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 15 May 2022

Some days are not to be

 Sometimes that niggly feeling you have before you launch, you know the one, the "is this really a safe move" one, should be trusted. It is your gut telling you not to push things stupidly.

I should have listened to it, that gut feeling! But, with so few opportunities to sail this year, i was keen to get out on the water. 

It is amazing how quickly a forecast can change over the course of an hour. In the space it took to rig and launch the wind had increased significantly and had changed direction to easterlies. 

And so I found myself clearing Mountbatten breakwater and into a sea of chaos. Not so much the waves but the gusty wind. It came hurtling off the Jennycliffe Bay heights. The further out into the sound I went, the worse it became. 

Today I found it difficult to control mizzen and jib. The freaky gusts were just too much and at one point the wind gust was so fierce that I was sure the jib was about to part company with the masthead. 

I gave it an hour but sometimes you just have to admit defeat. Sailing is supposed to be fun isn't it? 

The short clip above captures towards the end of  a rather stressful 45 minutes or so. I was hoping to capture the start of the OSTAR Transat but there were only ten boats and they were all starting at different times although the official start time was 12.00 noon. 
Things in the sound got progressively worse until late afternoon so I'm glad I chickened out when I did