Friday, 23 February 2018

Getting Ravensdale shipshape for the spring before winter returns


Photo of a calm evening at Maryport Marina in Cumbria, UK

A calm evening at Maryport Marina in Cumbria


Sunshine and slightly higher daytime temperatures over the past week have made it feel as though spring is just around the corner.

It has felt positively spring-like at times, but still very cold at night with frost on the pontoons in the early mornings.

And weather forecasters are warning us to prepare for a cold snap that will bring plunging temperatures and the potential for “significant snowfall” across parts of the UK next week.

The freezing weather system has been labelled “The Beast from the East” because it will be blown in from Siberia.


Ravensdale’s spring clean begins

This week's sunshine revealed just how dirty our 43ft seagoing cruiser Ravensdale had become during the winter, especially when we took our coffee out onto the foredeck to make the most of the good weather.

Phil then decided it was time to start her spring clean, initially using boat wash on her topside and hull, then attacking some of the more stubborn marks with cutting compound.

Photo of Phil washing Ravensdale with boat wash

Phil washing Ravensdale with boat wash


We’re also going to order some more ChineSHINE, an amazing product that works like magic when it comes to removing yellowing from fibreglass gelcoat.

It can also be used on rubber, glass, painted surfaces and antifoul.

And it cleans away rust staining from drainage and exhaust outlets and from around metal fixings.

We discovered it when we had Ravensdale out of the water for antifouling and replacing her anodes last spring and will definitely use it again.


Fitting new aft deck lights

Photo of drilling holes in Ravensdale's radar arch to fit new deck lights

Drilling holes in Ravensdale's radar arch to fit new deck lights


Phil has also fitted new LED lights to illuminate the aft deck.

He had hoped to use the wiring from the existing deck lights, which have not worked since we bought the boat, but this was not possible because the cables had been cut too short, so he had to run new wiring under the radar arch.

Photo of Ravensdale's new aft deck lights

Ravensdale's new aft deck lights


While carrying out the electrical work, he decided it was also time to sort out all his electrical tools and spares, so they were spread around the saloon before being packed away again, hopefully more neatly than before 😊

Photo of Phil sorting his electrical stuff in Ravensdale's saloon

Phil sorting his electrical stuff in Ravensdale's saloon



Other boat jobs

We also pulled out and sorted the contents of the aft deck lockers as we can never find the things we need when we need them. In fact, it frequently takes longer to find the tools or equipment than to complete the task for which they are needed.

Another job completed this week was installing the bilge pump that came out of the engine room in the bow bilges. It was removed from the engine room when we replaced it with a larger, automatic pump.

Photo of the former engine room bilge pump now fitted in the bow bilge

The former engine room bilge pump now fitted in the bow bilge


And yesterday (Thursday) we got out our generator and started it up to make sure it will run if and when its needed as it hasn’t been used for a while.

We also opened up the bimini – the open-front canvas top over the aft deck, to check for any damage and to give it an airing. 
The bimini itself was sound, but the cover that zips over it when closed needs repairing, so I will have to get my sewing machine out again one day soon.

Photo of Ravensdale with the bimini up

Ravensdale with the bimini up


Hopefully, it will be easier to patch than the flybridge cover because it’s smaller and will, therefore, be easier to manoeuvre while stitching.


Unusual neighbour

We had an unusual new neighbour overnight on Sunday.

Girl Mia, a shellfishing boat from nearby Whitehaven, tied up on the harbour wall opposite Ravensdale while waiting to be lifted out the following day to have work carried out at the MPM North West boat yard.

Photo of Chatting with the neighbours - Girl Mia moored up alongside Ravensdale

Chatting with the neighbours - Girl Mia moored up alongside Ravensdale


We were told it was one of just two of this design made by Sutton Workboats of Newhaven – the other is based at Wexford in Southern Ireland.

Fishing from this vessel must be a far cry from the experience of fishermen of the past and many of those fishing today as the decks are totally enclosed protecting the crew from the elements.

I can only think this is what fishing boats of the future will look like.


A taste of spring

Sunny weather has encouraged me to get out and about with my camera more than usual.

Photo of Maryport Marina basking in the winter sunshine

Maryport Marina basking in the winter sunshine


After a prolonged period of strong wind, it continued to blow overnight Friday into Saturday, with average wind speeds up to 25mph and gusts of up to 37mph.

Saturday was our first real taste of spring. It was bright and sunny, but there was still a chilly wind.

Sunday was dry and overcast first thing, then the sun came out and it was quite spring-like again.

There was very little wind, which made a pleasant change and I went out without a jacket or big woolly jumper and left my woolly hat at home for the first time this year.

However, the lovely weather was short lived. The sun disappeared and it started raining mid-afternoon and continued throughout the night.

Monday started off foggy. The fog soon cleared to be replaced by an overcast day with very little wind, which ended with a beautiful sunset.

Photo of the sunset reflected in a puddle on Maryport pier

Sunset reflected in a puddle on Maryport pier


Photo of the sun going down over Maryport beach

The sun going down over Maryport beach on Monday


Photo of sunset at Maryport Marina on Tuesday evening

Sunset at Maryport Marina on Tuesday evening


It was particularly cold overnight Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights with frost on the pontoons the following mornings.

And the week remained very calm, with glorious sunshine on Wednesday and yesterday (Thursday).

Photo of Fleming Square in Maryport

Fleming Square in Maryport


Photo of fishing boats in Maryport Harbour

Fishing boats in Maryport Harbour


Photo of Maryport basin from the Sea Brows

Maryport basin from the Sea Brows


Photo of the view across the Solway Firth to the Scottish hills from Maryport promenade

The view across the Solway Firth to the Scottish hills from Maryport promenade


Photo of another view of Fleming Square at Maryport

Another view of Fleming Square at Maryport


Photo of Maryport lighthouse

Maryport lighthouse 


Photo of the Roman Museum on the the Sea Brows at Maryport

The Roman Museum on the the Sea Brows at Maryport


Photo of a lone seagull on Maryport promenade

A lone seagull on Maryport promenade


The temperatures were only a little higher than last week, reaching 7-8C (45-46F), but the bright sun and lack of wind made it feel considerably warmer.

Today (Friday) is lovely and sunny again, but there's a real chill to the wind, hinting at the cooler weather heading our way and, yes, I did get my woolly jumper and hat out again 😊



Magpie duck sighting

When I wrote last week’s blog, I was disappointed by the disappearance of the little black and white duck that had become a regular visitor to our pontoon and tame enough to eat out of my hand.

Photo of the magpie duck eating out of my hand

The magpie duck eating out of my hand


He flew away when the marina staff pressure washed the pontoon and has not been back since.

However, local man Ronnie Bell posted a photo of the duck on Facebook this week, which he kindly agreed I could use in my blog.

Photo of the magpie duck in the River Ellen

The magpie duck in the River Ellen this week


I asked Ronnie where he’d seen it and it seems it has moved to the nearby river so I’m hoping it will return to the marina one day soon…

1 comment:

  1. Lovely sunset pictures - beautiful colours. Hope that the Beast from the East doesn't get as far West as you are! Stay warm.

    ReplyDelete