Wednesday, 21 June 2017

What a whopper! A giant jellyfish pays a visit to Maryport Marina

Photo of a huge jellyfish swimming past a boat in the marina

A huge jellyfish swims past a boat in the marina

The weather has been amazing for the past week and, on one of the hottest days, a massive jellyfish found its way into the marina.

I was on my way from Ravensdale up to the marina facilities when I spotted the monster, which was the size of a dustbin lid, lurking between the pontoon and another boat.

I was amazed by its size and dashed back to our boat to get Phil as I knew he would want to see it.

By the time we got back it had gone, but I spotted it again a little later and we spent much of Tuesday watching it swim around the marina while taking lots of photos.

Photo of the jellyfish just below the surface of the water

The jellyfish is clearly visible just below the surface of the water

It really was an incredible sight. It was pale pink, with a black lacy looking rim, and measured about 18ins in diameter and around 2ft 6ins in length.

We have since looked it up online to discover it was a Rhizostoma pulmo, commonly known as the barrel jellyfish, the dustbin-lid jellyfish or the frilly-mouthed jellyfish.

It is found in the Atlantic, the Adriatic and Mediterranean Sea. It is also common in the Irish Sea.

It usually measures around 16ins in diameter, but can reach up to 35ins, making it the largest jellyfish in British waters.

Apparently it is a favourite food of the Leatherback Sea Turtle, but as we don’t have too many of them around here it should be safe enough

Photo of sunbathing on Ravensdale's fore deck

Enjoying the sunshine on Ravensdale's fore deck

It has been almost too hot to do anything much other than soaking up the sun and watching the wildlife, including the heron that spends a lot of time around the marina, but work on the boat has continued.

Photo of a heron posing for photos on a nearby boat

A heron posing for photos on a nearby boat

Phil replaced the damaged black caulking in the aft deck before cleaning, brightening and sealing it.

Photo of cleaning the aft deck

Cleaning the aft deck

Only trouble was that we didn’t think to shut the windows in the aft cabin, the heads and shower before he started work on the deck above it.

Needless to say that once again the water poured in soaking everything along both sides of our bedroom, the towel hanging on the towel rail in the bathroom and the loo roll was totally sodden.

And this time was even worse than the last time this happened when Phil was just hosing down the boat with clean water.

This time the water was filthy where the specialist cleaning product had lifted all the dirt and algae from the teak deck.

An extra load of washing had to be done and all the surfaces had to be washed down, but we now have a lovely clean room – until the next time J

As it is the only way in and out of the boat, we had to stay inside for an hour after the sealant was applied to allow it to dry, although we had worked out that we could probably have climbed out of a window if necessary.

Photo of applying the deck sealant

Applying the deck sealant

Meanwhile, I have been cleaning the upholstery.
When we moved onto Ravensdale we decided to keep our carpet and upholstery cleaner despite it being rather large to store on a boat and we are very glad we did as it's been worth its weight in gold.

Photo of cleaning the upholstery in the main saloon

Cleaning the upholstery in the main saloon

However, I was becoming very frustrated that I couldn’t seem to get the grey upholstery on the seating in the saloon to look clean. Try as I might it still looked a murky brown colour.

I'd almost finished cleaning the cushions and putting them out on the fore deck to dry when I discovered why I couldn’t get them to look clean on the boat.

The window alongside the seating was open and as the sun came around to the starboard side I could see what was happening.

The upholstery lit up by the light from the open window looked grey whereas the area that was being struck by light coming through the window was a dirty-looking brownish grey.

And it was at that point that we realised we had tinted windows. I felt a total prat, but at least I knew that I could stop trying to clean the cushions as I was never going to wash away the shading caused by the tinted glass.

Photo of the upholstery looking discoloured due to tinted glass

The upholstery looking discoloured due to tinted glass

Polishing and waxing the boat and chrome cleaning has continued. It seems Ravensdale is a bit like the Forth Bridge – a never-ending task.

And we took the canvas covers off the flybridge, the windscreen and the windows in the fore cabin and scrubbed them to remove the green algae that had accumulated on them over the winter.

Photo of scrubbing the flybridge cover in the sunshine

Scrubbing the flybridge cover in the sunshine

MPM engineering firm next to the marina has also completed the work to our black water (toilet) holding tank.

They installed the skin fitting while Ravensdale was out of the water and completed the internal work yesterday so we will now be able to discharge the holding tank while at sea.

We have also cleaned up our bikes and Phil gave them a bit of a service to make sure they will be ready when we want to take them out for a spin, which will hopefully be one day very soon.

Photo of Phil carrying out bike checks

Phil carrying out bike checks

One other discovery this week was that we’ve been cooking everything in far too hot an oven.

Photo of the oven that has been burning everything until now

The oven that has been burning everything until now

We've been using the gas marks given in recipes and wondering why everything was getting burnt, particularly at the back of the oven.

At long last, we actually got the instruction booklet out and discovered that the settings are totally different.

We only have six settings instead of eight, for example gas mark 4 on this oven is 200C whereas it would normally be 180C and gas mark 6 is 240C compared to 200C.

Also there’s a tray in the bottom of the oven with holes on three sides.
We thought they should be along the back and sides to allow the heat from the flames to pass through them, but the instructions said they should be at the front to disperse the heat more evenly.

So hopefully our meals and my attempts at baking will be a bit better from now on. I'll let you know...