Friday, 7 July 2017

Sunshine after the rain - and our latest purchase opens up new opportunities

Photo of blowing up the new dinghy on Ravensdale's aft deck

Blowing up the new dinghy on Ravensdale's aft deck

We now have a new dinghy that will enable us to moor in places that would otherwise be inaccessible to us.

Finding a suitable dinghy turned out to be a bit of a challenge.

We initially thought the one that had been on the boat when we bought it would do the job, then discovered it was only suitable for inland waterways – not coastal waters.

So we sold that one and started looking for another.

Two of the berth holders here at Maryport Marina offered us second-hand dinghies, but neither fitted the bill.

However, during our recent visit to the Northern Boat Show in Liverpool, we found one that was the size we were looking for and suitable for our purposes.

It's an Excel Volante 235, which should carry two of us quite happily as it’s a three-man dinghy.

The hardest part was deciding which colour to get – light grey or dark blue. We eventually settled on blue to match the painted stripes and canvas covers on Ravensdale.

Photo of our new Excel Volante 235

Our new Excel Volante 235

It took longer to arrive than we’d been led to believe would be the case, but it is now here and seemed fine when we blew it up to check it.

It has now been stowed away ready for when it's needed.

We're still enjoying our new liveaboard lifestyle. The one bugbear is the wifi reception at the marina, which is very poor much of the time.

Sometimes it’s so slow that even loading Google is almost more than it can cope with. We often have to hit refresh and wait ages to get it to load at all. The same problem occurs when moving between websites.

And trying to put up this blog post is taking way longer than it should do, which is driving me crazy. Patience is not one of my virtues :-)

Meanwhile, we’ve continued to follow the local wildlife with interest.

On a walk around the marina to the pier, we noticed the seagull we'd watched sitting on her nest on the flybridge of an old cruiser on the hard-standing while we were out of the water was still there.

Her eggs must have hatched, as we saw two chicks wandering around on the flybridge, but she was still sitting on the nest. We couldn’t work out why this would be unless the nest just provided a good vantage point for keeping an eye on her offspring.  

Photo of a seagull nesting on a cruiser and one of her chicks

The seagull nesting on a cruiser and one of her chicks

A more impressive bird that is a frequent visitor to the marina is the heron.

On occasions, we've seen two at the same time, but there's usually a single heron fishing close to the slipway or perching on the pontoons or mooring ropes.

Photo of a heron waiting patiently on a pontoon

A heron waits patiently on a pontoon

Photo of one of the latest batch of jellyfish to visit the marina

One of the latest batch of jellyfish to visit the marina

And we’ve yet to work out why there are sometimes loads of jellyfish in the marina and at other times there are none to be seen.
We had some pretty miserable weather here for the first half of this week, with lots of rain and high winds.

Whenever the rain stopped, we emerged from the boat to make the most of the drier spells and I used our walks along the beach as an opportunity to photograph the wild waves that were being whipped up by the wind near Maryport pier.

Photo of a lone fisherman on Maryport pier

A lone fisherman on Maryport pier

Thankfully the weather improved on Wednesday.

The rain stopped, the wind dropped and the sun came out, which is when living on a boat and not having to go to work really comes into its own... 
Photo of me soaking up the sun on Ravensdale's fore deck

Soaking up the sun on Ravensdale's fore deck

Photo of Phil looking cool in his shades

Phil looking cool in his shades