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

Thursday, 7 August 2014

A beach to myself

I am sat in a little hollow indentation in the bank at the top of a stony beach. Ahead of me is a tranquil vista. Arwen has grounded on the beach, two large white fenders beneath her to keep her upright. Behind her lies the river, flowing slowly out to sea. Black headed terns skim low across the water as they head downriver. An olive green colour, the river sparkles in the evening sun. I'm facing west, soaking up its last rays as it starts to descend behind the hills in front if me.  Steep and heavily wooded, the high pitched cry of buzzard chicks pierces the quiet. Somewhere in the wood opposite are some very hungry offspring. Their cries are only drowned out by the whistles of oystercatchers on the marshland immediately behind me.

Dandelion seeds float past my view carried on the gentle evening breeze. The light wind ruffles the water surface causing it to sparkle, glittering dancing diamonds. The tell tale v shapes out in mid channel give away the presence of bass. At the surface catching errant flies that skim too close, or the sudden frantic flurry of water as small fry make a desperate leap for freedom from the sleek silvery killing machines. Clever fish are bass. I have just spent ten minutes watching one herd small fry into the beach. Trapped between clumps of seaweed on an ever decreasing tide, the small fry lost the battle. That greedy old bass almost beached himself in his attempts to feed. Only huge flicks of his tail got him out of his predicament. Pity.....for a few minutes I thought bass might be on the menu tonight. It would have been most fortuitous......given I have a rod, line, assorted lures..........but no reel. I remember where I put it in the garage.....and I remember making a mental note to go and retrieve it having loaded up the outboard.......alas senility is catching up with me.  Typical, shoals of hungry bass in casting distance and...........words truly fail me!



Paul Mullings said...

No Steve words didn't fail painted a beautiful picture with them, it's sure sounds like a wonderful spot

steve said...

Thanks Paul. The blog has always been an on-line diary; my log so to speak; I am a clumsy writer with no sense of audience; I merely write for myself but on-line and if others find enjoyment in my words then that is a wonderful bonus. I would love to be able to write in the way that some of the Dinghy Cruising Association members do in their journal......very detailed, informed, evocative, with the sense of adventure that they inspire. But hey Ho - there we go. I'm glad you enjoyed it and thank you for the kind words. Hopefully, the more I write, the better I may become.