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".

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

A lazy morning on the water

Sometimes pottering about is just fun isn't it? No fixed plans, no agendas, no places to what you want; go where you want......wonderful.

The sun shone and the breeze built through the morning. I had the sound pretty much to myself. We launched at 9.45 as the tide was falling and it wasn't without slight drama. The newly serviced outboard kept stalling and I had to turn and row back to the pontoon through the narrow 'canal'.
Of course it was my own fault as usual. Note to self, next time turn the fuel tap on! Nuff said on that matter one feels!

Out in Jennycliffe Bay, floaty platform got tested again in less chop. You see what you think about it in the video below. I have devised some weights to attach for next time to try and stabilize it further. Once, the fuel tap debacle had been sorted, my Tohatsu four stroke positively purred and the new raised position allowed it to push Arwen along far quicker at lower revs.

After a hour or so of fun with floaty platform, some time was spent sailing up and down to mooring buoys. I deliberately chose a set just behind Drakes island and down from the mouth of the Tamar river. Here it was a WNW wind against an incoming 5m tide with some gusts being channeled down the river mouth. It took time but eventually we managed to master picking up the buoy using only the head sail. It was quite fun sailing past the buoys into the wind, luffing up, dropping the main and then using only the jib and furler to find our way back down wind. It was also quite a work out raising and dropping sails for thirty minutes. We didn't quite master sailing up on a close reach under jib, main and mizzen. Too many sails for a start!

HMS Ocean steamed about in Cawsand Bay. Apache helicopters, bristling with weapon pods, buzzed about overhead; in various formations they hunted each other and then did landings and take off's on the aft deck of Ocean. Princess Yachts tested their speedboats and floating gin palaces out in the sound. Three cornish shrimpers sailed up the west Mt Edgecumbe coastline and disappeared into Cawsand Bay.  Charter fishing boats came and went, not with very many customers on aft decks, it must be said.

After lunch tied up at the buoy admiring the deserted fort and houses on the island, under jib and mizzen, driven from behind by the westerly breeze, we sailed up the Cattedown and into the River Plym. Past the Hoe and its hotels, fun fair, marine laboratories and Citadel; past the entrance to Sutton Pool, the wharves with their fuel storage tanks and quays for loading English China Clay and tungsten; past the Mountbatten breakwater, watersports centre and old Sunderland flying boat aircraft hangers, now converted to boat building and repair shops. Fuel tankers and fertilizer boats tied up on port side and the new Princess yachts storage pontoons on the starboard side. A restored RAF rescue boat hove into view opposite the new Yacht Haven Drystack boat hanger. Its a long time since I had sailed up the Plym to Oreston. It was rather fun and interesting to see all the new housing developments.

All in all, rather a nice lazy morning out on the water. 


Bursledon Blogger said...

Steve, seems like a pretty perfect day on the water, I did something similar on Tosh our Cornish Cormorant on Good Friday, but I have to say you have the better sailing area,

steve said...

Hey Max
How you doing?
Don't know about you but I sooooo needed to get out on the water......been a long term!

Bursledon Blogger said...

Steve for sure it's been a way too long winter, I managed to get out rowing a very few times,but Good Friday was my first sail of the season,

steve said...

I plan on doing some serious sailing this summer. No idea where but some serious sailing!