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

Tuesday 20 June 2017

The Xiro Xplorer Mini drone - unboxing

New toy - possible retirement present. For travel voggling.....well that's what I tell  myself. 

A portable 'selfie' drone. Never flown a drone before - this should be very funny!!

First impressions - angry looking cyloptic wasp!

Packaging - so irritating - the wastage - must be better ways?

Portable - will fit in backpack. Can be carried on in 'carry on - hand luggage' on plane (I checked!!)

Don't go a bundle on colour but it is pretty rigid and will do the 'protecting' job

Well designed - drone will fit snuggly and be well protected. Space for little screw driver but not spare battery. I carry this kind of battery in a fire proof bag anyway so it isn't a problem

Came with two batteries but getting spares is proving to be a nightmare. Despite all their literature promising excellent service with service centres across the globe, plus all their support videos 'Just get in touch with us' - it took ten emails and harassing them on Facebook before I got a reply to be told they won't do spares for the mini drone - despite all their literature hinting otherwise. frankly, very poor form and manipulative....a pity it has had such excellent reviews but clearly all the reviewers never look at issues like obtaining spares. Lesson learned!! And their XIRO customer service thus far has been, to say the least, poor! 

Another minor irritation is that the battery takes an hour to charge, which is pretty good, for a drone of this type; the 12 minutes flight time is pretty good as well but the irritation is the fact that it has to be a wall charger and there doesn't seem to be any provision for in car charging, or charging from a laptop or a mobile/tablet battery pack like my solar power monkey expedition. Hmm! Who are these designers - have they no understanding of peoples' needs? How hard is it to provide a battery that can be charged in multiple ways?

Well - maybe. All the reviews and YouTube video reviews were pretty positive and all we want is to be able to do some aerial shots and selfie shots and some closing in and flying away scenery watch this space.

in the meantime if anyone knows where they sell spare blades and batteries - please, please let me know!
Get your act together - start sourcing spares for the mini again!
Or change your literature to be less misleading!

Thank you.

Monday 19 June 2017

Getting to grips with technology

testing the 'follow me' programme on the drone.........

Saturday 17 June 2017

Test flight three

number one son enjoyed it! I had to 'extract' the mobile from his hands. Worryingly, he picked up the flight basics within a minute or two. So I think I will need to hide this drone away when he is around!!!!


creating an introduction for my Youtube videos

I am trying to improve my YouTube channel; no idea why - just feel the need to!
There has been new channel art; new social media contact buttons and now I am playing about with channel branding. One possibility is to play the same intro clip or a slight variant on it at start of every is my first effort using the most basic of video editing software, and actually my favourite, moviemaker.

Drop me a comment and let me know what you think if you feel inclined. As always, constructive feedback always welcome.