I have just returned from an emergency dash across the country to see my son who was rushed into hospital a few days ago with severe food poisoning - serious enough to scare the paramedics anyway. He is now discharged but it is a very slow recovery and it will take time for him to return to normality.
So, it was a very pleasant surprise to find an email from the technical adviser of the Dinghy Cruising Association, informing me that my article about making ditty bags had won the association's 'Peter Bick Memorial Trophy' award for the best technical article in the association journal this year.
Apparently I described the process in great detail with clear photographs and diagrams and in an entertaining style.
If you are not a member of the association and don't have access to the journal, you can access my 'unrefined' original posts about making the ditty bags here https://arwensmeanderings.blogspot.com/search?q=ditty+bags
I have to say I am surprised. The Journal is an amazing magazine with such extraordinarily well written articles on a whole host of topics to do with dinghy cruising. It is, frankly, one of the best small boat magazines out there and that is due to the amazing editor Keith Muscott, his editorial team and the association contributors. There were, in all honestly, many excellent technical articles this year, all far more lucid, analytical, thoughtful and inspirational than mine, but I'll take it. Let's face it when it comes to dinghy sailing and cruising everyone knows I am a 'work in progress'.
David also said he was impressed by my articles about vlogging as well but since they were inevitably more focused on the film-making process, he felt the ditty bag article was definitely more nautical. You can access my unrefined posts on vlogging here:
I have always maintained that f
I have always maintained that for me, dinghy sailing is enjoyable but also an ‘ends to a means’ – exploration of the nooks and crannies and communities of my stunning local waters. Just as important as the sailing, are the hobbies that dinghy cruising allows me to pursue – my love of marine biology, expeditioning, camera work and also my fledgling interest in astronomy and astrophotography. (I am just trying to work out how to safely carry such gear on a dinghy to exotic far flung dark sky corners up the Tamar and Lynher ). Hence previous articles about vlogging! If anything I do inspires others to dinghy cruise (only doing it better than me), then brilliant.
In this light, I am at the moment working on a blog post about taking nautical and coastal themed photographs from a beginner's perspective. It will be followed up by another one about astrophotography from little creek beaches! If you search astronomy in the blog search bar, you will find some beginner tips about this as well.
Anyway, my sincere thanks to the judges this year at the Dinghy Cruising Association.
Anyway, my sincere thanks to the judges this year at the Dinghy Cruising Association.As a tea-totaller (necessity not choice), I will refrain from drinking tea out of the tankard and raise it to all the DCA membership with a tipple of Perrier....... DCA members have been inspirational and I have learned so much from them all. I just wish I could do them justice by pulling it together in a better way than my normal shambolic approach to sailing (and anything technical 😊)
If you haven't joined the DCA and might be interested in doing so, here is the link: