Goofing Off at Treasure Cay – Cleaning the Fresh water system
05 March 2011 | Treasure Cay Marina
"Scream like a girl" water at Green Turtle Cay
March 2: We do have our natural divisions of work aboard the boat. John does the route planning and research. Luckily I found out he really enjoys that. Before I found out I felt guilty that I wasn't helping. He also does the boat maintenance. I handle the livability issues, like what we are going to eat, how the interior looks. We both do the sailing. He docks the boat, I jump off gracefully and tie us up. I drive the boat when we anchor, so he can handle the heavy anchoring work. He usually drives the boat when we pick up a mooring buoy because I love to pick up the buoy. Sometimes we switch that around, so we've pretty much done that equally. We both do the sailing; but John raises the mainsail while I keep the boat into the wind. I'm not sure if it is a strength thing or he doesn't want to watch me fall overboard. I do all the meal planning and all the cooking on board. Whoever cooks doesn't have to do dishes, so when it is just the two of us, John is doing the dishes.
So since my responsibility is livability, I need to mention the issue of fresh water. We have two 30 gallon water tanks. Two tanks is good, so if your pump goes crazy or something happens to one tank, you might have the other to fall back on. I even like to have a couple of gallon jugs of water, so if my tanks run out unexpectedly, I have two gallons to get me through two days till I can get to more water. My rule is you should always test the water at a location BEFORE you put it in your tank. Not everyone's public water system is fit to drink. For example, in a location on a prior trip there was a spigot where you can have free water. I was amazed, until someone mentioned I should taste it. No one drinks that brackish water; they all get RO (reverse osmosis) water from somewhere else. Well, I didn't follow my own rule. In the haul-out yard at Marathon, we had George and Carol fill our port tank from the yard spigot. I was busy doing something else, and didn't think of it. John was eager to get us going and not have to stop for water after the boat got back in the water. So... we just filled the tank. That's number one. Number two, we think we overfilled a tank at one time, got some water in the vent line that then sat there getting stagnant. I can't say for sure those are the causes, but right now our fresh water system stinks! That is, when we first run the tap, the water we get stinks. Then after about ½ quart is pulled off, the water is good again. The ½ quart that stinks (we pull off and save it), smells and tastes ok a short time later. So, my theory is that the port vent hose has something growing in it. Today, we ran Clorox through the vent house. We'll see tomorrow if that solves the problem. Stay tuned. And yes, we're drinking from my gallon jugs of water, not the tank.
By the way, you can treat your tank water by adding ½ tsp per 10 gallons of water. It will kill bad stuff in the water, but it won't make crummy water taste good.
You really learn the old meaning of "sweet water" when you've tasted the difference. Nassau water was a little brackish too, it tasted salty. We're glad to have that gone out of our tanks.
Update: we seem to have fixed our Fresh Water System problem; or at least made a 95% improvement.