Me attempting to escape through Ravensdale's starboard window
The well worn steps before work began
It would have been a simple mistake to make if anyone who didn’t know us saw us climbing in and out of one of Ravensdale’s windows.
The big problem being that these steps are the only proper access to Ravensdale so, while the varnish was wet, he said we would have to climb in and out through a window.
Before he started work on the steps we had a trial run.
It wasn’t easy, especially so soon after abdominal surgery, but I discovered that I could do it if necessary. I guess this is quite useful to know anyway as it means we have alternative access at any time.
A considerably less flattering view of me playing boat burgler
Phil sanding down the steps into the boat
Applying the first coat of varnish
He decided the best time to apply the varnish was in the evening so they would be dry to use as normal again by the morning and his varnishing schedule worked well.
They now look so much better than before, but they have made all the rest of the interior varnish look shabby so I guess we’ll have to gradually work our way around the rest of it now.
If I’ve learnt anything this week, it’s not to even attempt applying mascara on a rocking boat.
We’ve had a lot of very wild weather over the past week, with wind speeds of up to about 50mph at times, gusting even higher.
This would have been bad enough, but when coupled with a big swell it meant Ravensdale, and all the other boats in the marina, have been rocking and rolling more violently than usual.
The craziest rocking occurred just after the marina gate opened on Wednesday morning and I stupidly attempted to do my makeup as usual.
I always brace myself against the vanity unit while doing my mascara and even rest my elbow against the wall if I know Phil is likely to get back on board while I’m doing it as anyone getting on or off the boat makes it rock.
However, on Wednesday morning these measures were not sufficient and I ended up with mascara all over my face.
Never attempt to apply mascara on a rocking boat
Rather than reapplying it straight away, I decided the best course of action was to take the whole lot off and do it again when the rocking subsided a bit.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t like the boat rocking. I love it. It makes living on a boat different to living in a house.
And I really enjoy the wild weather. As long as no one gets hurt and there’s no damage caused, I find the storms exhilarating.
I have continued with my post op walks, although I’m sure I no longer need to do them to stop me getting blood clots after my gall bladder operation from which I am now fully recovered.
Phil frequently comes with me and we've enjoyed taking photos of the massive waves whipped up by the recent high winds.
Wild waves batter Maryport pier
Phil walking out along Maryport pier in a strong wind
View along the coastal path towards Maryport pier
Massive waves breaking on the shore with Iggesund Paperboard's Workington Mill in the distance
A fishing boat returning to Maryport in rough seas
Phil getting a closer view of the waves on the shore at Maryport
Another image of the waves rolling in by Maryport lighthouse
On a less happy note, the marina wifi has been particularly slow lately – and not just during the bad weather.
It has not been good for months, but particularly so in recent weeks.
We’ve mentioned it to the marina staff, who say their wifi is also very slow, and we understand they've called someone in to see if it can be improved, but, as yet, we have seen no improvement.
Sometimes it's so bad that we have to refresh the page several times before we can even get Google to open and some websites are just impossible to visit.
Just hoping I’ll be able to upload my blog OK today as it's been taking me ages to get it online lately.
Another challenge this week has been the on-site laundry, which has two washing machines and two dryers.
I usually carry our washing up there, put it in one of the machines for about 45 minutes, go back up and transfer it to a dryer for an hour, then go back and collect it. Each time I leave the washing I set an alarm on my phone to make sure I go back as soon as it’s finished so we're not holding up a machine if someone else is waiting to use it.
And it has worked fine until now.
When the marina opened the caravan park alongside us earlier this year we were concerned that the toilet, shower and laundry facilities would not be able to cope with the influx of visitors.
The new marina caravan park full up during Maryport Blues Festival in the summer
Surprisingly we had not had a problem with the laundry until this week, when I carried our washing up there twice on the same day to find all the machines were in use. The most annoying part was that on both occasions one of the machines had finished its wash cycle, but no one had bothered to come and take their clothes out of them.
After the second failed attempt we decided to find out if there was a launderette in Maryport and drove our washing to The Laundry Basket on Solway Industrial Estate. We collected it a couple of hours later all washed, dried and neatly folded.
It cost a bit more than doing it ourselves at the marina, but cut out all the hassle of waiting for a machine to be available and walking up and down the pontoons to the facilities to move it from washer to dryer and then collect it.
Maryport Marina showing the caravan site on the far side
That said, I would much rather be doing anything and everything I do now than what I was doing a year ago.
We then had two weeks to get rid of most of our belongings and pack up anything that was coming with us before the completion date on the sale of our home in Corpach, Fort William.
It was a big decision - some may say an irresponsible one - but I still believe it was the right move for us and I’m totally loving our new life aboard.