Phil and Ruby looking at Ravensdale, which was level with the road at high tide today (Friday)
We’ve had very big spring tides here in Maryport, Cumbria, UK, this week with a difference of up to 9.2m – 30ft 2ins - between the high and low tides.
Our old coffee maker just before it died
That said, we still notice the huge difference in our position in relation to our surroundings when there are such big spring tides, which bring us up almost level with the road around the marina.
Meanwhile, I was very sad when our trusty coffee maker made its last ever cup of cappuccino this week.
But, thankfully, it’s understudy was already waiting in the wings - AKA the forward cabin 😊
Very high tides
Looking down the pontoon towards Ravensdale at high tide
There have been some exceptionally high tides here at Maryport in Cumbria, UK, this week.
The highest tide we’d seen in the two years and three months since we moved onboard Ravensdale – our 43ft Neptunus 133 motor cruiser - was 9.3m (30ft 6in) and that has only happened on a couple of occasions.
This week the tide rose to 9.4m (30ft 10in) yesterday (Thursday) and today (Friday) with a low tide of just 0.2m (8in) yesterday evening – a difference of 9.2m (30ft 2in).
That said, the difference in the marina is less dramatic as they close the gate when there’s 2.4m (7ft 10in) of water over the sill.
But it still gives us a very different outlook from Ravensdale.
Looking towards the marina building from Ravensdale at high tide - the houses in the distance are the other side of the harbour
And the piles that support the pontoons usually tower over us but, on a very high tide, I can see inside the top of them, which is really weird.
The same view when the tide is out showing the comparative height of the piles and the far wall
Ravensdale level with the road at high tide this afternoon (Friday)
Maryport Marina at high tide today (Friday) when the ramp, which is usually at a fairly steep angle, was flat
Meanwhile, the stormy weather earlier this week meant some very muddy water flowing into the marina when the gate opened for the rising tide on Wednesday, so much so that it created a brown line that moved its way down the marina.
The line of muddy water approaching Ravensdale after the gate opened
We’ve seen this happen before, but it always looks so strange that I couldn’t resist taking a photo of it again.
The demise of our coffee maker
Our old coffee maker gave up the ghost this week after more than three years of faithful service.
We can’t even remember when we bought it as we had it when we lived in the house we sold to buy Ravensdale in October 2016.
It’s undoubtedly my favourite gadget on board and the one I would really miss.
So, after it started being a bit temperamental a month or so back, we bought a new one when we saw the same model on a good deal in a local store.
Our new coffee maker in Ravensdale's galley
We were surprised how long the old one carried on working after we thought it was on its way out.
Sometimes it would refuse to switch on, but repeated attempts or a gentle blow to the head, seemed to get it going again 😊
It also refused to switch off at times. This was easier to solve, I just pulled out the plug then plugged it back in again.
But, on Tuesday, it stopped working and refused to switch on again despite all attempts to resuscitate it so the new one is now in use.
So glad we bought a replacement at the first sign of trouble as it meant we didn’t have to go without our favourite coffees and hot chocolate.
I’m happy to make all sorts of sacrifices to live on our boat but good coffee is the one thing that no one should ever have to go without – even for a short while 😊
Our Wi-Fi worsens
The marina Wi-Fi aerial is in the white box on the end of the customer lounge
One of the test results in the dinette
Just when we thought our Wi-Fi here couldn’t get any worse, it has.
I've had to switch to our Vodafone Wi-Fi many more times than usual this week due to a poor or non-existent connection on the marina’s network.
I even did an experiment to see if it made any difference where I was in our boat as different cabins are at different levels.
We also thought the signal may be better towards the stern of the boat due to the positioning of the marina’s aerial and we were considering shifting further along the hammerhead if this would improve the signal, but it doesn’t look as though it would be worthwhile.
The reading I got in the saloon, which is amidships and the highest point inside Ravensdale, was the best – just!
However, the aft cabin didn’t come out any better than the dinette, which is just behind the forward cabin, so there doesn’t seem to be anything to gain by moving the boat.
We’re not even sure if it’s worth getting an onboard router to boost the signal around the boat as it really isn’t that good anywhere ☹
I mentioned the problem to the marina again yesterday (Thursday), as we’ve done on many previous occasions, and they rebooted their router.
It seems to have helped as I got a download speed of 16.2mbps and an upload speed of 0.58mbps, but we never know how long it will last…
A super cute photo of Ruby
We’re still having to lift Ruby on and off the boat and she’s getting heavy.
I now have to turn as I step down off the aft deck and shuffle sideways along the side of the boat to get off as she’s too big to hold alongside me while walking forwards.
Thankfully, she keeps still while being carried as it would make it very difficult if she wriggled.
Phil finds it a bit easier to carry her than I do because he’s happy to hold her with two hands and step off the boat and down our boarding steps without holding on.
I don’t feel safe doing that and like to know I have a firm grip on the boat rail or the handrail on the steps so have to carry her with one arm.
We’re hoping she’ll be able to jump on and off the boat herself very soon, but I have to confess that I’ll be really worried the first few times in case she falls in.
Ruby running on the beach
Ruby really doesn’t like wet and windy weather, and this is becoming even more evident as she gets older.
She’s reluctant to come out of her bed in the morning when she can hear the wind and rain outside and goes in her bed and refuses to come out during the day if the weather's bad.
She usually loves going for walks and is waiting at the door as soon as we put our jackets on or pick up her lead. Stuffing our pockets with poo bags also has the same effect 😊
But in bad weather, even when we’ve managed to clip her lead onto her collar, she will still try to hide on the far side of the coffee table in the saloon in an attempt to avoid going out.
She still loves going to the beach when the weather’s good or even just not too bad.
Ruby checking out a hole that had filled up with water on the beach at Maryport
But she was always reluctant to get her feet wet and avoided puddles and little streams on the beach rather than running straight across them.
We thought she was getting over this as she was following us through some of the wet areas as long as they weren’t too deep, but she had a bit of a shock during our visit to the beach on Friday afternoon.
She ran across what she obviously thought was going to be shallow water to discover it was up to her little belly.
Ruby taking an unintentional dip on the beach
She didn’t panic and came back out the other side and had a good shake to dry off but has since gone back to refusing to cross little streams that she’d started to trot through quite happily before she got a bit of a soaking.
Her happy place definitely seems to be her bed as she's spending more and more time in there during the day - possibly because it's right next to the heater outlet in the saloon.
Ruby snuggled up in her bed
She still likes to cuddle up to one or other of us, but sometimes chooses to go into her cage and cuddle up in her bed instead, which is great.
Her other favourite spots are anywhere that happens to be in the sun at any given time – not that we’ve seen very much of that this week 😊
Ruby stretched out in the sun
And she's perfected the appealing look that is guaranteed to get her a bit of whatever we're eating 😊
Ruby waiting patiently for a bit of toast
Who could say no to those big, brown puppy dog eyes?
Phil made the most of the windy weather, which meant we were unable to take the boat out this week, to service the older reels that he uses for downtide fishing – dropping the line over the side of the boat rather than casting it away from the boat, which is known as uptiding.
He removed the line from the reels, some of which are getting on for 30 years old, stripped them down, cleaned them, greased the gears and reassembled them.
Phil servicing his reels on the coffee table in Ravensdale's saloon
Three are now working perfectly after his efforts.
Sadly, the fourth looks as though it’s going to have to go in the bin as, while it was apart, a fine spring totally disappeared never to be seen again and the reel is useless without it.
For now, the parts of that reel have been put in a small bag in the hope the spring will turn up and it can be reassembled, but it’s not looking very likely that will be the case.
We’ve both done a thorough search of the area where he was working, and Ruby was in her cage at the time so we’re pretty sure she hasn’t had it.
The only good thing about it is that the reel that’s been rendered useless was the least good reel so less of a loss than if it had happened to one of the others.
Phil has put new line on two of his newly serviced reels and plans to buy some more line for the third one.
Fisheries patrol vessel North Western Protector at Maryport
The fisheries patrol vessel, North Western Protector, has been staying at Maryport Marina this week while the lock gate at its home port of Whitehaven is closed for repairs.
Local fishing boat Silver Fern arriving at Maryport Marina
Maryport fishing boat, Silver Fern, which is usually docked in the harbour, passed Ravensdale on Monday morning.
Work underway on Silver Fern's hull
She was on her way to the marina slipway, where she was lifted out on the MPM boatyard hoist for antifouling and for her anodes to be changed. She left the marina today (Friday).
The range safety boat Triton at Maryport Marina
And, the range safety boat, Triton, turned up at the marina on Tuesday morning.
She is also here because the lock gate is closed at Whitehaven.
Swans at Maryport Marina
It seems the swans have decided it’s time their youngsters stood on their own two webbed feet now.
A local woman, who’s a keen photographer, captured a series of images of the adults chasing the cygnets away on the River Ellen here in Maryport.
And, when they came into the marina on Saturday afternoon there were two adults and two cygnets, but the adults apparently wouldn’t allow the cygnets near them at all.
I didn’t see them chasing the youngsters away but, whenever I saw them the adults were in one place and the cygnets were together in another.
I fed the adults, but the cygnets didn’t come anywhere near Ravensdale – perhaps they’d been warned off while I wasn’t looking.
The third cygnet was nowhere to be seen, but we later saw the three cygnets together over in the harbour.
And, on Tuesday morning, the three cygnets turned up in the marina looking for food. There was no sign of their parents.
The three cygnets waiting for food by our pontoon
Soon after I fed them, I saw the adult swans over on the River Ellen so it looks as though the youngsters have left for good now.
The three cygnets were back in the marina again on Wednesday and just the adult swans turned up yesterday (Thursday).
It’ll be interesting to see whether the young swans stay together and whether they stay in this area.
New boat planter at the marina
The new boat planter outside Maryport Marina
Staff yesterday (Thursday) installed a new boat planter on the approach to the marina.
It’s an old fishing boat that has been painted to match the marina building and will be planted up with bedding plants for the summer.
Staff installing the new planter
The marina is now asking for suggestions for a name for the boat so it'll be interesting to see what people come up with 😊
Wet and windy weather has meant there have been considerably less opportunities for photography over the past week.
I’ve also found that, now we’re taking Ruby out for regular walks, I’m not going out as often with my camera just for the sake of taking photos.
I take my camera along when walking Ruby but tend to end up taking photos of her rather than the landscape.
A black and white image of stripes in the sand at Maryport at low tide
And, when I’m walking her alone, it’s not as easy to take photos because she’s inclined to tug on the lead just as I’m trying to take a shot. I’m hoping this will become easier as she gets a bit older.
I took some photos around the marina on Saturday, despite the high winds, as there were some nice clouds, but the water was pretty choppy so no reflections this time ☹
An attractive yacht at Maryport Marina
Another view of Maryport Marina
Looking along the marina towards the lighthouse
Cloud formation over the marina slipway
And I tried to take a couple of shots of the harbour at dusk while walking Ruby on my own on Saturday evening, but they really weren’t very successful. I’d like to blame her, but I think it was my camera settings that were at fault on that occasion.
Maryport Harbour at dusk
Another view of Maryport Harbour at dusk
The most impressive feature of Sunday’s beach walk at low tide was the way the surface water was being blown across the sand, but it really didn’t show up very well in the photos I took.
I also tried a video and was really pleased with the way it captured the effect. However, saving it for the web lost so much detail that it ended up all blurry and nowhere near as good as it had been ☹
Surface water being blown across the beach at Maryport
While walking Ruby on the beach on Tuesday, we saw three men working on the old groyne, so I took some photos of them and posted them on a local Facebook group asking if anyone knew what they were doing.
Work underway on the old groyne on the shore at Maryport
It turns out the groyne is being repaired as part of a contract to repair a hole in the seawall.
One kind person posted a photo of the area when there were three groynes along the beach and he, and others, provided information about their purpose, which was to reduce the drift of sand and gravel that gets washed along from the beach at neighbouring Flimby.
The past week has been very windy – AGAIN!
It has been so windy here in Maryport this winter that I was beginning to think it should be called “The Windy City” or rather town, as Maryport definitely isn’t a city, but “The Windy Town” doesn’t have the same ring to it 😊
However, when I looked up the windiest places in the UK convinced that Cumbria would feature in the top 10, it was nowhere to be seen.
Apparently, the windiest areas of the UK are all in Scotland and Wales.
Shetland, is the windiest place, followed by Buteshire, Orkney, Caernarvonshire, Western Isles, Bute, Argyllshire, Anglesey, Inverness, Peeblesshire and Ross and Cromarty.
However, we’ve lived in a number of different locations in both Scotland and Wales and Maryport definitely feels like the windiest place we’ve ever lived.
A sunny interval on Saturday at Maryport Marina
Saturday was bright and breezy with clouds and sunny intervals, but it stayed dry all day.
The top temperature was 8.5C (47F) and the top average wind speed was 22mph, gusting 31mph.
Sunday was another bright day of sunshine and clouds. It was still very windy with a top average temperature of 8.9C (48F) and a top average wind speed of 30mph, gusting 40mph.
It rained overnight. This was followed by a grey and cloudy but dry morning with the rain returning around lunchtime.
The temperature reached 7.3C (45F) with a top average wind speed of 21mph, gusting 31mph.
Grey sky over Maryport Marina on Tuesday
Tuesday was overcast, breezy and dry until just before 5pm when it started to rain.
The highest temperature recorded locally was 6.8C (44F) and the top average wind speed was 15mph.
A wet and windy night was followed by a very wet and windy day on Wednesday.
It rained continually all day – the only variation in the weather was the amount of rain falling at any given time.
Wet Wednesday at Maryport Marina
The top temperature was 7.7C (46F) and the top average wind speed was 23mph, gusting 32mph.
Yesterday (Thursday) it was grey and windy with drizzle during the morning. The cloud thinned in the afternoon giving way to brighter conditions.
Maryport when the weather improved yesterday (Thursday) afternoon
The top temperature was 9.3C (49F) and the top average wind speed was 23mph, gusting 34mph.
And, so far today (Friday), the weather has been decidedly spring-like - dry, sunny and mild, although there was still a good breeze. The top temperature, so far, was 12.5C (54.5C) and the top average wind speed was 22mph, gusting 29mph.