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".

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Having a micro adventure.....or not?

Alastair Humphreys – Adventurer, author and motivational speaker – is accredited with devising the concept of a ‘micro Adventure’
A ‘Micro Adventure’ is a simple idea. It is about taking an opportunity close to home and around us to get out into the wild; to go and appreciate the beauty close by.  A Micro Adventure has to be invigorating and enjoyable but not expensive – cheap – is the key word here. It must not require a huge amount of pre planning and preparation; nor should it require huge amounts of fitness of the part of those participating in it.
Micro Adventures are about discovering new places in your own backyard; finding new experiences not tried before or once upon done but long forgotten.  A Micro adventure should stretch you physically, mentally or culturally. You should push yourself hard and do the activity adventure to the best of your ability.
Basically a micro adventure is the spirit of a huge big adventure crammed into a weekend or midweek.
So did my two day jaunt up the Tamar count as a micro Adventure?
Well I think partially so.  I did go somewhere different and never explored before and it was right on my back doorstep so to speak. 
 I did try something that was mentally challenging – I didn’t know what to expect. It’s the first time I have navigated Arwen so far up a river. I was getting outside of my normal comfort zone (big wide open expanses of sea not narrow meandering channels). 
I was certainly enthusiastic about the adventure; I think it was reasonably ambitious as a first foray into dinghy cruising in upper river sections; I was certainly very curious to find out what the area was like, what things I would need to take into account for when I next go up the Tamar – sailing as far as possible.

Alistair Humphreys gives micro adventure examples as 'climbing a nearby hill'; 'sleeping under the stars in a local wood'; 'jumping into a river for a wild swim'; 'sleeping out on the moors around a camp fire toasting marshmallows'…… does camping under a new self-designed dinghy tent count?

I could have been far more ambitious and ought to have been. I will be significantly outside my comfort zone, for example, when I don’t actually spend an overnight at a mooring but rather on an anchor! Steve Early style so to speak (Log of Spartina) – he is definitely a Micro Adventure man in my eyes!  Just about everyone bar me in the Dinghy Cruising Association – yep – I think they are all micro adventure men and women
And yet I may be too hard on myself.  One of the aims of a micro adventure is to get a fresh perspective; time to think; time away from the pressures and constraints of work and other social expectations. I think my foray up the Tamar allowed me to do that although, again, I add a caveat that I did mine towards the end of my week holiday. The real proof of the pudding will be when I go off on Friday evening and don’t return until Sunday afternoon during a normal teaching/working week.
Um! I really don’t feel quite brave enough to do that just yet…….what if I got Arwen stuck on a mudflat and didn’t make it back into school for a Monday? Ouch…..the social stigma! 
So maybe I’m a closeted micro adventurer just beginning to take baby steps!

“We are defined by our ‘9-to-5’: but what about our ‘5-to-9’?

Alistair Humphreys

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