Wild waves crashing onto the shore at Maryport during Storm Brian
Storm Brian caused us no problems at all, which is more than can be said for our domestic water system.
Soon after Phil installed a new domestic water pump on Ravensdale the water started pulsing as it came out of our taps.
He was concerned this would result in increased wear on the pump and set about finding out what was causing it.
He searched online and discovered that it could be due to problems with the expansion vessel that builds up pressure so the pump doesn’t have to switch on every time a tap is opened.
Phil removing the old expansion vessel
We had a choice of replacing the membrane or the entire unit and, having found what we were convinced was the date on the tank, it looked as though it was probably due for renewal.
Our 43ft cruiser was built in 1984 and the tank carried a date in 1995 so it would seem that the first one probably lasted 11 years and the existing one had been in place for 12 years.
Also, the cost of a new tank was only around twice the cost of a new membrane so we decided to do the job properly.
Phil ordered the 24 litre tank online on Monday evening.
As we’d been living with throbbing water for a while, we decided against paying extra for next day delivery and went for the three to five working day-option. However, it arrived around lunchtime the following day – less than 24 hours after the order was placed.
The new expansion vessel
This meant that he didn’t get started on removing the old tank and fitting the new one until mid afternoon.
As with just about everything in the engine room, he was working in very tight spots and now has the bruises and aches and pains to prove it.
Thankfully my task was to stand in the saloon handing the required tools down through the opening in the floor that provides access to the engine room from above.
Once the old tank was disconnected, he took it out onto the aft deck to remove the fitting on the end to which the pipes were connected as he needed to fit this on the new one.
Removing the fittings from the old tank
He then took the new tank down through the hole in the floor and connected it up to the water system.
Fitting the new expansion vessel
By this time it was early evening and the light was beginning to fade. It was starting to look as though we were going to have to leave the water off for the night.
Phil asked around other berth holders to see if anyone had any PTFE tape – white tape that’s wrapped around the thread that goes into the unit to fill any gaps between the threads – but no one had any with them.
In desperation, we took a quick trip to B&Q at Workington and returned with the tape, which thankfully seems to have done the trick.
The old tank and membrane
We now have a steady flow of water from our taps and the shower. I have to admit I hadn’t realised just how weird the throbbing water was in the shower until the first one after the new expansion tank had been fitted.
Phil decided to take the old tank apart before throwing it away and discovered that the membrane was perished and there was dirt and rust inside it so we were very glad we opted for a replacement.
Last Friday, Phil gave Ravensdale a good wash to get rid of the orange dust blown in by ex Hurricane Ophelia, but every time he got the gear out to do the job it started to rain.
After a couple of aborted attempts, he decided to go ahead and wash her in the rain – at least it meant she got an extra rinse.
Cleaning ex-hurricane Ophelia dust off Ravensdale
I couldn’t help wondering if it was worth doing given that we were expecting another storm, but Brian was a completely different type of weather event. In fact, it was a bit of a non event.
It was certainly nowhere near as powerful as Ophelia, but I guess the clue was in the name – ex hurricane, I mean, not Brian J
The storm was due to arrive around midday so we went for a walk along the shore at around that time to discover that, although the wind was nowhere near as strong as we'd expected, there were still some pretty impressive waves to photograph.
Maryport beach during Storm Brian
Spray from the massive waves is blown over the pier
The sun trying to break through the clouds over Flimby
A large wave rolling in over the groyne on Maryport beach
Spray is blown off the crest of a wave by the high winds
There was also an 8.6 metre spring tide that day, which took us almost level with the promenade along the side of the marina, leaving us more exposed to the weather.
The ramp down onto the pontoon is practically flat at high tide
Ravensdale sitting almost level with the caravan park at high tide
The following morning we found a number of large branches trapped between Ravensdale’s hull and the pontoon and her port side was covered in splashes of mud.