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

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Our first big caravan adventure

We were late departing. Getting the hang of the Alco wheel lock has baffled me; no matter how hard I try, getting the locking mechanisms aligned takes me an age. Which, I guess, is the point. We are getting quicker at putting on front cover, using the motor mover and hitching up though. Nose weight gauge used and load redistributed, we left 45 minutes after arriving. We aim to get it down to 30mins max.

Of course, the delay was also due to the fact that every time I cross the Tamar bridge I need to find a loo for a pee. I know, ridiculous, but true. What is it about entering Cornwall that makes me need a loo immediately we enter the Saltash tunnel?

Cut a long story short, we managed to reach the A30 heading for Exeter and there lies another point. Which is the quicker route – back to the A38, over the bridge and up to Exeter? Or up to Launceston and then onto the A30? Either way, another loo stop needed at Exeter Services and for the first time, with caravan behind, we had to pull in to the lorry park. A novel experience!

Our destination? Our first big caravan trip to Hordle in the New Forest and a lovely little site ‘The Dragonfly Stables’. A warm welcome from the owner’s daughter and before we knew it, the caravan was on the field, levelled up, the kettle on and we were admiring the horses and the countryside views.

We can recommend Mr Pink’s ‘Fish and chip shop’ at Milford on Sea. Down on the sea front, watching the setting sun and the pink streaks across the sky with odd grey clouds scudding overhead, we ate our chips and watched anglers with bright head torches hurling their baited rigs seawards. Good luck to them too. Let’s hope they didn’t suffer the misfortune that one of our anglers suffered yesterday. Posing for a photo with a 6” sole poised over his open mouth for the obligatory photo……the sole slipped out of his hands, down his throat and caused him to choke and then have a cardiac arrest. The paramedics described it as the most bizarre case they had ever attended in their thirty years of duty! And yes it is a true story which made our national press and news on Friday 13th!!

No comments: