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, 9 August 2014

Night time in the great outdoors

Another first for Arwen and I. We are lying at anchor under a star strewn sky. The church bells a way up river at St. Germans have just chimed three am. As the tide crept in and Arwen re floated I hauled her off into deeper water and returned to the enclosing warmth of my down sleeping bag. And now I look up at the sky, Arwens masts are blacker silhouettes against the twinkling stars. Some stars pulsate. Others merely twinkle. Some shoot across the sky at incalculable speeds to die in a burst of light and spectacular glory. Satellites pass overhead and the great plough constellation sinks down low behind the trees as our planet revolves. The infinite universe revolves around my head, a never ending kaleidoscope of colours and I snuggle down in my cocoon. In the distance oystercatchers are waking, signalling the start of another dawn.

Arwen sits comfortably in the flow. barely a bob. Water gurgles and trickles by; she swings ever soooo slowly. The occasional small branch bounces against the hull with a dull thud. As the sky lightens in the east, features emerge from the night time gloom; the creases in the bark of gnarly old oak trees overhanging the banks; the frilly edges of dried out bladderwrack seaweed; herons emerge from under the bank trees and start to plod ponderously along the waters edge, suddenly freezing with an intent downward looking pose.

A mist is rising off the river. having retrieved one of the hull supporting fenders from the water I was pleasantly surprised to find how warm the water was; tepid bathwater like; which, of course, would explain the mists. They rise a few feet draping over the river, ethereal. I'm almost expecting a delicate female hand to emerge from the river holding a sword!

As the sky lightens before the sun comes up, I busy myself clearing away sleeping equipment and organising Arwen for an early departure. I have enough water under me until around 6am. There is no wind whatsoever. It is perfectly still. Not a rustle of a motoring will be the order of the day.  I have to be back at QAB before 10.00am. After that there is insufficient water to get Arwen out until around 2pm by which time the weather predicts intensive heavy showers. And a weekend of 'Bertha' after effects; the waning hurricane from East Coast USA is crossing the pond and lining herself up nicely with south west England!

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