Sailing Bailando

At Home in West End – Music and Potable Water

June-July 2012

In typical fashion, we settle in and get down to routine. Mostly music, but we also take on a two-headed monster… potable water.

One fine morning, we find that we don’t have any potable water left in our tanks… if you remember we filled up about a week ago in Utila before coming here – that’s 350 gallons of water. So, believe it or not, this is actually good news. The bilge pump has been going off – always a worrisome thing to hear – and we’ve been sulking over the very real possibility that we sprung a leak in the rudder post when we dragged anchor in Utila and came to within a foot of the dinghy dock. All you need is one good slam of the rudder onto the seafloor and you get a hairline crack in the fiberglass. And the seas were slamming that morning…¬†Indeed, we’re so sullen and convinced of having sprung a leak on an old wound that we haven’t even tasted the water in the bilge to verify the kind of leak we’re nurturing – we figure there’s not much we can do about cracks around the rudder post right now…

That’s until we run out of potable water. So, we immediately do the taste test: salty = hull leak… sweet = plumbing leak. Now you see why it’s good news to have no potable water left. Yes, it’s a hassle for a few days, but we can at least do something about it. Therein begins a renewed effort to fix the watermaker so we can replenish our supply – we have a step-by-step “how-to” below. And we also track down the leak to the aft shower valve and do the necessary by-pass surgery in the plumbing line until we can replace the faulty valve. We tame one of the monster’s heads, but the other remains out of our control…