Our new red ensign on its first outing on Ravensdale
Ravensdale was proudly flying the red ensign when we took her out to play in Solway Firth at the weekend.
My operation and windy weather have prevented us going out on our 43ft motor cruiser for the past few weeks.
I was told not to lift anything heavy for two weeks after undergoing surgery to remove my gall bladder last month and I didn’t think throwing ropes would be a good idea either so we decided to stay put until the fortnight was up.
We then had to wait for a calm day as we have no desire to take Ravensdale out in bad weather when there's no need to do so.
The weather forecast was good for last Sunday – sunny intervals, very little chance of rain and, most important of all, the wind was due to be in single figures.
And, for once, the forecasters actually got it right J
It was good to get out to sea again and it enabled us to fly our new red ensign on our new flagpole for the first time.
Leaving Maryport basin and heading out into the Solway Firth
I love living on our boat, even when we don’t leave the marina, but there’s nothing quite like travelling through the waves.
And there was no shortage of waves on Sunday. Considering the lack of wind, we were rather surprised to discover there was such a big swell.
Me taking a turn at Ravensdale's helm
Phil at the helm
Making a cup of tea at sea was much more difficult than on previous occasions and I discovered that a round teapot isn’t ideal in this situation. It has a flat bottom, but that didn’t stop it rolling around the bench in the galley, thankfully before I’d filled it with tea.
I even had to hold the kettle onto the top of the gas stove to stop it falling off while we were rocking around on the waves.
And I dug out some non-slip matting to stand the teapot and mugs on to stop them sliding around while I waited for the tea to brew.
Making tea while at sea (the cactus garden was in the sink for safekeeping)
This was also the first outing on which we’ve had company.
Friends, who have a smaller motor cruiser in Maryport Marina, took their boat out into the Solway Firth at the same time. Theirs is faster than ours and they took great pleasure in coming up behind us, slowing down alongside and then shooting off ahead of us.
Meanwhile, I took lots of photos of their boat while they were taking photos of ours.
Friends following us in their motor cruiser
I had hoped to have the photos of Ravensdale to use in my blog this week, but don’t have them yet so will include them in the first blog post after they arrive.
The GPS showing 16 knots
Phil did a bit of an experiment with our speed and the tide while at sea and discovered that, with the throttles set in the same position, Ravensdale was doing about 12.5 knots against the tide and 16 knots with the tide.
When we returned to the marina it was good to see that the weed that was beginning to grow just below the waterline around Ravensdale’s bow had been washed away as I really didn’t want her to become a bearded lady J
Ravensdale heading back into Maryport Marina
We’ve also purchased a new toy this week.
The strong winds over the past couple of weeks left us wishing we could measure the wind speed so we bought ourselves an anemometer.
The highest speed we’ve recorded with it so far is 20mph, but I think we will soon be getting much higher readings when the tail end of Hurricane Ophelia reaches us on Monday.
Phil measuring the wind speed on our aft deck
Phil had his first attempt at beach fishing on the shore at Maryport in the past week while I went for a walk with my camera.
Phil waiting for a fish to take his bait on Maryport beach
I spent ages watching the sandpipers along the waterline near the pier and took dozens of photos and a couple of videos of them, but none came out as well as I’d hoped.
Sandpipers on the shore at Maryport
A closer view of some of the sandpipers
And we had a new marine visitor to the marina this week. We found a starfish clinging to the harbour wall. It's the first one we've seen since we've been here.
I couldn’t get a photo of it in situ so used a kid’s fishing net we bought to catch shrimps in the marina and scooped it up so I could get a closer look. It was returned to the water asap as I didn’t want to harm it in any way.
I've also been wandering around Maryport taking photos as usual, sometimes with my camera and sometimes with my phone.
Maryport lighthouse sunset
Maryport lighthouse from the pier
The coastal walk along the seafront at Maryport
Ellenfoot Bridge at Maryport
A fishing party on the beach at Maryport
A pair of pigeons at Maryport Marina