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.
Arwen has a YouTube channel of her own. Search "plymouthwelshboy".

Saturday, 8 March 2014

at long last......its been a long time coming

I managed to get out on the water today. I have been so desperate to get some 'down and alone' time. it has been manic at school and is cranking up to major exam season.

Nice to see Arwen on the water - the first sail of 2014
Sailing under jib and mizzen only; very well balanced
Today was perfect weather.....sunny and quite some breeze, around 15 knots with some gusts up to 20. I sailed out to Cawsand bay and back again; just a short 1.5 hr sail to blow the cobwebs away.

She's looking a little worn. This will be the last season before a major refit and repaint

My Christmas present from my Mother-in-law
Brilliant, single handed flask and it worked really well
Thank Mother

Arwen and I sailed under jib and mizzen; with a locked off tiller. So all the steering was by mizzen and jib sheets release or tensioning........and it worked. I haven't mastered tacking yet but gybing is no problem.

The new additions made over winter from offcut scraps
above: the hand held compass bin....and below......the binocular bin. Need to get a new lens cap though!

Arwen sails well under under jib and mizzen. Seas were rolling as it was wave against tide; an outgoing tide and strong onshore southerly winds.

Fort Picklecombe...I wonder how residents fared over the winter storms?

My beloved Plymouth Hoe complete with Smeaton's tower and the Plymouth Lifeboat

I learned lots today. A good mornings work. Getting a feel for steering by sails alone is a crucial skill especially in rolling seas.

My first ever 'selfie' - how sad
New lifejacket much more comfortable and carries everything I need without being over bulky. I think it will prove to be a good investment

Approaching home, passing the cardinal mark

All safely tied up
Much learned
I'm already looking forward to the next sail; now I have had my down time, the next one will hopefully be with my friend Dave. Perhaps with his boat Notelet too. Now that will be a good day out. 


Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Well done! Jealous as hell... 2 months 'til I go in... :o)

steve said...

Your turn will come!


Joel Bergen said...

Thanks for that, Steve. I think I needed that as much as you did. It's been constant rain here for I don't even know how long now.
I was just looking at the area in Google Maps. I think if I were there I would not be able to resist the urge to beach Ellie on that lovely sandy beach on the NW shore of Drake's Island and take a quick look around. I don't know how much trouble I'd be in if I got caught, but it looks like it would be worth it. :-) We have some similar places with old gun emplacements that have been made into parks. Hugely popular.

steve said...

Hey Joel
How you doing/ sorry to hear about weather - we have had three months of it as you will have seen from previous posts; we are still cut off from rest of country via rail although they have made astonishing progress on rebuilding the seawall and laying new track at Dawlish in south Devon. farmers on the peat levels in Somerset along with al the villages there are in an awful state, only just now getting back into their flooded homes after six - ten weeks out of them; utter devastation and raw sewage sludge everywhere across homes, and landscape.

the beach you talk of is a private one and the police will soon be around in their ribs. no one lands on it. We are short on beaches inside the sound which are landable and that is the only sandy one.
if you go west from the western end of Drakes island and slightly north - on the shoreline you will find one or two gun emplacements - and like you they have been turned into country parks.


Andrew McKenzie said...

Hi Steve,
I have been following your blog for a while now and have been a avid fan of the Navigator since first reading about them some four years ago. I'm pleased to say as of next weekend I will have my own Navigator to sail around the Islands of Moreton Bay in sunny Queensland. Your blog has inspired me so I'm going to start my own and hopefully inspire others as you have done. We both seem to have similar professions but I unfortunately have lacked the time and confidence to build a Navigator so have opted to take the easier option of getting in front of the helm by purchasing one that has had some history as the boat Dave M has restored. Keep inspiring sailors and I look forward to reading your postings from the UK.
Andrew M Brisbane, Australia

steve said...

Hi Andrew
Another navigator blog is a good thing. There is Joel's, mine and robert's; Wayne does a good one as well. The four of them inspire me every time they post. Hey are all excellent sailors with lovely boats. Aren and I muddle along nicely. She is creaky, worn and much loved. Her skipper is worn, creaky and only just learning how to sail. He's only survived because his seaworthy boat looks after him so ell and is patient and orgiving of his mistakes and inexperience.
Have fun on your first sail. Send me a link to you new blog and stay in touch. One of he amazing things about the www is he friendships you create electronically wih people who share the same passions


Joel Bergen said...

Hi Andrew,
It's great to hear you'll be taking ownership of Sea Minor and that you'll be starting a new blog. Seems like we haven't heard much news from the Navigator sailors down under lately, so I am looking forward to your blog very much. Although Steve and I live nearly have a world apart, we share the same weather. It'll be great to read of your adventures when we're socked in by rain. Welcome aboard! -Joel

steve said...

Don't speak too soon - we have had lovely weather the last few days.....a high is over the UK

I'm struggling to remember when that last happened!