Ravensdale on the Solway Firth with Scotland in the distance. Photo: Bryan Stephenson
We’ve had some very high tides here at Maryport in Cumbria, UK, this week with a difference of up to 9m – almost 30ft - between the high and low tides.
And we took Ravensdale out on the water on Monday for the first time since Phil changed her fuel filters himself.
It was also the first time we’d used our new VHF radio properly since he fitted it last weekend.
It wasn’t our most successful fishing trip ever, but it definitely wasn’t the least successful either as we brought home our supper 😊
Meanwhile, we had to rush poor little Ruby to the veterinary surgery this week when she suffered a sudden and severe allergic reaction to something, but we still have no idea what caused it ☹
Monday’s fishing trip
Ravensdale heading towards the marina gate on Monday
The forecast was calm for Monday but, as usual, we decided to check the sea state before going so Phil took Ruby around to the pier for her first walk of the day.
He came back saying the water looked pretty calm, so we decided to go fishing when the marina’s sea gate opened.
It would also give us a chance to check the engines were running properly after Phil had changed the fuel filters.
The trip also meant we could do a proper check of our new VHF radio.
The view from Ravensdale's flybridge as we headed out between the piers
We left the marina at 11.15am and headed out onto the Solway Firth to go to Phil's favourite fishing spot in Allonby Bay.
Ravensdale leaving Maryport
This was caused by the big rising tide meeting the River Ellen that flows through the basin, especially as the river was swollen by long periods of heavy rain in the preceding days.
Ravensdale's two 300hp Volvo Penta engines sounded good after their fuel filter change and Phil pushed the speed up a bit from our usual 8-10 knots to 16.5 knots to check they ran OK at speed.
Phil giving Ravensdale's engines some throttle while keeping an eye on the temperature gauges
The view of Scotland from the saloon window while we were at anchor on the Solway Firth
Phil set up his fishing rods and was hoping for some decent cod, but all he was catching were dogfish.
Phil waiting for the cod to start biting
The dogfish were becoming a real nuisance when he pulled in his first codling of the day, which was too small to keep.
This was followed by three codling that were big enough to keep.
Phil with one of the larger codling he caught on this trip
He also reeled in the first pouting he’s caught from Ravensdale.
The first pouting Phil's caught from Ravensdale
I have to confess that I was really pleased when both of Ravensdale’s engines started first turn when it was time to go home.
This used to bother me a bit when we first started taking her out of the marina.
As we’ve now taken her out more than 70 times, I’ve come to expect them to work, but this was the first trip since Phil changed her fuel filters. I really should’ve had more faith in him 😊
Ravensdale heading for home
We returned to the marina at 2.55pm after around three hours and 40 minutes out on the water during which time we did 5.3 nautical miles.
The entrance to Maryport on our way home
And, I’m pleased to report that the new VHF radio also passed with flying colours.
We knew we’d had no problem hearing other people’s calls and, when we were back in the marina, we checked with the marina staff to be told that our transmissions were also very clear 😊
Fitting new radio
Phil fitting our new VHF radio
Phil fitted our new Standard Horizon VHF radio at the weekend.
He then carried out a radio check, which proved we were right to replace our old fixed radio as the new one was so much clearer.
He has since spent some time trying to connect it to our Standard Horizon chart plotter.
We thought this should be fairly simple as they’re both the same make but it’s proving much more difficult than expected.
Phil intends to revisit this task very soon as he’s checked online and it’s supposed to be possible but lots of folks seem to have real problems connecting them up.
Boats and pontoons at Maryport Marina almost level with the car park at high tide on Sunday
We’ve had some very high tides here in Maryport over the past week with the highest being a 9.4m tide at 00:54 on Monday morning.
I considered getting up to see it as it was one of the highest tides we’ve had in the almost three years we’ve been living on our boat here, but decided to stay in bed as I wouldn’t be able to get a decent photo of it in the dark.
However, the 9.2m tides at 12:38 on Sunday and 13:19 on Monday were also pretty impressive and considerably easier to photograph.
The same view when the marina gate is closed to keep water in the marina when the tide drops
It’s always strange to see the boats in the marina almost level with the road on one side of the marina and the car park on the other.
Phil scrubbing Ravensdale's flybridge cover
The cover on Ravensdale’s flybridge had become very dirty and has started to leak.
So, we decided to give it a good clean before reproofing it.
Wednesday was a lovely calm, sunny day and we considered going out fishing but there were a few jobs we needed to while the weather was fine.
We took the flybridge cover off and carried it up onto the marina road to the west gate, where we had more room to stretch it out.
Phil scrubbed it with caravan awning shampoo, and I hosed it down to rinse the shampoo off.
It hadn’t totally dried by the time it was getting dark so we put it back on to dry and will take it off again to proof it on the next dry day.
Meanwhile, I’m considering trying to make a new one myself as having one made for us is going to be pretty expensive.
We measured it while it was off. I also had a look at how it was constructed and it looks as though it should be doable.
Packing our dinghy away
Phil washing our dinghy - watched by Ruby 😊
Our dinghy has been hanging on Ravensdale’s davits throughout the summer, but we decided to pack it away for the winter.
I lowered it down with the winches while Phil pulled it towards the pontoon with a boathook.
He gave the dinghy a good clean and left it on the pontoon to dry overnight and during the day yesterday (Thursday) before packing it away yesterday afternoon.
And that was no easy task.
I don’t understand why it always seems to be so difficult to get a dinghy that was packed in a bag when you bought it to fit back into the same bag when it’s deflated. One thing’s for sure, it provided us with a good workout 😊
New rod holders
One of the new rod holders a friend made for Phil
A friend who has a small fishing boat in the marina turned up at our boat on Saturday with two stainless steel rod holders he’d made for Phil’s fishing rods.
A week or so back, Phil was telling him he was very disappointed with the new rod holders he'd bought online as they wouldn’t stay upright when there was a fish pulling on the line.
The friend had offered to make some, but it was still a lovely surprise when he turned up with them.
And they’re so much better than any of the holders he’s been using previously.
They’re really solid and much easier to lift the rods in and out of than the last ones he bought.
Ruby of Ravensdale
Ruby relaxing on Ravensdale
Ruby had us really worried on Saturday when she suddenly broke out in a horrible lumpy rash.
We could see the lumps coming up under her coat while we watched so I called the vet who said she was obviously having a severe allergic reaction to something.
The vet said to give her two piriton tablets immediately and take her straight to vets in Cockermouth for a steroid injection.
Ruby on her way home from the vets on Saturday
The rush was because the vet was concerned that it could affect Ruby’s airways.
Thankfully the rash disappeared almost as quickly as it appeared.
The scariest part is that we don’t know what caused it so we know she’s very allergic to something, but we have no idea what.
Ruby on look-out duty on Ravensdale's foredeck
As usual, she’s been watching everything we do on Ravensdale and was very unimpressed when the dinghy was drying on the pontoon next to the boat. Every time she saw it there, she made sure we knew she didn’t approve by barking at it 😊
But, thankfully, she still seems happy enough when I tie her to lead to the railings around the harbour when I want to stop to take photos while taking her for a walk.
Ruby checking out the view while I take photos
She has a good look around but is always sitting quietly when I finish because she knows she gets a treat when I untie her if she’s being good.
I know it’s bribery, but at least it means I get a chance to take photos and Ruby seems happy with the arrangement too 😊
The sun going down over the Solway Firth on Sunday
Fishing boats in the entrance to Maryport Harbour at dusk
Maryport Harbour at low tide
Christ Church at Maryport at low tide
River Ellen at Maryport
I also took lots of photos while we were out on the Solway Firth on Monday.
The northern fells from the Solway Firth
Maryport from the Solway Firth
The entrance to Maryport Basin from the Solway Firth
Maryport from the Solway Firth
And we were back in the marina in time for me to get some photos of local fishing boat Silver Stream towing the yacht that had to be rescued last week back home to Maryport.
Fishing boat Silver Stream towing a yacht back to Maryport Marina
Silver Stream towing the yacht into the marina
The broken down yacht tying up in the marina
Silver Stream returning to Maryport Harbour
I captured some shots along the shore and of the marina around sunset on Wednesday evening while out walking Ruby with Phil.
The sun setting over the Solway Firth
Maryport Pier at sunset
Maryport from across the basin at dusk
Solway Firth sunset
Reflections on the still water at Maryport Marina
Another view of reflections at Maryport Marina (Ravensdale is on the left of the image)
The Isle of Man from Maryport
And I took a few photos of another local fishing boat Chelaris returning to the harbour yesterday (Thursday) after she’d been repainted at the boatyard next to the marina.
Chelaris about to pass Ravensdale in Maryport Marina
Chelaris leaving Maryport Marina
We’ve had some mixed weather over the past week but there’s been a definite chill in the air in the early mornings with the first frost yesterday (Thursday) morning.
It rained overnight Friday into Saturday morning, but it was dry and bright during the morning and throughout the day. There was a good breeze during the day, but it was much calmer during the evening.
Saturday afternoon at Maryport Marina
The top temperature was 14C (57F) and the top average wind speed was 18mph.
Heavy rain returned overnight Saturday into Sunday and it carried on falling throughout the morning. We had light rain from around lunchtime on Sunday and it dried up later in the afternoon.
Rain on Ravensdale's aft deck on Sunday
The top temperature was 13C and the top average wind speed was 22mph, gusting 31mph.
Monday was fairly calm, dry and cloudy with sunny intervals. The top temperature was 14C (55F) and the top average wind speed was 8mph.
We had more heavy rain overnight Monday into Tuesday and very windy on Tuesday morning. It was milder overnight than during the day with an overnight temperature of up to 11C (52F).
Maryport Marina on Tuesday
The top daytime temperature was just 10C (50F) and the top average wind speed was 30mph, gusting 41mph.
Tuesday night into Wednesday was a chilly night with the temperature falling to 5C (41F). Tuesday was dry, bright, sunny and calm with a distinct chill in the air first thing.
Dry, sunny and calm at Maryport Marina on Wednesday afternoon
Wednesday/Thursday was another cool night with the temperature dropping to 5C (41F) again and marina staff salted the paved area by the marina facilities to prevent anyone from slipping on the frosty surface.
The same view on Thursday afternoon
Thursday morning started dry and bright with a few spots of rain early on. It then stayed mainly dry until early afternoon when we had a few light showers. This was followed by heavier rain during the evening.
The top temperature was 10C (50F) and the top average wind speed was 28mph, gusting 36mph, at our nearest weather station at St Bees Head but it was definitely calmer here.
Dry and bright weather at Maryport Marina today (Friday)
And, so far today (Friday) the weather has been dry and bright with a top temperature of 15C (59F) and a top average wind speed of 13mph.