Introduction to Yacht Sailing: Dartmouth to Falmouth
Come and join Rubicon 3 for a week of sailing along the south coast of England
If you have never sailed before, or have just never sailed with Rubicon 3 or on these larger 60' expedition yachts, this is the perfect way to have a brilliant week of sailing and training. Our instructors will teach you everything you need to know and from day one you will be helming the boat, learning to trim the sails and starting to understand maritime charts and how to navigate. The route takes us along the famous south coast of England from one famous naval city, Dartmouth, to another, Falmouth. Earn your RYA Competent Crew while on board.
This is a typical itinerary. The wind and the weather ultimately shape what’s possible each day but everything is very flexible within that. Maybe there’s a stunning bay and you want to anchor for the night or a remote island that needs to be explored – then let’s see if we can go and make it happen.
Day 1: Joining day
Join the boat by 1200. Get your belongings packed away and then we’ll issue you with lifejackets and waterproofs and start to show you around the boat, give you a safety briefing and then we’ll cast off the lines and head out for a gentle sail and start getting a feel for a sailing yacht and how she handles.
Day 2: Training day and sailing to Salcombe
Today we have a lovely sail of about 20nm down to Salcombe, a beautiful coastal town that sits on the banks of the Salcombe Estuary making it one of the prettiest towns in south Devon. En route we will learn more about sailing, how to steer to the wind, power up the sails to best effect and learn some introductory navigation techniques. We should be in by about 5pm, giving us time to have a wander around the town and maybe head to a local hostelry for a beer.
Day 3: Sail to the River Yealm for an overnight anchorage
Now it’s a lovely sail west to the tranquil, unspoilt anchorage in the Yealm. It is a ‘Bass Hatchery’, a ‘Special Area of Conservation’ (SAC), and a ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’ (SSSI) and much of the surrounding land is owned by the National Trust. Along the way we’ll learn more about sailing and you’ll be getting to grips with steering to the wind and plotting our position on the chart. No doubt once we’ve anchored we’ll take the RIB to head ashore to the town of Newton Ferrers, where you’ll find a lovely pub, local church, shops, post office and a thriving yacht club.
Day 4: Beautiful day sail to Fowey
A slightly longer sail today, with around 20nm to make westward. Out in the bay, we’ll learn how to reef sails when the wind gets stronger and will keep refining and practising our ever increasing tool-kit of sailing skills. By now, you will be feeling very comfortable on deck and will be able to fully appreciate the glorious feeling of the wind and waves as they power the yacht along. Fowey is set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The town itself sits on the west side of the Fowey estuary where the large, deep water harbour has long been a magnet for sailing fans. As you walk the ever narrowing streets of the old town where mediaeval and Georgian buildings cast shadows over each other, a vibrant maritime history comes to life. Lining the main Fore Street you will find many small, independent shops selling unusual gifts, artwork, clothing and books. If you’re a foodie then Fowey is home to many bistros, cafes and restaurants where you’ll find menus offering the best in local produce; Fowey River mussels are a highlight.
Day 5: Fowey to an overnight anchorage in the River Helford
Fully stocked up with Fowey’s delights, we’ll now sail just past Falmouth to the River Helford. The river is tree-fringed and muddy-shored and boasts a wealth of marine wildlife. The many creeks are extremely peaceful and beautiful. Their steep sides rise up sharply from the water while the muddy, rocky banks are home to a wide range of bird species, including little egrets, grey herons, cormorants and various divers, grebes and ducks. Daphne Du Maurier immortalised one of the Helford River’s creeks in her novel “Frenchman’s Creek”, though in its quiet tranquillity it is hard to imagine discovering a French pirate lurking there, as there was in the novel!
Day 6: Helford to Falmouth
Our final day of sailing and by now you will will be confidently bringing up the anchor, raising the mainsail and plotting us a course out of the river. It is always amazing how quickly you learn when with great instructors and on a relaxed sailing holiday. It’s a short sail north to the famous maritime city of Falmouth, where our week together finally draws to a close. We will probably get in about 1700hrs to ensure that, after a shower in the marina, we can all head in to town and have a really fun last night out.
Day 7: Debrief & clean up
It’s always amazing how quickly everyone has become firm friends and the boat and its routines seem so familiar. Yet it’s time to wrap it all up and head home. We’ll get the boat back to how we found it, sign logbooks, exchange emails and disembark by 1200hrs.
JOINING & LEAVING THE BOAT
- You should join the boat in Dartmouth at 0900 hrs on the joining day.
- You will disembark the boat in Falmouth on the last day at 1200 hrs.
GETTING TO AND FROM THE START AND END POINTS
- Dartmouth is around a four-hour train ride from London (the nearest station is Totnes). It is also around a three-our train ride to Exeter airport (IATA code: EXT).
- Great Western Rail operates high speed services from London Paddington, South Wales and the Cotswolds to Falmouth, including sleeper services from London Paddington. Cross Country Trains (Arriva Trains) operates services to Falmouth from the Midlands, the North and Scotland.
- Newquay Cornwall Airport is one of the fastest growing regional airports in the UK, linking Cornwall to major cities across the country as well as internationally.
- Taking the ferry to England has never been easier. There are many ferry companies that operate daily services to the UK from mainland Europe and Ireland and these terminals are within easy reach of the major motorways leading you down to Cornwall.
- Plymouth is the closest port to Cornwall being just across the River Tamar. Brittany Ferries offers services from Roscoff and Santander to Plymouth.
AGE & EXPERIENCE
These adventure sailing holidays are open to everyone aged 18 years and over. If you are aged 70 or over, or have any concerns about your health, we ask that you get a doctor’s note before booking. This is just to make as certain as possible that you will be okay out on the water.
NO PREVIOUS SAILING EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED
CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT
We provide the foul weather clothing, life-jackets and all other technical equipment you will need. We really urge you not to spend any extra money unless you are sure you want to! You need to bring a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots.
We are committed to helping as many people as possible have an amazing sailing holiday and experience the magic of the sea. Our skippers and mates have medical training and the boats have some medical supplies and equipment on board. However, the reality is that once on board access to professional medical assistance is going to be slower than if you were on land. If we are offshore it may be some days. For this reason we ask you to check through the medical disclosure form below before you book. If you answer yes to any of the questions, you should get in touch with us before you book. It will probably still be fine but it’s good to make sure. You will be asked to submit the form electronically 14 days before the start date, ensuring that we have the most up to date information.
- It is essential that you have adequate travel insurance in place for your sailing holiday.
- We strongly recommend that you arrange insurance that covers you for any medical mishaps in the build up to your holiday so that should you have to cancel, you can reclaim you fees.
- Please note we cannot refund your money or cancel your invoice due to medial issues.
- For our latest guidance on travel insurance, please read here.
TRIP CATEGORY: ADVENTURE SAILING
Mostly day sailing, shorter mileage and more time to head ashore and explore.
INCLUDED IN YOUR SAILING HOLIDAY
- Foul weather clothing to keep you dry in any conditions.
- Fladen immersion suits. These will keep you warm in even the coldest, windiest conditions.
- Ocean-spec lifejackets. These are the best on the market.
- All on-board food and snacks.
- Daily sailing lessons and tuition from two highly experienced instructors.
- RYA sailing qualifications where applicable.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Your travel to and from the start and end points.
- Travel insurance (see our travel insurance page here)
- Any alcohol – but feel free to bring your own or buy some along the route
- Any meals you eat ashore
Everything’s included except for flights, travel insurance, a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots. There are no hidden extras.
- These expeditions have small numbers of people on board. When you book, you are committing to being a part of the crew.
- These are genuine adventure sailing holidays and you will be helping sail the boat, planning where we go, navigating, cooking and keeping the boat clean and tidy.
- When you book, the deposit is non refundable. It is possible to cancel subsequently, however you may still be liable for the balance of the invoice, depending on how close you are to the start date when you cancel.
- Please ensure you have read and agreed to the T&Cs and read the Trip Notes before booking.