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

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Happy New Year

Well, New Year's Eve and we sit here planning our travelling for 2018. Atlases, maps and newspaper and magazine articles are strewn across the floor; some intense negotiation is ensuing.  Do we do separate trips or get a round the world ticket and do the far east first - Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, China, Japan, New Zealand and Australia? Or do we head west and do western USA, Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Chile and Argentina?
And what about Iceland? Botswana and Zimbabwe? and what about doing VSO and volunteering for a teaching charity or two abroad for a spell?
Then we need to tour the UK and soooo many places to visit throughout Europe?

Big topic of discussion - have we retired early or are we taking a two year 'gap year' and then going back and getting part-time pay off the travelling mortgage??
Perhaps I ought to do some supply teaching first and build up a pot of travel money, not that this option seems to have been forthcoming thus far, sadly.

So many friends to catch up with - walking, caravanning as well.
In the meantime I have this urge to walk the Dolomites or Pyrenees; no idea why....but why not! Life is short and as far as I know thus far, we only get one time on this planet.  One last hurrah at altitude!

Charity work is important and in 2018 I want to give something back since I was never able to whilst teaching; volunteering for some sailing youth charities and for Age Concern. I may even explore an Open university Course

In the meantime, maintenance on Arwen, which is what the purpose of this blog today was about, continues. The mast rigging has been reassembled; the boomkin cleaned up and boomkin block cleaned. Frayed rope ends have been whipped and secured.

Apart from making sleeping platforms and sorting out anchor buckets, all that remains now is the difficult job......finding a period of time when I can sand interior and exterior of Arwen and repaint her.

So, as the evening progresses, it only remains to say thank you to you all. Thank you for following the blog; for dropping the odd message or comment; the constructive advice and tips. Thank you for supporting my YouTube channel and putting up with the bad as well as the good. Thank you for answering all the dumb questions.

To my Facebook friends, thanks for friending me; thanks for checking in on me as I start retirement; I miss you all and have appreciated all your support and insights in to your wonderful lives.

I wish all of you and your family and friends a really happy new year. May 2018 bring you joy, happiness, success and adventure; may it bring you a sensible work life balance and achievement of your dreams, aspirations and goals in life.

Have a wonderful evening. If you are in the far east - I hope last night was great fun and welcome to 2018.



Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Happy New Year and fair winds for the coming season..!

steve said...

same to you as well steve

Bursledon Blogger said...

Hapy New Year - look forward to reading the 2018 travelogue

steve said...

Hi Max, sorry for the tardy reply. have been rushing around everywhere over Christmas. happy New year and I hope your Christmas break and festivities went well and that family are all well as well.

Anonymous said...

Belated happy new year. someone with arthritis coming on fast at 54 (the joys of Ehlers Danlos syndrome are never ending) I say get out there and do the walking while you can.
I’m dreaming of a knee replacement (maybe March but who know now the shitty govt have stuffed the nhs) and then - if my body allows - buying a Drascombe Scaffie or building a CLC Skerry to sit on a mooring on the Dart at Stoke Gabriel. I’d love to build a Skerry but would rather be out sailing than looking at a boat I can’t finish.
All the best for the new year.

Graham A

steve said...

Graham, belated happy new year back. get the knee done, buy the boat and then get sailing on the is too short and all that. Sounds like the new year resolutions for 2018 are already made my friend.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that!
Moving in two weeks within a mile of the Dart; downsizing so we have some cash at last - my wife’s agreed to the boat. Daughters keen to start sailing so all systems go after knee op.
Scaffie is first choice but plenty of similar boats to consider if price is right.

All the best.

steve said...

knew someone who ha a scaffie. he loved it but upgraded to something slightly bigger s I recall.

Anonymous said...

Scaffies are a decent size for one, have an unstayed mast, a simple rig, a motor well and don’t have a centreboard tunnel so are easy to move around. Looks like they row/scull reasonably easily as well. They are solidly built to sit on a drying mooring without loads of winter maintenance (I would rather leave it on the river so I can sail all year round) and the moorings are priced per metre so size really matters!
There aren’t many about but they are always reasonably priced when they do come up for sale.
The only bad thing I've read about them is that they are hard to sleep on board and rig a tent but that’s not my aim anyway. I will be more than happy to be able to explore the Dart and the coast nearby with the occasional trailer to Mount Batten.

There are other options like a Character Boats Post boat or a Lune Pilot. The Lune Pilot is a definite possibility as there are more around and they are another simple, solid boat but with more rigging to deal with.

Any other suggestions?



steve said...

Hi Graham - sorry about late reply - my blog for some obscure reason now wont notify me when people post a comment - irritating - i'm not really up to date on boats but I have a friend who had a post boat - same dimensions as Arwen but much heavier and solid due to lead filled keel. also didnt have centreboard so made it far roomier inside. I liked it, gaff rigged but heavy to move about and huge rudder board.