Friday, 22 December 2017

'Tis the season to be jolly...

We're really looking forward to our second Christmas afloat even if the weather outside is frightful.
Last year was special as it was our first Christmas as liveaboards, but I think this year could be even better.

We’re having a couple of weeks off from boaty jobs at the moment, unless Ravensdale decides otherwise J

Photo of the small stove in Ravensdale's galley

The small stove in Ravensdale's galley

And we’ve well and truly settled into our new lifestyle.

Our only regret being that we didn’t do it sooner.

Last year, we were trying to work out how to cook a traditional Christmas dinner in a tiny stove, but we’ve got that sussed now. Anything that can be cooked in advance will be. It will then be microwaved at the relevant time.

We were also in the process of trying to sort various problems with our 43ft seagoing cruiser that we had no idea existed when we bought her and, yes, we did have a survey done, but that didn’t seem to help at all.

Anyway, it’s Christmas so I’m not going to moan about that.

Photo of some of the decorations inside Ravensdale

Some of the decorations inside Ravensdale

As I’ve said before, the good bits of living on our Neptunus 133 very definitely outweigh any of the not quite so good bits.

Last year, we considered booking into a hotel for Christmas, which we frequently did when living in a house, but didn’t want to miss out on our first liveaboard Christmas.

We went through the same process this year and came to the same decision.

And we're still glad we decided to stay put despite the less than pleasant weather forecast for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day when we're being warned to expect heavy rain and strong winds, gusting up to 56mph.

Photo of the misty view from our aft deck this afternoon (Friday)

The misty view from our aft deck this afternoon (Friday)

Ravensdale really feels like home now and it would seem weird not to spend Christmas with her here at Maryport Marina in Cumbria, UK.

I was always one of those people who didn’t believe in putting Christmas decorations up too early. I also preferred understated festive trimmings to "in your face" ornamentation, but I’ve changed since I gave up work and moved onto a boat.

This year I was more than happy to get the decorations up early and OTT is my default setting J

The only trouble with putting a couple of thousand fairy lights on the boat early in December is that some of them are beginning to pack up, which is so sad.

Photo of lights out on Ravensdale's port side

Lights out on Ravensdale's port side

Initially, a short length of one string of coloured lights stopped working so we overlapped it with the new string we bought this year.

Since then, other sections have slowly gone out, so much so that the port side of the boat was left with a 15ft gap without lights L

Photo of a closer view of Ravensdale's port side

A closer view of Ravensdale's port side

Photo of lights strung across Ravensdale's aft deck

Colourful lights strung across Ravensdale's aft deck

At the moment, we’re turning them off by day and on during the evening in the hope that the ones that are left will last until Christmas.

We have no idea why this has happened but are wondering if they could have been affected by the damp atmosphere in the marina.

We were reluctant to buy replacements this year so a bit of reorganisation was required, which involved cutting all the cable ties holding them onto the guardrails and re-fixing them.

We had intended to attempt this yesterday (Thursday) but Phil, who does relief work for our marina, was asked to work at the last minute to cover for a member of staff who was off sick and I really didn’t fancy attempting it on my own.

He's working again this afternoon, but he managed to fix them this morning by moving some of the lights along. We also bought a short length of lights that were reduced to half price in Asda this morning to fill the longest gap.

Photo of Phil operating the marina gate barrier

Phil operating the marina gate barrier on a damp, misty day 

Last weekend was great fun. We were invited to the marina staff Christmas dinner, which was held at Broughton Craggs Hotel, Great Broughton, near Cockermouth.

The food was delicious and I really enjoyed the disco. Phil isn’t so keen on dancing, but I persuaded him to join me for one slow dance – the first time we've danced together in the almost 19 years we’ve been together so it made my Christmas J

Photo of me with our little tree before the marina Christmas dinner

Me with our little tree before the marina Christmas dinner

Photo of Phil before the marina Christmas do

Phil before the marina Christmas do

Ravensdale is also being spoilt rotten this year.

When we bought her two new 180Ah starter batteries last month, we told her she wasn’t getting anything else for Christmas.

However, we caved in and she doesn’t know it yet but she’s also getting a galvanic isolator on the recommendation of our marine electrician.

Apparently, a galvanic isolator protects against stray currents and galvanic currents, which attack a boat via the shore power earth cable.

It won’t be fitted until the New Year, but we might let her see it on Christmas Day J

As for us, we will definitely be cosy and warm during the night this festive season.

Photo of our lovely warm festive bedding

Our lovely warm festive bedding

We weren’t really looking for new bedding when we came across a brushed cotton festive duvet set in Lidl while food shopping.

Although the bed is always warm when we get into it, thanks to a very efficient electric blanket, we couldn’t resist the idea of the warm feel of the brushed bedding. It takes me back to when I was little and my Nan had striped flannelette sheets.

We’ve since been back and bought another less festive set with a view to using them until the weather starts to warm up in the spring.

Meanwhile, we want to wish everyone a very happy Christmas from Ravensdale and all who sail (or rather cruise) on her.

Have fun and stay safe J
Still couldn't resist the temptation to add a couple of photos taken in Maryport this week. 
Photo of sunset on Maryport Pier

Sunset on Maryport Pier

Photo of Maryport Lighthouse at dusk

Maryport Lighthouse at dusk

No comments:

Post a Comment