Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April 22, 2015 Exumas, raw water leak in generator

We planned to move further south today, but we woke up to rain this morning, so we weren’t in any hurry to go anywhere.  The boat was getting a nice bath, rinsing the salt water off of it.  We did notice water leaking from the two other port lights with the same hinge as our v-berth.  So those will have to be fixed. 

We put the dinette table back together after using it as a bed for guests for two weeks.  So we had a relaxing morning eating breakfast at our table and sipping coffee.  Just sitting there with no plan, Dave had a voila’ moment.  Our aft head faucet has always had a slower flow than the other faucets on the boat.  So much that it doesn’t create enough pressure to use it as a shower head when you bring it up to a wall mount.  It would only dribble and not create enough pressure to switch it to a spray.  Sitting there listening to me run the water, he noticed that the pump was pulsing, which meant it was getting all the pressure it could handle.  We previously thought there was a bend in the line somewhere and we would have to tear the boat apart to follow the line from the starboard pump to the port head.  So Dave’s voila’ was to check the faucet for a restrictive washer.  And sure enough, he found one and augured a bigger hole with a drill (hoping not to put the bit through his finger again).  Now we have a better flow of water and can use the shower.  If we don’t have to use the forward head shower, it will help keep the humidity out of our v-berth.  And actually, we have been showering outside since we came to the Bahamas, so it’s not as much of an issue right now. 

I did hear Dave cursing “those eco bastards” while he was working on the faucet.  He is really frustrated by what the government has done to the fuel cans.  They took the vent out of the can and made a spring loaded nozzle that has to be manipulated with one hand while you are holding 40 lbs of fuel in the other hand AND pouring it into the fuel tank on a rocking boat, which is often done while you are under way.  So without the air vent, you have a dribble of fuel.  And you are holding the heavy can for a longer time.  It has potential for the nozzle to pop out of the tank opening while the boat is rocking.  Dave feels he had spilled more fuel with this new type of can than he ever did in his entire life.  When we were buying fuel cans for this boat in 2013, he noticed the change and couldn’t find any of the older types.  When you spill fuel in the cockpit, it has potential for going into the ocean, which you can be fined for.  Plus it makes the cockpit slippery and dangerous.  Plus the fuel is flammable which creates another hazard.  It probably works great in a stable lab, but not in real life rocking boat.  So Dave has “modified” our fuel cans and hasn’t spilled fuel since.  

Dave fixed the leaks in the two port lights/hatches in our saloon.  He also cleaned the windlass that lifts the anchor.  That job has been on his list but moved to the top this week.  He talked to another boater that was having to pull up his anchor by hand because his windlass wasn’t working.  Those conversations help you prioritize your list of projects.  Dave rinses the windlass with fresh water occasionally to wash off the salt water and any muck that comes up with the chain and anchor.  But sand gets in the grease.  So he periodically wipes off the old grease and replaces it, which he did today. 

This evening, we were sitting outside enjoying the sunset while we had the generator running. We wanted to charge batteries since it was such a cloudy day.  Normally the solar panels will keep up with what we use in a day.  Dave is so in tune with the normal sounds, that he noticed the generator sounded different.  It had stopped spitting water out, which means trouble, so he shut it down right away.  The first thing he did was cleaned the raw water filter.  It was full of sea grass, as had happened before.  But it still didn’t spit out water.  So he had to get into the generator, which is under a lot of things stored in the starboard lazarette.  He first checked the impeller.  It was fine, so he cleaned it up and replaced it.  Still no water.  Looking further, he found salt crystals in an area where there shouldn’t be any raw water, meaning sea water had gotten in and evaporated.  So he decided that would be a job for another day.  Somewhere, raw sea water is leaking.  So he wants to get to some kind of civilization before he works on this further.  Maybe he will be able to get a part if he needs it, maybe not.  If it can’t be fixed until we get back to the US, we won’t be able to run our water maker.  We have been so spoiled.  We’ll have to be more frugal and possibly pay for water here in the Bahamas.  Just when you think you have accomplished so much in a day, you take a big step backwards. 

1 comment:

  1. You know the definition of cruising..."Working on your boat in exotic places." Sounds like you two are now professional cruisers! But, all the mechanical problems are part of the fun. Enjoy!!