For those of you interested in full technical details, I wanted to set our water story straight.
Magus carries 200 gallons of fresh water in tanks which we filled in Maine before we left. So, we have cold running water aboard, but we didn’t have hot running water until we got some mechanical help with a fitting in Solomans Maryland. We had struggled to get a fitting off the engine, but the marina there had the right tool for that and completed the job Albert had completed 95% . That ultimately led to new possibilities for cleanliness and comfort as well as new potential for problems!
The first time we realized that we had a spouting water issue was as we approached Charleston SC. We were about 12 miles offshore in 8-12 foot breaking waves at 4 to 8 second intervals — not at all a comfortable place to be –when the bilge alarm went off. Fortunately, we weren’t sinking, but our bilge had filled with fresh water. So not only did we have a fresh water leak, but the bilge pump was not working. At anchor, Albert reattached some wires that had loosened in the rough passage, and got the bilge pumps all working again. It took a lot of sleuthing but another hundred miles later, he also found and fixed a slow leak in our pressure water system. A copper pipe had worn thin over 40 years of rubbing on the hull and it was leaking. Albert cut it out and replaced it with reinforced pressure plastic hose and clamps.
We filled our tanks again in Florida and set out across the Gulf Stream, arriving at West End for our check in, first snorkel, and a good nights sleep. Then we set out across the Little Bahamas Bank towards Great Sale Cay.
There was very little wind, so we had to motor sail, but we were feeling full of ourselves, joyful, and it was a glorious day. The water was very quiet and so very clear and blue. It finally felt like, we’re on vacation! We were excited and happy. Everything was easy. Magus chugged along smooth and comfy.
And as the motor was running we had all the hotwater we could ever need. I indulged in the luxury of cleaning and cooking as we made our way across this balmy blue expanse of magic.
But unlike hotwater at home, our boat hotwater can get to be boiling hot. Unbeknownst to me, as I busily sanitized and suds and played house on the sea, our poor plastic pipe and fitting was getting too hot, expanding and losing it’s grip.
At first I thought we had a pressure pump problem, but by the time we got to Great Sale Cay, we realized another full water tank -100 gallons!- had poured into the bilge. Whoops! The plastic pipe had expanded and slipped with the heat. At least the bilge pimp was working!
So now we know that we need to either wait a day for the hot water to cool before having a hotwater splurge or just to be very judicious in running boiling water through flexible plastic pipe! In Green Turtle Cay we have refilled our tanks with reverse osmosis water! No splitting wood this year, but definitely carrying water!