Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Apirl 26, 2015 Staniel Cay giant step backwards

The wind came up this morning and started rocking the boat right before sunrise.  It hadn’t started raining, but since I was awake, I went outside to gather our suits, towels, snorkel gear, and tuck up a few things in case it did rain.  Another lazy morning.  Dave slept in since he didn’t sleep well after having a couple beers-sinus problems.  So we decided to stay here another day.

After brunch, we sat outside to cool off.  It gets warm inside with cooking.  We did some charting and planning for the next few weeks.  We bought a new chart book of the Exumas at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, so I was going over that. 

About 2:00, I decided to defrost the freezer.  With the wind, it wasn’t as hot inside the boat as other days.  This has been on my to do list for some time.  I like to use hot water to remove the ice build up.  So instead of heating water and making it more hot inside, we decided to run the generator for a while to be able to turn on the hot water heater.  It was a little sluggish starting, so Dave checked the raw water intake filter.  And sure enough, there was a big sea weed tangled inside of it.  So he replaced the filter and it was running much better.  It took me a little over an hour, about 3:20, to finish my job. 

So back outside to cool off and relax.  I was able to pick up wifi, which has been sporadic here, did some cooking for our dinner, just putzed away the afternoon.  Same with Dave, just some reading & relaxing. 

About 6:00, we were discussing dinner plans when we heard a beeping and a pump running.  We realized it was our bilge alarm with the bilge pumping water!!  Not something you ever want to hear on your boat!   Dave had me hold the pump switch on while he went outside to watch if water went overboard.  It seemed like he let is run a long time.  Finally, he told me to stop, came below and said it continued to run and didn’t let up.

While I was holding the bilge switch, I thought about defrosting the freezer.  There is a drain that goes from the freezer into the refrigerator, and that drains with a sump pump.   I thought the sump pump sounded a little different today.  I only do this once every 3 months, so thought it may be normal.  So Dave checked under the sink right away.  There is a filter for the sump that looked like it was leaking.  He removed it, and it did need cleaning.  So we figured the water I used for defrosting must have been forced out and maybe there was a leak in a hose somewhere. 

The next step was to open the bilge and see how much water there was.  There actually was a lot of water.  The main section drains most of the boat and that is where the pump is.  The aft section, closest to the engine, had water in it, too.  So Dave thought there had been enough water to overflow into that compartment.  There isn’t a bilge pump for that section, so I started cleaning the water out of there by hand by soaking it up with a towel.  Dave thought the bilge pump sounded sluggish, so he checked those screens and they needed cleaning, too.  One more thing that should be done on a routine basis.  Now the bilge pump ran great and Dave cleaned up that area. 

I, in the mean time, didn’t feel like I was getting ahead.  I had emptied about 6 coffee cans of water and still had about the same level.  I explained to Dave that there was no way I could have used that much water defrosting the freezer.  He asked if I wanted to use the shop vac.  I said, well if we cleaned it all up faster, we may be able to see if it was continuing to come in.  At this point, Dave tasted the water and realized it was salt water, not fresh that i would have used defrosting the freezer.  He decided to open the engine compartment.  There was water in there, too.  With a flashlight, he looked back behind the engine and saw water running into the boat from the generator filter.  So he quickly went back to the filter (which involves shifting things around and out of our aft cabin).  He checked the filter and realized it wasn’t in place correctly.  It wasn’t completely closed and sea water was running into the boat.

So after apologizing for thinking I had caused this by not cleaning the filter for the sump pump, we continued to clean up the water.  About 7:30, we had everything under control.  So we decided to have dinner.  We ate outside, since our boat was torn apart, and watched a beautiful sunset. 

Dave cleaned more water out of the engine compartment, while I cleaned up the dishes.  Then I inventoried everything we had stored in the bilge in plastic containers.  I did some rearranging, too. 

We decided tomorrow we’ll run the generator and be sure nothing is leaking.   then we will rinse the bilge with fresh water and clean it out.  We’ll also clean under the sink for the little bit of water that leaked there.  Then, if everything stayed dry, we would still head south, about half way to Georgetown.

We both had showers and went to bed.  What a night!

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