The Attack of the Talking Toilets


The Attack of the TalkingToilets indeed!

Toilets on a boat don’t talk. Or rather they shouldn’t talk. And if they do they speak a language most of us understand as Odor.

There are 2 inch valves that drain the holding tanks. They were old. And they were leaking. Without going into too much gruesome detail, that makes the system malfunction in ways that encourage odor. I knew the valves had to be replaced. On my last trip to Seattle I went to Fisheries Supply in Seattle to round up the necessary valves and assorted other parts. Then to the hardware store to acquire an 18” pipe wrench. Really annoying as I just sold mine with the rest of our household goods. Bother. Then package everything up along with a few select IPAs that Mexico does not have, and travel on.

Step one was to drain and hose out the holding tanks. Maybe a little Chlorox to sweeten them! Hmmm… Maybe a little more….

Step two was to remove the TalkingToilets. Relatively straitforward.

Step Three was to remove the 2 inch hoses that leads from the holding tank to the old valve. Bugger that one as the hose is quite stiff. Even at 95 degrees. But we got that done.

Step four was to remove the valves themselves. Tricky that while the boat is in the water. Those valves keep the sea out of the boat. Remove them and you have immediate issues. So corks had to be put into the outlet on the hull of the boat. Its just below the waterline so a mask and snorkle are handy. Now you get Mr. pipe wrench out and go to town. The access here is rather limited. But one microturn after another and eventually the valves are out. And the sea is not coming in. The corks worked! Thread dope and new valves go on nicely. But still one microturn at a time. Dang! Its hot in the bilge.

Step five was to put the hose back on. Stiff bugger! Hose clamps. Now the corks are removed. No Leaks! Its a good day.

Step six was to reinstall the now mute toilets. New rubber parts all around for them. Clean the bathrooms and presto! Like new!

Thus quoth the Talking Toilets. NeverMore.

Insurgent Pirate


I went into town to participate in a class on Celestial Navigation. I need to know more about that.

On the way back I rode my bicycle through a neighborhood that maybe… maybe it wasn’t… the best.

And then I came across this intersection and I knew I was in trouble! Thankfully one of the local Pirates offered to take a picture for me on the corner. Maybe he understood that I was a little bit of a pirate too. Arrrr!

Painting the Anchor Chain


Yesterday I painted reference marks on the anchor chain every 25 ft so I would know how much chain I’ve put out.

Things were going so well until one of the ends of the chain slipped off the dock and into the marina. Down to the bottom. All three hundred feet of it. Buried in the mud.

Retrieving it was an… aromatic task.


A day later, here’s all 300 ft of chain in a grocery cart (likely over its designed capacity). Then I loaded it into my dingy.

Then I loaded into the anchor locker at the bow of the boat. You can peek in if you like.


Then I went swimming. Whew!


To Market


This guy rode his bike to Home Depot to buy a punch tool. They did not have a bunch tool at all. They did have a chisel but it just wouldn’t do for my purposes.

In the meantime it was hot, so I came back to the marina and went swimming.

Seemed reasonable to me…

Another Day Another Bunch of Hoses

I thought sure I was done with the black water project. But just noticed that the vent hoses need to be attached. This probably matters. But its 95 degrees. Maybe Mañana!

I did get the SSB antenna rearranged. It is mounted up on the backstay. The feed wire I ran down along the backstay and into and through the arch that holds the solar panels. I thought that was clean and clever. But it was also wrong. Doing it this way makes the arch part of the antenna. So your broadcast signal is incoherent. Like I need help with that!

hoses-2The fix entails keeping the antenna 3 inches or more away from the backstay and the arch. Running the antenna feed through the arch would be a Violation of this principle! Pic one (top right) is about my cleverness with the through the arch plan. Pic two (at left) is about the fix once completed. Pic three (down below) is about the feed cable at the base.

Inside the boat today I hooked up the interior antenna connections just inside the connector you can see in pic 3. Sounds simple enough. I hope you like soldering a ring connector on in the aft corner of the boat at about 100 degrees with no breeze! So that completed the antenna project anyway.

And afterwards I showered on the swimstep because I was completely soaked! Barring any lightning damage I hope I never have to do that again. But I know better.


Hanging Out With Holding Tanks

It’s more fun hanging out with holding tanks than I knew. A bit over the top wearing sunglasses at night. But as friends go they are pretty rude. Maybe not that bad.

This is Head maintenance. After ten years it’s time to replace the hoses. My Spanish word for the day. Mangueras. Means hose. Cab to marine store and get a bunch of mangueras. Gracias!

Replacing the hoses requires removing the holding tanks. Forward tank is 50 liters. So I peel the tank out and inspect. Tank interior has minimal deposits and is virtually odorless. Now I did put a little chlorox in last night. Still odd as the forward head has always had an unfortunate odor. Oh well, onward. Time to cut new hoses.

Everything is going well until. …! The exhaust hose is too short! Who cut that thing! (Me). I should mention, the hose has wire reinforcement. Care is due in cutting and handling so it slices you not. Don’t ask me how I know! So I cut another. Ay yi yi! It is still too short! I actually used stronger language than that. Another cab to the marine store is now on the horizon.

Now done with progress on the forward head being parts down. Let’s tear into the aft. Some odor has developed over the past six months. A few suspect hose connections. Good. All getting replaced. Inspect interior of 85 liter tank. Hmmm. Used to be I could check the content level with a flashlight transilluminating the rotomolded plastic tank. This has not worked so well of late. Monster deposits tell the tale why. But that hosed out pretty clean. Still quite odorless. But still kinda eww. Hey it’s only once every ten years!

Worth pointing out it’s 96 in the boat and 70% humidity. I’m getting really good at sweating. Keep the fluids up!

Another interesting angle. Nuevo Vallarta is a ghost town. A lot of boats laid up for storage. It’s hot and most of these hosers are gone north for summer. I’m dining alone in a beachfront restaurant. As in only customer! Service is good!

So tomorrow I have the supplies to whack out the aft tank etc. No doubt it’ll be 96 again WhooHoo! Back to marine store Monday to get another slightly longer bit of hose and then the forward head will also be in hand. I’m getting down to just a few more maintenance details, then time to bend the sails back on and get ready to hit the sea.

Off to San Jose del Cabo early October is the plan.

Mid September I’m back in Renton for an important Anniversary!

Several showers in order before I head back… and laundry. ..

Haul Out in Puerto Vallarta


Here she is coming out of the water last week. Tomorrow she goes back in! Friday I leave Puerto Vallarta for Seattle and the 2016 Leukemia Cup.


Looks like my old Zincs were getting tired. So I retired them! They were from October. My Zincs are lasting 3x longer since the solar power installation. Boat is seldom plugged into shore power anymore and that appears to make a world of difference.


Prop Zinc is similarly a last legger.


Meanwhile during cleaning (clearly she must be a Blue Blood…) Mr. Keel had a coating that is coming loose.


And here is the fix.