Bidding farewell to Thalassa

Thalassa at Ballycastle in the morning sunrise. Picture Kevin McAuley/McAuley Muultimedia
Thalassa at Ballycastle in the morning sunrise. Picture Kevin McAuley/McAuley Muultimedia

Tall Ship Thalassa sounded her horn as Captain Jacob and his crew waved goodbye to the Irish shore, when she sailed out of Ballycastle on Tuesday, marking the end of her summer visit to Ireland.

Thalassa is Ulster’s best known Tall Ship, she is a regular visitor to Ports from Belfast to Londonderry, and is a common slight on the coast, during the summer months, she is the best known Tall Ship on these shores.

Captain Jacob Jan Dam with Mayor Joan Baird Picture Kevin McAuley/McAuley Muultimedia

Captain Jacob Jan Dam with Mayor Joan Baird Picture Kevin McAuley/McAuley Muultimedia

Barquentine Thalassa is an imposing and seaworthy tall ship.

The three master is one of the most beautiful and fastest sea sailors of the Dutch fleet.

Rigged according to old traditions, Thalassa is fitted with all modern safety conveniences and perfectly combines adventurous sailing with comfortable enjoyment.

Thalassa was originally built in 1980 in Harlingen, Holland, but after she sank in 1985 Arnold Hilkema and Jacob Jam Dam totally rebuilt and refitted her. She was relaunched in 1995.

2004 was the first year she competed in The Tall Ships Races, and she has taken part in the Tall Ship Races ever since.

The beautiful vessel, one of the most recognisable Tall Ships to dock in Northern Ireland, was here as part of a series of whiskey tours.

Skippered by Jacob Jan Dam, the Dutch vessel was a striking addition to the moorings at Ballycastle Harbour.

The week long sailing and whiskey trip began in Troone in Scotland taking passengers on a tasting tour around the region, including a visit to the world famous distillery in Bushmills.

Before departing from Ballycastle, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Joan Baird OBE, enjoyed a tour of the vessel and met some of those on board.

She said: “The Thalassa is such a beautiful vessel, and my thanks go to the Captain and crew members for their very warm welcome.

“All those I spoke to said their visit to the area had been wonderful, and was certainly among the highlights of their trip.

“Watching the ship sail away from Ballycastle, in the shadow of Fairhead, with the masts blowing in the wind, was a sight to behold, and we look forward to welcoming her back again next year.”

Mayor Joan Baird with crew Picture Kevin McAuley/McAuley Muultimedia

Mayor Joan Baird with crew Picture Kevin McAuley/McAuley Muultimedia

From Ballycastle, the Thalassa was heading for Campbelltown in Scotland.

Next month it will attend the Hamburg Cruise Days maritime event in Germany.

Following this, it sets sail for more exotic shores with a six-month voyage to the Caribbean.

* Thanks to Kevin McAuley for the photographs of this marvellous ship.