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, 4 December 2014

Becoming a techy geek

When 'her indoors' allowed me to have a new Xperia Z1 compact, I thought 'ah ha!' Time for some new sailing apps. Now the big advantage of the phone is that it is waterproof. Some charts would be I downloaded 'marine navigator' and then visited 'visitmyharbour' 

Here, I purchased a complete set of UK charts for under £15. Their clarity, level of detail and accuracy are outstanding. The app/charts allow COG, SOG, compass direction, waypoint marking, route planning and more. I haven't yet had a chance to test in Arwen out in the sound yet but I'm looking forward to doing so. 

Another fun app with a serious use is 'marine traffic'. This uses google maps and tracks every vessel offshore. Click on the boat icon and up comes its course, speed, track, a photo of it and vessel details. So cool! As I write now, nine fishing vessels, line astern are passing down the eastern side of he sound, heading for the Cattedown. The sailing vessel 'one sail' is heading across from Weymouth and is just passing through Wembury Bay, closing on the sound. 

With an anchor watch app as well I think I have enough to be getting for the time being!


Rik said...

Thanks for the nice tips Steve. Very helpful stuff.

Steve said...

Hi Steve,
Been reading your blog - I also sail a Navigator, and have a Z1 phone as well ! Please put it in a waterproof pouch, I have destroyed 2 Z1's (mine and my wifes) when we took some water over the side deck and the bag the phones were in sat in the salt water for a bit. The manual says avoid sea water and "do not expose to moisture" so you can be assured that any warranty claim will fall on deaf ears. Have a good New Year and good sailing - Steve Mellet from Cape Town.

steve said...

steve, thanks for the advice. a good cautious note; nothing stays dry or waterproof whatever the instructions say!!

hope you had a lovely Christmas and happy new year to you