Ravensdale's engine room - the heat exchanger pipe that held things up is top left
Three weeks after we removed the heat exchanger and intercooler from Ravensdale’s port engine for cleaning, she’s now up and running again.
But Phil only completed the job yesterday (Thursday), so we haven’t had a chance to take her out to sea yet.
Meanwhile, he's been cleaning her decks and hull again to keep her shipshape.
Phil pressure-washing Ravensdale's foredeck
He has also replaced the window seals in the saloon and we’ve made a couple of purchases that will improve our liveaboard experience.
And otter watching - or rather watching for otters - has become our latest pastime.
Port engine heat exchanger is working again
Both Ravensdale’s engines are now in full working order so we can take her out to sea whenever we want.
She was out of commission while the heat exchanger and intercooler on her port engine were removed and cleaned.
Bad weather causing the boat to rock fairly violently delayed work in the engine room, then we had to wait for the parts to come back after we sent them away for cleaning.
We collected them and Phil refitted them over a week ago.
The perished seals that needed replacing
However, we then discovered that the seals attaching a pipe to the heat exchanger were perished causing a leak when the engine was running.
We ordered the parts, but the Easter break meant we had to wait longer than usual for delivery.
Phil fitted them yesterday (Thursday) and the engine is running perfectly while alongside.
We’re now waiting for good weather to coincide with the marina gates being open at a suitable time of day to take Ravensdale out into the Solway Firth to check both her 300hp Volvo Penta engines work equally well at sea.
Phil refitting the pipe to the heat exchanger
The same work was carried out to her starboard engine earlier this year to cure an overheating problem.
After that job was completed, we discovered the port engine was also running hotter than it should have been hence the latest project.
Replacing window seals
The Beast from the East at the end of February and beginning of March revealed a new problem of which we had been previously unaware.
We discovered the shelf along the top of the cupboards on the port side of the saloon was getting wet. On investigation, we could see fine snow blowing in down the join between the fixed window and the one that slides open.
We then realised that the seal on that window was so badly worn that a small gap had opened up and the northerly wind was blowing the snow in through it.
We were unable to find exactly the right seals so ordered the nearest we could find. Sadly, they didn’t fit properly, so Phil filled the gap with black Sikaflex. He then placed the bought seal on top of the sealant and we didn’t touch the window until it had set.
Phil filling the gap behind the window seal with sealant
Phil fitting the new window seal
He did the same thing with the matching window on the starboard side.
And both now seem to be working perfectly.
The windows still open and close and, unlike before, you cannot feel any draft if you hold a hand close to either of the seals when they're closed.
Hopefully, we won’t get any more snow coming in either 😊
Re-carpeting the galley
Phil fitting the new carpet
This week, we bought and fitted a new carpet in the galley to replace the old one that had become badly marked and was fraying at the edges.
It wasn’t in great condition when we bought the boat. We'd tried cleaning it with carpet cleaner, which improved the look of it a bit, but I always felt it let the boat down.
Recently, it was looking even worse, so we went and bought a remnant in a similar colour to the rest of the carpet on the boat.
Although the galley floor is a very small area, it's an awkward shape, so Phil cut the new carpet to fit using the one we'd removed as a template and he’s done a great job.
The newly fitted galley carpet
New aft deck furniture
All last summer, and the warmer sunnier days during the rest of the year, we’ve wished we had a table and chairs on Ravensdale’s aft deck.
And, at long last, we’ve got around to doing something about it.
Our local B&Q DIY store gives pensioners a 10% discount on Wednesdays, so I persuaded Phil to sign up for the scheme.
He was delighted when he was asked for proof that he was over 60, especially when he’s a good few years past that milestone birthday 😊
New table and chairs on Ravensdale's aft deck
Me enjoying a coffee on our new aft deck furniture
And, on Wednesday of this week, we bought a folding table and chairs made of acacia - a dense, durable hardwood that can withstand the elements and is often used in boat building. It's also a sustainable wood making it an eco-friendly choice.
It was pouring with rain on Wednesday when we made the purchase, so we waited until yesterday (Thursday), when the sun came out, and assembled them on our aft deck in the sunshine.
It was great being able to sit out and have our coffee in a civilised fashion, rather than just perching on the aft deck lockers.
Caravan site reopens
The Harbourside Caravan Park next to Maryport Marina
The nearby caravan site, which is run by the marina and shares the marina facilities, opened for the 2018 season on Good Friday.
The first two camper vans arrived during the afternoon and it was very busy over the Easter weekend.
It can accommodate 10 caravans or campervans and was almost full on Saturday and Sunday.
We’re obviously pleased to see it doing well for the marina, but it means the toilets, showers and laundry are busier than during the winter months, which can be a bit of a pain.
The caravan park was created last year, but no new facilities were provided for it.
Ex trawler towed away
A former trawler that was moored up in Maryport Basin, just outside the marina gate, was towed away in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The boat, called Samenwerking, is the home of a couple and their four dogs.
Petronella alongside Samenwerking before towing the former trawler to Scotland
It was due to leave on the high tide around midday on Saturday, but it was too windy, so it left on the next high tide, just after midnight on Sunday morning.
We went down to the far end of the marina to watch it go – and to take photos, of course 😊
The two boats preparing to leave Maryport
The former trawler beside Maryport Pier on its way out into the Solway Firth
She is now settled in her new home at Palnackie in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.
We’re still waiting for the swans and the little black and white magpie duck to return to the marina.
However, a pair of mallards have been in looking for food, so I didn’t disappoint them 😊
The ducks that paid us a visit yesterday (Thursday) afternoon
Meanwhile, we were delighted to spot a pair of otters playing in the marina on Tuesday evening.
We watched them through our binoculars from Ravensdale’s foredeck and I could clearly see that there were two of them.
They then moved around out of view, so I got my camera and we walked out along the next pontoon to look for them.
We were creeping along the pontoon as quietly as we could when there was a huge splash right next to me and I nearly jumped out of my skin. Just as well I wasn’t too close to the edge or I might have ended up in the water with them 😊
I’m sure it was at least one of the otters, but we never saw them again.
We’re now keeping an eye out for them and I’m hoping to get a photo asap.
Photography - fishing boats in Maryport Harbour
Easter Sunday started out as a beautiful sunny day and I couldn't resist taking a walk around the harbour with my camera while Phil pressure-washed the boat.
I came home with literally hundreds of photos of the colourful fishing boats here. Sadly, I didn't manage to get all their names so I've had to use their numbers for the captions on some of them.
Destiny - one of the fishing boat in Maryport Harbour
Silver Fern - another of the local fishing boats
Sincerity and Our James
Winsome and RI475
BH44 and CT20
MT123 and E50
The past week has been generally a little warmer than previous weeks which, as usual, meant more rain, coupled with high winds.
But we’ve also had a couple of lovely sunny, spring-like days.
We had rain overnight Friday/Saturday and it was very windy on Saturday morning.
This coincided with a fairly high tide of 8.8m – the highest we’ve seen since we’ve been in Maryport, Cumbria, was just over 9.2m.
Maryport Marina at high tide on Saturday
Sunday was much calmer, with sunshine, blue skies and fluffy white clouds in the morning. However, it clouded over soon after lunchtime and a cold wind blew up later in the afternoon.
Fluffy white clouds over Maryport Harbour on Easter Sunday
The wind dropped off overnight but it remained quite cool. The lowest temperature recorded during the night was 2.2C (36F) at 6am.
Monday was cold, wet and windy. The boat was rocking well, particularly when the marina gate was open. The highest temperature recorded locally during the day was just 3.6C (38F), with an easterly wind averaging up to 22mph and gusting to 33mph.
I was going to cut Phil’s hair that day but had to put it off as the boat was rocking too much, so spent most of the day sorting through and processing photos I’d taken over the preceding days.
We woke up to pouring rain on Tuesday morning, which continued until the afternoon. The sun then came out and the temperature rose to a much more pleasant 9.3C (49F), although it remained pretty windy, with average speeds of up to 21mph, gusting 31mph.
The view through Ravensdale's saloon window on Tuesday morning
Overnight Tuesday/Wednesday was a mild night, with temperatures only dropping to 5.7C (42F).
The strangest thing on Wednesday was the wind, which had been coming from the south overnight. Up until 3am, we had a southerly wind averaging up to 14mph and, by 11am, it had turned right around to a northerly wind. The highest average wind speed recorded during the day was 31mph, gusting to 41mph.
Overnight Wednesday into yesterday (Thursday) was much colder, with the temperature going down to 0.9C (33F), and the wind dropped considerably to 5mph by 6am.
This was followed by a beautiful sunny day with very little wind – just right for trying out our new table and chairs on Ravensdale’s aft deck.
Maryport in the sunshine yesterday (Thursday)
Last night was fairly mild, with the temperature dipping to 5.4C (39F) just before dawn.
This morning (Friday) and much