Ravensdale towing a fishing boat back into Maryport in Cumbria, UK, this afternoon (Friday)
We were called upon to help a fishing boat that had broken down just off Maryport Pier as we returned from a fishing trip this afternoon (Friday).
It was the first time this has happened to us in the almost three years we've been living on Ravensdale.
We were pleased to have been in the right place at the right time and very happy to have been able to help
A week of lovely calm weather has provided plenty of opportunities to take our 43ft motor cruiser out on the Solway Firth in Cumbria, UK.
However, we've only been out twice for several very good reasons.
Phil with biggest codling he caught on Monday
We didn’t see the point of going fishing again too soon when we'd caught enough fish for our needs on Monday and we had other jobs that needed doing on the boat.
We’ve also been busy moving our stuff into our new, larger storage container that is much closer to home than our previous storage facility.
So it was good to be able to get out on the water again today.
Today's fishing trip
Freebird tied onto Ravensdale
Today's (Friday) fishing trip ended very differently to what we'd expected when we were asked to help a friend who's fishing boat had broken down on it's way back to Maryport.
We were approaching the piers on our way back into Maryport Marina when we got call on our VHF radio from John to say he needed a tow.
We were very close to his boat, Freebird, and happy to assist.
Phil steered Ravensdale towards Freebird while I looked out a spare rope in case it was needed.
As we got nearer Freebird, which had John and two other people on board, they shouted that they had a rope ready.
When we were close enough, they threw me their rope. I caught it and hooked it onto the cleat on the port side of Ravensdale's aft deck.
Freebird ready to be towed
Phil set off for home at a slow and steady speed at around 3 knots and Freebird followed along behind us.
Freebird on her way home
As we passed through the basin, I did my usual preparations for returning to the marina - dropping out the fenders and preparing the docking sticks in case there is no one around to catch our ropes when we get back to the pontoon.
Ravensdale towing Freebird in through the marina gate
This would have been simple if the hammerhead had been empty, as had been the case when we both left the marina, but a visiting boat had arrived while we were out and was moored at the far end of it making it more difficult to get Freebird alongside the remaining mooring space.
Unfortunately, the only member of the marina staff on duty was busy on the marina's caravan site and therefore unable to come down and catch a rope so we were all very grateful when the folk on the visiting boat caught a rope and pulled Freebird in alongside their vessel.
After Monday's fishing trip, we decided to leave it until today before going out again and, during the week, the forecast was looking perfect for a nice calm trip out.
This morning it seemed a bit windier than we'd expected so we drove around to the pier to check the sea state.
It was borderline for us with a good breeze and a few white tops breaking on the waves but it didn't look as though there was a big swell so we decided to go.
Ravensdale leaving Maryport
We left the marina at around 1.40pm and headed out onto the Solway Firth, then up to the spot where Phil has been catching some good cod lately.
We dropped anchor and Phil set up his rods and immediately started catching dogfish after dogfish ☹
Phil setting up one of his fishing rods
We had our lunch and Phil carried on fishing but all he caught, other than lots of dogfish, were two codling, only one of which was big enough to keep.
Phil with the only decent-sized codling he caught on this trip
The fishing was so boring that Ruby gave up and went indoors after a short while out on deck and, a good half hour before we were due to pack up, she went in her cage as if she was saying: "That's it! I've had enough! Let's go home now." 😊
Ruby laying in her cage ready to go home
We returned to the marina at about 5.45pm after just over four hours out on the water.
Monday’s fishing trip
Lovely calm conditions tempted us out onto the Solway Firth on Monday.
We didn’t even bother to check the sea state before we went as we were pretty sure it was going to be fine and we were right.
Ravensdale leaving Maryport Marina
We left the marina at about 11.30am and headed to Phil’s favourite fishing spot in Allonby Bay, which has now been dubbed the “cod hole” 😊
The weather was sunny, calm and mild for the time of year.
Ravensdale heading out onto the Solway Firth at Maryport in Cumbria, UK
Ravensdale leaving Maryport in beautiful weather
Phil set up his fishing rods while I got us both a cup of tea and I was about to get Ruby out of her cage when he had his first bite.
I stayed to see what he’d caught before going back in and it was his first dogfish of many.
I put Ruby’s life jacket on her and took her out on deck, but she didn’t seem to want to stay out there for long.
Ruby making herself comfortable in the saloon
After a quick sniff of Phil’s bait box, she went back indoors and stretched out on the couch in the saloon although she did come back outside when we were having our lunch in the hope she might get a bit and she wasn’t disappointed 😊
The first codling of the day was just under-sized so was put back in the water.
The first codling of the day, which was just too small to keep
Phil then started catching codling that were bigger than the minimum size and we kept four of them to eat. His last one was the biggest at 45cm.
The first good-sized codling Phil caught on this trip
Another of the decent-sized codling that we kept to eat
The dab Phil caught on this fishing trip
He also caught a dab that was also large enough to keep.
A short time after we dropped anchor, Venture West charter fishing boat came and dropped anchor within about 75 yards of us.
Venture West anchored next to Ravensdale
Some of the anglers on Venture West waving to us
They were so close to Ravensdale that we could compare catches without having to use the VHF radio.
Strangely, although they were so close to us and there were nine anglers on board, they didn’t catch a single codling.
Phil's catch in the laundry basket we use for fishing trips
A light breeze picked up while we were out, which became stronger as the time went on and the ride home was much choppier than the trip out.
Ravensdale heading home to Maryport
The view from Ravensdale's aft deck on the way home
We returned to the marina at around 3.30pm after four hours out on the water during which time we travelled 5.5 nautical miles.
Phil bringing Ravensdale into Maryport Marina
As soon as we were back Phil filleted the fish he had caught. We had two of the codling for supper and the rest went into the freezer.
The prepared cod fillets
We were delighted to discover a new 20ft storage container that was available for rent just a short way from the marina.
And, yesterday (Thursday) we hired a van and collected our stuff from the small storage unit we were renting 12 miles away from here – the closest one we could find when we moved on board almost three years ago.
The van we hired outside our old storage facility
We also collected a lot of the stuff from the storage facility at our marina and took it to the container.
Our new storage container
And, over the past week, we’ve been moving some of the things that were on board that really didn’t need to be here all the time into the storage container.
Some of our stuff in the new container
The next step is to spend some time in there going through the boxes, throwing away the things we really don’t want or need anymore and re-boxing, sorting and labelling the stuff we want to keep.
Our storage seems to have been so chaotic for so long that I’m really looking forward to winning our storage wars at long last 😊
New radio holder
The new box for our handheld VHF radio
It used to be in a plastic container that hung from a hook near the helm. This was probably fine when it was new, but it was falling apart and looking tatty.
He recovered a piece of marine ply from the marina’s rubbish bins (with permission) thinking it would save us a few bob 😊
What he hadn’t realised was that there would be hidden costs involved.
The first thing we had to buy was wood glue as he couldn’t find the glue that we both knew we had somewhere – one of the joys of living on a boat 😊
Then, he had to buy some stain to get the colour of the little box as close as possible to the wood to which it was being attached.
But I’m fairly sure it was still a lot cheaper than buying a ready-made handset holder and he has the satisfaction of knowing that it was all his own work 😊
New rod holders
One of Phil's new rod holders
One of the new rod holders in use on our latest fishing trip
The new rod holders Phil bought himself recently have turned out to be a bit of a disappointment.
They looked as though they were going to be perfect for his new fishing rods but they don't stay upright.
Any pressure on the line, even the tide is enough to pull the rod over.
He has tried putting a split pin through one of them (he only had one spare of a suitable size).
This seems to have helped, but he's still not happy with it so it looks as though they will have to be replaced asap ☹
Defrosting the freezer
Our freezer after it had been defrosted and cleaned
I was so pleased with the extra space in the fridge after defrosting it last week, so I decided to give our little freezer the same treatment this week.
I transferred the contents into a cool box with a couple of ice blocks, switched off the freezer and switched it off until it started to thaw before knocking off the worst of the ice with a plastic spatula.
As soon as the ice had gone, I gave it a thorough clean and put it back on for a while so it would cool down properly before restocking it.
Ruby of Ravensdale
Ruby lounging on the couch in the saloon on Ravensdale
One of Ruby’s favourite places to sleep during the day is tucked in behind me while I’m sat at the dining table using my laptop.
She snuggles into the space between my back and the back of the seat and sleeps there quite happily until I have to move.
Ruby squeezed in behind my back
Meanwhile, she seems to have got used to wearing her knickers and can frequently be seen posing in them on the couch in the saloon 😊
Another photo of Ruby posing on the couch in her knickers
Ruby's new knickers in clear packaging
She puts her front feet up on the second step of the steps from the saloon to the aft deck and stays there while we take them off as she goes out for walks and put them back on afterwards.
It’s comical to watch, but I really think a photo of that would be a step too far (no pun intended 😊). My poor baby needs a little bit of privacy 😊
And it’s just as well she isn’t easily embarrassed as the spare pair of knickers that we ordered because the pet shop only had one pair of her size in stock turned up in a clear plastic wrapper 😊
I’m not quite sure why she needed the large size as I don’t think she’s particularly big for a staffie and the size charts for the knickers give medium as the size for staffies, but they were much too small for her.
I just wish we’d thought of getting them for her during her first season as it means we can all carry on as normal without having to take up the carpet and protect the seat cushions…and there’s no cleaning up to do, which is brilliant.
Ruby sitting on one of the lockers on Ravensdale's aft deck
Ruby obviously decided that she should be allowed to write her own section in my blog now.
I left my laptop for a couple of minutes to do something in the galley and, when I got back, I found her with her front feet on the keyboard and she’d made the alteration above 😊😊😊
Sadly I didn't get a photo of her doing this as my first thought was to get her off my keyboard.
And she still hates having her photo taken. She can be fast asleep but the second I point a camera at her she immediately wakes up and gives me the evil eye 😊
Ruby fast asleep
Ruby a second later when she realised I was taking photos of her
Chelaris visits the marina
Chelaris arriving at Maryport Marina
Maryport fishing boat Chelaris arrived in the marina yesterday afternoon and tied up on the wall opposite Ravensdale while waiting to be lifted out of the water.
Chelaris passing Ravensdale
As soon as the boat hoist was set up, she went into the hoist which was pulled up the slipway for work to be carried out at the boatyard next to the marina.
Chelaris heading into the boat hoist
Chelaris on her way up the slipway
Swans and cygnets
The cygnets with one of their parents paddling past Ravensdale
The family of swans, the other pair and a single swan, all of which are fairly frequent visitors, have called around for food on a number of occasions this week.
But the real problem comes when any of the others turn up at the same time as the cygnets and their parents.
Last Friday evening, we saw the family of swans on the marina slipway with the male swan a short distance from the female and cygnets. He had the lone swan pinned against the wall and was pecking at its head.
He then chased it up the slipway around a campervan that was parked at the top of the slipway across the concrete area at the top of the slipway and along the road towards the west gate where he trapped it in a corner.
The male swan chasing the interloper across the top of the marina slipway
The lone swan being scared off
The chase continues
The lone swan being chased down towards the west gate
I really wish I'd had my camera with me as the quality of the photos I took with my phone is not great, but at least it enabled me to capture the action.
Christmas decorations for sale in Maryport's B&M store on Wednesday
It seems Christmas has arrived even earlier than usual this year ☹
Is it just me or is mid-September really too early to see Christmas decorations for sale in the shops?
We just couldn’t believe it when we went into our local B&M store to see an aisle dedicated to Christmas stuff, including tinsel, baubles and Xmas stockings.
There were also Christmas selection boxes in the confectionery aisle.
One of the fishing boats from the marina leaving Maryport Basin
As usual, a lot of this week's photos were taken while out on the Solway Firth on Monday and today (Friday).
Fishing boat Argonaut on the Solway Firth
The northern fells from the Solway Firth
Maryport from the Solway Firth on Monday
The same view taken today (Friday)
Maryport from the Solway Firth
The entrance to Maryport Basin from the Solway Firth
I also took my camera for a walk up to The Settlement, where I went to see an exhibition of the work of local artists on Saturday afternoon.
Looking out towards the Solway Firth from The Settlement
Looking along the River Ellen towards the Solway Firth from The Settlement
Looking over the rooftops to Maryport Lighthouse and the Solway Firth
And I couldn't resist taking some photos around the harbour on the way there and again on the way back to the marina.
Ellenfoot Bridge over Maryport Harbour
Fishing boats in Maryport Harbour
More fishing boats in Maryport Harbour
I also took my camera along while walking Ruby around the harbour on Wednesday evening.
Evening light on Maryport Harbour
Maryport Harbour bathed in golden evening light
Another view of Maryport Harbour
She doesn't mind me tying her lead to the railings next to me briefly while I take photos as she gets a treat when I untie her if she sat quietly while waiting.
The weather has been so much better this week than in previous weeks but it’s definitely getting cooler at night now.
Blue sky and white clouds over Maryport Harbour on Saturday
Saturday was dry, bright and sunny but it was still pretty windy.
The top temperature was 16C (61F) and the top average wind speed was 22mph, gusting 32mph.
Sunday was dry and bright but not particularly sunny and less windy than the previous day. The sun came out late afternoon and it was very calm in the evening.
The top temperature was 14C (57F) and the top average wind speed was 11mph.
Monday started dry, bright, sunny and calm, but the cloud increased during the afternoon and the wind got up a bit.
The top temperature was 14C (57F). The top average wind speed was 21mph and the wind speed while we were out on the Solway Firth was 6-13mph.
Looking out to the Solway Firth from Maryport on Tuesday afternoon
Tuesday was another dry, sunny and fairly calm day with a top temperature of 15C (59F) and the average wind speed peaked at 11mph.
A sunny end to the day on Wednesday evening
We had a dry and calm start to the day on Wednesday. There was a mixture of sunshine and cloud during the morning with the amount of cloud decreasing at the day went on.
Wednesday night into yesterday (Thursday) was a much cooler night than previous nights with the temperature going down to 9C. The temperature in the boat was only 13C when we got up.
Clear blue sky at Maryport Marina yesterday (Thursday)
Yesterday, the weather was dry, sunny and calm with a top temperature of 16C (61F) and a top average wind speed of 9mph.
A misty start to the day at Maryport Marina this morning (Friday)
And, today (Friday) the weather was dry and sunny with an early morning mist. It was fairly calm for much of the day with a good breeze at times. The temperature reached 19C (66F) with a top average wind speed of 16mph.