John Colling (UK. September 2019)
Carl the instructor was friendly and courteous and everything was well organised. His wife Liz even brought 2 ready prepared home cooked meals for two of the evenings.
Carl is an experienced and very knowledgeable instructor and we learnt a great deal more than we anticipated, given our previous knowledge of being at sea on ships etc.
Carl was very patient and encouraged us to ask many questions. He gave very sound advice and never made anyone feel uncomfortable.
This was a very informative and hands on week of sailing and was thoroughly enjoyed by the four students onboard El Nino saiing in Greece.
Sindy Offer (Ireland. September 2019)
This course by far exceeded my expectations. Carl is an exceptional instructor, he instills confidence. He was always happy to answer questions. I will definitely be returning in 2020 and also highly recommending this school to friends and colleagues.
Carl is an exceptional instructor, he instills confidence. He was very approachable and always happy to answer questions.
John Forde (Ireland. Yachtmaster student in June 2019)
" If Carlsberg did sailing Instructors they would look no further than The Thessalia Sailing School , run by husband and wife team Carl Derham and his wife Liz. The combination of Carl at the Helm as chief Instructor and Liz as shore based support and cook extraordinaire is a winning formula.
The level of Instruction and dedication from Carl was above and beyond anything I had previously experienced in over 30 years of sailing.
Carl is an Instructor who is passionate about his profession ; his time given with expertise and great patience . Although I know we tested his patience at times, Carl was able to retain a sense of humour and was always on hand to assist. I believe this is important on a boat when a new group of individuals are thrown together for the first time and nerves are also at play.
The facilities are also first class on board the well equipped Dufour 45 Classic yacht with an individual cabin for all, no body is asked to share. The meals aboard are provided by Liz. Fresh home grown Greek produce to the fore ,the food lovingly prepared to take care of hungry sailors.
Also the sailing waters are stunning. This combined with the laid back friendly attitude of the Greek people you meet along the way, all contribute to a marvelous holiday with the added bonus of progressing ones sailing skills and knowledge.
To sum up I would say Carl is passionate about his work and it shows . He cares. You don't do 17 hour days if you are not . If you are considering a course look no further. You will not be disappointed."
Alexandru Oancea (Romania): “I can’t imagine it could be better. Everything was great!!”
Maki Iatridis (USA): “Carl’s instruction style of helping and trying to make it fun is excellent. I know Martha was very apprehensive about learning because she does not like learning online, and Carl helped her get through the anxiety and learn.”
“As to food, I love the baked dishes prepared in advance by Liz. It simplified things (prep time and effort) after a long day and provided an excellent meal onboard that I would be too tired to make myself.”
Martha Triandafillides (USA): "Coming off a very challenging week of vacationing on a sailboat and having already booked and payed months in advance for our skipper course due to start 3 days later, I was so ready to loose all the course money, as I resisted incredibly to board another sailboat in any near future. Thankfully as my husband talked me into it we were back on.
Arriving with a negative mind set, Carl within a day had managed to transform my resistance into a desire to absorb as much of the abundant knowledge and experience he so confidently shared with us constantly providing a safe space, encouraging and trusting us to explore our abilities.
Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would feel confident enough to handle a 45' sailboat in 5 days and for that achievement I am grateful to Carl.
In addition to the excellent training I was impressed by Carl's desire to make this an incredible experience for all of us.
His personal touch in supplying the boat for all our needs during the course, the excellent meals that were prepared, (both on and off the boat, thanks Liz!) his constant checking in as to whether there might have been anything else we could want (we didn't as he had already taken care of everything and then some) and his choice of the most beautiful hidden treasures of the Pagasitic Gulf to practice our skills in was greatly appreciated.
We not only learned to sail but explored a beautiful part of Greece that was delightful!
The icing on the cake far beyond our expectations especially being Greek, speaking the language and able to easily get around, was Carl's and Liz's personal welcome pick up and drop off at the station. Such a nice touch to be so graciously taken care of.
We shall be back!”
Stefan Jenkins (Scotland)
Fantastic week finally doing a course that I had wanted to do for the last twenty five years but somehow never got around to. Superb location, fantastic yacht, in conjunction with an articulate, skilful, positive, calm and knowledgeable Skipper namely Carl Derham. My wife and I are both in our early 50’s and enjoyed RYA Competent Crew under the tutelage of Carl immensely, we are already considering when we can return to progress to RYA Day Skipper