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".






Monday, 22 December 2014

So cold.....

Well it is minus 20 Celsius and the inside of my nose is freezing as I breath in. I'm north of the arctic circle skiing in Finland. My last time skiing....the knees suffer badly now. I've just done a couple of blue runs and I'm watching my offspring having lessons with a guide. They have made substantial progress in only an hour and a half. He told me I was the worst skier he'd seen in a long time....my balance and technique are non existent. He is of course absolutely right. I taught myself to ski!! He did say it with a smile. He is also a sailor of very big boats 40 m plus! Just rubbing salt into a festering open wound; made worse by the fact that he has just retired, is as fit as a fiddle and makes me feel positively ancient.



The views are spectacular. I'm on a mountain of 514 m above sea level. Russia lies 60 km to the east. Before me is nothing but lakes and forests. A flat plain with a distant set of smaller hills some 30 km away.




The pine trees around me are thickly covered with snow, their boughs almost bending vertical with its weight. Up top the wind has blown snow up against trunks so it has crystallised as a thick ice layer on the downwind side. The side of the small cabin restaurant is barely visible beneath this solid wind blitzed snow layer.


 
The pistes are well groomed; the snow machines operate 24 hrs a day. There is five hours of sunlight....and that is pretty weak. You don't need tinted goggles and sunglasses make you blind!! Reindeer amble across the pistes... A serious health hazard! They plod and amble with no sense of danger from skiers. The pistes are uncrowded. Often you get entire stretches to yourself! Wonderful. 
No lift queues, seats at piste side cafes readily available......the alps look less appealing every time I visit winter Scandinavia.

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