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".

Saturday, 23 July 2016

speechless and that's a first!

It is rare I am speechless but it happened today. My speechlessness lasted only for thirty seconds and please don't think that I am a naturally gobby geezer....I'm not truly......but something happened off the western end of the breakwater this afternoon which genuinely left me stunned.

Picture the scene - an outgoing tide, a westerly breeze around 9 knots and rather lumpy waves as the sound empties. Arwen is running downwind surfing wave fronts. Space all around her but with a large 40 footer closing from astern on a very slight diagonal passage off my port stern quarter. She was huge with a massive grey/black spinnaker but she was a good 400m astern.

And then this voice suddenly says 'move over I have right of way I'm on starboard tack'.
She dwarfs me and she is five feet off my port stern quarter. She slides alongside stealing my wind completely. Five feet - I could have touched her hull sides. He tells me to move which of course I can't because he has stolen the wind!

Unbelievable! Surely the boat astern must keep clear as the overtaking boat. And he was to windward as well so surely he should have kept clear on that one and given he was going downwind directly he really couldn't have been on a starboard tack. Plenty of room and he deliberately chose to close on me and then tell me off.

Speechless. Absolutely speechless. I did point all this out to him but he appeared very sniffy!

Anyway, a few pictures of the day......

Arwen's new halyard bags made by her in action. The cockpit is so much tidier!

A happy skipper

Running along Jennycliffe Bay on the eastern side of the sound

Lots of boats out today. Plymouth Long-room warned all big ships inbound that the sound was busy

Passing the big naval mooring boys. In the distance is RFA Wave Ruler


Glenn said...

Racing mentality. It's hard to cure them without a whiff of grape.

steve said...

Yeah he was dressed like a racer.......I don't race. I don't have anything against racers but my experience of being caught up in races by accident is not a good one.......somewhat aggressive, intolerant, and thinking they own the water......on the other hand finding a guy out for a gentle cruise in their way is like us running across a car on a country lane being driven at 25mph!!!! So I'll cut them some slack I guess 😊

Joel Bergen said...

I've had the same thing happen to me. Some sailors only bother to learn the Starboard Tack rule, and never learn the rest of them. You had the right of way. An overtaking boat must always keep clear regardless of who is on starboard tack.

steve said...

I think what shook me was the speed at which he closed and the silence. I heard nothing! He closed over 700m in minutes and without any sound. I also just don't understand why he did it. We had clear water all around us for at least 600m either side of me. It was as if he deliberately homed in on me just for the fun of it.
Like the new tent design by the way. You and family well?

Joel Bergen said...

Hi Steve,
Thanks, the tent is working very well. Only one or two small improvements and it'll be perfect.
The family and I are doing great. My oldest daughter has a baby girl due in a few weeks. Our second grandchild.
Also, I'll be retired the end of the year! SWMBO and I will be doing some traveling and I plan on doing much more sailing. I may even have enough time to update my blog more often!
Take care.

steve said...

Well congratulations all round. Retirement, well earned and well done! Enjoy it. I think mine is now a glimpse on the horizon, it's like watching the sun rise. Three more years and I can go part time and then perhaps two years of that and I will be there. Travelling is what is on our agenda as well.
Really good to hear things are well
Take care. Wish your daughter well
Good to hear from you