The harbourmaster, after taking advice from the relevant government department, has decreed that we may launch our boats at the end of March and ‘fettling’ – that favourite pastime of boat owners – is now well under way. I wore full PPE last week – nothing to do with COVID 19 – I was painting Thalmia’s bottom with antifouling. Fitting ropes (laundered), sails (valeted) and other fitting out is also well in hand and she will get her bottom properly wet again in the river Exe on 30th of March, then back to her mooring – whoopee!
Over the winter lockdown Thalmia, who is now 41 yrs old (she may even have been the first bilge keel Fulmar out of the mold!), has been treated to a new motorised anchor windlass and2 new (well second hand and refurbished by me) primary winches which are beefier, self tailing and better positioned than her old ones. Thanks to Trout’s Boatyard for their very professional services. The soon to be 70yr old skipper could do with a new back but these additions to Thalmia will at least minimise the risk of damage!
All being well harbours, marinas and facilities will be fully open from 12th April. My second COVID jab is due mid April as well. So then, after a short “shakedown” trip to check everything works (including me!), I should be on my way East by the end of April! Yes my preferred route is anti-clockwise and over last few weeks I have revisited potential routing, pilot books and cruising guides. After such a long delay it’s hard to believe it might actually happen – no more crises this year please!
Of course there will always be the weather to factor in. Fair winds and following seas is our plea! I’ll keep you posted as we launch and make final preparations and plans. Thank you for following.