The sun has been shining on Maryport Marina but we are still not in it
I’m beginning to think we'll never get back in the water as everything seems to be conspiring against Ravensdale’s relaunch.
We completed the planned work – and the tasks we’d discovered needed doing after she came out of the water – by close of play on Friday May 26.
At that stage, we thought the main thing stopping us going back in the water was the scaffolding steps to the aft deck as the marina could not use the boat hoist to lift Ravensdale until they had gone.
A step ladder and the boat's own ladder provide access to the aft deck
Unfortunately we reached this point at the start of the Bank Holiday weekend so had to wait until last Tuesday before we could contact the scaffolding firm.
After calling several times on Tuesday and leaving messages without success, we started visiting their unit on a local industrial estate and eventually managed to catch them before they left for their first job on Wednesday morning.
It turned out we’d been calling the boss, who was away on holiday. Thankfully the lads managed to contact him and struck the scaffolding the same afternoon while we were visiting friends on their boat.
We were delighted to see it had gone and I really thought we would be able to get back in the water within a day or so – but it was not to be.
MPM was working on a large catamaran that was blocking the slipway.
Then another large boat - the Isle of Man fisheries boat Barrule - came in. She was due to come out onto the hard standing by the engineering firm’s workshop at the marina, but they had a problem with their boat hoist and the boat was stuck on the hoist on the slipway for a couple of days.
The Isle of Man fisheries boat Barrule stuck on the slipway
She has since been moved, but we were still waiting for MPM to find a way to stop the slings on the boat hoist damaging the exhaust manifolds that run along the sides of the boat.
One of the exhaust manifolds that are causing so much trouble
As we were giving up hope of anyone coming up with a solution for us, Phil set about trying to build something to do the job himself this weekend.
And Mic, who is one of the marina staff, helped him make two blocks of wood that are to be attached to a strap.
They will hopefully take the weight under a ledge on the hull to prevent the sling from lifting and damaging the fibreglass exhaust manifolds, one of which broke the last time the boat was lifted and has had to be repaired.
Bird's eye view of Phil and Mic working on one of the blocks
Phil holding the port side block in place
Phil hauls shopping up onto the boat
Meanwhile, the loss of the scaffolding means we now have to clamber up and down ladders to the aft deck, which is about 14 ft off the ground.
This is a bit of a pain at the best of times, but even more so when bringing home shopping, which has to be hauled up on a rope or if one needs to pop out to use the marina facilities in the middle of the night.
There is one other factor that could delay Ravensdale’s relaunch – the weather.
She will not be going back in until the wind drops as it makes the boat very difficult to control in the enclosed spaces around the other boats and pontoons in the marina.
So for now we continue to live behind bars in our home on stilts high above the marina.
Our view of the Barrule through the fence around the hard standing
We have been enjoying the lovely sunshine we have had lately and are both sure that we have already seen more sunny days here than we ever did in Scotland. However, I can’t help thinking that there must have been sunny days really (even in Fort William J) I just didn’t notice because I was at work.
Feeling hot, hot, hot :-)
The temperature soars on the boat when the sun comes out due to the amount of glass in the main saloon. This time, the highest temperature I saw on the thermometer was 42.5C, but it was in direct sunlight at the time.
While killing time during the long wait to get back in the water, we got out the dinghy that was on board when we bought the boat and had hoped would serve as a tender to discover that it wasn’t really suitable for our purposes.
It will only take a 1.5hp engine and is more suited for lakes than the sea so we started looking for a replacement and have been offered a second-hand 2.3m Suzumar dinghy that looks like it will do the job.
It needed a good clean and is now blown up on the aft deck to see if it stays up before we decide whether to keep it.
Giving the "new" dinghy a good scrub
The "new" dinghy on Ravensdale's aft deck
If nothing else, perhaps we could take that in the marina and pootle around in it while we wait for our real boat to be back where she belongs...