Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Mayday, Mayday, Mayday – we have a pterodactyl in the marina!

A sunny day at Maryport Marina.

Having worked as a journalist and a communications officer for the NHS, communicating is something with which I am very comfortable.

But, when it came to communicating with a VHF radio, I was considerably less confident.

Phil and I were determined that we would both take any necessary courses/qualifications relating to our new liveaboard lifestyle so that we would be interchangeable where all things boat related were concerned.

So we both signed up for the day-long VHF radio course that had been arranged at Maryport Marina and were sent two copies of the RYA VHF Handbook to study beforehand.

My copy of the VHF Handbook

We had already arranged to go away for the fortnight before the course, but decided we would still be able to read the book and learn the necessary information while away.

We both worked hard at it and all our studying paid off at the weekend when we passed the VHF Short Range Certificate exam giving us the authority to operate our VHF radio.

All we have to do now is to wait for the certificate, which looks rather like a driving licence, to arrive.

Not so sure about the next planned course though as I know absolutely nothing about diesel engines, except that they can be very useful for getting around J

Seriously though, I once (a very long time ago) tried to work out how to top up the oil in my car by running the oil into the hole the dipstick came out of so I’m not sure I will ever be able to service a 300hp diesel engine let alone the two Volvo Pentas that we have on Ravensdale.

But I’m willing to give it a go.

We were going to go along to a pre-arranged diesel engine maintenance course, but have found someone who is willing to come and do the course on Ravensdale using our own engines so we're planning to go for that option.

Meanwhile, our freezer is still well and truly out of action after the electricity went off while we were away. We returned home to discover its contents had defrosted soon after we left and the boat was filled with the stench of rotting meat.

The freezer is banished to the aft deck while we attempt to stop it stinking

We have tried everything to get rid of the smell and nothing has worked.

It's currently consigned to the aft deck with a fridge and freezer deoderiser inside in the hope it can be saved, but it’s looking less and less likely that it will ever be allowed back indoors.

The properties around Maryport Harbour bathed in evening sunshine

The weather has become very spring-like over the last couple of days, which gave me the chance to do a bit of handwashing and to dry it on the washing line we have rigged up over the aft deck.

Sunny weather and a good breeze provided great drying weather

It has given us a welcome taste of what living on board is going to be like during the warmer weather to come – hopefully J

And I came face to face with the marina’s very own pterodactyl tonight.

Giant bird footprints on the pontoon

Earlier today, I spotted some rather large bird footprints on the pontoon near our boat and photographed them with a 10p piece to give an indication of their size.

I showed them to Phil, who knows far more about birds than I do, and he said they had been left by a heron.

We have often heard one squawking as it flies off, which can be a scary sound in the dark, and I always refer to it as the marina pterodactyl, but I had no idea it had such big feet J

And tonight, as I was walking up to the marina facilities, I suddenly realised it was standing on the pontoon about 15ft in front of me.

I immediately stopped and got my phone out in the hope of getting a photo, but sadly it squawked and flew off before I could snap it.