing in Cornwall
Adam and Paul on their summer holidays

HANDS ON HOLIDAYS

This is probably the most hands-on sailing experience in the Classic Sailing fleet. The skipper/owner of Outdoor Girl is Debbie Purser. As co-founder of Classic Sailing she is taking these mini sailing expeditions right back to our company roots. When we set up sailing voyages on pilot cutter Eve of St Mawes, the skipper sailed solo with guest crew and it was a truely collaberative effort, with guests fully involved in the whole process from navigation planning to anchoring and rowing ashore.

Debbie loves cooking, whether it is on a big boat or on a campfire/camping stove so you don't need to do that, but just about everything else is a team effort. Pitching tents, setting anchors and shorelines, carrying equipment ashore in drybags and packing up again in the morning to go sailing is a team effort.

camp fire conversations. Photo Jasper Troje Tuck
camp fire conversations. Photo Jasper Troje Tuck

AGILITY & FITNESS

Every customer sailing with us will need to fill in basic medical questions on their booking application. If you are not sure if your current level of fitness and agility are up to a voyage, then please ring the Classic Sailing Office on 01872 58 00 22 and we can chat through your concerns and possibly find options that might suit you better.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • skipper / RYA Yachtmaster Instructor
  • Personal Safety Equipment
  • Sailing Instruction
  • All hot meals, snacks and refreshments
  • Port and landing fees
  • firewood / charcoal/ stove fuel
  • Tents, camping matresses, yoga mats 
  • Third Party liability insurance
  • Any land or ferry transport back to base

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

  • Travel to Joining Port
  • Travel from end port
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Towels
  • Waterproofs
  • Sleeping bag and pillow
  • waterproof bags for your clothing and sleeping bag
  • personal torch (each tent has a fixed light)

 

 

St Mawes, Cornwall

Sailing Lugger Grayhound in St Mawes with a cargo of beer
Latest port updates

Where to Meet in St Mawes to Join Outdoor Girl

Updated 26-07-20

The historic Quay in St Mawes Harbour (TR2 5DW) is the official rendezvous for all Outdoor Girl Voyages. Plan your travel for the quay in your first instance.

Our alternative meeting point in St Mawes is Freshwater Boatyard, Freshwater Lane (TR2 5AR). Outdoor Girl has a beach mooring on the shore to the left of the main slipway at this tiny boatyard on the Percuil River, which is best for some combinations of wind and tide.

This is still within the village and only about 10 minutes walk from the village quay and main (pay & display) car park. There is sometimes free street parking in this area in Buckeys Lane, Pedn Moran or Freshwater Lane itself. As with all street parking please make sure there is room for fire engines to get through and no drives are blocked.

Do not drive down the steep driveway into Freshwater Boatyard. It is a small working area and no room to turn. and no parking.

For some voyages we may pre position Outdoor Girl in a new exploration area within the Falmouth and Helford Estuary network to make better use of the winds and tides and sheltered water. Debbie will contact you at least 48hrs before the voyage with final joining instructions by email and text. All confirmed customers will be sent Debbies mobile number for emegencies or late arrival.

How to get here

By Road & Parking

The A30 is the best route into Cornwall for St Mawes – if you follow a Sat Nav you will probably be taken via King Harry Car Ferry which is not the quickest route but is worth doing for the experience.

The best way is to leave the A30 at Fraddon and follow the B3275 until it meets the A390 where you turn left for a little way back towards St Austell. Then follow the signs to the right for the A3078 which ends in St Mawes.

There are two car parks in St Mawes both trouble free and you can pay by card

St Mawes Quay Car Park is very convenient as it is where you join your voyage but is a little more expensive.

St Mawes Central Car Park run by the St Just in Roseland Parish Council  is recommended. It is just a minute walk from the Quay.

You can pay for a number of days with a debit card

Outdoor Girl sailing off St Mawes village
Outdoor Girl heading for the harbour in St Mawes

Rail & transfers

To get to St Mawes by train, buy a ticket for Falmouth Town Station and come accross Falmouth Harbour by passenger ferry..Falmouth is on a branch line from Truro which is on the main London - Penzance rail line.  Trains come into Cornwall to Truro from many parts of the UK and it is only 30 minutes down the brach line to Falmouth but beware there are several small stations in Falmouth. Get off at Falmouth Town Station..

https://www.raileasy.co.uk

Falmouth Town Station (the Dell) is ten minutes walk from Customs House Quay where one of three ferries runs to St Mawes in the summer. In the winter it is about another 15 minutes walk to the Prince of Wales Pier.

Ferry is the best way. St Mawes Passnger Ferry timetable for both piers https://www.falriver.co.uk/ferries/st-mawes-ferry/timetable. This has a live update to confirm which ferrys are running on the day. It only stops in really bad weather.

St Mawes Ferry  01872 861 911 or 07855 438 674

 Ferries are hourly in winter and three per hour in the summer and the journey is 20-25 minutes.

Buses

There are buses from Truro to St Mawes but they are very infrequent and take about an hour. 

Air & transfers

Newquay is the nearest airport but it is poorly served by public transport. A taxi to St Mawes can cost over £60

Feeling Guilty? - Carbon Offsetting Schemes

Classic Sailing recommend Treesisters charity as a carbon offsetting scheme and we have our own Classic Sailing Forest you can add tree planting to. These community tree planting schemes are all in parts of the world that desperately need reforestation and have maximum scope to reduce CO2

https://treesisters.org/fundraisers/classic-sailing-forest-1

Places to stay, Things to do, Travel companions

Classic Sailing invites to a private facebook group where you can connect with other sailors who have booked with us. If you want to find a travel companion or share ideas on accommodation options before your trip, then posting a request on this is this is a safer option than our public facebook page. (due to data protection laws we cannot pass on contact details for other sailors on your trip directly)

History

St Mawes has a beautiful Tudor Castle built at King Henry 8th directions to be half of the Castles that protected the Fal from the Spanish. The Castle is unique in being in the shape of a clover leaf without any later spoiling additions. It was in constant military usage from 1568 to 1918 when it was handed over to what is now English Heritage.


Walking

The South West Coast Path is linked by two ferries Falmouth to St Mawes and St Mawes to Place (Place Ferry summer time only). There is a contrasting choice of walking from rugged headlands like St Anthony and the Dodman to the quiet creeks of Percuil and the Fal at Ruan and Philleigh where there is a micro brewery at the Roseland Inn

Annual Events
Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Review – June each year www.classic-sailing.co.uk/info/pilot-cutter-review

St Mawes Regatta as part of Falmouth Sailing Week see www.stmawessailing.co.uk/

Roseland Festival every Autumn http://www.crbo.co.uk/roseland/welcome.php

 

High Quality accommodation

Hotel Tresanton as used by Prince Charles, the rich and famous with a great restuarant and above Tavern Beach  www.tresanton.com/

Idle Rocks Hotel is right on the harbour front for a treat  https://idlerocks.com/

St Mawes Hotel - another boutique hotel on Marine Parade only fet from the sea https://www.stmaweshotel.com/

 

Mid range accommodation

Braganza best guest recommendations www.stmawes.info/bed-and-breakfast/braganza-guesthouse

Rising Sun - a pub with rooms and a big sunny terrace and restuarant. dog friendly.  https://risingsunstmawes.co.uk/

Nearwater B&B. A great B&B run by sailors and open water swimmers https://nearwaterstmawes.co.uk/  

 

Standard accommodation

Little Newton B&B www.stmawes.info/bed-and-breakfast/little-newton

Newton Farm B&B www.stmawes.info/bed-and-breakfast/newton-farm-bed-and-breakfast

Camping

Trethem Mill Touring Park -Award winning 5 star touring park near St Mawes - Caravan and Camp Site  https://www.trethem.com/

Treloan near Gerrans / Portscatho for camping yurts, caravans and camping pods https://treloancoastalholidays.co.uk/

Trewince Farm near St Anthony Lighthouse and Portscatho http://www.trewincefarm.co.uk/

Happy Heath Farm is small new campsite run by our bookeeper Anna Gibson. If you dont have a tent she has a coral pink bell tent with a double air bag in Flo's Meadow. www.happyheathfarm.com

 

We are keen to keep this information accurate and we welcome your comments.

Your travel responsibilities

Passports and Visas***

*** “Classic Sailing cannot cover every possible visa scenario as customers may have dual nationality, or be working or living in a country different from their passport nationality.

To avoid any last-minute stress, we advise you to contact the local embassies of the countries you will be visiting in your country to find out which travel documents you need. Please start early, obtaining a visa can take some time. It is your responsibility to have the right travel documents for all countries you visit during your stay on board.

If you plan to travel onto other destinations please check you have a right to stay in the country too as you may be classed as arriving in a country as ‘yacht sailors in transit’ and not have same rights as a tourist.

Even if you don’t need a visa, please check your passport expiry date is sufficient for country entry requirements.”***

Travel, Health, Vaccinations and Safety

Security for tourists in certain countries, regions or cities can change rapidly. Please check with your own Government Foreign Office for their latest advice for travellers.

UK travellers check under specific destination at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Likewise we suggest you check if there are any recommended or required vaccinations well before departure as some take more than one jab. For UK travellers check out ‘Fit for Travel’ http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations

Travel Insurance

It is compulsory that you have travel insurance to sail on any of our voyages, but you do not have to buy the insurance from us. If you purchase your own please make sure it covers sailing as an activity, and racing if you are racing crew. Most our voyages sail further than 3 miles from the shore so check that you will be covered sailing outside territorial waters.

Classic Sailing recommend Topsail Insurance http://www.classic-sailing.co.uk/travel-insurance They have policies designed for sailing crew on yachts or tall ships, whether you want an annual policy or a single trip. These are suitable for UK based sailors but the page also has links to alternative companies and recommended insurance companies for non UK citizens.

St Mawes, Cornwall

Sailing Lugger Grayhound in St Mawes with a cargo of beer
Latest port updates

Where to Meet in St Mawes to Join Outdoor Girl

Updated 26-07-20

The historic Quay in St Mawes Harbour (TR2 5DW) is the official rendezvous for all Outdoor Girl Voyages. Plan your travel for the quay in your first instance.

Our alternative meeting point in St Mawes is Freshwater Boatyard, Freshwater Lane (TR2 5AR). Outdoor Girl has a beach mooring on the shore to the left of the main slipway at this tiny boatyard on the Percuil River, which is best for some combinations of wind and tide.

This is still within the village and only about 10 minutes walk from the village quay and main (pay & display) car park. There is sometimes free street parking in this area in Buckeys Lane, Pedn Moran or Freshwater Lane itself. As with all street parking please make sure there is room for fire engines to get through and no drives are blocked.

Do not drive down the steep driveway into Freshwater Boatyard. It is a small working area and no room to turn. and no parking.

For some voyages we may pre position Outdoor Girl in a new exploration area within the Falmouth and Helford Estuary network to make better use of the winds and tides and sheltered water. Debbie will contact you at least 48hrs before the voyage with final joining instructions by email and text. All confirmed customers will be sent Debbies mobile number for emegencies or late arrival.

How to get here

By Road & Parking

The A30 is the best route into Cornwall for St Mawes – if you follow a Sat Nav you will probably be taken via King Harry Car Ferry which is not the quickest route but is worth doing for the experience.

The best way is to leave the A30 at Fraddon and follow the B3275 until it meets the A390 where you turn left for a little way back towards St Austell. Then follow the signs to the right for the A3078 which ends in St Mawes.

There are two car parks in St Mawes both trouble free and you can pay by card

St Mawes Quay Car Park is very convenient as it is where you join your voyage but is a little more expensive.

St Mawes Central Car Park run by the St Just in Roseland Parish Council  is recommended. It is just a minute walk from the Quay.

You can pay for a number of days with a debit card

Outdoor Girl sailing off St Mawes village
Outdoor Girl heading for the harbour in St Mawes

Rail & transfers

To get to St Mawes by train, buy a ticket for Falmouth Town Station and come accross Falmouth Harbour by passenger ferry..Falmouth is on a branch line from Truro which is on the main London - Penzance rail line.  Trains come into Cornwall to Truro from many parts of the UK and it is only 30 minutes down the brach line to Falmouth but beware there are several small stations in Falmouth. Get off at Falmouth Town Station..

https://www.raileasy.co.uk

Falmouth Town Station (the Dell) is ten minutes walk from Customs House Quay where one of three ferries runs to St Mawes in the summer. In the winter it is about another 15 minutes walk to the Prince of Wales Pier.

Ferry is the best way. St Mawes Passnger Ferry timetable for both piers https://www.falriver.co.uk/ferries/st-mawes-ferry/timetable. This has a live update to confirm which ferrys are running on the day. It only stops in really bad weather.

St Mawes Ferry  01872 861 911 or 07855 438 674

 Ferries are hourly in winter and three per hour in the summer and the journey is 20-25 minutes.

Buses

There are buses from Truro to St Mawes but they are very infrequent and take about an hour. 

Air & transfers

Newquay is the nearest airport but it is poorly served by public transport. A taxi to St Mawes can cost over £60

Feeling Guilty? - Carbon Offsetting Schemes

Classic Sailing recommend Treesisters charity as a carbon offsetting scheme and we have our own Classic Sailing Forest you can add tree planting to. These community tree planting schemes are all in parts of the world that desperately need reforestation and have maximum scope to reduce CO2

https://treesisters.org/fundraisers/classic-sailing-forest-1

Places to stay, Things to do, Travel companions

Classic Sailing invites to a private facebook group where you can connect with other sailors who have booked with us. If you want to find a travel companion or share ideas on accommodation options before your trip, then posting a request on this is this is a safer option than our public facebook page. (due to data protection laws we cannot pass on contact details for other sailors on your trip directly)

History

St Mawes has a beautiful Tudor Castle built at King Henry 8th directions to be half of the Castles that protected the Fal from the Spanish. The Castle is unique in being in the shape of a clover leaf without any later spoiling additions. It was in constant military usage from 1568 to 1918 when it was handed over to what is now English Heritage.


Walking

The South West Coast Path is linked by two ferries Falmouth to St Mawes and St Mawes to Place (Place Ferry summer time only). There is a contrasting choice of walking from rugged headlands like St Anthony and the Dodman to the quiet creeks of Percuil and the Fal at Ruan and Philleigh where there is a micro brewery at the Roseland Inn

Annual Events
Classic Sailing Pilot Cutter Review – June each year www.classic-sailing.co.uk/info/pilot-cutter-review

St Mawes Regatta as part of Falmouth Sailing Week see www.stmawessailing.co.uk/

Roseland Festival every Autumn http://www.crbo.co.uk/roseland/welcome.php

 

High Quality accommodation

Hotel Tresanton as used by Prince Charles, the rich and famous with a great restuarant and above Tavern Beach  www.tresanton.com/

Idle Rocks Hotel is right on the harbour front for a treat  https://idlerocks.com/

St Mawes Hotel - another boutique hotel on Marine Parade only fet from the sea https://www.stmaweshotel.com/

 

Mid range accommodation

Braganza best guest recommendations www.stmawes.info/bed-and-breakfast/braganza-guesthouse

Rising Sun - a pub with rooms and a big sunny terrace and restuarant. dog friendly.  https://risingsunstmawes.co.uk/

Nearwater B&B. A great B&B run by sailors and open water swimmers https://nearwaterstmawes.co.uk/  

 

Standard accommodation

Little Newton B&B www.stmawes.info/bed-and-breakfast/little-newton

Newton Farm B&B www.stmawes.info/bed-and-breakfast/newton-farm-bed-and-breakfast

Camping

Trethem Mill Touring Park -Award winning 5 star touring park near St Mawes - Caravan and Camp Site  https://www.trethem.com/

Treloan near Gerrans / Portscatho for camping yurts, caravans and camping pods https://treloancoastalholidays.co.uk/

Trewince Farm near St Anthony Lighthouse and Portscatho http://www.trewincefarm.co.uk/

Happy Heath Farm is small new campsite run by our bookeeper Anna Gibson. If you dont have a tent she has a coral pink bell tent with a double air bag in Flo's Meadow. www.happyheathfarm.com

 

We are keen to keep this information accurate and we welcome your comments.

Your travel responsibilities

Passports and Visas***

*** “Classic Sailing cannot cover every possible visa scenario as customers may have dual nationality, or be working or living in a country different from their passport nationality.

To avoid any last-minute stress, we advise you to contact the local embassies of the countries you will be visiting in your country to find out which travel documents you need. Please start early, obtaining a visa can take some time. It is your responsibility to have the right travel documents for all countries you visit during your stay on board.

If you plan to travel onto other destinations please check you have a right to stay in the country too as you may be classed as arriving in a country as ‘yacht sailors in transit’ and not have same rights as a tourist.

Even if you don’t need a visa, please check your passport expiry date is sufficient for country entry requirements.”***

Travel, Health, Vaccinations and Safety

Security for tourists in certain countries, regions or cities can change rapidly. Please check with your own Government Foreign Office for their latest advice for travellers.

UK travellers check under specific destination at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Likewise we suggest you check if there are any recommended or required vaccinations well before departure as some take more than one jab. For UK travellers check out ‘Fit for Travel’ http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations

Travel Insurance

It is compulsory that you have travel insurance to sail on any of our voyages, but you do not have to buy the insurance from us. If you purchase your own please make sure it covers sailing as an activity, and racing if you are racing crew. Most our voyages sail further than 3 miles from the shore so check that you will be covered sailing outside territorial waters.

Classic Sailing recommend Topsail Insurance http://www.classic-sailing.co.uk/travel-insurance They have policies designed for sailing crew on yachts or tall ships, whether you want an annual policy or a single trip. These are suitable for UK based sailors but the page also has links to alternative companies and recommended insurance companies for non UK citizens.

Outdoor Girl

Travel around the Cornish coast the greenest way possible by rowing and sailing 17ft open boat 'Outdoor Girl’ with a local skipper as your guide. 

Outdoor Girl is a spritsail yawl that was designed for inshore crab fishing, you can navigate the shallows, beach the boat to step ashore, row right into small Cornish harbours, follow old sea routes up wooded creeks and far into the shallow salt marsh, anchor in forgotten pools and camp on beaches and shorelines inaccessible by land. 

Tuck into places that only smugglers would find. Wild camp, improve your small boat skills and gain the confidence to explore without an engine. Take part in the voyage navigational planning with the skipper and learn to make full use of wind, tide, ingenuity and oars.

Statistics
  • Length overall :    20ft
  • Length on deck : 17ft
  • Year built : 2008
  • type/rig : Spritsail yawl
  • max guests: 1-3
  • Skipper-guide: 1

 

Provides an Adventure Buddy and a Boat

Not everybody has an adventure buddy to do the camping, sailing, fishing thing, and you might not even be sure if you will like it. Luckily we have the boats, a skipper that is 'up for adventure' on land and sea, and a perfect location to try it. Whether you are thinking about buying a day boat, building your own one day, or scaling up from sea kayaking, this is a great opportunity to try out the concept on the South Coast of Cornwall.

Join the co-founder of Classic Sailing - Debbie Purser on some small boat sailing expeditions along the South Cornwall coast. Debbie spent 20 years as skipper of pilot cutter Eve of St Mawes – exploring coastal Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, but also rowing ashore with charter guests to discover some unique secret spots. She is now on a mission to show you the delights of small boat overnight cruising, and share the rich experience with individuals, couples or tiny groups (1-3 people with a skipper).

With a resurgence of interest in living off the land, food foraging, bushcraft Debbie intends to bring in local experts and interesting characters to add to your outdoor skills on some themed voyages. On any coastal expedition, she can draw on her wide knowledge of wildlife, the landscape and understanding of what makes the local communities tick. If you want an adventure buddy that can coax you into trying wild swimming or stand up paddle boarding, make camping civilised and rustle up a hot meal on a camping stove, then Debbie is the outdoor companion you need. She also has wide interests, has sailed all over the world, and had several careers, so campfire stories are never dull.

Sophie & Debbie take Outdoor Girl for a spin
Sophie & Debbie take Outdoor Girl for a spin

Small Boat Skills, Beachcraft & Wild Camping

The mini journeys are mainly 2 or 3-day tasters with the boat, instruction, delicious campfire food and modern camping equipment provided. If you are serious about learning to do it for yourself, Debbie has a few 5-day expeditions where you can gain a RYA certificate in Basic Navigation and Seamanship, try out your beach to beach sailing skills for a day and a night and then plan your own mini-expedition, with a professional skipper still to hand.

Neap tides are best for 'beach to beach' camping, as there is more dry sand to pitch a tent at the top of beaches and inaccessible coves. The Roseland and Lizard coasts have very few settlements, but even the remote beaches can be popular during the day. There is an art to wild camping without drawing too much attention to ourselves. Historically Falmouth pilot rowing gigs pulled up on beaches overnight on the Lizard coast to rest the crews. Even today sea kayakers and fishermen often use Cornish beaches for camping, We aim for inaccessible coves where possible, or pack up tents early before any early morning dog walkers find us. Don't overstay your welcome and leave no human trace is all part of the unofficial code for wild camping. 

There are also tiny havens amongst the rocks that can work as anchorages in the right wind conditions, where seaweed gatherers might wiggle into with a boat, or fishermen laying crab pots.

Debbie taking local gig boat into a secret zawn
Debbie taking local gig boat into a secret zawn


Spring Tides are good for sailing silently up the tidal creeks and in amongst the salt marshes that few sailors see. Camping is clandestine, tucked amongst the trees or afloat in deep water pools where no one can reach us at low water. This is real wild camping as you may have to sleep on board under a boom tent as the shoreline is often steep or private woodland. See parts of Cornwall where ospreys and otters can still be found and herons and egrets nest in the trees.

Food foraging - cooking small clams on the campfire
Food foraging - cooking small clams on the campfire


'Stepping Stones' to Owning Your Own Boat

Learning to sail small boats brings the concept of one day owning your own boat into the realms of possibility.  It doesn't really matter if it is a wooden rowing boat or a fibreglass dinghy or Drascombe Longboat, it is the size and affordability that matters. Not only can a small dinghy find quiet anchorages that are close to the shore and the wildlife of the littoral, you can also sail into drying harbours that are unreachable for yachts at low water. There is something rather satisfying about landing for free for a quick pint, ice cream, or shower.

Over the years many charter guests with Classic Sailing have gone on to buy boats ....but they are generally the creek hopping or coastal day boats that attract the ordinary wage earner. We don't mind if you come sailing once and buy or build your own. Outdoor Girl can be a stepping stone or catalyst for your own dreams. The Classic Sailing offshore fleet is always there if you decide you want more creature comforts on a larger ship,  or sail to distant destinations.

solo sailing Outdoor Girl - a two mast yawl
Adam solo sailing Outdoor Girl - a two mast yawl

solo sailing Outdoor Girl - a two mast yawl

Join the Tribe of Wild Coast Sailors

Travelling by small boat using only sail and oar is a fast-growing trend in several countries. It seems a logical rebellion against excessive consumption of fossil fuels to go travelling. The re-connection with nature, health benefits of outdoor physical exercise and the re-learning of practical skills that were once common all around the coasts of Europe is all part of the attraction.

In France, a movement called Voile-Aviron (sail and oar) is sweeping the coastline. People are discovering the delights of sailing simple, traditionally inspired boats, mostly without engines. there is always a French sailor to be found at maritime festivals, standing up proudly sculling like a boatman, when his weekday job is high tech in an office. Voile Aviron rallies can attract crowds of dinghies sailing up a river to an anchorage when boats can raft up for a party or a meal together.

'Gunkholing' is a popular activity in USA, where groups of small boats sail to a secluded spot, drag their boats up the beach, erect a tent and light a fire to cook the fish they have caught.

A more competitive type of dinghies cruising together are the small boat 'Raids' that have become popular in Scandinavia and elsewhere. These are typically a race under sail and oar over several days, tackling long distances like the Caledonian Canal or crossing archipelagoes island to island. 

Small boat crew get together in the evening
Small boat crew get together in the evening

Sailing Outdoor Girl

Outdoor Girl is lively to sail, but very different from a fibreglass dinghy in that she is heavy displacement and therefore has momentum through waves and glides a long way in rivers. Built solidly in wood, with lead ballast and a wide beam, she is a great sea boat in moderate conditions, but she has a large sail area, so the crew need to be active and sit out on the edge of the boat and balance the sail in gusty conditions.

There will always be a professional skipper on board, but he or she will be happy for you to have a go at sailing her as if you are single-handed. She can also carry a lot of kit without compromising her sailing performance so makes a great little expedition boat.

Spritsails were once as common as lug rig for working craft around the British Isles. They enable you to set a lot of sail on short low masts, keeping the centre of effort low and stable. 

The mizzen mast and bumpkin out the back allow a small mizzen on a sprit to be hoisted. There is no bowsprit to worry about and the jib can be reefed to make it even smaller. The sailing power comes from a huge mainsail with a 17ft spar that stretches the sail diagonally, a bit like a mini Thames sailing barge. With a 'brail' aloft to bundle the sail and pull the sprit vertically into the mast, we can get rid the big sail in the middle of the boat, and have space to row into a small harbour for lunch. Historically the main was brailed away when fishermen were laying pots, and the mizzen kept them head to wind.

There is no boom (wooden spar at the foot of the sail) so you don't get any violent gybes or tacks, other than watching out for the wooden main sheet block when changing course, which can be easily controlled. There are also reefing points so the mainsail can be made a lot smaller when it is windy. You can also drop the main and sail on jib and mizzen alone.

Outdoor Girl is surprisingly swift for a single oar person to row, but there are 2 rowing positions and another set of oars we can take if conditions are light.

leaving the beach on Outdoor Girl
leaving the beach on Outdoor Girl

How do we get Ashore / On Board?

Its all sailing skills, rowing and  'beachcraft'

Generally, you just take Outdoor Girl to the shore and jump onto the beach, but the skipper still has to anchor her off the beach. The boat has bow and stern anchors and can set up an outhaul to the shore. this means we can drop an anchor/outhaul as we sail into the beach, step ashore with camping kit and haul the boat back out. Wild Rose weighs 800kg so we won't be hauling her up and down beaches. We can also tie her Scandinavian style between rocks and trees and anchors. A jetty or quay is best and there are lots of those in Cornwall.

There is a boarding ladder if you want to swim between boat and shore. Stand up paddle boards can be hired too. In autumn/spring the skipper has a dry suit to wade out and collect her, if anchored off. High wellies are useful or sandals and shorts in summer.

Camping Ashore or afloat

Outdoor Girl does not have a deep keel but without legs she would be at an interesting angle to camp on a beach of hard sand. In soft mud she should settle fairly flat without legs. Whether you cruise with wooden legs is down to space on board. We may take legs in peak season so crews of 3 or less can camp on board with a boom tent. You can then enjoy a quieter night afloat in the shallows and dried out level on legs when the tide goes out. (or that is the theory!)

Weather - Do we sail in all weathers?

The intention is to plan and make daily passages, rowing and sailing and adapting to the weather as it happens, come sun, rain, wind or calm. In an open boat, it is unlikely we would choose to sail along a lee shore. The best routes will be to have the wind blowing off the land, so close into the shore we can enjoy flatter seas, and the chance to sail the boat to the beach if we fancy a break ashore. It is an active holiday that is aiming to be fun and get you hooked on small boat sailing, not a survival course.

The Lizard Coast, Helford River and the inland Fal Estuary with numerous creeks is best in SW winds and the Roseland Coast is better in NW or W winds. If the wind is from the East then the St Mawes Bay, Percuil River, St Just creek and inland to the vast Fal river system. Crossing wide open bays in a small boat needs a careful assessment of the weather, akin to a yacht contemplating an offshore passage. Outdoor Girl will not be operating more than 3 miles out to sea from a nominated home port and carries a 4 man liferaft, VHF radio and full safety equipment for a commercially licenced charter boat.

The skipper is not forcing you to stay out in the rain for hours, and Cornwall is not an uninhabited wilderness. If the weather looks set in and miserable, we do what all sensible dinghy and open boat sailor do if everyone is getting a bit too cold and wet: head for a pub or cafe, a shower or a return to base.


 

Camping Comfort

We use 'Wild Country Quasar' expedition tents which are designed for 2 people to sleep with space for rucksacks too. They are a design that has been around for decades and well tested in strong winds and mountain environments. Olive green and small enough to fit in tiny spaces, they can be erected on sand with minimal tent pegs. 2 people can be accommodated comfortably, with height to sit up once though the entrance. There are dual entrances and each one has a windproof door or a 'see the view' - mosquito mesh door option.

Outdoor Girl has 2 Quasar tents for 4 people or smaller groups. The skipper also has a one person bivvie tent and a boom tent for the boat, to add to the range of sleeping options. 

The beauty of sail camping is that Outdoor Girl can carry a lot of gear, so whilst we want you get into the simple life, there is no need to go ultra lightweight. 2.5 inch thick Inflatable camping mats with down insulation are provided for everyone.

We prefer you bring your own sleeping bag, but the company can hire you one for a small charge to cover laundry.

We do provide large 45-50 litre waterproof dry bags for your sleeping bag and clothes. There will be a chance to go through packing for the expedition when you arrive, including test driving whether you can fit all you need in the dry bags provided. If you come by public transport we can store spare kit or clothing ashore at Classic Sailing 

Hygiene, Washing & Toilets

A swim in the sea is the best option for a wash. There are also many springs and streams running down to the sea. They are not suitable for drinking water due to farm animals in the fields, but often ok for a wash. 

Like many trekking companies, the handwashing practice we use before cooking and eating is a dry wash with anti-bacterial hand gel.

You are not on a covert operation, so you only have to ask if you are missing modern comforts. Debbie knows many places where a shower or toilet can be found ashore - from marinas, to sailing clubs, campsites and pubs.

Toilets: There are 2 buckets on board. One is a 'bucket and chuck it'. The other has a lid and contents will be disposed of responsibly ashore. If we are too far away at sea from a landing spot, there will be a code word for - "please all stare at the far horizon whilst I use the bucket.".

When camping ashore in wild places, there will be a drill to explain how create a toilet and 'leave no trace'

Torches & Lighting

Each tent will have a hanging light. Outdoor Girl has a solar-powered battery and anchor light. We recommend you have head torches, but seeing the stars and moonlight is also part of the experience. In the autumn it gets dark early so a row or walk to a waterside inn is quite likely. 
 

Waterline Length 17ft

Beam 6ft

Draught 1ft 11 inch

Looking for wild camping spots - outdoor girl hiding in the trees
Looking for wild camping spots - outdoor girl hiding in the trees

Historic Working Boat Design

Outdoor Girl is a replica of a 19th Century Gorran Haven crabber, and typical of the coastal fishing boats that worked off the rugged shores of South Cornwall. These hardy open boats were launched off the beach and used both sails and oars to lay crab pots close to rocky shores where ocean swells were often running in from the Atlantic. The small mizzen would always stay set, but the big mainsail and 16ft sprit could be bundled up and brailed into the mast when laying or recovering crab pots (creels). When the boat had a full catch or needed to run for port, the big mainsail and jib could be easily set again and provide a fair turn of speed for these shallow draft beach boats.

Built from the lines of a surviving 1882 open sailing boat from the same South Cornwall fishing village. The original 1882 'Ellen' is 17ft long on deck with a spar out the stern called a bumpkin. She is still sailing and owned by the Cornwall Maritime Trust. Both 'Ellen' and 'Outdoor Girl' have a similar spritsail yawl rig that was very common all around the British Isles150  years ago but is rarely seen today, except on much larger Thames sailing barges.

Originally named 'Elizabeth Ann' this 17ft spritsail yawl was built new by Peter Williams of Bodinnick Boatyard for a local historic trust who wanted to preserve Cornwall's inshore craft heritage and keep traditional sailing skills alive amongst local young people on a stable and seaworthy small boat. She was launched in 2007 on the River Fowey, but after a few years was not really being sailed enough to perpetuate the original purpose. We aim to change that and have renamed her to encourage people of all ages to spend more time outdoors with nature, re-gaining old skills and respect of the fishermen that lived their lives working in open boats. Outdoor Girl makes a great coastal expedition boat and is operating close to Gorran Haven where her boat lines would be familiar to locals with ancestors fromearly 1900's.

The main is quite big on a spritsail yawl
The main is quite big on a spritsail yawl

Construction

Boatbuilder Peter Williams is still keen to use elm when he can find a good source of the timber. Elm was used a lot for planking and ribs in Cornish work boats, and pilot gig boats are still made of elm (as is our rowing boat 'Number 8'). Outdoor Girl is carvel construction with Douglas fir masts.

Sails

  • Loose footed Mainsail with 16ft wooden sprit - 2 reefs possible.
  • Jib with reef for reducing sail area possible
  • Mizzen with wooden sprit

Equipment

  • Tiller and removeable rudder
  • pair of oars & thole pins
  • boathook
  • bow and stern anchors with chain and warp,
  • 50 metre sinking line outhaul to pull boat back out to anchor
  • fenders and shorelines
  • Safety Equipment
  • Outdoor Girl will carry all the safety and emergency equipment appropriate for her Local Council commercial licencing for categorised waters area D. The skipper will have a boatmans' licence and the boat will be licenced to carry up to 4 people including the skipper.
  • During the Covid-19 Pandemic the numbers will be decreased to one guest with the skipper, or 2 people from the same household (or support bubble) or and our skipper.

This is not the full list but includes:

  • Lifejackets - self inflating
  • Boarding ladder, lifebouys, flares etc
  • waterproof mobile VHF x 2
  • Radar reflector
  • Searchlight
  • compass and navigational equipment


In addition to her dual action bilge pump there will be electric bilge pump (battery with solar recharge option).

Debbie has been the operations manager and safety director for Classic Sailing for 22 years. Outdoor Girl is owned by her own independent business 'Sail Row Explore', but if you have any queries or suggestions about safety then please ring us or email us via Classic Sailing.

Skipper Debbie Purser

Debbie co-founded Classic Sailing with Adam Purser back in 1997. Our flagship in the early days was 38ft pilot cutter 'Eve of St Mawes.' In the 1990's we both felt there was a lack of traditional vessels offering sailing experiences where exploring ashore was as important as the actual sailing.

As Eve's skipper for 20 years, Debbie created all sorts of themed voyages that would appeal to non-sailor as much as those who were already in love with sailing. Our secret weapon that had guests come back year after year was an oversized rowing boat called 'Number 8.'  Debbie used to tow this 16ft expedition boat behind Eve on Cornwall based voyages.

Without a noisy and potentially dangerous outboard engine, guest crew could take the ship's boat for a row themselves when Eve was anchored somewhere safe. There there were the whole crew expeditions by rowing boat. All of Eve's skippers had great fun with 'Number 8' but Debbie in particular love to create 'mini-epics under oar'. Her voyages often involved wading barefoot onto beaches, gliding gracefully up to ancient stone quays and training the crew to 'toss oars' gig boat style as they came alongside a waterside pub jetty. And that was just in the daylight. At night there were many small boat rowing adventures that become etched in the memory of guests but the pitch black of a Cornish creek generally ensured there was never any photographic evidence on Instagram or Facebook. 

We still have 'Number 8', but the beauty of Outdoor Girl is she has oars and a substantial amount of sail, so you can venture much further and learn a wider range of seamanship and smuggler style skills. 

Outdoor Camping & Wildlife

Debbie learned to cook as a nature conservation volunteer, creating one pot creations for hungry work parties who had been outdoors all day. Next came teaching young people to cook on boats, and then 20 years of being the skipper and cook on Eve of St Mawes with discerning charter guests. Debbie has strong interests in wildlife and the landscape, She has sailed with many marine wildlife guides from Cornwall to the Arctic. She can help you identify birds, trees and tell you about Western Grey Seals, but when it comes to food foraging and survival type skills Debbie will be packing a coolbox with fresh produce from local food suppliers and 'Mr Sainsbury,' so you won't go hungry.

An RYA Yachtmaster Instructor and RYA principal of Classic Sailing, she has taught all levels of cruising skills and shorebased navigation, and loves traditional pilotage. She has also been an outdoor pursuits instructor teaching on keelboats, windsurfing, coasteering, abseiling and single pitch climbing. Another current love is Cornish gig rowing and Debbie races in Roseland Ladies and Supervets crew. 

Why the switch to Small Boats?

"I freely confess I am a big boat skipper that has recently fallen in love with small boat sailing. In my teens I hated dinghy sailing and preferred windsurfing fast in a wetsuit to soggy shorts in a wayfarer. When our charter boat Eve was sold, I felt a bit lost and was offered the chance to take on the stewardship of 17ft spritsail yawl that needed some love and repairs. In the first summer the grandchildren loved Outdoor Girl, but it was sailing with an ex Royal Marine officer called Jim that made me realise that small boat adventures were perfect for adults too. The wild camping overnight feels a bit rebellious and on the fringes of sensible. Scarily close to nature, requiring planning akin to a military small boat operation, I love the challenge finding the best ways to approach a shore, land whilst keeping kit and people dry, and then anchor Outdoor Girl in a deep, rock free pool or on the beach.

There has never been a better time to remind ourselves of the fundamentals of living - finding shelter, sharing food and stories, travelling without fossil fuels and discovering skills we have almost lost. I'm not Ray Mears or Bear Grylis.  I will not be skinning rabbits, but samphire and mussels for the pot I can do. I love camping with a good mattress, but I don't like backpacking. Why lug a 60 litre rucksack up and down the coast path when you can travel by boat. It won't always go smoothly but we will have something to talk about round the camp fire"  Debbie Purser

Outdoor Girl - Kit List

will your kit fit in a tent

Revised 26-08-20

Packing your gear for a self sufficient sailing expedition in an open boat is a skill in itself.
At least you don't have to worry about the food provisions, water, cooking and camping equipment, as Outdoor Girl's skipper will supply and pack that for you on the 2 and 3 day taster voyages.


FUNDAMENTALS
Fast drying clothing is helpful, but the main trick is to stay dry and always have spare dry clothing kept dry.

Lightweight packing is not as important as it would be if you were back packing, but we still have to keep the overall boat load light, and have room to stow everything securely on a 17ft x 6ft boat.

We also need enough floor space to be able to move around the boat and sail and row Outdoor Girl, access anchors and safety kit etc.

Classic Sailing can look after any spare kit or valuables ashore if you come by public transport.

WHAT WE SUPPLY:
tents
The tents each have a fixed torch for interior lighting
Mountaineering quality Insulated inflatable mattresses
a yoga mat each - for yoga / sitting down ashore / extra insulation/padding
lifejacket
All food and cooking equipment, BBQ charcoal and wood

We tow a stand up paddleboard you can try. (If you dont have a wesuit for bouyancy thn we can supply a small or large bouyancy jacket.)


ESSENTIAL KIT YOU NEED TO BRING

  • a good sleeping bag - appropriate for the season you are sailing in (or we can hire one if you pre book it)
  • waterproof bag for your clothes and sleeping bag. These will be stowed above the floorboards so may get wet from spray /rain and we have to carry them to the shore. Rucksacks with rain covers are ok.
  • A torch
  • Waterbottle (the boat has plenty of fresh water to top your bottle up)
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • suitable footwear to wade ashore (can be rocky so bare feet not always ok)
  • 2nd pair of footwear to keep dry
  •  Covid type face mask (wearing it is not compulsory) and personal hand gel

HOW TO PACK
The kit bags will be stowed against the sides of the boat or under the thwart seats. Please try and keep bag sizes small, so we have room to move about whilst sailing. Our tents and spare fresh water are stored under the floorboards to lower the centre of gravity.

When we stop for the night these will be unloaded and you can either store them in the outside foyer of the tent (Quasar tents have an entrance either end with foyer tent under the flysheet) Or bring your kit bags into the inner tent if totally dry. 

The inner tents have ample headroom when you are seated, waterproof built in groundsheet and a zipped door or zipped mesh insect screen so you can enjoy the view.

There are no waterproof lockers on board, but you are welcome to bring a SMALL extra bag for things you might need during the day like cameras, money, extra layers. Please make sure anything valuable is well waterproofed.

WHAT TO PACK - FULL LIST

  • sleeping bag
  • Sailing Clothing
  • Waterproof Jacket & Trousers (salopette trousers best as it keeps your lower back warm.) If you are a dinghy sailor with a dry suit or similar then that would be great instead.
  • personal waterbottle ( we carry approx 3 litres per person per day in bottles if you need to top up)
  • Sun hat / warm hat x2/buff or scarf x2
  • In autumn or spring you might need gloves, or gloves for rowing
  • suncream and good sunglasses
  • Wellie boots or sailing boots - for getting ashore with dry feet or if sailing in rain. Neoprene dinghy boots are ok but not as warm if you are in them all day.
  • another pair of sailing shoes to use in dry weather or ashore.
  • pack a set of clothing for each sailing day (if you get wet one day, there is not much time to dry salty clothing)
  • keep a set of warm clothes for the evenings outdoors. We try and light a campfire but we can't do this everywhere. Once the sun goes down it is pretty chilly. Down jackets or wool jumpers and windproof layers are good if you want to stay up for a bit after dark. 
  • Swim wear and towel. If you bring a wet suit Debbie will make sure you get it wet. Travel towels are less bulky.
  • Wash gear
  • Now is the time to use that eco shampoo bar that you were bought for Christmas. Try and bring environmentally friendly products as your bathroom is some sea creatures home. Always fresh water on board for teeth cleaning.
  • Debbie has sailed this area for 20 years - there are showers in surprising places....but they are a bonus. 
  • Ladies, please pack sanitary bags if needed. We must leave no trace camping....but dont be shy to ask if shore facilities needed any time during the trip.


Other Activities

SUP - on request we can bring a stand up paddle board to try.
alcohol - you are welcome to bring some for evening ashore for responsible drinking. (none whilst sailing please)
fishing lines or collapsible rod.

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Outdoor Girl - Customer Reviews

customer reviews for outdoor girl

Summer Voyages - First Season in 2020


"My weekend sailing trip (photos). Can’t recommend this highly enough. With Debbie Purser who
made the trip a real joy and we got lucky with the weather."

Russell Young Aug 2020

 

Sea Trials and testing Cornoravirus social distancing in June 2020

A huge thank you to the lovely Debbie Purser for the best day out of shielding....a socially distanced sailing adventure followed by a wild swim. Debs you're a legend xx"

Caroline D. & Freddie

Today a socially distanced sail with Debbie. Many thanks also to Adam for helping Debbie step the mast so we could keep apart. the trip up and down Percuil River and back and fore across Carrick Roads has done my mental health a power of good....Chons da me hearties." 

Jan P.

Check out SailRowExplore.com - Debbie Purser is a female empowerment heroine of mine. Anything to do with Debbie is worth getting involved with. She is a true entrepreneur x'

Esther M. June 2020

The Sail - Row- Explore concept meets with approval

I think your new venture with Outdoor Girl is BRILLIANT!  It's lovely to see a small and engine-less alternative to all the large and (sometimes) luxurious vessels you promote.

I'm not planning to sign up for this (sorry!) because it's the kind of thing I already do singlehanded on my 11' lugger, sleeping on board and cruising my patch. If you'd been offering this ten years ago, I'd have done it like a shot!  

Sarah S. Past sailor with Debbie - inspired to buy her own small boat.

Off

Itinerary

On a sailing voyage, we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best sailing and shore landings for the forecast and most idyllic or sheltered anchors and ports. They are as keen as you to include some of the highlights described above, but you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her.

Visas and Vaccinations

Classic sailing is unable to be an expert for advice on visas and vaccinations for customers traveling outside their own country.

Please seek advice relating to your nationality traveling to the countries of your voyage from the country you will be setting off from and returning to.

Passports

In most instances, you will need a passport that expires six months or more after your return to your home country.

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The call of the sea

Destinations for sailors & explorers

Over 300 voyages a year

11, 051 customers introduced to

traditional boats and tall ships.

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6 Times Around the World between Us

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