We spent another day driving all over San Salvador looking for hose barbs and diverter valves with no luck. Our best bet store had all manner of hoses in many sizes but not one hose barb that would fit them. 

Here’s the old rusted leaking watermaker manifold. Every hose goes into the manifold and comes out somewhere else. We’ve been fighting leaky valves since we moved aboard. We know that eventually we will want to replace the watermaker but the major parts — the big ticket items — are still working fine. It’s been suggested to us many times to decouple the manifold and send it to a watery grave, then hook up the hoses and valves directly, where we can keep an eye on things. 

Our watermaker guru in Ft. Lauderdale sent us this diagram of how to hook things up. 

All we need are 14 hose barbs, four diverter valves, three nylon tees, some new hose, a big pile of hose clamps and various and sundry bushings and adapters. In three days of scouring San Salvador we came up with the hose and the hose clamps.

When we got back to Bahia del Sol about four o’clock I was about ready to explode. Can we live without a watermaker? Of course. But we know from our experience over the past three years that being able to anchor in a remote bay, or do a load of wash, or hose the salt off the boat after a passage are the reasons we don’t want to live without it. Life is so much easier when finding fresh water is off the worry list. 

So what to do? Bill, our host here in the estuary, just arrived back today from a stateside family visit and his wife Jean will be flying in from California next week. “You’ve got a couple of days, get your parts ordered and Jean will bring them down,” he suggested. 

We feel that we impose on people enough, but I’m at the end of my rope and I’ll take him up on it. I called our man in Ft. Lauderdale who suggested I call a distributor closer to where Jean is to expedite shipping. And as the various boat crews ordered up more beers, I moved to another table and skyped Anders at Swedish Marine in Pt. Richmond, CA. He loaded the same diagram I have and we went through the parts we need. He was systematic and thorough and by the time I hung up I was starting to get my mood back. Anders promised to put together a bid and email me as soon as he can. 

A few hours later I had the bid and I emailed back that I will call in the morning with my credit card info. Jack and I sat back to watch a couple of episodes of Homeland, feeling hopeful.

This morning I watched the clock until I thought it was late enough in California to call Anders. Huh. No internet. I checked the available networks and our access point was not listed. I waited a half hour and tried again. Nothing. Shit. We dinghied in to shore and found a squad of cruisers at the bar. 

“Is the internet down?” I asked. 

“Yep,” said Judy. “I figured that’s why you were coming in.”

I marched up to the office to check on the Internet, only to find that they had a signal, while the routers for the restaurant and the beach were down. I sat down to make my skype call but I’d left my wallet back at the bar. So I did another lap around the hotel grounds to retrieve my wallet and Jack came with me to the office where I successfully gave Anders my billing info. He assured me the parts would be sent out today. Whew! 

Back at the bar as the rest of the crew settled in for the afternoon, Jack and I decided that since we can’t make any headway on the watermaker until Jean arrives with the parts, we may as well do the thing that makes us happiest — get moving. The boat is stuck where it is for the moment so we’ll do the next best thing: road trip!

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  1. TomG

    Road trip sounds fun! I hope you two have a seriously good time. You’ve earned it.

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