Thursday, 29 June 2017

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink

Photo of the watery view through Ravensdale's windscreen

The watery view through Ravensdale's windscreen this morning

Fortunately we both saw the funny side of the latest challenge to our liveaboard lifestyle on Ravensdale.

Ironically we are totally surrounded by water – we’re sitting in a marina full of it with more pouring out of the sky – but have spent the last few days with no water supply on the boat.

We were getting ready for bed on Monday night when the water flow from the tap in the galley dwindled to almost nothing before coming to a total stop.

At first we thought our water supply may have run out, but we’d only filled the 500 litre tank the previous day.

It usually lasts at least four days before we have to refill it with a hosepipe from the tap on the pontoon and we knew we hadn’t used an excessive quantity of the wet stuff.

We then realised that we couldn’t hear the water pump running.

As it was already late and we were tired, we decided to go to bed and begin the diagnostic process in the morning.

Photo of Phil checking the old water pump in Ravensdale's engine room

Phil checks out the old water pump in Ravensdale's engine room

On Tuesday morning, I went up to our storage facility at the marina to get our water carrier so we would have water on the boat while Phil went down into the engine room to find out what had gone wrong.

He discovered that by messing around with the electrical wiring into the pump he could make it work again, but it wouldn’t carry on running. And, if he did this while the taps were all switched off, it started pumping water out into the bilges.

It soon became apparent that a new water pump was needed.

Photo of filling a jerry can with water on our very wet aft deck

Filling a jerry can with water on our very wet aft deck

Initially, we were both very disappointed that we were facing yet another unexpected and expensive purchase.

Photo of Phil unwrapping the new water pump

Phil unwraps the new water pump

Someone once told us that BOAT was an acronym for Bring Out Another Thousand and we are beginning to believe they were right.

This time we were only looking at another £200, but the things that need replacing on this boat just seem to go on and on.

However, when we looked out of the window and saw it was raining, we both burst out laughing at the idea that we were without water on the boat.

And, looking on the bright side, replacing the water pump means that is one more thing that is new and therefore should (hopefully) last us a good while before it goes wrong again - especially as we discovered the existing pump was not suitable for the purpose. It was a washdown pump rather than one suitable for a domestic water system.

Photo of The old pump (right) and the new pump on the galley bench

The old pump (right) and the new pump sitting on the bench in the galley

Phil has just finished fitting it while I have been writing this so normal service has now been resumed and we have hot and cold running water again.

Another interesting experience over the last few days was trying to cut Phil’s hair while Ravensdale was rocking madly.

When I set up the stool and got out the clippers and scissors to give him a trim, the boat was almost motionless.

However, soon after I started running the clippers over his head it started rocking and the swaying motion quickly became quite pronounced.

I suppose I should’ve stopped and finished the job off later, but I decided I’d started so I’d finish and carried on regardless.

It wasn’t so difficult when I was using the clippers. The real problem was trimming around his ears with a sharp pair of scissors and he seemed rather relieved when I completed the task without having drawn any blood.

Meanwhile, we have spent a good bit of time watching and photographing the wildlife and marine life in and around the marina.

The giant jellyfish has not returned – or at least if it has we haven’t seen it – but there have been plenty of other jellyfish around.

Photo of a compass jellyfish

A compass jellyfish

Photo of another compass jellyfish

Another compass jellyfish showing the distinctive markings on the top

Photo of an unidentified jellyfish

An unidentified jellyfish

We have seen quite a few compass jellyfish, varying in size from a couple of inches to about 6ins in diameter and literally hundreds of moon jellyfish of various sizes.

We also saw one totally different looking jellyfish. Sadly it was too deep to get a good photo of it and I have so far been unable to identify it. 

But the best photo opportunity this week was a visit to the marina by a family of swans, including three cygnets.

Photo of three cygnets hitching a ride on mum's back

Three cygnets hitch a ride on mum's back

Photo of three cygnets on mum's back

The cygnets take a rest from paddling around under their own steam

Photo of one little cygnet snuggling down among mum's feathers

One little cygnet snuggles down among mum's feathers

Mum and her babies came into the marina shortly before the gate that keeps water in the marina when the tide goes out was shut.

Photo of Mum calling for her partner from the marina side of the gate

Mum calls for her partner from the marina side of the gate

She quickly realised she had been separated from her mate and swam up and down on the inside of the gate with her little ones on her back calling out to her mate.

She could see him through the holes in the gate but could not reach him and was getting very upset, but soon afterwards he joined her and the pair presumably waited until the gate was opened again on the next rising tide before making good their escape.

Photo of family of swans swimming around the marina

Dad joins the rest of the family for a swim around the marina

We've also had some beautiful sunsets over the past few days so the camera has been putting in a bit of overtime.

Photo of Maryport Marina sunset

Maryport Marina sunset

Photo of another view of the sunset over Maryport Marina

Another view of the sunset over Maryport Marina

PS. For the purists among you, I am aware that I have adopted the common misquote from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge for the title on this blog post.

It should read: “Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink; 
Water, water, every where,

Nor any drop to drink.”

Thankfully Ravensdale is GRP (glass-reinforced plastic) so we don’t have to worry about boards shrinking. At least that's one thing that can't go wrong on our boat J