A blog about sailing a John Welsford
'Navigator' yawl around Plymouth Sound
in South-west England
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 www.youTube.com/c/plymouthwelshboy to find our most recent cruises together.
so I missed the dolphins yesterday. I searched all day for them sailing all around the sound. My son took great delight in announcing when I got home that the tourist boats had had a field day looking at the dolphin today in the mouth of the Tamar. I was there! Just not there when the dolphin were. Crafty critters!
This morning dawned minus 1C with iced cars and drive. The car parked opposite the drive hasn't been here for weeks and so I didn't take the boat off the drive yesterday. Yep, it returned late last night and didn't depart this morning until 11 am by which time I had missed the tides at the launch ramp. There is no chance of getting the boat off the drive if a car parks opposite anyway.
And to add to the frustration? Today there was a pod of ten common grey dolphin in the sound entertaining the lunch time crowds on the Hoe.
Right place, wrong time, as always!!
As I said, frustrating. Sooo frustrating!
Needless to say, the boat is off the drive ready for tomorrow. Lets hope the dolphin have decided to stay an extra day!
Hopefully tomorrow, the dreaded crease will be a thing of the past
With winds directly out of the north, sailing the Kingsbridge estuary is a pointless exercise so tomorrow is a sail around Plymouth Sound day. The intention is to sail from QAB over to Cawsand, stop off on the beach for a bacon sarnie and then sail up to Barn Pool and stop off the beach for a quick cuppa and then a return to QAB. A possible diversion might be up the Plym but that depends on what mood I am in.
Looking forward to the first sail of 2019. It will be chilly but fun
HT around 0730 5.05m LT around 1350 1.2m
winds force 4 decreasing to less than force 3 around 8 kts gusting to 12kts. Sea state slight, visibility good.
The trouble with winter camp cruising isn't the weather I have concluded but the issue of sunrise and sunset. Of course, I could be wrong on this! However, this weekend typifies what I mean.
The winds on Sunday and Monday will be pleasant so no huge gusts and no wind chill to contend with. I'd like to sail from Batson Creek up to Kingsbridge and overnight there before sailing back down and around the outer estuary on the Monday. Tides will be 18.22 and 4.9m on Sunday evening and 0645 and 4.9m on Monday morning. Kingsbridge is accessible around 2 hrs either side of high water on this tide height. Or so I have been told by locals today.
It starts getting dark around 16.30 and I would have around 2 or 3 miles of sailing to do to get up to Kingsbridge from the Frogmore creek entrance.
Ho hum. Do I risk it? I could motor the last section if need be under a white nav light on the mast. The little marina basin at Kingsbridge is well lit so I wouldn't have problems putting up the tent.
On the Monday morning, I'd have to collapse the tent in the dark and then motor down rapidly to the deeper water before the tide drains out. This would have to be under a white nav light again.
Alternatively I could wait for an early afternoon high tide, a week later and sail then?
Phew, tough decisions this winter sailing lark!
In the meantime, a stroll over Snapes Point afforded some photo opportunities with the new camera and my DJ Spark Drone.
Looking across to Salcombe and along to the Batson Creek fish quayside
Looking back up Batson Creek as the tide starts to flood
Salcombe on a gloomy January afternoon
Calm has returned as the population falls from its summer peak of 20,000 to its winter number of around 1500 permanent residents
So many conversions and new builds
The passenger ferry continues to ply its way across the fairway
The entrance to South Pool Creek, one of my 'planned' future trips
The 'Bag' area
Serenity, all the visiting yachts from summer have melted away
The entrance to Frogmore Creek with the Salt Stone mid channel on the left
A welshman displaced to wonderful Plymouth in SW England; a novice sailor and boat builder with a passion for all things to do with the sea. My learning curve is vertical....but hey that's what makes life interesting isn't it! So follow my journey as I learn to sail Arwen,grappling with charts, tide tables and passage planning so that I can become 'a dinghy cruiser'
And by the way, just occasionally, little snippets about 'Stacey' our beloved 1968 motovespa super 125 scooter may feature along with odd insights into our family travels< but these will be kept to a minimum, I promise!
subscribe at www.youtube.com/c/plymouthwelshboy
The 'Navigator' is a 14' 9" yawl with a beam of 5' 10". she weighs in at 309 lbs and has a sail area of 136 sqft. She has a standing lug sail. She has side, centre and front thwarts and space for six although she is an ideal single hander. there are a huge number of potential locker spaces. For more details about the design of navigators go to www.jwboatdesigns.co.nz/plans/navigator/index.htm