Friday, 12 July 2019

Our scary experience as Ravensdale was pelted with rocks in our marina


Photo of Phil cleans Ravensdale's starboard side while checking for damage after the rock-throwing incident

Phil cleans Ravensdale's starboard side while checking for damage after the rock-throwing incident


We had our first bad experience of life aboard this week when youths threw rocks at our floating home late one evening.

Thankfully no damage was caused to our Neptunus 133 motor cruiser, but it’s left me feeling that we’re more vulnerable here at Maryport Marina in Cumbria, UK, than I previously thought.

Meanwhile, we’ve been out on the Solway Firth twice on consecutive days this week.

The first day was our least successful fishing trip in months but the following day was much better resulting in a delicious fish supper 😊

And Ruby has discovered a new skill – she can now climb up and down the ladder to Ravensdale’s flybridge, which means we have one less place to put things we don’t want her to reach.



Scary experience

Photo of the pavement along the road to Maryport Lighthouse from which rocks were thrown at Ravensdale

The pavement along the road to Maryport Lighthouse from which rocks were thrown at Ravensdale


Phil and I were watching TV in the dinette of Ravensdale at around 10pm on Tuesday evening when we heard a very loud bang as something hit our boat.

We both jumped up to see what was happening and, before we’d reached the saloon there was another bang that was almost as loud.

Phil went out onto the aft deck, closely followed by Ruby, and then me.

We could see three youths walking along the pavement above the marina.

Phil called out asking them what they were doing and one replied: “I didn’t do it. It wasn’t me.”

A real admission that they’d done something wrong.

They walked off towards the lighthouse and Phil called the marina office to ask if they could make sure the youths were captured on CCTV.

We checked what we could see of Ravensdale in the dark but couldn’t see any obvious damage.

The following morning, we had a better look at our boat which fortunately seems to have escaped unscathed.

Photo of Phil pulling himself along the side of Ravensdale using the rope that was holding the dinghy in

Phil pulling himself along the side of Ravensdale using the rope that was holding the dinghy in


Phil got our dinghy out to inspect Ravensdale's starboard side and decided to wash that side of the boat while he was there.

We later discovered that a rock and empty drink can had been found on a boat near us, so they were obviously throwing things at various boats.

I know there was no damage caused, but it was a scary experience.

I’d always felt fairly safe in the marina, which has a locked security gate, but am feeling a bit more vulnerable here at the moment

We’ve since learned that the culprits were caught on camera by the marina’s CCTV system, which offers us a bit of comfort.

And, thankfully, it appears to have been a one-off.


Sunday’s fishing trip

Photo of Ravensdale leaving Maryport

Ravensdale leaving Maryport


The forecast was looking good for Sunday, but we weren’t going to go fishing because we had other things we wanted to do.

However, once again, the good weather tempted us out onto the Solway Firth telling ourselves that we could do the other things another day.

I packed up the stuff inside the boat as quickly as possible while Phil sorted the engine room, mooring roes, etc and we were ready really quickly.

We left the marina at about 1.45pm and headed straight out from Maryport for about two nautical miles.


Photo of Phil fishing from Ravensdale's aft deck

Phil fishing from Ravensdale's aft deck


Phil switched off the engines and allowed Ravensdale to drift while he was fishing.

He didn’t get a single bite – not even a dogfish.

We could hear some of the other fishermen who were out on the Solway that day chatting on the radio and it was obvious that no one else was catching anything either so we decided to head home and try again another day.

We were back in the marina at about 3.50pm after two hours and five minutes out on the water, during which time we travelled 7.4 nautical miles (nm), including drifting for 2.7nm.


Monday’s fishing trip


Photo of Phil turning Ravensdale around ready to leave the marina

Phil turning Ravensdale around ready to leave the marina. Photo by Ronnie Bell


Photo of Phil's first catch - a pair of codling

Phil's first catch - a pair of codling

Monday was another calm day, so we decided to take Ravensdale out on the Solway Firth again.

This was partly to see if the fishing was any better than the previous day and partly because we wanted to go to the fuel berth to fill up with diesel and once we were on the move we might as well make the most of it 😊

We left the marina at 2.55pm and motored up to Allonby Bay where we dropped anchor off Bank End Farm.

The water was very calm, and the fishing was much more productive.

As soon as Phil had set up his rods, he started getting bites.

His first catch was a pair of codling.

They were too small to keep but it was good to be catching something other than dogfish for a change.

Photo of Bank End Farm

Bank End Farm



Photo of Phil with one of the best cod he caught on this trip

Phil with one of the best cod he caught on this trip


Altogether, he caught four cod that were large enough to keep, four codling that were too small to keep and had to be put back in the water and six of the dreaded dogfish.

Photo of Phil removing bones from the cod fillets as Ruby watches

Phil removing bones from the cod fillets as Ruby watches

It started spitting with rain soon after we dropped anchor but cleared up again fairly quickly.

It started to get a bit breezier and Phil decided he’d caught enough fish, so we decided to head home and fill up with diesel.

We were back in the marina at 5.55pm after three hours out on the water during which time we travelled 4.5nm.

We were expecting to put 400 litres of diesel in but only managed to get 350 litres in before the tank was full.

Once we were moored up again, Phil set about gutting and filleting his catches. Ruby didn't leave his side while he was preparing them and we ate them for our supper with chips, peas and tartare sauce. They were delicious 😊

I was delighted to discover that local photographer Ronnie Bell had taken some photos of us leaving the marina - the photo at the top of this section of Phil turning Ravensdale around in the marina and the images of Phil and I below.

Photo of Phil at the helm on Ravensdale's flybridge. Photo by Ronnie Bell

Phil at the helm on Ravensdale's flybridge. Photo by Ronnie Bell


Photo of me reaching for my camera as we left the marina on Ravensdale. Photo by Ronnie Bell

Me reaching for my camera as we left the marina on Ravensdale. Photo by Ronnie Bell




VHF radio problem sorted

Photo of Ravensdale's fixed VHF radio

Ravensdale's fixed VHF radio


We discovered we couldn’t transmit from the fixed radio on Ravensdale while out on the Solway Firth at the end of last month.

Photo of Phil fitting the new aerial on Ravensdale

Phil fitting the new aerial on Ravensdale

While checking for the cause of the problem, Phil discovered that the coaxial cable to the aerial on Ravensdale’s radar arch was damaged where it entered the aerial.

As it was part of the aerial, we couldn’t replace the cable so ordered a new aerial with a cable attached.

Meanwhile, we used our handheld VHF radio for our trips out on the water.

Phil fitted the aerial at the weekend, but it only came with 4m of cable, so he had to order more cable and join them to make it reach the VHF radio above the helm in the saloon.

When the new cable arrived, Phil was faced with the task of getting it from the radio arch to the helm, which was no easy task.

There was no way to identify the old aerial cable that needed to be removed as it was white when it came out of the aerial and black by the time it reached the radio.

Phil eventually decided he would have to leave it in place and just run the new one through but

The pipes that carry cables from the radar arch to the channels in the side of the flybridge were pretty full and the cable didn’t want to push through easily, so we bought a cable rod set and he managed to get it through.

However, it wouldn’t go into the channel in the flybridge so Phil fixed plastic conduit inside the flybridge to take the cable through to the lockers at the forward part of the flybridge from which he was able to run it down to the radio.


Photo of pulling the new cable through from the flybridge to connect it to the radio

Pulling the new cable through from the flybridge to connect it to the radio


After connecting it to the radio, he called the marina for a radio check, but they still couldn’t hear us.

He disconnected it and connected it up again following a YouTube video to the letter and this time it worked perfectly so we have proper communications again.

While fitting the aerial cable, Phil discovered that Ravensdale’s hailer was not wired in, so we now need to get a connector for that.

As usual, one job always leads to another 😊



Maryport Marina continues to drain down


Photo of Ravensdale dwarfed by the pontoon piles at low tide

Ravensdale is dwarfed by the pontoon piles at low tide


Our marina is still waiting for the new cable that will be used to mend its sea gate.

The old cable snapped more than three weeks ago, which means that the marina drains down at low water and the boats end up sitting in the mud.

The management had expected the new cable to arrive this week, but the company providing it said it could not supply it until September so the marina is now getting the cable from another firm and it will hopefully be here next week.

We were initially concerned about Ravensdale sitting in the mud twice a day, but it doesn’t seem to have done her any harm.

That said, it will be nice to have water in the marina 24 hours a day again as the ramp to the marina facilities is very steep at low tide.



Ruby of Ravensdale


Photo of Ruby on Ravensdale's aft deck on the Solway Firth

Ruby on Ravensdale's aft deck on the Solway Firth


Photo of my latest attempt at taking a selfie with Ruby

My latest attempt at taking a selfie with Ruby

Ruby has been great on our recent trips out on Ravensdale.

I’m sure the fact they are a regular occurrence has made her accept them as a normal part of her life and she automatically goes into her cage whenever Phil starts the engines.

She gave us a bit of a surprise when she climbed the ladder to the flybridge for the first time this week.

We were in the marina and the flybridge cover was off while Phil was fitting the new aerial.

Ruby obviously decided it was a part of the boat that needed further exploration as she’d only been up there a couple of times when we had taken her up with us while at anchor.

One minute she was on the aft deck, the next she was on the flybridge.

I was surprised to see her up there and lifted her down as I was convinced she wouldn’t be able to get back down the ladder again.

The next time she decided to go up I was watching her, and she climbed up very confidently to try to get her tennis balls that were drying on the door frame above the sliding glass door to the aft deck.

She couldn’t reach the balls and decided to come back down without them and just ran down the ladder.

A more accurate description of her descent would be that she put two feet on the top step then did a controlled fall down the next three steps and she was obviously happy with this method as she’s done it several times since.

The only time she decided against going up it was while we were rocking a bit while out on the Solway Firth.

She started to climb up then crouched on the bottom rung before backing down again. I think the movement of the boat made her feel less safe with the manoeuvre and it was probably a good decision on her part.


Photo of Ruby crouched on the bottom rung of the aft deck ladder

Ruby crouched on the bottom rung of the aft deck ladder


Ruby still loves her walks, especially when she gets to run off lead and play fetch.


Photo of Ruby looking at the Solway Firth over a wall

Ruby looking at the Solway Firth over a wall


Photo of Ruby with her ball on a grassy area near the marina

Ruby with her ball on a grassy area near the marina


Another shot of Ruby with her ball with Maryport Marina in the background

Another shot of Ruby with her ball with Maryport Marina in the background


Photo of Ruby with a stick that she tried to bring home

Ruby with a stick that she tried to bring home


But we haven’t been down to the beach lately, partly because it's much busier now than it was in the winter, which means there are less opportunities to let her run free but mainly because she tries to eat horrible things like jellyfish.

Meanwhile, her ear infection seems to be fully recovered.

Thankfully, she has stopped scratching so no longer needs to wear the blue inflatable collar that so many people mistook for a swimming ring and she loves her new chew toy 😊



Photo of Ruby with her new chew toy

Ruby with her new chew toy


Photography

I took more than 200 photos while wandering around Maryport with my camera on Saturday afternoon 😊

Photo of Fleming Square, Maryport, in glorious sunshine

Fleming Square, Maryport, in glorious sunshine


Photo of one of the colourful planters in Fleming Square

One of the colourful planters in Fleming Square


Photo of another view of Fleming Square

Another view of Fleming Square


Photo of the view across the Solway Firth to the Scottish hills from the top of Market Steps

View across the Solway Firth to the Scottish hills from the top of Market Steps, Maryport


Photo of the view across the basin from Market Steps

View across the basin from Market Steps


Photo of sea cadets sailing in Maryport Basin

Sea cadets sailing in Maryport Basin


Photo of fishing boats in Maryport Harbour

Fishing boats in Maryport Harbour


Photo of more fishing boats in Maryport Harbour

More fishing boats in Maryport Harbour


Photo of Christ Church, Maryport

Christ Church, Maryport


Photo of St Mary's Church, Maryport

St Mary's Church, Maryport


Photo of the floral display at Netherall Corner in Maryport

Floral display at Netherall Corner in Maryport


And, as usual, our trips out on the Solway Firth on Ravensdale on Sunday and Monday provided further photo opportunities.

Photo of Market Steps at Maryport from the Solway Firth

Market Steps at Maryport from the Solway Firth


Photo of a yacht on the Solway Firth

A yacht on the Solway Firth


Photo of Maryport from the Solway Firth

Maryport from the Solway Firth


Photo of a yacht entering Maryport Basin

A yacht entering Maryport Basin


Photo of Maryport across the basin

Maryport across the basin


Photo of the entrance to Maryport from the Solway Firth

The entrance to Maryport from the Solway Firth


My biggest problem at the moment is that I’ve developed a pain in my right arm that becomes worse when I use the mouse on my laptop while typing or processing photos and while holding my camera to take photos.

Often it’s so painful that I have to try to use my mouse with my left hand or support my camera with my left hand while taking photos.

It started about three weeks ago and seems to be getting worse, so I’ve filled in a self-referral form for the physiotherapist and am waiting for an appointment.

I really hope it gets sorted soon as it’s becoming a real pain – quite literally


Weather watch

The weather has been reasonable here in Maryport over the past week – not over warm, but dry and not too windy for most of the time.

Saturday was fairly warm, dry and sunny. It was calm in the morning but became breezier in the afternoon. The top temperature was 17C (63F) and the top average wind speed was 17mph.

Photo of sunny Saturday at Maryport Marina

Sunny Saturday at Maryport Marina


Sunday was dry, sunny and fairly calm with a top temperature of 16C (61F) and a top average wind speed was 11mph.

Photo of reflections in the still water at Maryport Marina on Sunday evening

Reflections in the still water at Maryport Marina on Sunday evening


And Monday was dry, bright and calm for most of the day with a little light rain in the afternoon. The top temperature was 17C (63F) and the top average wind speed was 8mph.

We had rain overnight and it was cloudy first thing on Tuesday morning. We had light rain from mid-morning for a couple of hours, then back to grey cloud in the afternoon. The top temperature was 16C (61F) and the top temperature was 10mph.

Photo of rain on Ravensdale's windscreen on Tuesday morning

Rain on Ravensdale's windscreen on Tuesday morning


Wednesday was dry and bright with a light wind. The temperature reached 17C (63F) and the top average wind speed was 14mph.

We had rain overnight which continued into yesterday (Thursday) morning, but it soon cleared to leave a cloudy sky, with the cloud cover thinning during the afternoon. The top temperature was 17C (63F) and the top average wind speed was 13mph.

Photo of cloudy but bright conditions at Maryport Marina on Thursday afternoon

Cloudy but bright conditions at Maryport Marina on Thursday afternoon


And today (Friday) the weather has been dry, warm and sunny. The top temperature was 18C (64F) and the top average wind speed was 16mph.

Friday, 5 July 2019

Living the dream - three trips out on Ravensdale including two in one day and a beautiful sunset 😊


Photo of Phil fishing from Ravensdale's aft deck at sunset

Phil fishing from Ravensdale's aft deck at sunset


Ravensdale has been out of the marina’s sea gate three times this week but one outing was our shortest yet.

We like to take our 43ft Neptunus 133 motor cruiser out on the Solway Firth from our home marina at Maryport in Cumbria, UK, at least once a week, weather permitting.

However, we had to cut short our first trip last Friday due to choppy conditions.

But the water had settled down sufficiently for us to try again the same evening and we were treated to a beautiful sunset at sea.

Meanwhile, Phil has caught the horrible cough and cold that I brought home from my recent visit to see my parents in Salisbury and is now suffering from the dreaded man flu.

But it didn’t stop him wanting to go out fishing again on Wednesday - even when feeling ill, we still manage to carry on living the dream 😊


Friday’s fishing trips


Photo of Ravensdale heading out of Maryport Marina on Friday morning

Ravensdale heading out of Maryport Marina on Friday morning


Last Friday’s forecast led us to believe it would be a good opportunity to spend a full day out on the water.

We decided to leave the marina two hours after the morning tide and return on the evening tide about nine hours later.

This meant we were leaving just half an hour before the sea gate would’ve been due to close if it wasn’t broken at the moment.

Photo of Ravensdale leaving the marina through the sea gate that is currently out of action

Ravensdale leaving the marina through the sea gate that is currently out of action


Soon after leaving the marina, we realised it was considerably choppier than we’d expected but hoped it was just the usual choppiness we get between the piers.

However, as we headed out towards Three Fathoms Bank, the water wasn’t getting any calmer.

Photo of Ravensdale heading out from Maryport towards Three Fathoms Bank

Ravensdale heading out from Maryport towards Three Fathoms Bank


Phil asked me whether I thought we should turn back as, even though the marina gate is out of action, there’s only enough water for us to get back into the marina for around two and a half hours either side of high tide.

I agreed that, if it was still possible to get in, we should go back.

I tried to call the marina on the VHF radio while Phil turned Ravensdale around and started heading back towards Maryport.

I got no response on the radio, so I called the marina with my mobile phone.

The manager checked the depth of the water over the sill and said she would get staff to hold the barrier back so we could get in.

Phil took Ravensdale a bit faster than we usually travel and we got back just in time.

The marina sea gate is usually shut when there’s 2.4m (7ft 10ins) of water over the sill. When we crossed it our depth sounder was showing 0.9m (2ft 11ins) under our keel, which meant there was about 2.3m (7ft 6ins) on the sill.

We had left the marina at around 10.30am and were back at 11am having travelled just 3.5 nautical miles – 2.75nm out and 2.75nm back again.

Annoyingly, the water in the marina was still really calm but we knew that wasn't the case out on the Solway Firth.

Photo of Marport Marina looking super calm on our return on Friday morning

Marport Marina looking super calm on our return on Friday morning


To say we were glad to be back in the marina would be an understatement as it would’ve been no fun sitting at anchor in choppy conditions for at least seven hours waiting until there was enough water to get back into the marina.

We both agreed that it’s very important to know when to turn back and, on this occasion, we definitely made the right decision.

I left all the stuff I pack up inside Ravensdale in crates in the hope we’d get another chance to go out soon and the opportunity was even sooner than we’d hoped.


Photo of flat calm water at Maryport Marina as we left on Friday evening

Flat calm water at Maryport Marina as we left on Friday evening


By the evening, the wind had dropped right down so we decided to go back out on the Solway Firth for a few hours.

Photo of Ravensdale leaving Maryport on Friday evening

Ravensdale leaving Maryport on Friday evening


We left the marina at 7.20pm and headed straight out across the Solway Firth from Maryport for a couple of miles.

It was a very different experience to our morning trip out – there was no wind and the water was like a mill pond.

Photo of Ravensdale heading out across the Solway Firth

Ravensdale heading out across the Solway Firth


Phil then stopped the engines and allowed Ravensdale to drift for a while so he could try fishing for mackerel.

He only managed to catch two mackerel so not a great haul, but they were the first he’d caught since we’ve been here, so he was quite happy to get any.

Photo of Phil fishing from Ravensdale's aft deck

Phil fishing from Ravensdale's aft deck


We then motored over to Allonby Bay where we dropped anchor and he set up his rods again.

Photo of Ruby watching Phil fishing as the sun sets over the Solway Firth

Ruby watching Phil fishing as the sun sets over the Solway Firth


In this location, he caught another mackerel, a small bass and a tiny gurnard.

Photo of Phil with the small bass he caught on this trip

Phil with the small bass he caught on this trip


Ruby got all excited the little bass escaped while I was trying to take a photo of Phil holding it and it flapped around on the deck for a few seconds.

I quickly pulled Ruby back so she couldn’t reach it while Phil rescued the little fish and returned it to the water.

Sadly, I forgot to photograph the mackerel because I was so busy taking snaps of the changing colours as the sun dropped lower in the sky before setting behind the Scottish hills on the other side of the firth.

Photo of Ravensdale setting off on the way back to Maryport with the Scottish hills in the distance

Ravensdale setting off on the way back to Maryport with the Scottish hills in the distance


Photo of Ravensdale approaching Maryport after sunset

Ravensdale approaching Maryport after sunset


Although we returned after sunset, it was still fairly light, and we had no difficulty seeing our way back into Maryport basin.

As always, once we entered the basin, I set up the docking sticks in case there was no one to catch our ropes and put out the fenders ready to return to the pontoon only this time it didn’t quite go to plan.

As I dropped one of the fenders over the side the knot, which must have worked loose, came undone and it disappeared into the water.

I shouted to Phil that one of the fenders had gone overboard so he motored astern and pulled up alongside the fender while I scooped it up with the landing net and pulled it safely back on board.

We were back in the marina at 10.45pm after travelling 12.2 nautical miles.
And we were delighted to discover that photographer Jay Wood had taken a photo of Ravensdale returning to Maryport.

Photo of Ravensdale returning to Maryport last Friday evening

Ravensdale returning to Maryport last Friday evening. Photo by Jay Wood of JW Photography



Wednesday’s fishing trip

Earlier this week, it became clear from the weather forecast that Wednesday was going to be the best day for a trip out on Ravensdale this week.

However, first thing in the morning, Phil was feeling really rough with the cough and cold I’d given him, so we decided not to go.

But that changed when we got up and saw just how nice the weather was.

He decided it was too good to miss so we rushed around and got ready as quickly as possible and left the marina at about 11am.

Photo of Ravensdale leaving Maryport on Wednesday morning

Ravensdale leaving Maryport on Wednesday morning


We headed down to Allonby Bay, dropped anchor and Phil set up his fishing rods.

Photo of Phil fishing in Allonby Bay

Phil fishing in Allonby Bay


Photo of me enjoying the sunshine on Ravensdale's aft deck

Me enjoying the sunshine on Ravensdale's aft deck


He had no bites at all in the first hour, so he decided it was time to move on.

This time we headed out further from land and he tried fishing for mackerel while drifting.

He didn’t catch any mackerel, but he did hook a small smooth-hound, which he returned to the water.

Photo of Phil with the smooth-hound he caught

Phil with the smooth-hound he caught


He then started the engines again and moved to another spot closer to Maryport where he fished while drifting until it was time to head for home.

I sat on the flybridge on the way back to Maryport, which gave me a chance to get some better shots of the town from the firth.

Photo of my view from Ravensdale's flybridge on the way back to Maryport

My view from Ravensdale's flybridge on the way back to Maryport


Photo of the controls on Ravensdale's flybridge

The controls on Ravensdale's flybridge


Photo of looking back from Ravensdale's flybridge through the radar arch

Looking back from Ravensdale's flybridge through the radar arch


We were back in the marina at 2.30pm having travelled 8.9 nautical miles.


Radio problems


Photo of Ravensdale's fixed radio

Ravensdale's fixed radio


We discovered on Friday morning that our built-in VHF radio was receiving but not transmitting clearly so ended up using the handheld for our trip out on Friday evening and again on Wednesday.

Phil is now trying to discover the cause of the problem and thinks it could be due to damage to the coaxial cable to the aerial.

Unfortunately, the cable cannot be removed from the aerial so we’ve ordered a new aerial and are hoping that will solve our radio problems.

If not, I guess we’ll be looking at having to buy a new VHF radio.

By yesterday (Thursday), we were wondering why the aerial hadn’t arrived and Phil started chasing it up to discover that it had been sent to Maryport Inshore Rescue in error.

We eventually managed to discover that it had been delivered to Maryport Fishing Co-op for the inshore rescue and we picked it up this morning (Friday). So Phil's next job will be fitting it.

Meanwhile, we're using out handheld VHF radio.


Windscreen wiper problems

Photo of Ravensdale's troublesome port wiper

Ravensdale's troublesome port wiper


Ravensdale’s port wiper also stopped working after Friday morning’s brief outing.

Ever since we bought Ravensdale in 2016, the port wiper has only worked on one speed – fast, while the starboard wiper operated at two speeds.

We just assumed one had broken at some stage and been replaced with a different one.

But the port motor has now packed up all together so perhaps the single speed was a symptom that it was on its way out.

Sadly, Phil caught the cough and cold I brought back from Salisbury and is now suffering from that dreaded condition known as “man flu” so the proper repair will have to wait until he’s feeling better.

Photo of Ruby keeping a lookout while Phil works on the wipers

Ruby keeps a lookout while Phil works on the wipers


Meanwhile, he’s swapped the port and starboard motors over so the windscreen he needs to see out of while at the helm could be kept clear.

Photo of one of Ravensdale's wiper motors

One of Ravensdale's wiper motors


We didn’t need it while out on Wednesday, but at least it’s available for any future trips out on the water before he can sort the other motor.

Interestingly, it only runs on the fast speed on the port side so it seems that this problem is caused by the switch, which will also now need attention.


Fish and chip supper

Photo of our fish and chip supper

Fish and chip supper


Last Friday night, we ate the cod we were brought by one of the local fishermen with a boat in the marina.

Phil gutted and filleted them the night they were delivered to us and we put them in the freezer until we were ready to eat them.

Phil coated them in breadcrumbs then baked them in the oven and served them with chips, peas and tartare sauce.

And they were delicious 😊


Flipping flies!

Photo of my homemade fly trap

My homemade fly trap

We seem to be inundated with flies at the moment

And we reckon they’re being attracted into the marina by all the mud that’s exposed at low tide while we wait for a new cable to arrive so staff can fix the sea gate.

We tried fly spray, but there were still loads of them buzzing around so I Googled making your own fly trap.

I found a video showing the viewer how to cut a plastic bottle at the widest point and invert the top part of the bottle in the bottom part. This was fixed in place with duct tape. So far, so good…

It said you could use anything for bait – raw meat, fish, preferably something stinky, which had to be placed in liquid so the flies would be enticed into the trap, be unable to escape due to the inverted bottle top and drown in the liquid.

I didn’t have any stinky meat or fish handy so opened a tin of tuna, which the flies seem to like well enough when it’s in Ruby’s bowl, but it seems it’s considerably less attractive if they have to enter a bottle to get it.


Photo of our fly paper delivery

Our fly paper delivery


Photo of one of the fly papers on Ravensdale

One of the fly papers on Ravensdale



I didn’t catch a single fly in my trap but they were still flying around the boat landing on me, the TV screen, my laptop – basically anywhere except in my trap

And, to add insult to injury, the cheeky little blighters walked around my homemade fly trap on the bench in the galley and even landed on the back of my hand while I was using the camera on my phone to take a snap of it.

Oh well, back to the drawing board – or rather Google and I ordered a pack of fly papers instead.

They arrived the next day but they're not proving very successful either as the first strip only caught one fly and there are still lots of them flying around the boat. Aaargh!  



Ruby of Ravensdale

Photo of Ruby chilling on Ravensdale in her lifejacket while out on the Solway Firth

Ruby chilling on Ravensdale in her lifejacket while out on the Solway Firth


Ruby was even better than usual on Wednesday’s trip out on Ravensdale.

She seems really chilled out about going out on the water with us now.

I put her lifejacket on her when I let her out of her cage while we were anchored in Allonby Bay, but she decided it was too warm up on deck and went back inside where she made herself comfortable on the seating in the saloon.


Photo of Ruby on Ravensdale's aft deck before she decided it was too hot

Ruby on Ravensdale's aft deck before she decided it was too hot


She usually wants to be wherever we are – if we’re on deck she wants to stay out but this time she seemed happy enough to be inside on her own for a while.

When we moved on, she seemed so happy on the seating that I didn’t bother putting her in her cage as we weren’t going far.

However, she went in there of her own accord as soon as she realised we were on the move and did the same thing when we moved again.

She seems to have worked out that her cage is where she should be whenever Ravensdale is underway.

Photo of Ruby patiently waiting for me to take her for a walk

Ruby patiently waiting for me to take her for a walk


I’ve been walking Ruby on my own quite a lot this week because Phil hasn’t felt up to it much of the time.

I rarely take my camera with me when I’m walking her alone as I have enough stuff to carry with her ball, treats and poo bags.

But that doesn’t stop me taking photos of her with my mobile phone.


Photo of Ruby checking that I'm following her along the coast path at Maryport

Ruby checking that I'm following her along the coast path at Maryport


Photo of Ruby playing in the long grass

Ruby playing in the long grass


Photo of Ruby with Eli, one of the dogs she met while out walking this week

Ruby with Eli, one of the dogs she met while out walking this week


She was given a new blue ball by a friend we met while out for our morning walk yesterday (Thursday) and she was so happy with it.

We took it with us on her evening walk and I tried to throw it for her as I do with her other balls, but she wouldn’t let me have it back. She wouldn’t even swap it for one of her favourite treats and Ruby will usually do anything for food.

She was so happy carrying it around and rolling around in the grass with it that I decided to indulge her and couldn’t resist taking a few photos of her with it.


Photo of Ruby with her precious blue ball

Ruby with her precious blue ball


Photo of Ruby refusing to let go of the ball

Ruby refusing to let go of the ball


Another photo of Ruby with her special ball

Another photo of Ruby with her special ball


Photo of Ruby getting a cuddle from Phil

Ruby getting a cuddle from Phil



But, sadly, the ball, that was supposed to be indestructible was in pieces within minutes of getting home, so I had to throw it away and she really wasn’t happy about that.

In fact, I’m not sure if she’ll ever forgive me for that one

We took Ruby back to the vet on Monday for the second dose of the treatment for her ear infection.

Thankfully it seems to be better and she’s not scratching any more, but the vet said she may start again when the steroid injection wears off in the next week or so.

If it does, the vet wants us to take her back so she can treat her for summer allergies so we’re hoping that doesn’t happen.




Photo of Ruby resting on Ravensdale

Ruby resting on Ravensdale


Wildlife

Photo of a barrel jellyfish

A barrel jellyfish


We saw two different types of jellyfish while out on Ravensdale on the Solway Firth this week – a barrel jellyfish and a couple of lion’s mane jellyfish.

Photo of a lion's mane jellyfish

A lion's mane jellyfish


There were lots of ladybirds on the wall alongside the coastal walk to the lighthouse, including a number of pairs that looked as though they were making more ladybirds 😊

A mobile phone photo of a ladybird on the sea wall

A mobile phone photo of a ladybird on the sea wall


Photo of two ladybirds playing piggyback

Two ladybirds playing piggyback 😊


There are some lovely wild orchids growing in the long grass near the marina.

Photo of wild orchids

Wild orchids


And painted lady butterflies are regular visitors to the wildflowers in the area.

Photo of a painted lady butterfly

A painted lady butterfly



Photography

Photo of Maryport Pier and the sun going down over the Solway Firth

Maryport Pier and the sun going down over the Solway Firth


Most of the photographs I’ve taken this week were snapped while we were out on the Solway Firth on Ravensdale last Friday and on Wednesday.

Photo of Maryport with the northern fells in the distance

Maryport with the northern fells in the distance


Photo of a yacht on the Solway Firth

A yacht on the Solway Firth


Photo of Maryport from the Solway Firth

Maryport from the Solway Firth


Photo of Maryport lighthouse and the town on our approach from the Solway Firth

Maryport lighthouse and the town on our approach from the Solway Firth


I was really pleased with some of the sunset photos and the almost abstract shots of the golden light reflected on the ripples in the smooth water caused by Ravensdale's wake.

Photo of sunset over the Solway Firth

Sunset over the Solway Firth


Photo of the sun setting over the Scottish hills on the far side of the Solway Firth

The sun setting over the Scottish hills on the far side of the Solway Firth


Photo of a closer view of last Friday's sunset

A closer view of last Friday's sunset


Photo of a seagull at sunset

A seagull at sunset


Photo of golden light on the Solway Firth and part of Robin Rigg Wind Farm

Golden light on the Solway Firth and part of Robin Rigg Wind Farm


Photo of a close up of part of Ravensdale's wake

A close up of part of Ravensdale's wake


Another close up shot of our wake

Another close up shot of our wake


I also had another go at taking a selfie of Ruby and I on Ravensdale.


Photo of me and Ruby

Me and Ruby


Photo of Ruby trying to work out what I'm doing

Ruby trying to work out what I'm doing


Another photo of me and Ruby

Another photo of me and Ruby


The rest of my images this week were a few shots of the marina and some photos taken with my mobile phone while I was out waking Ruby.

Photof of evening light at Maryport Marina

Evening light at Maryport Marina


Phot of reflections at Maryport Marina

Reflections at Maryport Marina


Phone photo of the shore at Maryport

Phone photo of the shore at Maryport


Phone photo of rain clouds over Maryport Harbour

Phone photo of rain clouds over Maryport Harbour



Weather watch

We’ve had some decent weather this week including some warm sunshine and some low wind speeds which enabled us to get out on the water.

Saturday was cloudy but very warm and muggy with thunder late afternoon along with a heavy downpour followed by showers. The top temperature was 21C (70F) and the top average wind speed was 13mph.

Photo of Saturday morning at Maryport Marina

Saturday morning at Maryport Marina


Sunday started dry and cloudy. It was bright during the morning with light rain during the afternoon. The top temperature was16C (61F) and the top average wind speed was 21mph, gusting 31mph.

Photo of bright skies at Maryport Marina on Sunday

Bright skies at Maryport Marina on Sunday


The wind got up overnight with average wind speeds of up to 28mph, gusting 38mph. Monday was dry and bright but fairly breezy with a top temperature of 16C (61F) and a top average wind speed of 24mph, gusting 38mph.

Photo of lenticular clouds over Maryport on Monday

Lenticular clouds over Maryport on Monday


Tuesday was another dry, bright and breezy, feeling warm at times. The temperature peaked at 18C (64F) and the average wind speed reached 21mph.

Wednesday was dry, sunny and calm with a top temperature of 17C (63F) and a top average wind speed of 11mph.

Photo of bright sunshine at Maryport on Wednesday

Bright sunshine at Maryport on Wednesday


Yesterday (Thursday) was mainly dry and cloudy with a little rain late afternoon, but it was very short-lived. The top temperature was 16C (61F) and the top average wind speed was 11mph.


Phot of cloudy weather at Maryport Marina yesterday (Thursday)

Cloudy weather at Maryport Marina yesterday (Thursday)


And, so far today (Friday) the weather started overcast but bright with the cloud thinning and the sun coming out around lunchtime. The top temperature so far was 16C (61F) and the top average wind speed was 14mph.

Photo of clearing skies at Maryport Marina today (Friday)

Clearing skies at Maryport Marina today (Friday)