A freezing cold sunrise at Maryport Marina
Plummeting temperatures earlier this week left Ravensdale surrounded by thick ice.
This was the first time since we moved onboard our 43ft seagoing cruiser at Maryport in Cumbria, UK, that we’ve seen most of the water in the marina freeze over.
Ravensdale is reflected in the ice at Maryport Marina
Jigsaw patterns on the ice by the marina slipway
The crazy paving effect on the solid surface of the water looked beautiful, even if it did mean the seabirds that came to visit that day got very cold feet.
A young seagull walking on the ice looking for food
Another seagull walking on the ice at Maryport Marina
Meanwhile, we were lovely and warm inside our boat, thanks to the Webasto diesel heater we had installed after the Eberspacher heater that was onboard when we bought the boat packed up in January leaving us without heat for a month.
The strangest thing during the cold snap was the noise made by the ice scraping and crunching against Ravensdale’s hull, especially when a fishing boat passed very close to her early on Monday morning on its way to the marina slipway.
We were still in bed at the time, which made the sound of the ice moving against the starboard side seem louder than ever as much of our cabin is closer to the water level than the rest of our living space.
Fortunately, I’d been speaking to one of the guys on the fishing boat the previous evening and he'd told me they would be passing us early the following morning so at least we knew what was happening.
With hindsight, I wish I’d got up earlier to see its hull breaking up the ice as it pushed through the frozen water.
Instead, I had to make do with seeing the after effects – a channel through the ice, running from the berth the fishing boat had been in the previous night, past the side of our boat and around to the slipway.
Shards of ice had been pushed under the frozen surface on either side of the channel and some jagged lumps had been pushed up on top of it.
The "shipping channel" created by the fishing boat pushing its way through the ice
The gap in the ice leading from the other end of the marina
Thankfully a local Maryport man, Ronnie Bell, was up earlier than me and took some lovely photos of Ravensdale at sunrise just after the fishing boat had passed by and of the marina, which he has kindly given me permission to use them on my blog.
Broken pieces of ice floating in the channel left by the fishing boat
A pair or swan taking an early morning swim at Maryport Marina
The pontoons became very slippery overnight on Sunday and Monday nights, but the marina salted them so we were still able to get to and from our boat safely.
The coldest temperature we saw on our outdoor thermometer before we went to bed that night was -1.9C, but we knew it had been much colder during the night. And, the following day, the Met Office website showed that it went down to -3.5C in this area in the early hours of Monday morning.
It was so cold that one of the other berth holders here had to climb out of his bow hatch after discovering the hatch at the top of his companionway had frozen shut.
Crazy paving patterns on the ice at Maryport Marina
Smaller patterns in the thicker ice
Until Sunday night, we’d been turning our heating off overnight, but we left it on the eco setting that night and have continued to do so ever since.
Overnight Monday/Tuesday was another very cold night with temperatures going down to -3C.Since then, it's become much warmer, which inevitably brought rain L
Just before the cold snap, we went out and bought another set of 500 Christmas lights to give Ravensdale’s festive display some added drama and it seems to be proving popular.
We’ve seen lots of people taking photos of the boat from the road around the marina and one little lad was screaming with delight as he had his photo taken with the boat in the background.
I don’t think we’ve seen a single person walk by without stopping to look at the boat, but then our Christmas lights are rather in your face J
Ravensdale's colourful Christmas lights reflected in the still water
We had a lovely surprise when we returned to the boat after a shopping trip last weekend to find a large, square, plastic box in front of the door on our aft deck.
We took it in and opened it up to find a lovely home baked Christmas cake.
There was no note with it and we had no idea who it was from.
The only thing we knew was that it had to have been put there by someone with access to the marina as no one without a fob would be able to get in through the locked gate.
The Christmas cake that mysteriously appeared on our aft deck
We asked around and discovered that another berth holder had been seen heading in Ravensdale’s direction holding a container while we were out.
And shortly afterwards I received a Facebook message saying he hoped the “larl home baked festive treat” hadn’t “freaked” us out.
He explained that he'd been telling his wife, who likes baking for friends and family, about the limited cooking facilities on Ravensdale and, although she has never met us, she decided to bake us a Christmas cake.
We were very pleased and very grateful.
There’s nothing like being on the receiving end of a random act of kindness to restore your faith in human nature J
Meanwhile, we’ve had a new feathered visitor to the marina over the past week.
Phil lays on the pontoon to get a closer look at the unusual duck
A small black and white duck turned up a couple of times. We had no idea what type of duck it was so Phil looked it up and discovered it was a magpie duck.
Apparently, it's a domesticated breed so we were wondering whether it had escaped from somewhere when it disappeared again. We’re now hoping that it’s gone home as the other options aren't so good, especially at this time of year.
As usual, I've been out and about taking photos around the Maryport area.
Maryport lighthouse at low tide
Maryport Christmas lights
Fishing boats in Maryport Harbour at low tide
Another fishing boat in Maryport Harbour