Friday, 29 December 2017

A wet and windy Christmas in a deserted marina

Photo of the view from Ravensdale's saloon on Christmas Day

The view from Ravensdale's saloon on Christmas Day

Our second liveaboard Christmas proved to be quiet and very enjoyable, despite high winds and torrential rain.

And we were joined for Christmas dinner by the only member of staff working at Maryport Marina in Maryport, Cumbria, UK, on Christmas Day.

In fact, I think Phil, Mic and I were the only three people in the marina on December 25 as the other liveaboards had gone to stay with family or friends ashore and I didn’t see anyone else visit their boats that day.

That said, I think I would’ve been more surprised if they had.

The weather was truly awful so not really conducive to messing about on a boat – unless it also happens to be your home J

It started raining around lunchtime on Christmas Eve and continued throughout Christmas Day, with high winds for much of the festive period.

Photo of waves crashing onto the beach at Maryport

Waves crashing onto the beach at Maryport on Christmas Eve

We took a walk around to the shore on Christmas Eve to see the huge crashing waves that were being whipped up by the strong winds and Phil took a tumble when his feet slid out from under him on the pier. Thankfully, he only hurt his elbow, which was bruised and swollen, but already seems to be on the mend.

I didn’t even realise he’d fallen until I met up with him afterwards as he’d been chatting to fishermen on the end of the pier while I was down on the beach taking photos.

I thought he’d just bent down to pick something up when I snapped a photo of him bent double halfway along the pier and later discovered that he had actually been picking himself up off the floor.

Photo of Phil bent over on Maryport pier

Phil bent over on Maryport pier

That evening, we lost the power to all the sockets onboard several times as a fuse kept blowing and Phil had to reset it.

Initially, we couldn’t work out why this was happening, but later discovered that the fairy lights on the outside of the boat seemed to be causing the problem so we left them off for the night.

Overnight on Christmas Eve and into Christmas morning, we had frequent wind speeds of 30mph with gusts of up to 40mph. The boat was rocking well, the mooring ropes were creaking and the water was slapping against the sides of Ravensdale’s hull.

Photo of some of Ravensdale's colourful Christmas lights

Some of Ravensdale's colourful Christmas lights

First thing on Christmas morning, Phil went out to check the fairy lights to discover that, although the two extension leads into which they were plugged were both undercover, the rain had somehow managed to get in and one of them was full of water.

When Phil picked it up, water poured out of the end of the socket box.

Well aware that water and electricity don’t mix well, he swapped the wet extension lead for another one and both were wrapped in plastic bags before being replaced under the cover. The lights could then be switched back on and we haven’t had any further problems with fuses blowing.

My treat to myself on Christmas morning was using the onboard heads rather than traipsing up to the marina facilities, which is what I do every other day of the year - OK. Yes, I know that is way too much information, but it is part of our experience of living on a boat J

Only using the onboard heads for emergencies means the holding tank lasts so much longer before it needs emptying.

I’m sure plenty of people will think me crazy for this, but most of the time I actually enjoy the extra exercise provided by the round trip of more than 300 steps to the marina facilities to answer a call of nature.

However, I really didn’t want to venture out on Christmas morning in the wind and rain so I stayed at home J

Photo showing Ravensdale on the left and the ramp leading up to the marina facilities far right

Ravensdale on the left and the ramp leading up to the marina facilities far right

Cooking Christmas dinner in our little oven with a three-ring hob was a bit of a challenge again this year.

The vegetables were prepared Christmas Eve to save work on Christmas morning.

I also typed out a list of timings to ensure we were making the best possible use of the limited cooking facilities and that the various elements of the meal were ready at the right times.

Thankfully it worked J

Photo of Christmas dinner for three on Ravensdale

Christmas dinner for three on Ravensdale

The only problem being that we ate too much three bird roast, roast potatoes, boiled potatoes, carrots, parsnips, sprouts, bread sauce, cranberry jelly and gravy, leaving no room for the Christmas pudding with brandy butter and cream.

We spent most of the day indoors, eating and watching Christmas TV only venturing out later in the day when the wind and rain started to ease off a bit.

We were delighted to discover that the sun was shining when we got up on Boxing Day so we went out to try to walk off some of the excesses of the previous day.

It was good to be able to get out again even if it was pretty cold and Phil had to grit the pontoon that night when ice started to form on the surface.

The weather stayed dry and bright until today (Friday). It is now a bit warmer but it's raining again with more forecast over the next few days.

Meanwhile, we saw an unusual sunset on Wednesday evening when there were three beams of pinkish red light shining up into the sky to the north-east of us, which didn’t seem to make much sense, given that the sun sets in the west.

Photo of pinkish red rays of light stretching up into the sky

Pinkish red rays of light stretch up into the sky

Photo of the magpie duck's return to Maryport Marina

The magpie duck returns to Maryport Marina

We were also pleased to see that the magpie duck has been back in the marina again over the past couple of days. For a little while there, I had a horrible feeling it might have ended up as someone’s Christmas dinner.
New Year is going to be an equally quiet affair for us as we will be seeing in 2018 on Ravensdale.

However, the weather is going to be anything but quiet again with wind speeds of up to 45mph and gusts of up to 60mph forecast for New Year's Eve.

Below are some of the photos I took while out for a walk in the area around the marina on Boxing Day.

Photo of the view along the shore from Maryport looking towards Flimby

View along the shore from Maryport looking towards Flimby

Photo of Maryport Lighthouse

Maryport Lighthouse

Photo of another view along the beach from Maryport towards Flimby

Another view along the beach from Maryport towards Flimby

Photo of the entrance to Maryport Harbour

The entrance to Maryport Harbour

Photo of Maryport Lighthouse with the town in the background

Maryport Lighthouse with the town in the background

Photo of Maryport Marina

Maryport Marina

Photo of reflections in the still water at Maryport Marina

Reflections in the still water at Maryport Marina

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