Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. My name is Steve and i am the lucky owner of a John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. I built her over three years with the help of my father, father-in-law and two children. She was launched in August 2007 at Queen Anne's battery marina in the barbican area of Plymouth. This blog is a record of our voyages together around SW England.

Friday, 25 July 2014

getting ready to launch........

Sometimes launch prep goes quickly and others it seems to slow right down.


Thursday, 24 July 2014

piccadilly circus out in the sound

My what a busy morning. I keep my VHF alternating between channel 16 and channel 14, the long room (Queen's Harbour master at Plymouth).
Well channel 14 dominated the morning. When I drove onto the ramp at 8am there were five warships in the sound. By the time I had launched, all had gone up river to the naval dockyards.

And so much to see.......four tugs in line astern proceeding out to the outer sound to escort HMS Bulwark back in. The Golden Rover taking up a buoy just inside the breakwater; the fire tender on exercise; several ships coming in or departing the cattedown.

Such excitement- a good thing really because there was barely any wind; heavy showers, thunder and lightening for most of the morning!



Monday, 21 July 2014

Rain check on tomorrow

Well the cruise up the Lynher is postponed. A rain check.

Because gardening today I disturbed an undiscovered wasps nest as I was trimming the hedge. Twenty five stings and two minutes later, after the swarm had covered me, I was off to casualty.  Suffice to say I'm not allergic to wasp stings but I'm swollen all down the arms, hands and back. Fortunately none attacked my face. My wife says its because the wasps were traumatised by my ugliness!

Full of antihistamine , I'm not allowed to drive for another twenty four hrs.
Day one of my Summer holiday. Lets hope it gets better!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Having just recovered......

From a week of sailing with six teenage boys, who all got RYA level 1 and 2 certificates, I am now thinking of sailing the Lynher on Tuesday. The tides are low tide at 8.30am and are neaps so little tidal flow and going up on the incoming and back down on the outgoing. It will be a long day but it is feasible.

I managed to lose another pair of sunglasses last week as I jumped from one rib into another. I'd temporarily clipped them to my PDF, but not as well as I thought. And they didn't float as they we a cheapie pair!

The boys did themselves, me and the school proud last week. They were cheerful everyday, never moaned, got their heads down and gained success. All had a growth mindset; a very determined bunch.

Joel our instructor was outstanding. Calm, patient, encouraging, quick to praise, fair but firm. Exceptionally knowledgeable and an excellent seaman, the boys made huge progress each day. He was very ably assisted by another student of our school. I've spoken before about how much I admire this young lady. Focused, easy going, on top of her school work, determined and an outstanding instructor in her own right. She has short term and long term life goals and is a typical to be with.

Basically it all fell together nicely.
And so now its time to get Arwen out and about or a few weeks.
Lets hope the weather holds!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Day four.....

Day three I hear you say?
I have no idea where it went............

Anyway day four.......some serious successes. They are doing triangular courses and upwind sailing. It has been seriously gusty today.......ten capsizes, one nasty rope burn, but boy did the boys do well.
And so much laughter too. Good fun under challenging conditions. I'm very proud of my six boys!

Well done Mountbatten water sports centre....what a talented bunch of instructors you are. Thank you!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

day two............

Went much better than day one. By the end of the day, all students can sail across the wind, tack correctly and were even racing each other.

One or two fell out of Pecos on occasions providing me with much merriment. The instructor we have at the Mountbatten centre is outstanding. Patient, calm, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and good fun. He understands teenagers completely. Hence the progress being made.

He also deploys a secret weapon; my young friend! As soon as he thinks someone is struggling, she's out of the rib into the dinghy alongside for some demonstration and modelling of moves before hopping back in to the rib. She is an absolute sailing star.

The two of them are an excellent combination.

In the meantime, I just sit back soaking up the sun. Oh yeah!

And today? Well sailing up wind, gybing, rules of the road and knots.
And rain......lots of rain. Oh joy!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Day one.................

I survived three teenagers in a boat. We came close to capsize on three occasions but quick dumping of main sheet and turning head to wind saved the day although on at least two occasions I was straddling the 'on its side' hull!

My young friend who started sailing with me three years ago is starting her dinghy instructors course by doing work experience at the centre we are using. She is sooooo good and such a credit to our school. An immense privilege watching her in action. Her boys did so much better than mine today.

So onwards and two tomorrow!
Oh my!