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

Friday, 24 July 2015

Are cheesy chips the greatest food ever?

In all honesty, probably not but after a Torrential night, delayed start waiting for 25 kt winds to drop slightly and non stop raining since 10pm last night..... Well right now they are!!!!!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Reaching Truro

Well didn't quite make it to Truro as tide was ebbing fast and mudflats appearing even faster either side of channel but did stop at Malpas.
Under sail, top speed 5.8 kts. Average speed 4.2 knots. Distance covered 8.4 nautical miles.
And now time to do some rowing......heaven forbid

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Untidy packer

I never seem to get the hang of organisation on  Arwen. Because I was as 'green as grass' when I built her, I didn't spot the obvious flaw in the plans! The forward locker hatch! It is directly behind the mast meaning that it is virtually inaccessible. I wish I had had the foresight to offset it to one side.
Anyway, the upshot is that access to that huge underdeck locker is non existent. Consequently gear has to be stowed alone the sides of the hull.
So, ready for the Falmouth trip, storage on Arwen, is as follows:

  • Under the front thwart - 12 litres of water and spare fixings and tools
  • Port centre case locker - tape, electrics, spare radio, bits and pieces
  • Starboard centre case locker - safety gear
  • Rear stern locker - power monkey, spare radio, spare batteries, sponges, towels, 
  • Along the starboard hull side under side deck - boat cushions, spare fenders, warps
  • On the cockpit floor starboard side - main anchor, chain and warp in tray
  • On cockpit floor port side - kedge anchor, chain and warp in tray
  • Port hull side under side decks - clothes, emergency grap bag, tarp tent and fixing clamps, spare mooring warps
  • Along port side of centre case - food and cooking gear drybag
  • In rear footwell - dry bag rucksac containing documentation, keys, money, lunch; dry bag with foulies
It will be cramped! Let's hope she floats! 
I will be launching from Mylor creek boatyard. Then it's heading up river to visit Malpas and overnighting a little further downstream at Smugglers Inn. The next day, down Carrick Roads and across to the Helford River, overnighting at Tremayne Quay. A final day returning to Carrick Roads and exploring Falmouth and St Mawes, overnighting somewhere up the Percuil River. Then, next day, sailing back across to Mylor and hauling out. 
Well that's the plan. The weather may have a different view!

Friday, 17 July 2015

In the next few weeks....

due to other circumstances the Falmouth trip will be taking place but exactly when is .....err.......a little difficult to pin down precisely.
What will be happening is that for various reasons it will be a four day trip. I will be sailing up to Malpas, overnighting at Smugglers inn. Then there will be trips to various pubs, up various creeks and probably an overnight in percuil somewhere.
Then there will be a sail across to Helford and an overnight at tremayne quay before heading back to Mylor and carick roads.

I also intend fitting in the plymouth Classic boat rally and possibly an overnight trip to Salcombe as well.

I'm looking forward to some good sailing this summer.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Slight change of plans

Due to some other emerging issues, Falmouth will now be Thursday to Sunday and mainly creek crawling. I'll update the blog more when I have finalised plans.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Another new navigator blog

can be found at


Sunday, 12 July 2015

Final plans being drawn up

for my trip to Falmouth. Pilotage sketches of various waterways and harbours are being finished off in my waterproof notebook. Today I will spend ages entering way marks into my hand held GPS. I need to start thinking about food rations. I have to finalise overnight anchorages although part of me says "go with the flow and see where I end up".
I have my reading materials......."the lugworm chronicles".

Now the only decisions to be I sail from which case I lose four days sailing to and from Plymouth, although I get the excitement of coastal passage planning and sailing? Or do I trail the boat down to Falmouth? Several Dinghy Cruising Club members have suggested launch sites....Pascoe boatyard, Trevissime House, Mylor Creek boatyard.....this option would give me five days sailing around the Fal and Helford Rivers but not much coastal inshore sailing. I guess I could sail to Fowey and overnight there. That would take two days. Or sail around to Mevagissy and back again in a day.

What do people think? I'm feeling very required please!

Monday, 6 July 2015

The other videos

from eyeinthehand
Worth watching. Elegant simplicity.
Enjoy at


Friday, 3 July 2015

And one more


Another nice video

A lovely video of the navigator 'Slip-Jig'.
Enjoy at