The past couple of days my old "friend" the jobs
list hads been knocking my door and I have not been answering. However today he
kicked the door down and demanded an audience.....
For a long time now we have been either ingressing
water or we have an intenal leak and as it appears to be just a trickle for the
most part this continually activates the main bilge pump on and off, which has a
shrieking alarm located in the cockpit. This tends to go off in the middle
of the night so I frequently disable it and just keep an eye on the warning
lights on the panel.
So that pump was giving me a little grief and while
still unsure where the water was coming from, the aft heads off our cabin
started playing up. All heads are electric and ours started filling
randomly and then not working.
However not really looking forward to lifting
heads and emptying pumps etc, I continued to go Tuna fishing and instead
used the day heads midships.
Then the smell of something not very nice started
to appear in the saloon and our aft cabin. Also I had the two new pumps from
Australia one of which had been fitted to the grey water sump tank in the
day heads and now would not work making a loud rasping noise.
Then an endless gulping and belching noise
(which for once was not emanating from me) made its presence felt in the saloon.
It was the washing machine sump tank pump failed to on....
This only left the forward heads fully functioning
and as it is sixty foot away its too far to go during the night. So the day
arrived today when the jobs list would be ignored no longer. As a
consequence we resolved to have chicken for tea and that elusive
Yellow Fin was granted another days freedom.
I know you are already bored with this but in case
any of you fancy cruising the world you need to know the realities. There are
the "Turquise" days of the past few blogs but mostly there are the "brown" days
of todays blog, though I will spare you the photographs.......
First it was over the side with scraper screw
driver and brush to ensure all through hull penetrations were clear of marine
organisms, and to scrub the hull while I was there.....
Then the mid ship day heads which unbeleivably
needed a brand new pump modifying which required completely disasssembling it
and fitting a missing washer! Oh Whale.....
Then the washing machine sump tank pump which would
not stop and if switched off, left our aft heads isolated too. Water witch
failed on - so a manual switching arrangement was made to allow a washing
to be done.
Getting there..... then the aft heads. Yes.
The source of the shitty smell was identified from the slurry which had
accumulated under the galley floor (and was conveyed to the whole saloon
every time the aircon was switched on - arghhhh!) which is just forward of
the aft heads.
The toilet was unbolted from the floor and
immediately the main pipe from the heads the holding tank could be seen all
lonely and disconnected from the toilet. The toilet hadn't dealt with the
parting in the relationship very well so had been spraying its old mate and
all its new friends (cables, connections, stingers, conduit bilges etc) with its
disgust. Ah yes - another pleasant day in paradise.
Anyway on this one I thought I got lucky so
quickly reconnected the waste pipe to the toilet and while still holding it at
an angle exposing the pipework and bilges I flushed it to test it. Yes you
guessed it for spending the past few days enjoying paradise I was punished
by an exploding joint and "spray tanned". Not evenly mind. That took the rest of
In the end the diagnosis was a blocked pipe to
the tank - somewhere away inside the bowels of the boat and an access that a
bilge rat would baulk at. So with a bit of ingenuity required I rigged a
morse control cable and sent it down the pipe. First with just a pointy end
then with a plunger arrangement made from large flat washers to drag all the
"stuff" back up the pipe.
Then the wiring which had all been rotted needed
redoing which was done. Finally I, flushed with success and more full of shit
than ever, with great difficulty straightened my back which were it not so
painful I would have patted myself.
OK not what you want to hear from the Chagos but it
has been raining and squally most of the day and with three out of three
dealt with it actually was a very good day. Sad I suppose but cruising is more
like being in the boat repair business.
p.s. Just as I was finishing this blog the biggest
squall of the day hit us and off went the bilge alarm again perhaps confirming
the rain is coming from the deck level. So I rushed off on deck to my tool
locker and with a mysterious and distinctly fishy odour in the air I
grabbed a couple of screwdrivers while trying to stay reasonably dry. As I
turned round I was confronted with a Booby. Not attached to a girly but a Red
Footed Booby (bird) flailing round the cockpit! I left Trish to that job
and with my bilge alarm going I one by one trached the flow of water through the
lumber holes back to
I had to return to the red booby and with a towel over my hand and then his
head returned him to the sea air.