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 an associated YouTube channel so visit to find our most recent cruises together.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Here is the last in the series on the slow passage to the river Yealm and back again. Over the next month or so I hope to do a couple of longer trips involving a few days. Several destinations have popped up – sailing down to Fowey and up to Lostwithiel; sailing over to Salcombe and up to Kingsbridge and one or two other creek heads; heading back down to Falmouth and sailing around to the Helford river and up to Gweek etc. Also pulling my interest is sailing up the Tamar above Calstock, up to Morwellham or beyond. And then there are one or two Dinghy Cruising Association rallies as well. 

In the meantime………………………
What did I learn on my slow passage to the river Yealm and back again?
1.       Look before you leap off the boat and remember it is always deeper than it looks!
2.       Have some time calculations for each leg of your passage plan that go at a knot or two below what you anticipate!
3.       Don’t religiously follow the planned route – sail for speed not shortest distance and when necessary, divert to get the best speed and winds
4.       Spend a little more time using the anchor buddy to get more familiar with it and the distance you need to drop it off the beach for it to work effectively
5.       Make sure you switch off your microphone when you don’t need it
6.       Make sure you switch your microphone on when talking to camera!!
7.       Don’t accidently put your drink bottle in with your electronics bag!
8.       Mark your position on the chart when doing your passage plan timing checks – hove to if necessary for a few minutes
9.       Clip your anchor back into its securely stowed position before sailing off after your beach stop
10.   Spend some of the trip changing course using just sails

What other things do I need to do on Arwen before her next voyage further afield?

1.       Put in reefing lines before longer voyage
2.       Repair the brass step on the transom which broke free
3.       Consider installing taped jackstays (with shackles stitched in at each end) for longer voyages so I can clip myself to them for easy movement around boat
4.       Put locks on the two centre thwart lockers
5.       Alter the tiller tamer – I have the rope going through the eye in the wrong direction and it occasionally binds
6.       Get an outboard lock, for the longer trips away
7.       Paint a ding on the starboard side which has gone to bare wood
8.       Sort out mizzen topping lift
9.       Get star washers and refit the port rear trailer roller which has come loose
10.   Give some consideration to whether I also get a PLB – I have the SPOT messenger which sends regular texts to various family members saying I am Ok and also allows them to track where I am. Whilst it also has an SOS button which alerts the rescue centre in USA (and gives them direction instructions to contact Falmouth Coastguard with my co-ordinates – since pressing that button means I am in deep trouble), I wonder whether I should carry one of the other PLB types which immediately alerts UK rescue authorities – something to ponder over further.

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