Do not go gentle …..

Dylan Thomas had it right!

Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

It’s been two years that we haven’t “done” the Isles of Scilly. First the pandemic, then last year was consumed by my circumnavigation of the wider Isles of Britain – well some of them!

After my trip across the channel to the Channel Islands and France in company with two other boats I had two weeks on land before packing things back onto Thalmia for this trip.

It was a sprint not a marathon! I saw a weather and tidal window to cross to the Scillies on Tuesday morning: left Sunday morning and went flat out to make it. Two days of 12 hours sailing – well some sailing each day but lots of motoring too with light winds but mostly from the wrong direction – then a final shorter sail / motor starting from Newlyn at first light (that was 05:00!) but getting to Scilly by lunchtime (knackered!).

On the Sunday I was escorted for a while by a pod of dolphins

and on the Monday I had the company of a brace of warships (i.e. 2) – not sure of the collective noun for these big fellas!

The strong southwesterly winds, which I had been keen to be ahead of, meant I took shelter in a very pleasant anchorage on the east side of Tresco in Old Grimsby Harbour – beside the Old Blockhouse, if you know the area. Its been sunny some of the time but it’s also been a bit dreich on and off and blustery with F4-5 W/SW winds and gusts up to 30+ knots “with exposure” as Carol Kirkwood would say!

After sheltering in Old Grimsby for a bit I have moved to Watermill Cove in the NE of St Mary’s with the SW winds continuing but abating a little. It’s a gem of an anchorage – why haven’t I been here before? I went ashore for a walk to one of the best preserved examples of the “entrance graves” which are unique to Scilly according to English Heritage. Oh and there is a massive rope swing nearby (and I mean massive – just visible in the photo). There was no one around so I became a 71 year old child for a moment!

Dylan Thomas – I’m raging!

I’m now eagerly waiting for Ruth to join me here (by plane!) on Monday and I’m also eagerly awaiting some more settled weather for her benefit as much as mine.

After the slog to get here now comes the reward!

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” -

4 thoughts on “Do not go gentle …..

  1. Sounds like another brilliant sail, Derek! So glad Ruth is joining you. Wishing you a very happy, sunny few days together. Sending love x


  2. Thanks for the update on your progress. I watched you on a i s but lost you off land’s end- so guessed that you’d reach the magic islands!

    Ruth is going to be lucky with the weather this week. Hope to head west myself in a few days.

    Fair winds, regards Roger.

    Roger Maunder (xGm<)


  3. Thanks again Derek. Eileen and I have enjoyed reading your raging blog but even more so the dolphin video clip.
    Love to Ruth and yourself


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