Gremlins, part b

So no joy on the SSB. No fix on the leaky toilet. Whatever. We have a portable radio for weather and another toilet. We decided to leave early Monday morning after the Gulfstream weather report and point our bows toward the Bahamas. I was up at 6am to have plenty of time to tune in the weather. Time, yes. Clear signal, no. What is it with this place? Or am I just a total radio idiot?? I finally got a passable signal by standing in the cockpit and pointing the radio in a specific direction. It didn’t sound great for a gulfstream crossing but after today it gets worse. And doesn’t get better for a week. Rats. We checked into the other weather sources and hemmed and hawed and finally decided to go. Only one boat had left the anchorage.

We did our pre departure checklist which includes turning on the sailing instruments and discovered another gear failure. Out on deck the wind seemed to be about 15 kts. Our instrument said 0.0. Oh no! Not again! We lifted the sofa cushions to reveal the wires connecting the masthead unit to the instrument screen at the helm. Jack checked and blessed them with his magic electrical potion and lo and behold we had a readout. Of 1.2 kts. Absolutely not correct. This is the third or fourth time this has happened so we’re definitely looking at a total failure before long. And normally it wouldn’t be too much of an issue except that we’re planning a gulfstream crossing and we’d like to know the wind speed, for heaven’s sake.

Finally — and why do I even use the word? — we have developed a significant leak in the watermaker. It used to be a little leak, now it’s bigger. At the same time our water production has dropped. The water quality is great; it just takes a very long time to fill the tank.

By this time, actually after we noticed the wind instrument had failed, we decided today was not our day for the Bahamas. Jack called the local watermaker guru who spent the better part of an hour on the phone with me troubleshooting our low production and the leak. He recommended we change the membrane because we have no idea how long this one’s been in service and there was nothing else in the system he could pinpoint that would affect our output. So today, instead of a beautiful sail to the Bahamas, I will be hanging upside down in the garage replacing a watermaker membrane. Luckily I had the foresight to order a replacement last summer. Mr. Guru will bring us a backup pump head and a replacement valve for the leaky one, and may even step in with the membrane installation if I get into trouble.

They say cruising is fixing your boat in exotic places. I don’t mind the fixing, but I sure wish we were in a more exotic place!

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One Response to Gremlins, part b

  1. Karen sherer

    One thing after another! ENOUGH! Time for smooth sailing! Be safe! Be careful! Enjoy

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