Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Three months into our new liveaboard life and we’re still smiling

The sun sets over Maryport Marina.

We now have our Yachtmaster Offshore certificates and are booked for the VHF radio course early next month.

Our Yachtmaster Offshore certificates

The Yachtmaster theory course was pretty full on, but at least doing it that way has enabled us to finish it before we are ready to go to sea, in the spring/summer, which was all part of the plan when we decided to move onto a boat at the start of the winter.

Definitely not part of the plan was being without heating for a month during the coldest part of the year.

Our heater, which kept us so warm during our first two months on board, packed up on January 5.

Initially, we hoped the existing Eberspacher 7 heater could be fixed, but we were told it was beyond repair as the parts were no longer available so we ordered a new Webasto 5 heater on January 11.

We were told the heater had to be ordered from Germany and would take about a week to arrive in the UK. However, a series of delays, including the courier losing the first one that was sent, mean we are still without heat more than a month later.

But we received a call today to say it is now in Carlisle and is due to be fitted tomorrow so hopefully this time tomorrow evening, we will be sitting in a nice warm boat.

Phil checks our electricity consumption

We’ve been very fortunate that the weather has been relatively mild for the time of year, but we have still spent a lot of extra money on electricity and gas in attempt to stop the temperature on board from dropping too low.

Most of the time we have succeeded in this, but we did get up one morning to find the temperature in the main saloon was just 7C.

Now our coursework is over we still have various projects to carry out on the boat, but we are also hoping to find time for more leisure pursuits, such as walking, cycling, fishing and exploring the Lake District.

So far the nearest we have come to fishing is watching other people fish off the pier at Maryport during a Sunday morning walk on the beach.

For once, I took my proper camera with me, rather than taking snaps on my phone, which is what I usually end up doing.

Fishing on the pier at Maryport

The weather wasn’t great for scenic photography, but it made for some moody skies that looked pretty impressive over Iggesund Paperboard’s Workington Mill and the wind turbines that surround it.

Workington Mill from Maryport Pier

We’ve managed to get a few jobs done on the boat in between our studies.

Phil replaces the anchor light

Phil spent hours balanced on a rail on the fly bridge while trying to change the anchor light on a pole on the radar arch.

It was freezing cold and I was feeling really guilty as I had suggested doing that particular task that day, unaware it would take so long because he couldn’t see into the light fitting and had to use a mirror to fit it and to do all the electrical connections.

I stayed on the aft deck to give him moral support, passing him tools and even got him a cushion to reduce the pressure on his chest while leaning against the radar arch, but there was little more I could do.

The funniest part was when a friend later pointed out that we could have dropped the radar arch to carry out the work so Phil’s balancing act was totally unnecessary, which thankfully he found really funny.

We also replaced two more ropes with new ones so we now have a full set of new navy mooring ropes.

And Phil ended up fishing for litter in the marina after bits of plastic and other rubbish started blowing into the water from the building site above us, where a new touring caravan park is under construction.  

Phil's fishing trip

Not quite the type of fishing he had been hoping for, but I’m sure we’ll make up for that very soon.

We had been planning to go tomorrow morning, but that will not be happening now as the heater is supposed to be arriving first thing.

Maybe we will get to go fishing on Thursday or Friday...


  1. Live aboard experience is something that I'm really interested in.

    1. Hi Elisha, Glad you enjoyed reading my blog. We're loving living aboard. Just wish we'd done it sooner. Hope it works out for you.