Day in the Bilge


All of the first 1000 miles were done on starboard tack.  Which means the boat is tilted to the port or left side.  And the bilge pump does not run and the bilge is pretty dry.  Then we change to port tack.  Things change.  Bilge pump starts to run hourly.  Big plastic bins live in the bilge spaces.  Largely filled with food.  We note that some of the food is getting wet.  Bummer.

So we start looking for the leak. First I taste the water. Salty.  Then I check the actual salinity with a tool I have for that.  Same salinity as the ocean.  So now I know I’m not looking for a fresh water leak.   From there the search doesn’t take long.  The hose that drains the galley sink into the sea has a perforation.  And leaks a trickle.  And this adds up to a problem.  Note that this hose is on the starboard or right side of the boat.  So if the boat is tilted to the left side – and it was for all of the trip so far, – the damaged hose is out of the water, no leaks.  But when we went to port tack, the starboard side is more under water.  So there is the leak opportunity and the intermittent behavior is explained.  If you listen closely, problems are frequently trying to reveal their nature to you.

The damaged hose lives behind the hot water heater.  Repair accomplished with 5200 caulking and silicon self stick tape.  You might think of 5200 as duct tape in caulk form.  The Silicon self stick is interesting.  You cut off 7 inches or so..  Strip off the backing, and in this case stretch it out and wrap it around the hose with the perforation pre-treated  with 5200.  The tape is elastic and seals that way.  Also sticks to itself so it quickly becomes a sleeve.  Replace the hose clamps and we’re back in business.  Note that this fix worked with this drain hose which sees no pressure.  A repair like this would not likely succeed for a pressure bearing hose.

But of course the bilge spaces still carry too much water.  We remove the bilge contents and chase out as much water as we can.  Refill the bilge with grub and we are Really back on business.

We dine and listen to the radio net and that is the day.  The sun goes down as we note clouds on most of the southern horizon.  Wind still blowing 20 NE.  Flying a fraction of the jib and we are making 6.5 knots downwind into the night heading SW.  And on this heading to the west lie the Marquesas.  At least Steven Stills says so.  The Southern Cross is in the south where it belongs.  Peeks through the clouds from time to time.  The whitecaps wink at me in the dark.  The moon is just coming up and peak star gazing is over for tonight.   Tomorrow I’ve scheduled a day where nothing breaks or needs to be worked on.  I’ll let you know how that turns out…   🙂


8 thoughts on “Day in the Bilge

  1. YOu tasted it. Goood thing it was not a black water hose or holding tank leak. Happy Easter, Southern Cross, Marquesas, etc
    May the “Fair Winds and Following Seas” continue

    Liked by 1 person

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