Ravensdale reflected in the still water at Maryport Marina in Cumbria, UK
It’s driving us bonkers not being able to take Ravensdale out on the water during the longest spell of calm weather we’ve had in months.
Other boats went out fishing at the weekend, and on other days this week but we're still stuck in the marina.
I really hope we can get the exhaust for the port engine on our Neptunus 133 fixed soon so we can take her out onto the Solway Firth.
And I’m looking forward to taking Ruby, our new Staffordshire bull terrier puppy, out on the boat for the first time and want to make sure it’s on a really calm day so her first experience will be a good one.
Meanwhile, we’ve had some amazing sunsets here at Maryport in Cumbria, UK, over the past week.
Ravensdale’s exhaust problem
Looking down on Ravensdale's port engine - the exhaust elbow is top left
The exhaust elbow for Ravensdale’s port engine became detached from the flange on the turbocharger when Phil started it last month to move her to another mooring in the marina.
He removed it and we took it to a local engineer for welding.
We realised it wasn’t going to be a quick job, given that we took it to him just before Christmas, but we really want it back now so we can go out fishing when the weather's fine.
We went to see him earlier this week to see when he’s likely to be able to get around to it and he said he'd try to do it this week so hoping to hear from him very soon.
When Phil has refitted this exhaust elbow, he plans to take off the one on the starboard engine, which must be heading the same way.
I’m really hoping we might manage a trip or two out on the water first though, but we’ll see…
It's been so frustrating having to stay tied up in the marina when other boats are heading out fishing over the past week.
The only consolation is that no-one seems to be catching any worthwhile fish at the moment.
Fishing boat Este Belle passing Ravensdale on its way out of the marina
Fire safety check
One of the automatic extinguishers in the engine room
We got chatting to him and explained that we’d replaced the extinguishers in the galley and saloon when we moved on board but hadn’t got around to changing the ones in Ravensdale's engine room.
We asked if he’d be willing to come and look at the engine room fire extinguishers and he came over to the marina as soon as he’d finished at the harbour.
And we were delighted to be told that the two fixed, automatic extinguishers down below were both fine and were of a sufficient size for our engine room.
The only one he said needed changing, if we wanted to replace it, was a small hand-held extinguisher just inside the door. It had a plastic cap, which would’ve melted in a fire, and all the writing on it was in German so we wouldn’t have been able to read the instructions anyway.
The fire extinguisher that had to go
Ruby is growing fast
Ruby at the top of the steps from Ravensdale's saloon down into the galley
Ruby chewing her cuddly toy
We haven’t had her weighed since, but she’s definitely a lot taller and chunkier than she was then.
I’m really looking forward to finding out how much she weighs when she goes back to the vet for her 12-week vaccination next week.
Ruby is also getting a lot more active.
She still sleeps quite a lot but, when she wakes up, she’s pretty full on and I’ll be glad when she learns not to bite everything, especially my hair. Ouch! 😊
She loves her stag antler that we recently bought her and spends hours chewing on it, which means she’s not trying to chew us, our clothes or the boat and it’s supposed to be good for her teeth too.
Ruby with her new stag antler chew
Ruby chewing the antler
We were advised to get it by a friend who has staffies and were very grateful for the advice as it seems to have reduced the amount of times she tries to bite other things.
We have crazy playtimes with her too in the hope of tiring her out a bit given that she doesn’t have a lot of room to run around indoors and we can’t let her out in the garden, for obvious reasons 😊
Ruby’s new favourite game is indoor football with a full-size ball.
We bought her a couple of smaller balls – more suited to her size – but all she wants to do is to chew them, so we decided to try a bigger one.
Me trying to kick the ball to keep the game moving
Phil tackles Ruby from the galley steps
Ruby takes a break from attacking the ball
A few days previously, Phil had fished a football out of the water in the marina and it has been sitting on the pontoon by our boat, so I went out and got it.
I moved the coffee table and stools in the saloon back out of the way to create a larger play space.
Phil and I were at opposite ends of the saloon knocking the ball back and fore between us while Ruby tried to intercept it.
We let her get it fairly regularly so she didn't lose interest and she seemed to really enjoy it so it's a game we'll be playing on a regular basis.
Ruby trying to eat a full-size football in Ravensdale's saloon
She had a good go at chewing the big ball but couldn't quite get her mouth around it - yet 😊
Ruby had her second bath since she moved in with us on Sunday and she was definitely less impressed this time.
Ruby having a bath in the wash basin
She didn’t actually fight Phil while he was trying to shampoo her in the washbasin in the en-suite heads in the aft cabin, but she did make it clear that she wasn’t very happy about the experience.
Being dried, however, is a very different matter. She totally loves it, but it would be a lot easier if she didn’t keep trying to bite the towel.
Phil drying Ruby after her bath
She still enjoys her walks on the pontoons and meeting people and the occasional dog around the marina.
Phil and Ruby heading back to Ravensdale after a walk on the pontoons
She likes exploring Ravensdale’s decks when we take her for little walks around the boat on her lead.
Ruby on the foredeck above the dinette
Ruby sliding down the cover over the window in the forward cabin
Ruby follows Phil around to the aft deck
And she’s learnt to sit before getting a treat. She also sits at the foot of the steps when she’s been out for a walk on the pontoons and waits for Phil or I to pick her up and carry her back onto the boat.
Monday was the first windy night since Ruby has been on board, so it was the first time she’d experienced any real rocking and the sound of creaking mooring ropes, but it didn’t seem to bother her at all.
She slept really well from around 11pm to 7.30am and Phil let her out of her cage before she started crying to let us know she was awake.
Ruby by her cage in Ravensdale's saloon
Ruby cuddling up to me on our bed
She also seems happy enough to go in her cage when we need to go out without her for short periods during the day.
We always said we would never allow a dog on our bed and we've stuck to it with previous pets, but Ruby has been allowed to break the rule. The way we see it a boat is small enough as it is without stopping her going into part of it.
So Phil gets up and takes her out for a walk first thing then brings her back to have a cuddle on the bed with me and I totally love my morning puppy cuddles.
And, yes, we are well aware that we could live to regret letting her do this as she gets older 😊
Secondary glazing update
The dinette window that we're using as a test for secondary glazing
The secondary glazing Phil installed on the long, narrow window behind the table in the dinette last month is working well.
He cut multi-wall polycarbonate sheet to fit the window and attached it to the frame with double-sided sticky tape.
It traps a bit of condensation because it isn’t airtight.
However, it's dramatically reduced the amount of cold air coming in through that window so we’re seriously considering doing more windows, especially some of the smaller ones that don’t open.
An action shot of Ruby playing with her cuddly toy
Unsurprisingly, I’ve taken loads of photos of Ruby again 😊
I’ve also taken my camera out and about with me on most days over the past week.
Me taking photos down on the shore at Maryport on Wednesday evening. Photo by Dave Welham
On Saturday, I took it for a walk along shore here in Maryport, but the weather wasn’t the best so my photos were really disappointing and not worth sharing.
The weather wasn’t great for photography again on Sunday, but I took a few shots of the pier and lighthouse in the mist.
Maryport lighthouse with the town in the distance through the mist
Fishermen on Maryport pier in misty conditions
Fishing boats in Maryport Harbour on Monday afternoon
View across the River Ellen towards the town
Tuesday’s sunset over the Solway Firth was well worth photographing.
Solway Firth sunset on Tuesday
Tuesday's sunset on the shore at Maryport
Looking along the shore from Maryport towards the Iggesund paperboard factory at Workington
Colourful sky through grasses at Maryport
Sunset reflected in the wet sand at Maryport
There was a lovely golden light just before sunset on Wednesday.
Shipping Brow at Maryport in the golden afternoon sunshine
Maryport town reflected in the still water in Maryport Basin
Reflections of Strand Street in Maryport
Reflection of Maryport Christ Church on North Quay
The paperboard factory at Workington reflected in the Solway Firth at sunset on Wednesday
A fisherman on Maryport beach at sunset
The old groyne on Maryport beach at sunset
And yesterday (Thursday) I went for a short walk along the shore towards Flimby – the opposite direction to my usual walk down to the pier and lighthouse.
View across the shore towards Maryport pier
Another view along the shore towards the pier with the Scottish hills in the distance
Light breaking through the clouds in a stormy sky over the Solway Firth
We’ve had some pretty calm conditions here at Maryport over the past week, with just a couple of days of windier weather.
It has also been relatively mild for the time of year.
Saturday was dry and calm but overcast all day, with a top temperature of 6.2C (43F) and average wind speeds of 2-14mph.
Grey conditions at Maryport Marina on Sunday
Overnight Sunday into Monday was the first windy night for weeks. The top average wind speed overnight was 16mph, gusting 29mph.
It was grey and damp first thing on Monday, but the cloud thinned giving way to sunny intervals during the afternoon.
The top temperature was 9.8C (50F) and the top average wind speed was 30mph, gusting 43mph.
Monday night into Tuesday was a mild, windy night. It was 8C (46F) at 10pm dropping to 6.2C (43F) by 6am. The top average wind speed overnight was 30mph, gusting up to 40mph.
Tuesday was a fine, dry day. It was cool and fairly breezy. Cloud during the morning cleared as the day went on.
Sunny Tuesday at Maryport Marina
The temperature was 5.5C (42F) at 9am and only reached 6.6C (44F) during the day. The top average wind speed was 19mph, gusting 30mph.
Tuesday night into Wednesday was a colder night with the temperature falling to 1.2C (34F).
It was very cold and frosty first thing on Wednesday and stayed cold throughout the day.
Frost is still visible on the pontoon after Phil salted it Wednesday morning
The weather was dry, bright, calm and sunny all day, with a top temperature of 3.5C (38F) and a top average wind speed of 8mph.
Yesterday (Thursday) was grey, damp, misty and very calm during the morning.
Mist at Maryport Marina yesterday (Thursday)
The mist cleared to give clearer conditions during the afternoon, but it stayed overcast all day.
The temperature reached 7.4C (45F) and, despite calm conditions for most of the day, the average wind speed reached 18mph late afternoon.
And, so far, today (Friday) the weather has been overcast. The top temperature so far is 7.3C (45F) and the top average wind speed is 15mph.