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.
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.
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
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.
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
Phil turning Ravensdale around ready to leave the marina. Photo by Ronnie Bell
Phil's first catch - a pair of codling
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.
Bank End Farm
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.
Phil removing bones from the cod fillets as Ruby watches
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.
Phil at the helm on Ravensdale's flybridge. Photo by Ronnie Bell
Me reaching for my camera as we left the marina on Ravensdale. Photo by Ronnie Bell
VHF radio problem sorted
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.
Phil fitting the new aerial on Ravensdale
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.
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
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
Ruby on Ravensdale's aft deck on the Solway Firth
My latest attempt at taking a selfie with Ruby
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.
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.
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.
Ruby looking at the Solway Firth over a wall
Ruby with her ball on a grassy area near the marina
Another shot of Ruby with her ball with Maryport Marina in the background
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 😊
Ruby with her new chew toy
I took more than 200 photos while wandering around Maryport with my camera on Saturday afternoon 😊
Fleming Square, Maryport, in glorious sunshine
One of the colourful planters in Fleming Square
Another view of Fleming Square
View across the Solway Firth to the Scottish hills from the top of Market Steps, Maryport
View across the basin from Market Steps
Sea cadets sailing in Maryport Basin
Fishing boats in Maryport Harbour
More fishing boats in Maryport Harbour
Christ Church, Maryport
St Mary's Church, 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.
Market Steps at Maryport from the Solway Firth
A yacht on the Solway Firth
Maryport from the Solway Firth
A yacht entering Maryport Basin
Maryport across the basin
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 ☹
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.