We are planning our summer sailing trip and the Scillies are hot favourite at present. I have 3 weeks of annual leave available so the plan as it stands would be for my dad and I to sail down to Penzance, as fast as possible (within reason for 2 man crew), pick up our good ladies and cross to the Scillies for a week, then the reverse for the way home. The boat is a Moody 33 with fin keel drawing ~1.4m, and we tend to get the motor on if we slip under 5kt SOG and we’re in a hurry, so that’s a good minimum speed for passage planning. We both know the boat pretty well, he has a lot of experience and single-hands regularly; I’ve done a bit of skippering with only inexperienced crew, have just finished YM shore-based and am mile building for YM Offshore, but haven’t sailed single-handed. We’re prepared to do 24hr legs if necessary but would rather stop for an evening meal and sleep, and to see something along the way, if time/weather allow.
With that in mind our proposed route is Menai – Bardsey/Pwllelli – Skomer/Dale – Lundy – Padstow – Penzance – Scilly. We could skip a stop or two if the weather slows us down early on or threatens to slow us later. What are our options in a NW when we get to Cornwall? When does Padstow become untenable? Could we tuck into the bay at St Ives for some shelter? Any good ideas for an alternative route if we’ve got steady SW all week as that would make for a pretty unrewarding journey - maybe via Ireland would make more sense in this circumstance? Does anyone know of an online source for tidal atlases of this area so I can do some further armchair planning?
On Scilly my dad and his partner would be shore based while my partner and I would stay on the boat and offer ferry service to the other pair. How practical is this plan with the littering of rocks between the islands – presumably some of the passages between islands are only tenable at high/slack states of tide? Are there likely to be ample moorings available in late July/early Aug? If not we have a Bruce, but have heard the bottom is mostly weed so perhaps this isn’t terribly well suited? I have bought Gibson’s Sailors Guide to IoS but have only browsed through so far so I may actually have some of these answers in there, I will have a proper read tonight.
Finally, any tips on the shore based accommodation? I guess this is going to be a challenge in high season whilst maintaining the flexibility needed for arriving (and leaving) by sail.