Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my dinghy cruising blog about my John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. Built over three years, Arwen was launched in August 2007. She is a standing lug yawl 14' 6" in length. This blog records our dinghy cruising voyages together around the coastal waters of SW England.
Arwen has an associated YouTube channel so visit to find our most recent cruises and click subscribe.
On this blog you will find posts about dinghy cruising locations, accounts of our voyages, maintenance tips and 'How to's' ranging from rigging standing lug sails and building galley boxes to using 'anchor buddies' and creating 'pilotage notes'. I hope you find something that inspires you to get out on the water in your boat. Drop us a comment and happy sailing.
Steve and Arwen

Friday, 9 September 2022

The disappearing sail crease part two

 And here is part two as promised last week....

Tuesday, 6 September 2022

The disappearing sail crease

 Yes, you read that right. The sail crease is no more. I's amazing isn't it.....

Enjoy part one..........

Friday, 26 August 2022

astrophotography from boats

 Well not from the boats, I mean that would be impossible wouldn't it, all that bobbing about!

However, on those nights beached in remote spots where there are dark skies up the river Tamar, well that is a different scenario isn't it.

I have been saving for some time and finally I have bought a good astrophotography travel rig comprising

  • zenithstar 61ii with field flattener - for both visual and imaging work
  • samyang 135mm F/2 lens
  • skywatcher star adventurer 2i wifi pro star tracker 
It will all team up with my canon 800d dslr and my Benro mach 3 carbon fibre tripod. 

Astrophotography is new to me. It is a huge steep learning curve. I am getting to grips with the tracker and the image taking. The actual post processing is a dark art which I continue to grapple with and I feel I am making little progress in that area. 

Still, the kit packs down well into one storage box inside two dry bags (one inside the other) and on days when the weather gives gentle breezes and good spring tides, I feel some trips up river for stargazing coming on. I will keep you posted. 
The new telescope

the night sky above my garden in a semi rural - suburban area

my first planet image - Jupiter and three of her moons

the sky above my nearest beach

Thursday, 4 August 2022

Episode three

 Enjoy. Links to episode one and two on video in first few minutes

Thursday, 28 July 2022

Dinghy cruising overnighter to cellars beach on the yealm - episode two

 hope you enjoy it

Lessons learned?

  1. move the halyard tie on point on the yard further up so it is about a third of the way along - hopefully this will allow the sail to pull right up to the mast
  2. move the sprit boom intersection point on the mast far higher
  3. make sure I remember to tie on the parrel beads at the tack - around the mast
  4. crank on the downhaul tension - this may need an upgrade in the block and tackle used 😂
  5. add a parrel bead loop at the bottom of the yard where the throat is to hold it securely against the mast - not so tight that the sail cannot be lowered effectively though 
Out tomorrow with those changes , so it should be interesting to see what happens.

A write up of the latest overnighter to cellars beach will appear on the blog in the net few weeks - watch this space as they say 

Friday, 22 July 2022

Cellars beach on the river Yealm

 Here is episode one of a trilogy about an overnight trip to and from Cellars Beach just inside the mouth of the river Yealm on the south Devon coast.

Monday, 18 July 2022

Cellars beach on the river yealm

 A little teaser of a forthcoming set of videos about a recent trip. Enjoy

Wednesday, 13 July 2022

dinghy cruising on Plymouth Sound - in a Welsford navigator - part three

 here is part three about our little day cruise potter a few weeks ago around Plymouth Sound, when, after living down this way for over thirty years, I finally set foot on Drakes Island for the very first time.

Parts one and two can be found in previous posts during June/July 2022 or on my YouTube channel at

Thursday, 7 July 2022

dinghy cruising - a Welsford navigator pottering on Plymouth Sound - part 2

 Here is the part two video of our day pottering around Plymouth Sound and landing on Drakes Island for the first time ever. Part one can be found in a previous post.