How Thalassa survived incompetent crew……again!
    The place was Fowey, and Thalassa was moored alongside one of the BT round the world challenge yachts out in the river. We were on the outside.
The skipper’s wife had decided to visit the West Country as a landlubber, and booked into a local inn. The skipper decided a bit of shore leave was in order, and asked me to take charge of Thalassa overnight.
All was well until the early hours. Cargo vessels ply the river upstream, and so when odd noises were heard which sounded like floating timber touching the side of the hull, I didn’t think much more about it. However this became a bit more incessant, and eventually a bit concerning.
Levering myself out of a Thalassa four star accommodation bunk, I made my way up on deck……just in time, in the semi-dark to see the stern of a 4,000 ton Atlantic tug immediately over Thalassa’s stern. This impressive vessel had been moored further out toward the centre of the river, and with the turn of the tide had swung in Thalassa’s direction, scraping the underneath of Thalassa’s stern as she turned.
Lest she decided to pay us another visit I then secured two fenders over the stern,…..which as you can imagine merited enquiry from the skipper on his return in the morning.
Added to which he wondered quite how I had managed to damage the underneath of the stern while moored.
But had we been moored even a few feet further down river, Thalassa might have sustained serious, even mortal injury.
(Needless to say there is a correct nautical term to describe the precise area that was damaged, and which the skipper used on his return, and which of course I have forgotten).
Terence Rosslyn-Smith

Crew: Skipper, are we possibly within the range of artillery coming from that wonderful Devon coastline?
Skipper: No, probably not. Why?
Crew: Just wondered why that huge British Naval vessel is about 30 yards off our starboard stern quarter.
From British Naval vessel: You are violating the rules of this missile range. Follow me out! Now!
Hap Russell

    Hi Richard: I felt such a sense of achievement joining Thalassa in ’95, ’96 and ’97. I wasn’t much good as a crew member as my M.S. restricted me – but you were unfailingly kind (even when I was horribly seasick!) and I do thank you so very much for taking me along. I haven’t sailed since, by the way, but am very happily married - living on dry land in Scotland.
Gail Scott-Elliott

    Thalassa has been used for some interesting events. In 1981 whilst out of the water she was used by the drama group who were rehearsing a play about a disabled boy who wanted to go sailing. Whilst handing out ear plugs to an unsuspecting crew, skipper says “I don’t snore.”
James Sewell

    A crew on night watch from Fishguard to Dun Laoghaire thought it would be easier to follow the Dun Laoghaire ferry rather than sail the course given by the skipper. Unfortunately that particular night the ferry had been diverted to Wexford!

    Skipper is now not keen on sailing anywhere on a weekend which has a railway station ever since when moored at Lymington two female crew asked where the train went to and jumped ship!

    Once stuck on the west coast of Ireland riding out a gale James Sewell accidentally pumped the ship dry of water. Everyone had to drink gin.

    Post cards from Dad on Thalassa tend to be somewhat stereotyped. Here is the standard message: “Dear Philip, Having a wonderful time, great company, have been to (name of Michelin restaurant in France) and had an excellent meal. Unfortunately we have been stuck in (industrial port) for the last three days waiting for a gale to blow through. We hope to get around the corner in the next few days when the weather promises to get much better”.
Occasionally I get a variation on the above postcard “having a wonderful time, great company, have been to (name of restaurant in Weymouth) and had quite a good meal. Unfortunately we have been stuck in Weymouth for the last three days waiting for a gale to blow through and it now looks as if we may not get to France at all.”
Even more rarely “having a wonderful time, great company, Unfortunately we have not yet got out of the Solent and have been stuck on the boat on a mooring in Cowes for the last four days waiting for a gale to blow through. The tinned curry was excellent …. On all three nights. We have now had our first day ashore and so will get provisions before heading off to Weymouth. – Two of the crew are going to take the train and rejoin us at Weymouth.”

    One of my favourite incidents is when Dad, who was about to charter a boat in Sydney, was looking at the navigation table. Dad “Gosh is this the latest satnav equipment?” Charter rep “No sir, that is a CD player”.
Philip Sewell