Crossing the border!

It’s late May and it’s still cold! I didn’t expect to be still using my cabin heater but I’m glad I’ve got it! From Scarborough to Whitby the wind was light. I turned off the motor from time to time for the peace and quiet of sailing but when you’re moving you create your own breeze and it’s still cold!

Entry into Whitby makes you feel important as the road bridge is swung open to let you through.

This not Thalmia!

It’s a delightful seaside town. I walked up the 199 steps to the impressive Benedictine Abbey but didn’t go in (English Heritage prices are way too high!). I did sample a craft beer however from the micro brewery close next door! Just a light amber ale as it was lunchtime!

Newcastle was a short stopover after a cracking sail, broad reaching in a F4. The Royal Quays Marina is top quality and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful. I was berthed close to an owner-built motor boat that I had met in Wells, Grimsby, Whitby and now Newcastle! They said Thalmia was a stalker boat! They were very hospitable to a solo sailor. There is camaraderie amongst all boat folk not just yachties!

Amble was my next stop. They gained a lasting reputation as the friendliest port when they sent a telegram to the RMS Mauritania on her last voyage to the breakers yard at Rosyth, saying “still the finest ship on the seas” and received the reply “to the last and kindliest port in England”. They were friendly to me as well, though hopefully I’m not bound for the breakers yard yet – nor Thalmia! It was however my last port in England!

Before leaving England I paid a visit to Holy Island aka Lindisfarne. It was a real treat – a holiday (pun intended!). Almost unbroken blue skies, light winds and calm seas. Lots of puffins, a variety of terns and other sea birds, seals and dolphins!

Anchored below Lindisfarne Castle

We had crept into the shallower water of the Ouse anchorage where Thalmia took the ground for a few hours around low water. The advice is to set a buoyed trip line on your anchor around here and this proved essential. Even though I had checked the anchor visually in the clear shallow water, when weighing the anchor I found it had snagged on the substantial arm of a rusty old fisherman’s anchor. Using the trip line and my invaluable motorised windlass I was able to free myself and make passage across the border to Eyemouth, the first port on the East coast of Scotland.

Now we have a low pressure system moving through, with associated strong winds and rain over several days so I’m hindered in making progress north, waiting for those fair winds and following seas!

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” -

10 thoughts on “Crossing the border!

  1. Saw you in Dale Pembrokeshire and noticed your banner
    Well done a great effort
    Good luck with the rest of the trip


  2. Really enjoyed reading your second instalment .
    Great photos , almost makes me feel like being on a boat .
    But cold wet and high winds , maybe not!
    Sp pleased you are enjoying the trip you are making.
    Best wishes


  3. Hi again Derek

    You continue to enthral me with the descriptions of you journey. I hope that as I type this (Friday) your promised poor weather has eased for you and that you are currently making your way up the eastern coast of Scotland. If Dundee is on your planned itinerary please spare a wave (of the hand type) for the old white lighthouse on the left of the estuary as you sail in. It is the home of two close friends.
    Enough rabbit from me. Go safely.


    1. Still waiting for fair winds – may be Sunday before I can progress. Still enough time to get to Inverness before Ruth arrives on 3rd June. So looking forward to that! Then the Caledonian – fair weather hopefully, for Ruth’s sake especially!


  4. Hi Derek, I’m enjoying receiving your emails, I know nothing about boats except one end is sharper than the other so it’s very interesting for me. Good luck, stay safe and I look forward to the next instalment.

    Sent from my iPhone



  5. Well done for making it across the Border, Derek! The ports of the NE coast sounded like proper havens! Take care in this unseasonably cold & windy weather! Really enjoying reading about your progress.


  6. Hi Derek,

    Great to read and see your latest! You’ve done very well given the less than friendly weather systems! We’ve been impressed by your blog and pictures. Turning into quite an adventure! Enjoy the last of the East coast. Hopefully west will be kinder.

    Clive has now begun his adventure. We picked up his boat today. Now in dry dock in Christchurch so that he can do some work on a somewhat neglected boat! He’ll need to get some knowledge too. Has a mooring booked in Poole so that will be the next base.

    Enjoy your evening!


    Sent from my iPhone



    1. And the start of many adventures for Clive! I’ll help with advice where I can and maybe later some skills sharing!


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