Irene

The last West Country Trading Ketch

Category: Newsletter Articles (page 1 of 2)

September Events

September Events in Clovelly

We have some fabulous events running out of Clovelly this September so if you making the most of the tail end of summer, why not join us for one of these!  We still have some availability for all these events but they are going fast.

Clovelly

Set into a steep hillside, Clovelly is one of the best known and most unusual villages in the North Devon. The cobbled high street winds its way down the hillside through traditional 16th century whitewashed cottages decked with fuchsias and geraniums. This street drops 400ft in the half mile down to the small harbour.  

Vehicles are prohibited from the main street and for centuries, donkeys were the mainstay of public transport.  Sadly, these have now been retired in favour of a less romantic Land Rover but the donkeys are still here although they now have a significantly more relaxed lifestyle!

There are no holiday cottages allowed in the main village and no concessions to the tourist industry. Consequently, the picture postcard village is still a living village, where fishermen still mend their nets on the quay.

Irene and Clovelly

Irene has had a strong connection with Clovelly over the past few years.  Our chef is one of the small number of residents of this village and we spend a month based here each year.  We are keen supporters of the village events and love our time here!

This year we are spending September based here, running day trips and longer voyages.  We are also helping the village celebrate it's fabulous Crab and Lobster Festival with our very own Lobster Extravaganza!

We still have some availability so if you fancy getting involved, seeing some of this stunning village and having a sail on a ship which has been plying her trade along these shores for over 100 years, then please get in touch.

 

Dawn

Lobster Festival

September 4th sees Clovelly hosting its annual Crab and Lobster festival.  

Join the crew of Irene to celebrate this with a fabulous five course, lobster themed feast complete with some great wines.  

No need to worry about driving home either.  Stay overnight with us in one of our en-suite cabins for bed and breakfast.

September 4th - 5th

Price £120

Clovelly Daysails

Join us for a day's sailing around the stunning north Devon coast.  

Help the crew hoist the sails, helm the ship and trim the jibs.  

Alternatively, sit back and watch the coastline drift slowly by as you enjoy the hospitality on board.

September 7th, 8th, 14th & 15th

Price £75

Lundy Voyage

Join us for a three day voyage as we explore the north Devon coast and take in the fascinating Lundy Island.  

There'll be plenty of time to involve yourself in the sailing, explore the island and enjoy the hospitality on board.

September 9th - 12th

September 16th  19th

Price £350

If we've tickled your fancy for any of these events, click the button to the right and fill in the form.  Let us know which event you wish to book for and we'll do the rest.

Feis Ile – Whisky Tasting and Sailing

One of the most exciting Feis Ile Whisky Tastings this year!

Feis Ile is the annual Islay Festival of Music and Malt, held on the Southern Hebridean island of Islay every year.  This year is their 32nd edition and to help them celebrate this fantastic event, Irene will be teaming up with the guys from The Whisky Lounge again to lay on some exceptional tasting events.

We'll be running events from Sunday 22nd May to Tuesday 24th May with morning and afternoon tastings.  The early sessions are even suitable for landlubbers as we won't be leaving the pier!  However,  bring your best sailing gear if you join us for an afternoon session as we will be slipping our lines and sampling some truly exclusive malts whilst taking in the spectacular scenery from the water.

It's late notice but securing some of these outstanding whiskies is never straightforward.  Drop whatever other plans you had made for this week and get over to Port Ellen on Islay.  This really is an event that's worth making a bit of effort for.

All events will start and finish in Port Ellen, Islay.  The Whisky Lounge are looking after the bookings, so if you're interested, click on the link to be taken directly to their website to register your place.  

 

 

Date From Details Event Cost Book Now
Sunday 22nd May Details Soon
Sunday 22nd May Details Soon
Monday 23rd May 10:00 Join us on the Tall Ship Irene while we taste through the latest and yet to be released whiskies from the Elements of Islay range with the very man who put’s them together Mr Oliver Chilton – Whisky Creator for Speciality Drinks. Pierside Tasting £20 Book Now
Monday 23rd May 13:30 We taste through the Port Askaig range from the 100 proof 30 and 45 year olds (ahem, £1200 a bottle) with the very man who put’s them together Mr Oliver Chilton – Whisky Creator for Speciality Drinks. Tasting on the Waves £60 Book Now
Tuesday 24th May 10:00 We taste through 5 single cask stunners from the SMWS (their Feis release might even make an appearance) with John McCheyne – Scottish Malt Whisky Society Brand Ambassador. Pierside Tasting £20 Book Now
Tuesday 24th May 13:30 We’ve raided our Islay archive back at HQ and will be cracking these illusive bottlings for this one off and legendary tasting. Opportunities to taste whiskies this good in this setting is nothing short of incredible. This could well be a life changing event and perhaps the whisky moment of a lifetime. Tasting on the Waves £60 Book Now

Cowes Week Accommodation and Hospitality

Looking for something a little more exclusive from you Cowes Week Accommodation and Hospitality?  Irene is a 120ft sailing vessel built in 1907 and maintained to the highest standard.  With four en-suite cabins and an onboard chef, we can guarantee a fabulous experience for Cowes Week.  Whether you are looking for accommodation for your crew, a special event for friends and family or corporate entertaining for your key clients we are sure to make it a memorable event.

Not taking part in the racing?  Irene will take you out onto the Solent and get you close to all the action as it happens.  The wide decks and comfortable seating provide the perfect grandstand to watch the racing unfold, but you don't need to be just a spectator!  Join us in hauling up the sails, trimming the jibs or taking your place at the helm of this fabulous old vessel.  All under the careful supervision of the professional sailing crew.

Planning on joining in with the shoreside parties?  Irene will be moored just off Cowes for the entire event.  With her rigid inflatable boats operating 24 hours a day,  we will always be on hand to ferry you back and forth to Cowes to ensure you don't miss any of the best events.

Want some exposure for your business?  Irene is certain to be attracting all the right kind of attention.  Why not bring a corporate banner or flag for us to fly from the rigging or display along the decks.  It might be the best value marketing you get this year!

We can accommodate up to eight guests for our Cowes Week Accommodation and Hospitality voyage which includes all transport to and from Cowes during the event and is fully catered by our professional chef.  We invite guests to join the ship from 6th August to 14th August for the full Cowes Week regatta.  However, we are also happy to accept bookings for shorter periods.  Prices below:

Type Cost
Per Person £175 per night
Whole Ship £995 per night
Per Person £1,200 full event
Whole Ship £7,500 full event

With thanks to Glen Gorman Photography for the interior photos.

Winter in the Canaries

Winter Sun and Some Spectacular Sailing

I know we've only just started our summer sailing season, but thoughts are already turning to our winter period.  We've decided that this year we'll join two other classic sailing ships in heading south to spend the winter in the Canaries.  Irene will make her way south to base ourselves around the western isles of the Canaries.  This is a fabulous opportunity for people to experience some truly wonderful sailing, in fantastic weather, while everybody at home is shivering into their cocoa!

We plan to start our sailing during Christmas week and take advantage of the fiestas and firework displays that are hosted by the local Canarian people.  After the festive period, we will be running week long charters exploring the islands of Tenerife, La Palma, El Hierro and La Gomera.  

From the dormant volcano of Mount Teide, the spectacular festivals of Santa Cruz de Tenerife to the historic UNESCO listed centre at La Laguna, there is much to do on Tenerife beyond the wild pubs and clubs of Playa-de-las-Americas.  La Palma claims to be the world's steepest island and plays host to a massive volcano crater known as La Caldera de Taburient.  The national park surrounding this active volcano is truly beautiful with it's lush vegetation.  El Hierro is quite the contrast - a tiny hilly island where the peace and quiet offer some relaxation from the hustle and bustle of the other islands.  Finally La Gomera is another fantastic island where the Parque Nacional de Garajonay has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

We are working closely with our colleagues on the other classic ships to ensure that at least once a week we will all gather at the same port and host a BBQ and party for the guests on all the ships.  This should be a great evening with an opportunity to exchange tales of the high seas and compare your respective experiences.

We are currently making the final arrangements before releasing this exciting programme.  Rest assured that you'll be the first to hear of it and get an early opportunity to book your places on some of the most popular voyages.

We’ve Started 2016’s Programme!

Our First Charter of the Year

On 30th March, Irene left her winter berth in Sutton Harbour, Plymouth for the quick run down to Fowey.  An opportunity for the new crew to get a chance to sail this fabulous old girl and the old crew to brush off the rust on their skills from last year.  It was a nervous time as we left the berth - some very expensive motor boats were particularly close by who wouldn't have appreciated a remodelling of their decks with Irene's bowsprit!  Charlie did a fabulous job at the helm and with a little push from the guys at Sutton Harbour marina, we were off and heading through the lock.

The few weeks leading up to this day had been fairly hectic as we fettled, painted and varnished Irene ready for the new season.  Sails were bent on, the ship rerigged and the galley overhaul completed.  We're really excited with the changes we've made.  Hopefully, the new refrigeration and larger work space should make Rachel's job a lot more pleasant, as she dishes up those fabulous meals that were so appreciated last year.  We also fitted new water tanks and can now carry an additional tonne of fresh water.  I think this will be appreciated by guests and crew alike!

After a couple of days of throwing the ship around and practising the safety drills, we were ready for our first charter.  A three day West Country Exploration.  Sadly the weather gods weren't equally excited about this first trip and let us know with some fairly miserable conditions.  Still we managed to get some sailing done and I know the guests had a fabulous time.

Inner Hebrides Voyages Just Released

Four Fantastic Voyages Around the Inner Hebrides

Join us as we take in some of the stunning scenery, fascinating wildlife and the odd dram of Scotland's finest export!

Join the crew of Irene as we tour distilleries, visit the eyries of White Tailed Sea Eagles, head north to the Isle of Skye or explore the photographer's paradise of Loch Linnhe.  

Fantastic hospitality is guaranteed on board.  Our accommodation is in private en-suite cabins - perfect for that romantic getaway and you can be assured of superb food from the freshest local produce.

 

Interested?

If you're interested in any of the events below, click on the button and get in touch to tell us which trip tickles your fancy.  Alternatively, give the office a call on 02380 970280 to discuss.

Get In Touch

Tobermory and Back: 21st May to 26th May

Take a relaxed passage from Oban to Tobermory and back as we explore the Sound of Mull. The stunning scenery and abundant wildlife is sure to keep you enthralled as we explore the lochs and coastline. There will also be an opportunity to spend some time in the delightful town of Tobermory amongst the pastel painted houses of the seafront.

Cost Per Person:  £495   Now only £395

Mull, Eigg and Skye: 28th May - 4th June

This six day passage will give Irene an opportunity to stretch her legs a little further and take in some of the more northern islands of the Inner Hebridies.

Starting from Oban, we will head up the Sound of Mull to Tobermory. White tailed sea eagles and sea otters have been regular visitors here and the eagles have even built an eyrie just north of this stunning little town. From Tobermory, we will continue north around Ardnamurchan Point, passing Muck before we get to the little island of Eigg. This is known as the ‘jewel in the Hebridean crown’ for it’s outstanding beauty. It also has the first completely sustainable electricity grid in the world!

From Eigg, we will continue our northern course into the Sound of Slea as we arrive at Skye. This is the largest island in the Inner Hebridies and was recently voted 4th best island in the world by National Geographic Magazine! Take some time to explore this fascinating places. Finally, it will be time to turn Irene’s bows to the south and head back to Oban.

Cost Per Person:  £695  Now only £550

The Great Islay Malts: 7th - 12th June

No Scottish sailing programme would be complete without a nod to one of their finest exports. This voyage will see us taking some time out to visit some of the Islay distilleries and sample a ‘wee dram’ of the Islay Single Malts. With so many distilleries on Islay and Jura, the main problem will be choosing your favourites so we will let the weather be the main decision maker in this!

Amongst the options are Caol Ila, Jura, Bowmore, Ardbeg and Laphroaig but with eleven on Islay itself, we are somewhat spoilt for choice! As well as visiting the distilleries, this voyage will treat you to some of the most spectacular scenery and wildlife available in the British Isles. From the Paps of Jura to the white tailed sea eagles, there is something for everybody whether you are a fan of the Scottish Amber Nectar or not!

Cost Per Person:  £495  Now only £395

 

Loch Linhe: 14th - 19th June

Loche Linhe runs from Oban right up to Fort William and the start of the Caledonian Canal. At nearly 10 miles long and over a mile wide, this voyage is an opportunity to explore parts of this stunning location.

Loch Linhe has a special attraction to photographers for its fantastic scenery and stunning sunsets. It also plays host to an abundance of seals, porpoises, dolphins and many sea birds. Golden and sea eagles may also be seen on occasion. If time and weather allow, we may pass through the narrows at Corran where the tide rips at a ferocious pace. Alternatively, we may explore the Lynn of Lorn and the small island of Lismore.

Cost Per Person:  £495  Now only £395

Cost for Full Ship (Up to 8 people):  £3,500  Now only £3,000

Canary Isles Voyage – Booking Soon!

Canary Isles Voyage

Plymouth to Canary Isles Voyage Booking Soon for Autumn 2016

We are really excited to be able to announce that Irene is planning to spend the winter of 2016/17 in the Canary Isles.  The beautiful Canary Isles  lie off the southern coast of Morocco and make a fantastic destination to catch a bit of winter sun.  With stunning beaches, fantastic climate and important natural attractions, you can see why they attract around 12 million visitors a year!  apr-canary-islands-lanzarote

Our plan is to head south at the end of our summer sailing season and make the 1,400 mile journey over the course of three or four weeks.  Details are still to be confirmed but we would expect to make the voyage in a number of one or two week hops.  This voyage will be a fantastic opportunity to get some real ocean miles under your belt, whether you’re studying for a professional qualification or just a keen amateur.  You will be free to join us for as many hops as your time and budget will allow for!

Irene is a traditional West Country Trading Ketch, built in 1907.  She is a gaff rigged ketch, flying up to nine sails, so there is always plenty to do on deck.  You can expect to be fully involved in the sailing, under the watchful eye of the professional crew.  Below decks, accommodation is in four en-suite cabins and our resident chef will ensure that you are fed and watered in outstanding style!

We know this will be a popular voyage and with places being very limited, we are inviting people to register their interest early on.  No commitment is needed yet but we will start bookings in the very near future, once the plans are finalised.  If you want to keep up to date with this Canary Isles Voyage, please let us know by completing the form below.

Stag Weekend On Board A Traditional Sailing Vessel

Stag Weekend With A Difference

Are you looking for a stag weekend that is a little more sophisticated than the normal recipe of huge volumes of beer and ogling some poor girl as she gyrates her way out of a skimpy outfit?  If so, the crew of Irene might have the perfect answer.   Join us for a trip on this historic tall ship as we take you and a few good mates around the Scottish Isles to celebrate your final nights of freedom!

Exchange the Stella for fine single malt whiskies on our Great Islay Malts trip or swap the dubious pleasure of watching a stripper for seeing the stunning scenery of the Inner Hebridian islands in our Mull, Eigg and Skye voyage.  Whatever your interest, the crew of Irene would love to help you celebrate.

We can take up to eight guests accommodated in four en-suite cabins.  Our on board chef will turn out the finest meals from locally sourced produce and our five professional crew will ensure you are guided through as much hands-on sailing as you have the energy for!

Interested?

If you're interested in any of the events below, click on the button and get in touch to tell us which trip tickles your fancy.  Alternatively, give the office a call on 02380 970280 to discuss.

Get In Touch

Tobermory and Back: 21st May to 26th May

Take a relaxed passage from Oban to Tobermory and back as we explore the Sound of Mull. The stunning scenery and abundant wildlife is sure to keep you enthralled as we explore the lochs and coastline. There will also be an opportunity to spend some time in the delightful town of Tobermory amongst the pastel painted houses of the seafront.

Cost Per Person:  £495

Cost for Full Ship (Up to 8 people):  £3,500

Mull, Eigg and Skye: 28th May - 4th June

This six day passage will give Irene an opportunity to stretch her legs a little further and take in some of the more northern islands of the Inner Hebridies.

Starting from Oban, we will head up the Sound of Mull to Tobermory. White tailed sea eagles and sea otters have been regular visitors here and the eagles have even built an eyrie just north of this stunning little town. From Tobermory, we will continue north around Ardnamurchan Point, passing Muck before we get to the little island of Eigg. This is known as the ‘jewel in the Hebridean crown’ for it’s outstanding beauty. It also has the first completely sustainable electricity grid in the world!

From Eigg, we will continue our northern course into the Sound of Slea as we arrive at Skye. This is the largest island in the Inner Hebridies and was recently voted 4th best island in the world by National Geographic Magazine! Take some time to explore this fascinating places. Finally, it will be time to turn Irene’s bows to the south and head back to Oban.

Cost Per Person:  £695

Cost for Full Ship (Up to 8 people):  £5,500

The Great Islay Malts: 7th - 12th June

No Scottish sailing programme would be complete without a nod to one of their finest exports. This voyage will see us taking some time out to visit some of the Islay distilleries and sample a ‘wee dram’ of the Islay Single Malts. With so many distilleries on Islay and Jura, the main problem will be choosing your favourites so we will let the weather be the main decision maker in this!

Amongst the options are Caol Ila, Jura, Bowmore, Ardbeg and Laphroaig but with eleven on Islay itself, we are somewhat spoilt for choice! As well as visiting the distilleries, this voyage will treat you to some of the most spectacular scenery and wildlife available in the British Isles. From the Paps of Jura to the white tailed sea eagles, there is something for everybody whether you are a fan of the Scottish Amber Nectar or not!

Cost Per Person:  £495

Cost for Full Ship (Up to 8 people):  £3,500

Loch Linhe: 14th - 19th June

Loche Linhe runs from Oban right up to Fort William and the start of the Caledonian Canal. At nearly 10 miles long and over a mile wide, this voyage is an opportunity to explore parts of this stunning location.

Loch Linhe has a special attraction to photographers for its fantastic scenery and stunning sunsets. It also plays host to an abundance of seals, porpoises, dolphins and many sea birds. Golden and sea eagles may also be seen on occasion. If time and weather allow, we may pass through the narrows at Corran where the tide rips at a ferocious pace. Alternatively, we may explore the Lynn of Lorn and the small island of Lismore.

Cost Per Person:  £495

Cost for Full Ship (Up to 8 people):  £3,500

Traditional Sailing Favourites

For those of you who’ve been aboard Irene previously or those who are considering a future trip, our programme is getting rapidly booked up.  We still have some availability on all our voyages for 2016 so I can guarantee no disappointments at the moment.  However, some are going fast!

Some of the highlights of this season’s programme are below:

Scilly Isles Traditional Sailing Trips

Always a favourite with Irene’s guests.  This year we will be visiting this gorgeous archipelago several times, providing guests with an opportunity to explore the islands under their own steam or from the deck of Irene.  We always keep the planned itinerary quite loose to ensure that any specific requests can be accommodated.  Charlie and Rachel now know the area really well and can advise you on great places to visit and fantastic things to do.

All the details are on the Programme page.  Click the button and see what dates we’re doing.

Programme

Traditional Sailing Voyage to Brest Festival

It only happens once every four years so miss out this year and you’ll have a long wait.  The world’s traditional sailing ships will all be there as well as great music, food and entertainment.  Regular fireworks, evening sail parades and the hospitality of the French.  This is going to be a good one!

Leaving from Plymouth on 11th July, you’ll have a great sail over to Brest and then plenty of time to enjoy the festival itself.

Brest Festival

Short Sails from Fowey

We have a range of shorter sails leaving in April from the fantastic port of Fowey in Cornwall.  These are day sails for a quick potter up and down the Cornish coast or a longer three day trip where we get to the stunning Helford River and Mounts Bay.  This is one of my favourite areas to sail in with dolphins, porpoises and a multitude of other wildlife often providing some additional entertainment.

Great value for an early season sail on board Irene.

Programme

Some fun from around the world

Whilst the long winter evenings do nothing to satiate the desire to be out on the water, they do give you an opportunity to surf the internet and find all of those daft, amusing and interesting things that other boat owners, sailors and enthusiast get up to.  I thought I’d share a few of those that had provided the crew of Irene with some entertainment over the last couple of months.

Cutting Down Those Passage Times

We start off with a fabulous way of reducing the transit time between Plymouth and Clovelly.  This is a trip we expect to do several times this year on Irene and it normally involves a passage of some 170nm,  Using this technique, we can reduce that distance to around 50nm.  We’re currently favouring the A388 to Launceston and then jumping on the A39 to Clovelly.  What do you think?

Green Trade

A slightly more serious article was written in the Independent recently about the rise of goods being shipped under sail.  This is something that Irene herself has been involved in over recent years both with Laithwaites wine merchants and with New Dawn Traders (mentioned in the article).  So what do you reckon?  Are you involved in shipping cargo?  Could Irene support you in this?  It’s surprising how little impact it has on overall shipping costs (for the right cargo type).  We’d love to hear from you if you think this is something that could work for you!  The marketing collateral that Laithwaites got as we passed under London Bridge on the evening news was priceless!

Independent Article

Decklighting

We’ve never been a ship that particularly goes in for extravagant deck lighting.  In truth, the current arrangement is little more than a working light hung in the rigging.  However, I’m beginning to feel we ought to consider upping our game a little.  You’ve got to say that this is pretty spectacular.  I’m sure Charlie and Ben could rig up something very similar in no time!  (Thanks to BoatPorn for this one (https://www.facebook.com/BoatPorn)

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Full Sail

We know that Irene has a reasonably large sail area, and she needs it to get her going really well!  However, because this area is spread over nine sails and two masts, each individual sail is relatively small.  Despite this, it can still be quite a handful to control this colossal power when the wind gets up and needs both technique and brute strength to handle safely.  Compare this with Iverna.  Built around the same time as Irene and of a similar size, Iverna only has a single mast and hence fewer sails.  She makes up for this with a massive amount of canvas on each though.  I certainly wouldn’t fancy hoisting that tops’l or sheeting in the head sails!  Sadly no longer with us, but I’m sure you’ll agree she is stunning in this picture.

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If this whets your appetite to get out on the water yourself, then good!  Get in touch, we’d love to hear from you whether it’s to organise a trip on one of our programme voyages or something special such as a cargo run for your company or a full ship charter for a special occasion.

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