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".

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

just occasionally I get lucky

It doesn't happen very often. Only twice to be fair. Once, a long time ago,  I walked into a MUSTO shop and they had a rack of sallopettes priced at 80% lower than what they should have been. An absolute bargain, seriously rock bottom mis-priced and I bought one pair there and then. The store manager put up all sorts of objections but in the end had to sell me them for that price because legally that was the price on the ticket, even if it were a mistake! I did feel guilty for several days afterwards but with time the guilt has faded. MUSTO have done well out of me over the years! And to be fair - I could have bought all eight pairs mis-priced and resold them on ebay...but I didn't because I felt some ethics were needed somewhere. Two other people behind me got a bargain as well before the correct prices were put on remaining items. I suppose I could have bought the lot, sold them on ebay and donated profits to charity but at the time I didn't think of that.....wish I had.

Anyway, for only the second time, another piece of luck.
 I was very pleasantly surprised to discover a DB action camera 1080HD reduced from around £70 down to £15 on a well known website! I did do a double take several times but I took a punt and it arrived today. And very nice it is too - it isn't a GoPro quality but it will do for what I want. It came with a good array of accessories and the film quality is pretty decent, certainly up there with my SJCam 4000.

So now I have three action cameras and that means I start doing a bit more creative videoing. Very thoughtful Christmas pressies from my parents - gopro clamps and tripods will also help enormously.

 I like videoing. It is my visual diary of the trips I do. I can analyse them for mistakes, of which there are plenty. Good people like Joel and JW occasionally feedback on them with really helpful tips on what is wrong and what I could do to correct things. Some people just criticize them openly without offering any constructive help and hey that is fine too. I still learn.

I intend this year to try and make my videos more professional and thoughtful. I don't have much sailing knowledge to be fair and limited experience in terms of sailing so perhaps I don't have anything useful to say or show. On the other hand, when I started out knowing nothing and basically almost self teaching myself, any video clips from anyone were really useful, inspiring and thought provoking, showing as much what to do as what not to do, if that makes sense.  Some gave me great insights in to areas that I could sail in as I built up my skills, a sort of passage planning tool and insight to go alongside google earth, google maps, charts etc.

I am limited by the software I use - mainly microsoft moviemaker - but it does the job. Occasionally I use GoPro Studio or one or two bits like Imovie on my ipad....but moviemaker is intuitive and I use it a lot as a teacher, so I stick with what I know for now. Eventually when I retire, then I will have more time to play about with something more versatile and complex.

This year I will just focus on trying to get ' a story' for each video clip; perhaps a more defined focus and purpose for a trip. Maybe the sharing of a trip's experiences and what I learned or failed to learn and should have.

The videos on my YouTube channel have always primarily been for me, a visual record of our voyages together, Arwen and me; a place to store them and access them easily from any device. Some people like them, some don't. That's fine.
However, if you like them or think they have any use at all; if you think they can be improved or have any suggestions for video content, remembering my limited sailing knowledge and skill level, then drop me a comment. As always, constructive advice and thoughts are always most welcome and I will try and act upon them.

In the meantime, I will while away a few 'snatched' hours thinking of different camera angles and positions and possible storyboards for this year's sailing trips and videos now made possible by three cameras and some thoughtful Christmas present clamps. 


robert.ditterich said...

I think it is very hard to make good videos of your own adventures- it seems that those lucky people who sail in the company of likeminded small boat sailors make the whole thing more watchable by sharing footage of each other's boat from their own.
You have done so many though, and you have committed so much time to them! And I've seen some lovely bits of Britain's waterways as a consequence.
I always go out with a camera, but nearly always I find myself just enjoying what I'm doing (and if not, trying to have it not go horribly wrong) and I leave the camera untouched. It seem to me most times that being involved in what I'm doing now is more appealing than planning something to watch later. I will try to improve my attitude.
On a different note, you are still unhappy with the set of your main really shouldn't have to spend much time at all setting the main. And I suspect you would be so much happier by having it and the boom converted to a gaff. I reckon Arwen owes you that after all your valiant battles with the lug. My two penneth's worth- hope you don't mind! I love the gaff, it pretty much looks after itself.

steve said...

I tend to just leave cameras running and I agree if you can film from outside the boat much better. I'll stick with lug rig for now. Last t rip out things went better and I am determined to master it, however painful it may be!!!
Happy new year by the way