Only skipper can move faster than sound. Sailing across the channel on a pitch-black night; two young people on watch suddenly see a tanker on the same course looming astern (not seen before because of so much chatter). Skipper moves from bunk to “ready-about” (in pyjamas) faster than sound. All hell breaks loose above my head. The tanker passes, course resumed, and new watch takes over. Skipper silent next day on cause of Mach 2.
Richard and Belinda Southwell


    Our abiding memory is of a fast sail northwards across the channel to Dartmouth in 1982 to try and welcome home the Canberra from the Falklands. Wendy was on the helm nearly the whole way to avoid “mal de mer”, whilst the male members played bridge down below. A great sail for a great occasion with grand company.
Nigel and Wendy Symons-Jones


    On the first night of the 1961 Hook Race, I was in the starboard upper berth in the saloon, in a brisk Force 6, when the whole fleet, who had been on a dead run from Harwich, arrived almost simultaneously to round the West Hinder Light vessel. They had all, or so the crew thought, hardened up onto port tack when suddenly I heard a cry on deck, “Look out Alan, a boat” a lot of commotion, then sighs of relief all round and “That was a near one !”. Everybody was shocked. The boat in question was on starboard tack having trouble with their spinnaker and it was only a very quick avoiding action on their part that prevented her from slicing Thalassa in two just where I was sleeping on the starboard side. The boat in question was the Royal Artillery Yacht Club steel hulled St Barbara. When we arrived in Rotterdam, my father, who was technically in the wrong, felt he should apologise to the skipper of St.Barbara and congratulate him on his quick avoiding action. He turned out to be a gunner captain skippering for the first time in an ocean race. To ease the situation my father took me along and the young officer, being slightly over-awed by an apology from the Rear-Commodore of the RORC, invited me out to dinner.
That is how I met John Athron, my first husband. On our wedding day I received a telegram from one of the crew which read “Run down at last”. It was some time before the penny dropped – and then I remembered !
All of Alan Baker’s daughters married their husbands through Thalassa, but I have to say, not all as dramatically as that. Thalassa has been part of my life for as long as I can recall. Ever since Vivian and I were so small that we didn’t even have to “squeeze” into the prams for our first race, and I was sick all the way round. I have enjoyed years and years of wonderful fun. Thank you Richard for carrying on the Thalassa tradition and quite apart from the wonderful seamanship-always maintaining such a happy boat.

Snorers in the saloon, wine and gloriously smelling cheese in the cockpit, Heinz salad cream for the skipper, warps that weigh a ton – and whatever you do – don’t let him catch you eating gingernuts. It’s a great life!!
Bobby Teague


Thalassa Brochure
    In Belon once, complaints were raised about the absence of a shower on Thalassa which, it was claimed, had been promised in the mythical Thalassa Brochure. “Of course Thalassa has a shower.” Richard replied. He proceeded to fill a black rubber bag full of water and hoisted it up the staysail forestay. Standing on the foredeck, fortunately not naked, he pulled a cord and had a brief but probably much needed shower.
All mod cons on Thalassa