These things always happen in the middle of the night
04 January 2011 | Barra de Navidad Mexico - Lagoon
Last night we were watching a movie. It was late since we hadn't started the movie until Larry finished the book he was reading. We're both pretty tired.
Then the water pump cycled. That shouldn't happen when no one is running the water. Maybe it could run once... but then it ran again...and again. Sudden realization: Our fresh water is running but we are both in bed? We don't have the ability to make water here in the Lagoon. We have to "run the gauntlet (i.e. the narrow passage out of the Lagoon)" to get to a position where we can make more water. We can't be wasting it. But a quick check revealed that no sinks were leaking. then we heard the aft sump cycle. We didn't know where it was coming from, but now we knew where it was going to. We pulled up the floor boards and got the sump open. The water in the sump was hot. What's this? There is an inlet to the sump that we did not know existed. We tore up the floors to see that it came from under the quarterberth. Time to take all the stuff off the quarterberth to get to the equipment area under it. Some of you might be acquainted with the principle of conservation of space. All that stuff has to go somewhere and the space available doesn't change. So the galley and the settee are now piled high. Finally we find that the overtemperature/overpressure valve on the water heater has picked this particular time to begin leaking and not just in drips. We are running hot water overboard. We operate the valve that cuts off water to the water heater and thus stop the leak. Time for bed. We'll fix it in the morning. Here "fix" is used pretty loosely. It means, move the project toward a solution, not actually solve the problem. Parts just aren't that available. Maybe I can repair the existing part?
Morning comes and the boat is a mess. Karen cooks breakfast anyway but it is time to begin the repair. We talk to Jake about whether there is a plumbing shop where we can get a new part (every US house has several of these valves) and he thinks there is. I'm taking out the leaking valve and I'm still intent on discovering why it is leaking and maybe jury rigging something until I can actually get a new part. The problem is that these parts accumulate scale and corrosion over time. It is not a part you would ever "fix" in the US, but I can see the seal. Maybe...
Just then our neighbors Jim and Susan on SV Windward Bound came by. They had overheard our conversations on the radio (with jake) and they happened to have a spare valve aboard. It turns out they need a whole new water heater, which comes with the valve so they offered their valve to us. Wow. Instant fix. Are we happy? You bet we are. Now we can put the boat back together.
We dug out some steaks from the freezer and a dinner invitation is about to be given to our philanthropist neighbors. Life is pretty good when you've got friends.