Voyages of Thalmia – Sailing around Britain in 2020

This is Thalmia on her mooring at Starcross Yacht Club, River Exe, in April 2019. A Westerly Fulmar built in 1980 now based in the Exe estuary. 2019 was a good year with trips East to several creeks in the Solent including Keyhaven, Newtown, Wooton and Beaulieu and our usual summer cruise from Exeter to the Isles of Scilly, visiting many of the islands and enjoying a very relaxed sojourn in Green Bay on Bryher.

Newtown Creek
Green Bay, Bryher

Soon it will be time for Thalmia to be lifted out onto Topsham Quay for storage over winter and preparations for our voyage next year. I have made many modifications over the last 3 winters since I bought her, and sailed her back from Hayling Island in November 2016. I think she is well set up for my most ambitious trip so far around the coast of Britain – but she will get more attention between now and launch date in April 2020. She will then be 40 years old and me – a mere 69! Also for me, over winter, there will be lots of reading of pilot books and passage planning at home.

A word about my wife – she is being very generous in letting me have these 3-4 months away sailing around our wonderful coastline. There was one condition – that I raise lots of money for the charity she gives so much of her time to. Rainbow Living supports adults with disabilities, mainly learning disability, by providing accommodation to enable tenants to live with their peers as independently as possible in supported living. There will soon be four Rainbow Houses in Devon, three in Exeter and one in Torquay. You can read more about the charity via the links at the head and the foot of the blog.

I shall be sailing mostly solo on this trip although I am hoping to have some company on at least a couple of short stages. The idea is both exciting and daunting in equal measure. Managing the boat and managing myself will be quite a challenge. Keeping in touch with home and with others via this blog will be an important part of making it work! Knowing that the charity will be getting some additional funds will be an added bonus.

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Thank you for following Thalmia and myself on this voyage.

Published by Derek

Having started sailing later in life I have migrated from a 14ft dinghy via a Sadler 26 to a 32ft Westerly Fulmar. I sail mostly single handed in the South West from the Solent to the Scillies or across to the Channel Islands and ajacent French coast. In 2020 I planned to sail mostly single handed around Britain. Due to Covid-19 this was unfortunately not possible. I finally completed that challenge starting in April 2021: finishing in early July. You can check out my journey and experiences, good and not so good in the blog posts below or my YouTube channel - search for “voyages of Thalmia” -

8 thoughts on “Voyages of Thalmia – Sailing around Britain in 2020

  1. Hello Derek.
    I have been pointed to your blog by Rosie Barron (my daughter) and I intend to follow your trip. I like your choice of sailing boat, though I have always had a yearning for a Pentland Ketch! Somehow I took up flying a microlight aircraft 17 years ago instead of sailing, but still hope to get on the water at some time. I’ve flown round all of the UK in that time including landings on all of the outlying islands with an airstrip, so I know that you will have a great adventure. If the opportunity arises I will attempt to give you a fly past in my black Shadow aircraft. I fly from St Albans, so I’m guessing that you will be in my general area (Dover, Thames, Humber) by the first part of May.
    I’m looking forward to your ongoing blog and I wish you fair winds and favourable tides.


    1. That sounds amazing – thank you for your support and if you manage a fly past that would be a superb boost to morale! Let’s both hope for fair winds!


  2. Hi Derek. Can’t wait to start following your journey. It’s something what I would love to do when time allows (I might need to wait over 20 years for that 😜)
    Of course I’ll add something from me to the Rainbow Living.
    Good luck.


  3. Hi Derek ! Great to see things taking shape ! I will be following your progress eagerly and of course supporting Rainbow Living . Not long now ! Peter


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