Thursday, 14 September 2017

Flying the flag and new docking sticks

Photo of the red ensign flying from Ravensdale's new flagpole

The red ensign flying from Ravensdale's new flagpole


Ravensdale will be proudly flying the red ensign when we take her out of the marina in future.

We will also be able to dock at marinas where there is no one available to catch our ropes, thanks to our other latest purchase – a pair of docking sticks we ordered from the States.

When we bought our 43ft Neptunus 133 motor cruiser the only flag pole on board was a softwood pole that had seen better days and the only flag was the Dutch flag.

I suppose this wasn’t surprising as Ravensdale was made in Holland and was originally kept on the Dutch inland waterways.

She must have left Holland some years ago as she was on the River Shannon in Ireland and then the Clyde in Scotland before our predecessors brought her to Maryport in Cumbria a couple of years ago.

We learnt that we should be flying the national maritime flag on our RYA Day Skipper Course and had been meaning to rectify the situation for some time, but there always seemed to be other jobs that needed to be done first.

However, we have now purchased a stainless steel pole and will definitely be flying the flag in the future.

Whereas the flag and flagpole are decorative our new docking sticks serve a more useful purpose.

Photo of my first attempt at using one of the new docking sticks

My first attempt at using one of the new docking sticks

Photo of hooking the rope over a cleat

Hooking the rope over a cleat


They will enable me to get a mooring rope over a cleat without assistance, given that the boat is too high for me to jump off onto the pontoon to moor up.

We searched for something to do this job online and the best solution we could find was these docking sticks that clip onto the end of a boat hook and hold the rope in a loop while it is slipped over the cleat.
Once in place, a sharp pull on the boathook unhooks the stick and the rope is securely over the cleat.

We were expecting bad weather over Tuesday night into Wednesday morning when the Met Office announced that Storm Aileen – the first named storm of the season – was heading our way.

A yellow warning for wind was issued, which revealed that we could expect gusts of up to 75mph along exposed coastlines – that would be us then J

There was also an amber warning for rain issued with up to 40mm expected in the worst hit areas. This was less worrying for us for obvious reasons.

Photo of extra ropes added in preparation for Storm Aileen

Extra ropes were added in preparation for Storm Aileen


We moved the boat out from the pontoon a bit to make sure we wouldn’t get blown up against it and put on extra ropes just in case, even though we always have plenty of mooring ropes attached.

Photo of storm clouds gathering over Maryport Harbour

Storm clouds gather over Maryport Harbour


Another view of the storm clouds over the harbour

Another view of the storm clouds over the harbour


I took my camera for a walk around the harbour to see the storm brewing and could see dark clouds gathering overhead.

I made sure I was back inside before the rain started and we sat tight waiting for the storm to arrive, but it didn’t get here. In fact, we had one of the quietest, least rocky nights we’d had for days.

Apparently Storm Aileen moved further south taking us out of the area for which the Met Office had issued a severe weather warning.

We’ve had some fairly high tides recently and I actually got around to taking a photo of Ravensdale from the walkway, which is usually above the marina wall next to us, to show that at the higher tides we’re practically level with it.

Photo of Ravensdale and the pontoon alongside the walkway at high tide

Ravensdale and the pontoon alongside the walkway at high tide


We've caught another couple of small pollock in our crab net and the crabs we catch seem to be eating most of the shrimps that get trapped in the pot.

Photo of Phil removing a pollock from our crab net

Phil removing a pollock from our crab net


Meanwhile I’m getting on well with my book and have also been getting out and about with my camera.

Below is a selection of images taken around Maryport over the past week.

Photo of the River Ellen at Maryport

The River Ellen at Maryport


Photo of Maryport basin from the top of Market Steps

Maryport basin from the top of Market Steps


Photo of Maryport from Mote Hill

Maryport from Mote Hill


Photo of a fishing boat returning to Maryport

A fishing boat returning to Maryport


Photo of waves breaking on Grasslot Beach at Maryport

Waves breaking on Grasslot Beach at Maryport


Photo of a brightly coloured fishing boat in Maryport Harbour

A brightly coloured fishing boat in Maryport Harbour


Photo of a rainbow over Maryport Harbour

A rainbow over Maryport Harbour

1 comment:

  1. Better to be prepared for a storm that doesn't come than to not prepare for the one that does! Glad you and the boat are safe.

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