Ruby modelling her new lifejacket on Ravensdale
Our broadband speed – both on the marina Wi-Fi and Vodafone mobile Wi-Fi - became a real problem this week so we started looking for possible causes.
Phil pointed out that it seemed to coincide with our friend’s motorsailer being moored alongside us last week as it’s higher than any boat that’s been moored there previously.
So, we decided to move Ravensdale further along the hammerhead in the hope that we could improve our Wi-Fi connection and it seems to have worked.
Ravensdale moved back by about 12 feet to improve our Wi-Fi connection
Meanwhile, Ruby’s new lifejacket has arrived so she’s all set for our next trip out on the water.
And Phil has been preparing some stronger fishing tackle in the hope he can catch one of the big tope - members of the shark family - that have arrived in the Solway Firth.
All we need now is some good weather to go out looking for them.
Speed test on the marina Wi-Fi on Saturday evening
We’ve both had to switch to our Vodafone mobile Wi-Fi on a number of occasions due to a really poor connection on the marina network and often there was no signal at all.
And, at times, we found that the Vodafone Wi-Fi wasn’t working as well as usual either.
I carried out an internet speed test on the marina Wi-Fi on Saturday evening and it was too low to register.
We weren’t sure whether the poor connection was because all 10 pitches on the harbourside caravan site were full for the Bank Holiday weekend so there may have been more people trying to use the marina Wi-Fi or whether the signal was particularly low at that time.
As our Vodafone Wi-Fi was also worse than it had been, we wondered if our connection problems could be due to Margarita being moored alongside us as they started around the same time as she arrived.
Ravensdale in her original position with Margarita moored alongside her
We thought this could be a possibility as the Nauticat is a much higher boat than the yacht that was previously moored in that position and she blocks the line of sight between Ravensdale's dinette, where I use my laptop, and the marina's Wi-Fi aerial on the end wall of the customer lounge.
And we thought she could also be blocking the Vodafone signal.
So, we tried moving Ravensdale back along the pontoon about 12 feet in the hope it would improve our Wi-Fi connections.
Ravensdale moved back along the hammerhead in an attempt to improve the Wi-Fi
Speed test after we moved Ravensdale
I then carried out another broadband speed test on the marina connection and found I had a better signal.
Both the marina Wi-Fi and our mobile Wi-Fi have been working better since we moved.
And subsequent tests on the marina connection have been much the same as they were before the arrival of Margarita so we’re staying in our new location, at least for the time being.
However, we still don’t know if this will be affected by the number of people using the marina Wi-Fi at the same time so we've decided to leave Ravensdale in the new position until we’ve checked the connection speed over a period of time as the caravan site has not been full since we moved.
The “ones that got away”
Phil making wire traces in Ravensdale's saloon with the seat cushions tipped up
Three times on our most recent fishing trips, Phil has hooked what appeared to be very large fish and every time they bit through the line and got away.
Another local fishing boat had a similar experience and we were all convinced that there were big tope out in the Solway Firth that were managing to escape being caught.
And we were right as some large tope have been caught in this area this week.
An angler on Venture West charter boat caught a tope weighing over 28lb on Tuesday and one of the angling club members on Sunrise caught one weighing 23lb the same evening.
So, Phil has been making wire traces to make sure the next big fish he catches won’t be able to bite through the line.
Phil with one of his finished wire traces
All we need now is some good weather so we can go out on a big fish hunt.
We were planning to go on Tuesday evening as the forecast was for single figure wind.
However, as the time our marina’s sea gate was due to open just before 6pm approached, the wind was showing no signs of dropping so we decided not to bother.
Although we missed out on the big tope caught by fishermen on Venture West and Sunrise, we were still glad we hadn’t gone as they said it was a lot bumpier than the forecast had promised.
The weather data for our nearest weather station at St Bees Head showed the wind speed to have been up to 21mph, gusting 29mph, while we would have been out on the water so definitely too high for our liking! 😊
Ruby of Ravensdale
Ruby giving me a grumpy look for pointing a camera at her again 😊
Ruby is now seven months old and already weighs 18.2kg so she’s definitely going to be more than the 14-15kg the vet told us to expect as her adult weight when we took her for her “new puppy check” at eight weeks 😊
She has fully recovered from her tummy upset but is still in season, which means we’re still having to be very careful to avoid other dogs when we take her out for walks.
It also means we’re still living in a shed as the saloon carpet won’t be going back down and the seat cushions will stay tipped up until after her season. However, we've covered one of the seats in the dinette so she can still sit or lay between us in comfort.
Ruby has a really cute way of begging for food or attracting my attention if she thinks I’ve spent too long on my laptop.
Ruby watching Phil eat a sandwich
If we’re sat at the table and Phil’s eating something she wants and I’m using my laptop, she always puts her paw on top of my mouse hand, which is so funny given that she’s trying to attract Phil’s attention, not mine.
She also does this when she wants me to stop typing and play with her, but then she looks at me, of course 😊
Ruby with her paw on my mouse hand
I’m afraid the photos aren’t great quality. I had to use my phone as I couldn’t get up and get my camera without taking my hand away and spoiling the pose 😊
She has also started giving us a paw in the hope it will get her a treat 😊
Ruby giving Phil her paw
And she becomes very focused on which toy she wants from her toy box, carefully sorting through it until she finds what she's looking for. If she can't find it, we're expected to go and help her out.
Ruby sorting through her toy box
Ruby asking for help when she can't find the toy she wants
Meanwhile, Ruby’s new lifejacket arrived this week and she was so good when I tried it on her. It was totally different to my first attempt at putting her first lifejacket on her when she was just three months old.
Archive photo of Ruby in her first lifejacket at three months old
Then she fought my efforts to do it up and tried to bite it, then made it very clear that she was not impressed once she was wearing it.
This time, she stayed calm while I slid it over her head and stood still while I did up the straps under her stomach and then adjusted the straps to fit her properly.
Ruby wearing her new lifejacket
She's not very keen on wearing it yet but will soon get used to it and at least we know she’ll be safe next time we go out on the water.
Ruby has become a lot calmer lately, but we don’t know whether it’s a temporary thing while she’s in season or if it’s just because she’s getting a bit older now.
Ruby having a laugh 😊
Ruby fast asleep on her blanket on the seating in the dinette
And she still loves lots of cuddles, which is fine by me because I love cuddling her too 😊
Phil fishing for prawns in the marina
Phil and I went on a prawn hunt around the marina on Tuesday afternoon in preparation for our planned fishing trip on Tuesday evening.
Phil carries the blue kiddie fishing net while I hold the bucket and I’m sure we must look hilarious wandering around the marina fishing for prawns to use as bait 😊
He runs the net up through the weed growing on the sides of the pontoon floats then transfers any prawns he catches into the bucket.
Some of the prawns caught on our prawn hunt
And we caught many more this time than on our last attempt a couple of months ago.
As we didn’t go fishing on Tuesday evening, we let them go again.
A couple of tiny prawns that I put into a glass of seawater to photograph them
The swan and cygnet feeding by Ravensdale
The lone swan that appeared to have teamed up with one of the three local cygnets arrived in the marina on Friday afternoon.
They were here again on Saturday and Sunday, or maybe they stayed in the marina during this period, but they didn’t visit Ravensdale looking for food until Sunday.
I wondered if it was the cygnet that was taken to the local animal sanctuary after it was found injured in the marina a few weeks ago so I contacted the sanctuary asking if it had been released.
A closer view of the cygnet
I received a reply saying it definitely wasn’t that cygnet as she’d settled down with the swans at the sanctuary, so I’m guessing she won’t be coming back to the marina again.
The pair of adult swans on the River Ellen at Maryport
Meanwhile, I saw the pair of adult swans on the River Ellen and it definitely looks as though they have a nest there so maybe we’ll be seeing some new cygnets visiting the marina very soon.
I couldn’t get close enough to have a proper look for a nest, but that’s a good thing as it hopefully means no one else can get close enough to disturb them.
A pair of rock pipits have started paying regular visits to Ravensdale and frequently land on her guard rails, davits and bimini frame.
A rock pipit on one of Ravensdale's davits
Whenever we leave the boat, they follow us around the pontoons landing on boats and electricity bollards next to us making a lot of noise, but we have no idea what they want.
A rock pipit on an electricity bollard
And the pigeons, whose nest was washed out of the drainage hole in the harbour wall near Ravensdale on a number of occasions last year, are back there again.
The male pigeon sitting in the entrance to the drainage hole
The male is often sitting in the opening to the hole, but we haven’t seen the female for a while so we’re thinking she may have young in a nest in there.
There was water pouring out of the hole during the heavy rain yesterday (Thursday) so the chances are that their nest has been washed out again, which is really sad ☹
I noticed that there were some nice clouds in the sky just before sunset on Sunday evening, so I took a walk around to the beach expecting a spectacular Solway Firth sunset.
Light breaking through the clouds over the Solway Firth
A wider view of the sun setting over the Solway Firth
Golden-edged clouds over the Solway
Unfortunately, there was a lot of low cloud that I couldn’t see from the marina, so I didn’t get the sunset I’d been hoping for, but it was still worth the trip.
Reflections in Maryport Harbour
Colourful fishing boats at Maryport Harbour
Another view of Maryport Harbour
A wider view of the harbour
Reflections in Maryport Harbour
I also took my camera with me when I walked over to the local supermarket for some shopping on Tuesday and took photos around the harbour and along the River Ellen.
The blue bridge over the River Ellen at Maryport
The River Ellen and Mote Hill
Reflections in the River Ellen
We were very glad we decided to come back from Scotland in calm conditions on Monday of last week as the wind speed was higher than we would have liked out on the water for a good week after our return.
The past week has been windier and felt considerably cooler than the previous week.
Heavy rain on Saturday afternoon at Maryport Marina
There was a cloudy start to the day on Saturday and it started spitting with rain around midday with more persistent rain during the afternoon. The top temperature was 11C (52F) and the top average wind speed at St Bees Head – our nearest weather station - was 13mph, but it was windier in Maryport.
We had heavy rain overnight followed by an overcast and very blustery start to the day on Sunday. The weather brightened up, but it remained pretty windy throughout the day. The top temperature was 14C (57F) and the top average wind speed was 24mph.
Bank Holiday Monday evening at Maryport Marina
Bank Holiday Monday started dry, bright and breezy with a good bit of cloud around. There were light rain showers late afternoon which cleared up during the evening. The top temperature was 12C (54F) and the top average wind speed was 17mph, gusting 29mph.
Reflections in the calm water at Maryport Marina on Tuesday morning
Tuesday started dry, calm and cloudy. The wind got up during the afternoon, the cloud cleared and the sun came out as the day went on. The top temperature was 13C (55F) and the top average wind speed was 21mph.
It was overcast but dry when we got up on Wednesday morning with light showers and spitting from late morning. It started raining properly late afternoon and kept it up all evening. The top temperature was 11C (52F) and the top average wind speed was 25mph, gusting 33mph.
Rain yesterday (Thursday) afternoon at Maryport Marina
Yesterday (Thursday) we awoke to cloudy but dry weather. However, it didn’t stay dry for long. It started spitting at around 10am. This was followed by heavy rain by late morning which continued throughout the day and into the evening. The top temperature was 13C (55F) and the top wind speed was 19mph, gusting 31mph.
And, so far, today (Friday) the weather has been very wet and windy. The top temperature was 13C (55F) and the top average wind speed was 23mph, gusting 36mph.