The Final Countdown!

I’m probably not the most patient man – as people close to me will attest – so waiting for the start of my voyage has not been easy. There has been a lot work over the winter months, on and off the boat, preparing for this singlehanded circumnavigation. Do I have any worries? Happily yes. Worries make you to anticipate and plan and prepare more thoroughly. I’m not taking this challenge too lightly and I think I have mitigated as many of the risks as possible. Also of course there is some excitement at the idea of this mega (for me!) voyage. Of course, with my professional background, I had to have a ‘programme of work’ (AKA a to-do list!) leading up to departure day. However, as Robert Burns said: “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.” I’m hoping this is just a bit of Scottish pessimism not a prediction of what’s to come!

The programme was to move from this:

to this:

Progress so far seems good! In recent weeks I have painted the boat’s bottom with anti-fouling (not an easy or pleasant job on a twin keel boat but positive because it’s a significant task leading up to re-launch!). Soon to come is some really positive stuff such as refitting running rigging and sails, loading cushions, carpets and curtains (what a posh boat!), galley and safety gear and umpteen little tweaks and safety checks. Boat owners will know that the list of possible jobs is endless but usually not everything gets done! The weather in March can be very unpredictable so I am trying to stay well ahead of schedule.

You will see from my previous posts that I would like to use this personal challenge to raise some money for Rainbow Living – a charity that provides accommodation to enable young adults with learning difficulties gain independence. Below is a link to a VirginGiving page and I would really appreciate any donation you can make however large or small in support of my solo circumnavigation:

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/voyagesofthalmia

So when does preparing for the circumnavigation become doing it?

Thalmia will dip her bottom in the (currently very muddy) Exe on 8th/9th April. A short trip is then called for – a “shakedown” cruise for a couple of days to make sure everything is properly secured and working well. The departure will then happen as soon after the 20th April as the weather allows. And if all is well we’ll head East towards Ramsgate via the Solent before heading north to Scotland, hoping to give the lie to Robbie Burns’ forebodings!

Next blog update at launch!

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 am now hoping to embark on that challenge in April 2021. CV - Covid Volente!

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