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, 15 February 2018

onwards and upwards......a busy week

It has been a busy week. On the work bench now finished - clean up of an old seagull outboard; the sleeping platform and mast supports sanded and Danish oiled. I'm about to disappear in to the garage to finish the sort out of Arwen's equipment. I assembled the runners on the anchor buckets last night and reassembled anchor chain and warps, mousing (? - I think that is the right term) all shackles with cable ties.

I've sorted through toolkits and refined them slightly and reduced the number of spares I carry. I have to put in a new cleat when it stops raining, if that ever happens!

Rudder has been repainted and assembled. Mast refurbished, so only spars now to go and in main they just need a few holes filled and sanded, where I have moved hardware about. Outboard needs a quick service and I am thinking of doing that myself if I can find any information on the internet about how to do it.

On a different note, I have been doing lots in the garden over the last week. We have the upper garden on very steep slopes and it is ancient oak woodland. I allowed it to become neglected and overgrown so this week I cleared 2m high 4cm thick brambles and lots of bracken. I felled 16 small, stringy ash saplings to give more light. and did some hedge coppicing with old out of control hazel bushes and trees. The result? Well this morning we woke to discover fallow deer in the upper garden grazing young shoots. It is so nice to have the deer back in the garden after an eight year absence; along with a fox who is starting to stroll through on a more regular basis; as bold as brass he comes down to sit on the veg boxes so he can stare in the kitchen to see what we are up to - cheeky mite!

Found the long lost steps

Fair to say old Wendy house has had it

Hedge felling 

Found the old tree house but will be taking it down now and reusing the wood for new raised beds for lavender plants

Thinned out spindly saplings and cleared the brambles. 

Ready for chopping in to logs although an old work colleague suggested building a KON TIKI 2

So, some saplings to cut into firewood logs tomorrow; a scheduled rescuing of the cherry tree from ivy and buddleia overgrowth; reducing hedge height and thinning it out between us and neighbour and then the tree surgeon coming back to thin out and lop some of the trees to allow more light back in. Our aim - restoration to full bluebell woodland which is what it was many years ago. It is part of an ancient woodland corridor and nature reserve area so this management will help enormously.

Busy, busy, busy and hopefully some sailing and testing of the new galley box in the next month or so. In the meantime, some more walking on Dartmoor, this time a very pleasant walk with friends up to the ancient Wistman's wood


Enrico said...

Lovely wood works, preparing for springtime!

steve said...

Morning Enrico. I was more surprised everything fitted. Discovered rot in the motor transom bracket and so that has needed some severe cutting out. Will need to make and fit new pieces. At least I found it 😱 now rather than out on water