Phil with the 7lb tope he caught on the Solway Firth on Tuesday
A brief lull in the windy weather here in Maryport, Cumbria, UK, gave us the chance to take Ravensdale out onto the Solway Firth on Tuesday.
And Phil was delighted to catch his first tope of the year, even if it wasn’t as big as he would’ve liked.
Meanwhile, my favourite weather app on my mobile phone has become very confusing.
We returned to Maryport in Cumbria, England, from our holiday in Kirkcudbright in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, almost three weeks ago, but it still seems to think that we’re there 😊
Ravensdale leaving Maryport Marina in Cumbria, UK, on Tuesday
We really thought there wasn’t going to be any opportunity to take Ravensdale out on the water this week.
On checking the weather forecast, it looked as though the only possibility could be Tuesday.
The wind speed was expected to be in single figures, which is just the way we like it, but heavy rain was forecast for the time when the marina’s sea gate was due to be open.
I asked Phil how badly he wanted to go out looking for the big tope – members of the shark family – that other local fishermen have been catching lately and whether he was willing to get wet to try for them.
He said he didn’t really want to be fishing in heavy rain.
We also found it hard to believe that it would really be calm as it had been very windy on Monday, so we decided to give it a miss.
However, when we took Ruby out for her morning walk, we didn’t think the weather was anywhere near as bad as we were expecting, and the Solway Firth looked fairly calm, so we decided to hurry back to the boat and get ready to go as soon as possible.
Ravensdale heading out of Maryport Basin onto the Solway Firth
We left the marina at 10.55am and headed to the spot in Allonby Bay where Phil had lost some big fish on our previous fishing trip.
Ravensdale leaving Maryport
Phil at the helm of Ravensdale on the way to Allonby Bay
We arrived at around 11.25am and it started raining, but only very lightly and it stopped within the hour.
It then stayed dry until we got back to the marina when it started raining heavily and kept it up for the rest of the afternoon and throughout the evening.
Phil set up his fishing rods when we first arrived, and I got Ruby out of her cage – which is where she always travels. I put her new lifejacket on her and took her out on deck.
Ruby in her new lifejacket
We both got a bit wet but it was nowhere near as bad as was forecast.
Ruby and I on Ravensdale's aft deck while Phil was fishing
Thankfully, she seemed quite happy in her new lifejacket to the point where she seemed to have almost forgotten she was wearing it.
The fishing was pretty slow to get going with just a handful of dogfish taking his bait.
Phil waiting for a fish to bite
Eventually, Phil hooked his first tope of this year and I helped him bring it onboard with the landing net.
Phil and the tope he caught both smiling for the camera 😊
He didn’t get the big one he’d been hoping for, but at 7lb it was definitely better than nothing.
He also caught what we jokingly call a “rockling” – a rock covered in sea creatures 😊
The "rockling" that Phil reeled in
As usual, I set an alarm on my phone to go off an hour before the marina’s sea gate was due to close.
This gives us time to pack away the fishing gear, bring the anchor in and get back in the marina before the gate closes.
We arrived back in the marina just after 3pm.
It started raining soon after we got back, but Phil still hosed the boat down to get rid of the salt spray.
Phil washing Ravensdale
Where am I?
The Met Office app on my phone showing the UK forecast halfway across the Solway Firth
Screenshot of my phone in Maryport on Sunday
My phone apparently doesn’t know where I am.
And, during our recent holiday in Kirkcudbright, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, it gave me the forecast for Kirkcudbright, as you would expect.
Halfway back across the Solway Firth, I was amused to see that my phone didn’t know where I was, and it was displaying the weather forecast for “United Kingdom”.
But now we’re back in Maryport, I thought it would give me the local forecast again and sometimes it does, but sometimes, for no apparent reason, it shows me the weather for Kirkcudbright again.
Every time this happens, I type in “Maryport” and get the correct forecast, but it keeps going back to Kirkcudbright.
I have no idea why this is happening and am beginning to wonder if my phone is trying to tell me something.
Perhaps it thinks we should go back to Scotland 😊
Ruby of Ravensdale
Ruby laying on Ravensdale's aft deck in her new lifejacket
In fact, she didn’t even seem to really notice she was wearing it and quite happily laid down on the deck and in her bed while wearing it.
Ruby playing with Phil on the aft deck
We had to take Ruby to the vet last Friday because she was chewing two of her paws and they had started to look sore.
The vet examined her feet and said she had a nail bed infection. She put Ruby on antibiotics, and we took her back to the vet for a check-up this afternoon (Friday) and, thankfully, she is fully recovered.
We bought her a new teddy as a treat for being good…well, maybe not good, but not too bad, at the vets 😊
Ruby playing with her new teddy
Ruby asleep with her new teddy
Ruby cuddling her teddy
Thankfully, Ruby’s season stopped at the weekend, so we were able to put the carpet back down and put the seat cushions down so Ravensdale is much more homely again.
However, the vet said we should continue to keep her away from complete male dogs for at least another week as she could still be fertile.
I’ve already spoken to the vet about having her neutered and was told the best time is eight to 12 weeks after her season so it looks like that will be happening towards the end of August.
Meanwhile, we've taken her to the beach on a couple of her walks this week and let her off the lead when there were no other dogs about. It was lovely to see her running free again after all the time we've had to keep her in during her season.
Ruby running on the wet sand at Maryport beach this morning (Friday)
And, today (Friday) we met up with one of her doggy friends, Max - a Cockerpoo the same age as Ruby - and they had great fun play fighting and rolling around on the grass together.
Ruby playing with Max
Ruby looking pleased with herself after her game with Max
Ruby watching a rock pipit on Ravensdale's aft deck
The rock pipits have been around the marina again this week and one pays regular visits to Ravensdale.
Ruby seems completely unconcerned about this noisy little visitor and just sits watching it without making any attempt to get it.
I bought some mealworms yesterday (Thursday) so we'll put them out for the rock pipits very soon.
The heron that's a regular visitor to the marina doesn’t seem to have been around as much lately, but I saw it in the basin on Tuesday morning.
The heron in Maryport Basin
Another visitor that I would really love to see is the otter that I’m told is often at the other end of the marina to our boat but, sadly, we haven’t seen it yet as it never seems to be around when we walk down there ☹
Happy boat 😊
The smiling face on the transom of Trillium
Is it just me or does this yacht, which is moored in our marina, look as though she’s smiling?
Every time I walk past Trillium, I’m convinced she’s smiling at me 😊
The annoying blob that was spoiling my photos before the sensor was cleaned
At the weekend, photographer friend Jan Fialkowski kindly cleaned my camera’s sensor for me to get rid of an annoying blob that I was having to clone out of my photos.
It took two attempts to get rid of but it has now gone and I was very happy to see the back of it so I'm very grateful to Jan for dealing with it for me.
Our fishing trip on the Solway Firth on Tuesday provided another opportunity to take photos from Ravensdale of the shore and other boats that were out on the water that day.
Heavy cloud over Maryport taken from the basin
View of the shore from Ravensdale on the Solway Firth
Clouds over the Solway Firth
Maryport from the Solway Firth
Heavy clouds over the Solway Firth with Maryport pier in the distance
Another view of Maryport from the Solway Firth
Venture West charter fishing boat on the Solway Firth
Another shot of Venture West with Maryport in the background
Another view of the shore from the Solway Firth
A small fishing boat that anchored near Ravensdale on the Solway Firth
The less than perfect weather meant there were some interesting clouds to photograph.
I also took my camera for a walk around the harbour several times this week.
Sara Maria in Maryport Harbour
A sculpture on the harbourside in Maryport
Maryport lighthouse from across the basin
Fishing boats in Maryport Harbour
More fishing boats in Maryport Harbour
Another view of Maryport Harbour
Two more boats in Maryport Harbour
I captured some photos of boats that were heading out onto the Solway Firth while we were out walking Ruby on Saturday morning.
Fredwood leaving Maryport Harbour
Fredwood going out onto the Solway Firth
Skipsea Witch leaving Maryport Marina for a sail on the Solway Firth
Maryport Inshore Rescue boat heading out onto the Solway Firth for a training session
I've also taken my camera on a couple of Ruby's beach walks this week.
Looking the other way along the shore at Maryport
Maryport pier with the Scottish hills in the distance
The stern gear on a fishing boat
A locked metal gate on an empty building in Maryport
The weather hasn’t been very spring-like this week.
It’s been pretty windy with some quite wet periods and the temperature was cool for the time of year with the temperature peaking at just 15C (59F).
Cloudy weather at Maryport Marina on Saturday
Saturday was cloudy but mainly dry with a brief spell of light rain during the afternoon. The top temperature was 13C (55F) and the top average wind speed was 14mph.
We had heavy rain overnight Saturday into Sunday morning. The rain had practically stopped by the time we got up with a little spitting on and off during the morning.
The weather dried up and the wind got up during the afternoon. The highest daytime temperature was 15C (59F) at 8am and the top average wind speed was 30mph, gusting 40mph, at 6pm.
Dry and bright but windy at Maryport Marina on Sunday
Tuesday started calm and dry. There was a little light rain around lunchtime. It then cleared up for a few hours before the heavy rain arrived and it tipped down for the rest of the afternoon and throughout the evening.
Heavy cloud over the Solway Firth on Tuesday
The top temperature was 15C (59F) and the top average wind speed at St Bees Head – our nearest weather station - was 16mph, but it was definitely less windy here.
There was fine rain first thing on Wednesday morning. It then cleared up but stayed overcast for most of the day. The top temperature was 12C (54F) and the top average wind speed was 19mph.
Yesterday (Thursday) was fine, dry and windy. The top temperature was 13C (55F) and the top average wind speed was 16mph.
Fine, dry and windy weather at Maryport beach yesterday (Thursday)
And today (Friday) the weather has been dry and calm during the morning becoming slightly windier this afternoon. It started raining at around 4pm and is expected to keep it up for the next 24 hours ☹