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.







Thursday, 27 December 2012

Captain Roch part 2

I believe we left the adventuring Captain Roch at Cowes on the Isle of Wight on the 25th July 1677. You will remember that he was sailing a small open boat from Plymouth to London via the south coast and up along the Thames estuary.

Anyway on the 26th with fair west by north winds, they left Cowes, but this time with an additional passenger, a Frenchman. The brisk winds reaching almost gale force at times from the west pushed them along some 20 leagues until they were off beachy head. However, sailing all through the it saw the good Captain off Rye where a severe thunderstorm soaked them all to the skin. Improving conditions saw a change of heart and so they made for Dover arriving at 4 pm.

On the 28th they departed Dover pier and on gale force winds hey reached the north foreland at midday; her the shifting winds forced them to anchor off Reculver.

I have to say that he article from which this information is derived in the dinghy cruising association  winter 2012 journal is quite illuminating. It is well written by Keith Muscott.  I haven't been able to work out exactly what length boat Roch sailed; details seem to be scant. There was some mention, somewhere, I recollect, that the length was 18" but I suspect I am wrong on that. Irrespective of that, the distances he achieved in a small open boat do seem to be genuinely quite impressive, especially given the weather conditions that seemed to prevail.

Sunday 29th an attempt to get over the flats on a flood with south west winds failed; the tide fell sooner than expected and so Roch was forced to anchor. On the first of the return flood with the wind blowing hard from the SW and the seas rough, Roch managed to make the Isle of Sheppey just before nightfall. He then made into the small port of Hope just before midnight.

The following morning at break of day he made for Gravesend but the increasing WNW winds forced him to anchor two miles below the port entrance where they lay uneasy for many an hour; unable to land due to the steep muddy banks either side. Eventually under reefer sail he was able to reach Barking creek. It wasn't until noon on the 31st that Roch could depart the creek into the main river and on the ninety hour he reached London Bridge.

Captain Roch departed Plymouth on Friday 20th and he arrived in London on 31st some 11 days later. He had sailed much of the south coast, around the Kent peninsula and up he Thames.

This sounds to me like a really worthwhile effort for Arwen. Well perhaps a trip to Weymouth?
Everyone have a very happy, merry Christmas and new year

Steve


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