Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Our first liveaboard Christmas - a very noisy "quiet Christmas"

Our first Christmas on Ravensdale

In many ways, our first Christmas on Ravensdale was just the way I like Christmases to be – very quiet. But in others it was probably the noisiest festive season I have ever experienced...

Our star and Christmas tree are visible from outside

We had no real plans, except that we would have Christmas dinner at some stage on December 25. Beyond that, we decided to do what we wanted when we wanted and have a nice, quiet relaxing time.

But we hadn’t reckoned on Storm Barbara.

She began to make her presence known on Christmas Eve Eve (Friday December 23) and continued well into Christmas Day.

The gales wailing around the marina causing the yachts to sing in the wind provided an unusual musical accompaniment to the festive season and, at times, I was convinced I could hear the sound of Christmas bells playing in the background :-)

Some of our Christmas cards against the backdrop of the marina wall at low water

Our tiny 3ft tree

Ravensdale rocked as much as her mooring ropes would allow and at times the wind was so strong that marina staff were unable to come down onto the pontoons due to safety regulations. But Dex still had to go out for regular walks. These were very wet and windy outings, but still enjoyable when wrapped up against the weather.

So, other than the crazy noise outside the boat and the rocking we experienced while inside, Christmas went very much as we had hoped.

With a bit of careful planning beforehand, we managed to cook a full Christmas dinner with all the trimmings in our little gas oven, ate too much and generally chilled out in our new home.

Our Christmas lights proved to be a local attraction

The 800 colourful lights on the outside of the boat proved a big hit in the run up to Christmas – so much so that we were told one of the local taxi firms, which runs festive lights trips, included Ravensdale in its itinerary this year, which we found highly amusing J

Unsurprisingly, not too many people turned out to see the lights during the storm, but we took a trip over to Maryport beach on Christmas Eve, which is on the opposite side of the marina to our mooring and just around the headland, to see what it was doing to the sea.

Storm Barbara whipped up the waves on Maryport beach

Dex's first Christmas as a sea dog

And we were glad we did as the massive waves lashing the pier and the lighthouse were an impressive sight.

As I write this, the wind has gone, the sun is shining on the marina and, at 7.2C, it is pretty mild for the time of year, but I’m sure winter has plenty of cold, wet and wild weather in store for us before it is over.
One thing is for certain, Dex really doesn't seem to care what the weather is doing outside as long as he can curl up in the warm with a cushion or two - and he's not the only one :-)
However much the boat rocks and the wind wails, he sleeps through the night and doesn't make a sound until we get up, whatever time that might be.
We are really hoping that by the time we get to take Ravensdale out to sea next year, he will be so used to the motion of the boat that he will not be bothered by it at all.

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