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, 7 January 2011

dreaming about the better weather.......future plans for 2011

I’ve also begun to think about some big voyages for 2011. One I have reported on before. I think at Easter I am going to attempt a sail up the River Tamar as far as Calstock. It is surprising how far up is tidal!

Calstock Viaduct Copyright Transport of delight

I did a blog entry about going up the Lynher and this is still on the agenda (go to )

It’s a lovely cruise up the Tamar, past the dockyard, and then turning west into the Lynher. However, the Calstock cruise carries on under the old Brunel bridge by Saltash and then up past the village of Cargreen.

OS map of Calstock: Copyright Ordnance Survey

 On the eastern bank we pass Weir quay boat yard before turning into the meander. Then it’s up to Cotehele Quay. Cotehele is an old Tudor house with many stories and legends, tapestries, arms and armour, old oak furniture and formally planted terraces and a Valley Garden, which includes a medieval stewpond and dovecote. More importantly, Cotehele Quay is the home of the restored Tamar sailing barge Shamrock.

Shamrock, an old Tamar Barge: Copyright Darren Galpin

There is a lovely video news report about sailing on Shamrock at

The wonderful steep wooded valley of the upper Tamar
Get a map: Ordnance Survey

The Tamar valley is an area of outstanding national beauty and is stunning. I suspect it will take a couple of days and some river bank camping – sounds great doesn’t it? I can tie up between the reeds in the upper reaches, lie back and read a book, listening to the gentle lapping of water and the hiss of boiling water on my beloved trangia stove.....oh yes – I’m almost there now. All it needs to make it extra special is ‘me old Dad’ camping with me. He’d love it!

This link will take you to a BBC film about a boat trip on the Tamar at Calstock. Enjoy!


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