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Monday, May 17, 2010

May 18, 2010 – Leaks and more leaks

Sunday night I was awakened from my slumber 3 times to the sound of the bilge pump working away.  Of course Frank does not awaken so easily.  The third time occurred at 3:00 AM, and it went on for quite a while as I heard water gushing out of the thru-hull at the stern.  I got up, grabbed a flashlight and began looking in bilges.  I saw an obvious stream of water running down the side of the main bilge and then a bubbling trickle in the engine compartment.  I woke Frank up to tell him, but his response was a groggy; "What do you want me to do about it now?  The boat isn't going to sink before morning."   This gave me no comfort but I returned to bed and slept fitfully until 7:00 AM.

Frank got up, and after we had our coffee and some breakfast ("brekkie" in these parts), began looking for the source of the leaks.  I heard a lot of "Oh, no's", and "Shoot's", and some other expletives. We have sprung two separate leaks, which I'm sure he will explain on his blog.  He spent most of the morning trying to sort it out.  Because he had taken away the companionway stairs and opened the generator compartment, I was stranded in the cockpit with my book.  I couldn't get down no matter how hard I tried so I sweated and read.

Finally at around noon he emerged and announced that he had to make a quick trip to shore…"Be right back!"  It was not quick, and he was not right back.  He was literally gone for hours.  Two or three times I happened to look out to see him racing to and fro in the dinghy, but to where I could not discern.  What on Earth?  He returned after 3:00 with a hose and mumbled something intelligible that I understood to be an attempt at jury-rigging something.  Of all the spare parts and pieces we carry, never are they the ones we need.

My god it is hot here!  When a breeze comes we just lay our heads back and enjoy the precious moment of relief.  But my poor husband did not have that luxury – he worked and sweated in that swelteringly hot compartment for hours.  I kept pleading for him to let me help him, but he said that there wasn't anything I could do and that there just wasn't room for us both even if I could, so I returned to the cockpit and began shelling black-eyed peas for dinner.  I have been informed by other yachties that there are blue jobs and pink jobs. This was apparently a very blue job.

When he stuck his head up again it was 4:30.  He said, "I'm going for a beer, wanna go to the yacht club?"  I declined because by now I was involved in my own pink project.  He needed a few hours with the blokes at the bar.  It is therapeutic and sometimes educational.  As a matter of fact when he returned he was feeling a little bit enlightened and better about our problems after hearing the other guys share their woes.  We are not alone when it comes to yacht maintenance and feeling helpless.  Frank's biggest concern is that even simple parts are not easily attainable in Fiji, nor are they affordable.  Tuesday's project will be spent searching for parts.

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