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

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 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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