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".

Sunday, 5 April 2015

It didn't go quite as planned........

Where to start?
Organised, rolled away on time; collected my friend; arrived at ramp, speedy rigging; an awkward moment with outboard where one of the screw tighteners on the bracket jammed and refused to budge. However, we managed to tighten the other one and tied the outboard securely to the bracket. After that, an easy launch at top of tide. All great omens.

No wind. Nothing. Nada. Not a breath!
We pottered out past water taxis and tourist boats accompanying some small seascape yachts and nosed our way around into Jennycliffe Bay. Up went the sails with no problems at all.

Nothing, no movement other than drifting out on the outgoing spring tide. 0.9 knots!
So off we go to Kingsand beach. After all we have a new pulley rig system to play with.

How they must have laughed at Kingsand. As the sun came out and the skies brightened; as temperatures rose, people threw open their balcony doors to survey the scenery......and the muppet on the beach.
All I can say is my friend is a stoic, diplomatic saint!

I am such a muppet!
Firstly I tangled 150' of floating line; seriously tangled it. Floating string has this ability to deliberately tangle itself into multiple knots. My friend patiently sorted it out.

Then I anchored too far off the beach and so the rig didn't reach the shore. So up came the stern anchor....several times.  And then when we did hit the beach.....well how they must have laughed in Kingsand! This time we were too close!!!!

Arwen broached in the waves. Sideways on within seconds with water coming over the stern, the sides, everywhere. In waves barely a foot high! Then because the tide was falling, she beached herself. After 10 frantic, fraught minutes, we managed to heave her off the beach into water and managed to pull her out on the stern anchor. We upped anchor, motored into deeper water and dropped anchor. Several cups of tea and coffee later, nerves were calmed. Sponges came out along with hand pump and the interior was emptied of sloshy water. There was no discussion about a further attempt. Pretty obvious really!

By now the wind had built to a gentle breeze. Up went sails.......and down they came just as quickly. The centreboard was in completely immovable. No amount of knocking downwards with my special pole through the hole I had the good foresight to locate at the back of the centrecase top would shift it.  So we pottered back to the marina. Several cuppas later along with one pole, the top of an anchor and brute force and the centreboard was free. Two pieces of pea sized gravel were the culprits. There are two nasty dents in the aft foil bit of the centreboard. Another job to add to the growing list of things to do at the end of August.

Poor Arwen.
Still, it wasn't a complete write off day. We got a couple of hours sailing during the afternoon. And very pleasant it was too.

Heading towards the breakwater

RFA Fort Victoria on a breakwater mooring

In the afternoon, the sun came out to play

A full jib, what more can you ask for


Rik said...

Allright Steve! Glad to see you on the water. Blue sky, in a boat and good tea... Happy more sailing.

steve said...

Hi Rik
Yep out on the water but not quite as panned
Hopefully out again in a couple of weeks


Stuart said...

It's a universal rule that the number of witnesses to mishaps is in direct proportion to the mishaps' embarrassment level.

We've all been there!

Keep up the blog.


steve said...

Still licking my humiliation wounds Stuart