Me having a cuddle with Ruby by the Christmas tree on Ravensdale
We collected Ruby, our beautiful Staffordshire bull terrier puppy, from the breeder just two days before Christmas.
And she’s definitely kept us busy and entertained over the festive period.
Other than that, the weather has been calm and our marina here at Maryport in Cumbria, UK, has been very quiet.
In fact, other than the one member of staff on duty on Christmas Day, I think we were the only people here.
Christmas on Ravensdale
Ravensdale's Christmas lights
Folk seem to have enjoyed seeing our 43ft Neptunus 133 motor cruiser all lit up for Christmas again this year.
And, on more than one occasion, people stopped by the boat during the day to ask what time we would be switching on the lights, so I can only assume they came back when it was dark to see them.
Colourful lights across Ravensdale's aft deck
And we sort of managed to cut back a bit, but only where cake, biscuits and chocolates were concerned, and it wasn’t too difficult to reduce the quantity of sweet treats we bought given the way we’ve stockpiled them for previous Christmases.
But we certainly didn’t even attempt any form of restraint where our Christmas dinner was concerned.
Christmas dinner on Ravensdale
I was determined to get a photograph of our meal before we ate it and remembered with the first course, but totally forgot when it came to dessert 😊
That’s because I brought them home from our Christmas dinner at the Aquarium last week to make our dinner table on Ravensdale look a bit more festive on Christmas Day.
Well, as my Mum always taught me, waste not, want not 😊
Other than eating a hearty Christmas dinner and enjoying our festive booze and goodies, it was a very quiet day here in Maryport Marina.
I think we were the only people here, other than the sole member of staff on duty during the day.
Even the weather was quiet – dull, grey and fairly calm, which was certainly better than the storms we had here last Christmas.
And the highlight of our Christmas was playing with Ruby our new staffie pup.
Our new crew member
Me enjoying more cuddles with little Ruby
Ruby when we first saw her at five-weeks-old
In the end, we settled on a Staffordshire bull terrier as they’re not too big and are fairly calm.
We really wanted a red and white female and asked friends with staffies to let us know if they heard of any pups available in this area.
I contacted the breeder to discover that she only had one girl and only one of the litter was the colour we were after – thankfully they turned out to be the same puppy and she was still available, so we went to see her the very next day.
And that was it – I fell in love with her straight away.
We said we’d have her, paid the deposit and went back to visit her every week until she was eight weeks old and able to come home with us last Sunday.
Choosing a name for her was extremely difficult, but we eventually settled on Ruby and it seems to suit her really well.
Ruby at six weeks
Ruby sitting on Phil's lap on her first day aboard
Ruby asleep under a stool in Ravensdale's saloon
Ruby is so, so cute and settling in really well.
Ruby settling in on Christmas Eve
Ruby taking a rest on the seating in the dinette
Another view of Ruby sunggling in between the cushions in the dinette
She seems very happy here on the boat with us and enjoys going out for little walks on the pontoons.
Fortunately, we’ve had very calm conditions ever since we brought her home, so she’s had a chance to get a bit used to living on board before the boat starts rocking around in wild weather.
I thought house training her could be difficult on a boat, but it seems to be working out quite well.
We put a puppy training pad down for her indoors, but she didn’t seem very interested in using it.
We’ve had much more success with taking her out for little walks on the pontoons every couple of hours, especially after food or when she wakes up, and, most of the time, she’s now doing what she needs to do outside.
Ruby playing with her squeaky chicken pirate toy
Ruby has little periods of playing with us and her toys, including a nautical-themed toy we gave here for Christmas – a squeaky chicken dressed as a pirate.
She loves cuddles and spends a good bit of her time sleeping.
She hasn’t objected to having her claws trimmed or when Phil gave her a bath in the washbasin in the en-suite heads for the aft cabin.
Ruby getting her claws trimmed
Phil drying Ruby after her first bath
The only time she’s seemed less happy is when we put her in her cage at night.
We got it to keep her safe, to stop her falling and hurting herself, but also to stop her causing any damage on the boat when we’re asleep or out for short periods.
Her bed is in the crate and we left the door open during the day in the hope she would go in there of her own accord, but she never did.
And she really didn’t want to go in there at night.
Ruby's cage in the saloon with one of her toys peeping out
The first night she cried a lot and Phil went up and spent most of the night on the sofa with her in the saloon, where he got very little sleep.
I felt really guilty knowing he was still feeling unwell due to the cold that I’d given him, so I offered to look after her the second night, which was Christmas Eve.
She slept much better and I managed to get a reasonable night’s sleep too cuddled up with her on the sofa.
I’ve done the same thing on subsequent nights, leaving her a little longer each night before I go up to the saloon to spend the rest of the night with her.
We’re certainly not going to keep this up forever – just until she’s got over being taken away from her parents and siblings.
Ruby snoozing on the sofa in the saloon during the day on Boxing Day
A closer view of Ruby fast asleep under her blanket on the sofa
Ruby looking alert and super cute between naps
We're also putting her in the cage for short periods in the daytime and she seems to be becoming happier with going in there already.
I really thought having a puppy on a boat was going to be more difficult than in a house, but I’m not so sure now.
The advantages are that she’s never very far away from us and it’s easier to keep an eye on what she’s up to in a smaller space.
The only downside we've come across so far is not being able to just open the back door and let her out in the garden, but she seems very happy with her little walks on the pontoons and is already getting used to being on a lead.
Phil taking Ruby for a walk on the pontoons today (Friday)
I purposely haven't put any photos of Ruby on Facebook yet because I wanted to save them for my blog but local photographer Eileen Hewitt snapped this photo of me while I was out on the pontoons with the puppy and posted it on a local Facebook group. Many thanks to Eileen for allowing me to use her photo here.
Me holding Ruby on the pontoon next to Ravensdale. Photo by Eileen Hewitt
My cold started to improve on Wednesday of last week and Phil started to develop one the following day.
He was feeling really unwell on Friday and Saturday.
He was a bit better on Sunday and much better by Christmas Day but, as happened with my cold, it has left him feeling a bit tired and lacking in energy at the moment.
I still feel very guilty for giving him such a horrible Christmas present ☹
Unsurprisingly, I’ve taken loads of photos of Ruby over the past week.
Yet another photo of Ruby 😊
But I’ve still managed to get out for little walks with my camera.
I went around to the beach here in Maryport for the sunset on Friday evening. It wasn't up to much but I still took a few photos of the Solway Firth and Maryport Basin at dusk.
The shore at Maryport at dusk
Maryport's old lighthouse just after sunset
Maryport pier around sunset
I also caught some lovely reflections in the still water in Maryport harbour on Christmas Eve when we had a particularly high tide at 8.9m (29ft 2ins).
Colourful fishing boats refelected in the still water at Maryport Harbour
Boats and buildings refelcted in Maryport Harbour
Near perfect reflections in the still water in the harbour
Another photo of the harbour on Christmas Eve
And I went around to the harbour with my camera at high tide on Boxing Day.
Boats in Maryport Harbour on Boxing Day
A fishing net spread out to dry in Maryport Harbour
Silver Fern - one of the fishing boats in the harbour
More fishing boats in the harbour
The weather over the past week has been mainly grey, damp, calm and very mild for the time of year.
The only real exception was a beautiful cold and sunny day on Christmas Eve.
Saturday started wet then cleared up to give a mainly cloudy day with sunny intervals. The top temperature was 8.1C (47F) and the top average wind speed was 21mph, gusting 31mph.
Cloudy with sunny intervals at Maryport Marina on Saturday
Sunday was wet and miserable but very calm from first thing and it stayed that way for most of the day. The highest temperature recorded locally was 6.3C (43F) and the average wind speed reached just 6mph.
Overnight Sunday into Monday the temperature dropped to 1.8C (35F) and the pontoons were covered in frost and very slippery when we first got up. Phil salted our pontoon and the marina staff salted the ramp up to the marina facilities.
A frosty start to the day on Monday at Maryport Marina
Christmas Eve (Monday) started bright, sunny and calm. It stayed bright and sunny throughout the day, but the wind got up a bit as the day went on. The top temperature was 5.7C (42F) and the top average wind speed was 16mph.
Sunshine in Maryport Harbour on Christmas Eve
Christmas Day (Tuesday) was cloudy, grey and damp all day with a top temperature of 8.3C (47F) and an average wind speed of up to 14mph.
Grey skies at Maryport Marina on Christmas Day
Boxing Day (Wednesday) was cloudy, grey and breezy but at least it didn’t rain, and it was very mild with the daytime temperature reaching 9.1C (48F). The average wind speed peaked at 19mph.
A cloudy sky over Ravensdale on Boxing Day
Yesterday (Thursday) was cloudy, grey and calm. The top temperature was 8.3C (47F) and the top average wind speed was just 6mph.
Cloudy sky over Maryport Marina this morning (Friday)
And, today (Friday) the weather was grey and damp first thing with the sun coming out early afternoon taking the temperature up to 9C (48F). The top wind speed was 15mph.