Ravensdale at Maryport Marina in Cumbria, UK
It seems impossible to believe that last Saturday marked two years since we sold our house in the Scottish Highlands and bought Ravensdale.
It’s difficult to describe how it felt to no longer have an address on dry land having owned our own homes for as long as either of us could remember.
To say it was scary would be an understatement, but I was also super excited about our lovely new-to-us floating home - a 43ft Neptunus motor cruiser at Maryport in Cumbria, UK.
However, she was out of the water on the hard standing at the marina having some work carried out for the first fortnight, so we stayed in holiday cottages nearby.
We moved on board when she went back in the water on November 4, 2016, and that’s the date we consider to be our liveaboard anniversary.
This week, we’ve been stuck in the marina due to high winds, so we’ve used the time to get a few jobs done on board.
And it looks as though we could get our first taste of winter any day now with snow forecast for parts of the UK this weekend.
Too windy for fishing
Our most recent fishing trip on Ravensdale
High winds have meant Ravensdale has been stuck in the marina this week, but I guess we can’t really complain when we managed to get out fishing five times in the previous fortnight.
I regularly check the forecast looking for a possible opportunity to take our boat out on the water given that we like to stick to our single figure rule.
This means we only leave the marina if the average wind speed is forecast to be 9mph or lower and it’s served us well so far.
It’s not a problem travelling at higher wind speeds, but it makes fishing at anchor pretty uncomfortable.
It initially looked as though the wind was going to drop a bit from Sunday onwards and Sunday, Monday or Tuesday may have been possibles if it had dropped a tiny bit more.
Sadly, as the week went on the forecast changed for the worse and the expected wind speeds increased instead of decreasing so there doesn’t look to be a suitable day for the foreseeable future ☹
Oh well, I guess it gives us more time to get on with all the stuff that needs doing on the boat...
Winter is coming
Snow is being forecast for parts of the UK this weekend as temperatures plummet.
Snow at Maryport Marina in February of this year
We’re not really likely to get any here as it's expected to fall on high ground, but it'-s still going to be very cold.
The clocks go back an hour at 2am on Sunday marking the end of British Summer Time.
Meteorological winter doesn’t start until December 1 and astrological winter begins on December 21, which is the winter solstice.
But it seems that no one has told the weather to hold off for at least another month as temperatures here are expected to fall to 0C (32F) - feels like -3C (26F) - in the early hours of Monday morning, which sounds pretty wintry to me 😊
Wally continues to cause problems
Wally the Whale Gulper pump in situ under the floor in our bedroom
Wally is my name for the Whale Gulper pump that empties the grey water tank from the wash basin in the ensuite heads and the shower (no good reason for the name except that I like a bit of alliteration 😊).
He has been a bit temperamental lately.
Most of the time, he works just fine but, from time to time, he fails to operate, which means the only place for the water to go is into the bilges.
I became quite good at noticing when I hadn’t heard him for a while, so we could lift the inspection cover in the floor at the foot of our bed and prod him into action.
Phil disconnecting the grey water tank
However, it became obvious that his reluctance to work was being caused by the float switch that operates the pump, so Phil took it apart on Wednesday to find out if it could be fixed.
Once he’d done this, we decided it would be best to put in a new float switch anyway as it wasn’t changed when we replaced the water pump, so we ordered a new one.
Phil also removed the grey water tank and gave it a good clean.
The new float switch arrived yesterday (Thursday) but couldn’t be fitted straight away as it required some minor adjustments to the grey water tank involving sealant that had to be left overnight to cure.
The new float switch fitted inside the grey water tank
Hopefully, Wally will be up and running again today (Friday).
Despite it being two years since we sold our house and bought a boat, I’m still struggling to part with some of the things I probably no longer need, and the changing seasons has made me take another look at our storage situation.
Sadly, I’ve had to accept that summer is well and truly over, and I won’t be needing my summer clothes again until next year.
Due to the lack of storage on board, we only keep the relevant season’s clothes on Ravensdale, along with a few items to cover the transition period.
So, I’ve been busy packing away my summer stuff until next spring and digging out warmer items.
Packing away my summer clothes
I dramatically reduced the amount of clothing I own when we sold our house and bought a boat and I know I should reduce it still further, so it could all stay on the boat.
However, I still find it difficult to part with some items I haven’t worn since we moved on board.
I know the chances of me wearing them ever again are remote, but I still tell myself that there may be a time when I want to do so.
Also, I’d rather dig out something I already own than have to buy something new when the clothes I’m wearing now wear out.
So, for now, I will carry on storing the stuff I’m not wearing at the moment.
Maybe I’ll get rid of some of it next year…😊
Completely out of the blue, I received a Facebook message from the Aquarium on the harbourside here at Maryport complimenting my photos of the area and asking if they could use some of them on their postcards and greetings cards.
The Aquarium by the harbour in Maryport
I was told they would print my name on any cards bearing my photos and include a link to my blog, so you can’t say fairer than that 😊
I replied that I’d be delighted for them to do so and sent a selection of photos that I thought might be suitable.
The hardest part was choosing what to send.
Firstly, I didn’t really know what they wanted.
But by far the biggest headache was that I have literally tens of thousands of photos of this area now so looking through them to make my selection was pretty time-consuming.
And I can’t help thinking that the ones I’ve sent may not really be the best of them.
Some of the images I sent are below.
Some of the images I sent are below.
A fishing boat returning to Maryport
A cygnet hitching a ride on its Mum's back
Maryport lighthouse at sunset
I'm sure they must’ve asked lots of people to send photos for possible use, so I was delighted to hear that they wanted to use some of my images.
I’m going to be chuffed to bits to see postcards and greetings cards bearing my photos on sale when we go to the Aquarium for lunch, coffee or just to buy bait for our fishing trips.
I would’ve happily let them use them for nothing, so I was delighted when Phil and I were given a year’s membership as a thank you gesture.
I will definitely be heading over there once the busy school holiday period is over to take photos of some of the impressive sea creatures on display so watch this space… 😊
I wasn’t really convinced that a slow cooker was a good idea when a friend offered us one that he no longer wanted.
My first concern was where we’d keep it, and, at the moment, it lives in the forecabin, which is more like a store cupboard than a bedroom.
I was also unsure as to how much it would get used but Phil, who’s head chef on Ravensdale, has already made us several delicious meals in it – a chicken tikka masala, a chilli con carne and a sausage casserole.
The latest addition to our galley - our new-to-us slow cooker
And he tells me the electricity it uses is roughly equivalent to a large light bulb, so it looks like it’s going to earn its place on our boat.
It’s too early for Christmas decorations!
Surely, I can’t be the only one who thinks mid-October is way too early to put up Christmas decorations.
I couldn’t believe it when we went to Dunmail Park Shopping Centre at Workington to do our weekly Asda shop last week to discover the roof of the mall covered in baubles and garlands.
Christmas decorations at Dunmail Park Shopping Centre
For goodness sake!
It’s not even Hallowe’en yet!
Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas and all the trimmings that go with it, but I can’t help feeling it waters down the special nature of the festive season when the decorations go up so far before the main event.
The swans turned up looking for food as I was on my way up to the marina facilities for a shower on Monday morning. I was at the opposite end of the pontoon to our boat, so I told them I’d feed them when I got back if they were still around.
I couldn’t see them on my way back, but Phil later found a single cygnet hiding under the pontoon apparently left behind when the rest of the family left the marina.
The lone cygnet in the marina
I fed it then left it to its own devices in the hope it would head off out of the marina in search of the others before the marina gate closed.
Meanwhile, a local person posted a photo of the adult swans and other two cygnets in the harbour on a local Facebook group commenting that one appeared to be missing.
I said the other one was in the marina and posted a photo of it.
And, shortly afterwards, someone else posted a photo of the family reunited in the harbour.
Sadly, we haven’t seen them in the marina since so I'm hoping the experience hasn’t put them off visiting us ☹
Andy, who works at the marina, got his yacht Skipsea Witch back in the water on Monday after three years on the hard standing.
Andy passing Ravensdale on Skipsea Witch
We watched him launch it and motor past Ravensdale on his way to his mooring, just a bit further along the pontoon on which our boat is currently moored.
Phil went to catch his ropes when he arrived at the pontoon while I took photos for him.
Phil helping Andy to moor up Skipsea Witch
And here are a few passers-by that I didn’t get around to posting last week.
I had to finish off my blog in a bit of a rush last Friday after spending a full day out fishing on Thursday.
In so doing, I didn’t get around to including some of the boats that passed Ravensdale in Maryport Marina, Cumbria, UK, last week so here’s a bit of a catch-up.
Five small fishing boats headed out of the marina before us on Sunday, October 14 and, to do so, they have to pass Ravensdale on their way towards the gate.
As usual, I was standing on our aft deck to snap them as they passed. Some seemed happy to have their photographs taken while others seemed intent on hiding their faces 😊
A larger boat that passed Ravensdale last week was the Whitehaven-registered fishing boat Stjernen.
Stjernen on the MPM boat hoist
It arrived on Tuesday October 16 to go up on the MPM boat yard hoist for work and left yesterday (Thursday).
Stjernen passing Ravensdale yesterday (Thursday)
The lack of fishing trips on Ravensdale this week and very few visits from the swan family mean I haven’t taken quite as many photos as usual.
But it has also meant I’ve had more time to get out and about with my camera.
I took it for walks around the harbour and beach on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday.
Maryport beach on Saturday
Looking the other way along Maryport beach on Saturday
Golden light on Maryport Harbour on Sunday evening
Low tide at Maryport Harbour
The swan family heading under the bridge at Maryport Harbour
Fishing boats at Maryport Harbour on Wednesday
A seagull in Maryport Harbour
High tide at Maryport Harbour
A fishing boat manoeuvering in Maryport Harbour
And I went around to the beach to catch the sunset on Sunday evening to discover there was a fishing competition going on.
Sunset on the shore at Maryport
Another view of the sunset on Maryport beach
Fishermen taking part in a competition at Maryport
A wider view of the fishing competition on Maryport beach
The weather has been predominantly windy and overcast this week with drizzle at times and a few sunny intervals.
Saturday was grey, damp and fairly windy with drizzle from time to time during the day. The top average wind speed recorded locally was 18mph and the temperature reached 13.2C (56F).
A grey day at Maryport Marina on Saturday
Saturday night into Sunday was relatively warm with temperatures of 12.4-12.8C (54-55F).
Sunday continued the grey and damp theme with periods of heavy drizzle. The rain cleared up during the afternoon giving way to clouds and occasional sunny intervals which brought the temperature up to 12.9C (55F).
A sunny interval at Maryport Marina on Sunday
The highest average wind speed recorded during the day was 23mph, gusting 32mph, but the wind dropped considerably later in the day.
Monday was dry and bright first thing followed by cloud and sunny intervals with a little light drizzle mid-morning. The temperature only reached 10.9C (52F) and the top average wind speed was 21mph.
Heavy skies and sunshine at Maryport Marina on Monday
Monday night into Tuesday was a very windy night with a lot of rocking and creaking ropes. The top overnight wind speed was 26mph, gusting 38mph.
We had a grey start to the day on Tuesday but at least it was dry and fairly bright. The high winds continued throughout the day with a top average wind speed of 31mph, gusting 43mph. The highest temperature recorded locally was 11.4C (52.5F).
Another grey day at Maryport Marina on Tuesday
Overnight Tuesday into Wednesday was another pretty windy night with a top average wind speed of 25mph and gusts of up to 36mph causing a lot of noise from our mooring ropes again.
Wednesday morning was overcast but dry and it was still fairly windy first thing. The cloud thinned a bit during the morning allowing a bit of blue sky to show through. This was followed by varying degrees of cloud throughout the day. The top temperature was 11C (52F) but it felt cooler in the wind and the top average wind speed was 24mph, gusting 34mph.
Sun breaking through the clouds at Maryport harbour on Wednesday
Despite Phil washing our ropes and soaking them in fabric softener they still made a good bit of noise on Wednesday night. We think it must be down to the wind direction, which was mainly west-north-westerly overnight.
Yesterday (Thursday) started dry, bright and still fairly breezy. This was followed by a generally overcast day with a top temperature of 10.9C (52F) and an average wind speed of up to 19mph.
And today (Friday) the weather has so far been dry, bright and windy. The highest average wind speed recorded locally was 24mph, gusting 36mph, and the temperature has only reached 8.9C (45F).
Towels being blown around in the wind on Ravensdale's aft deck today (Friday)