Replacing Sapphire Piece by Piece
Caroline & Moby
11 May 2012 | Rodney Bay, St Lucia
Caroline: I left Moby in the torrential rains on Thursday morning to deal with a six hour single-handed sail back up to Rodney Bay, followed by 2 full days of dealing with a hot water heater replacement. He had to extract the old heater from a place too small for any human being to squeeze into, and then install a new water heater into the same space, located just behind the engine. It would, no doubt, entail every impossible yoga posture ever invented, and many expletives that no one would be around to hear.
Moby: I knew we had a minor water leak but over the past month it was getting worse. Since water is our most scarce commodity, I knew it had to be fixed. Unfortunately, the leak was in the worst place – the hot water heater. While in Rodney Bay St. Lucia, the local chandlery, Island Water Works, told me they could have one shipped in by Fed Ex from Miami. I ordered the water heater and then delivered Caroline to Vieux Fort so she could fly to California for Tyler’s graduation. Upon my return to Rodney Bay, I picked up the hot water heater which cost about 3 times what a water heater for a house costs (plus $300 shipping, plus $75 customs fee, plus $50 credit card fee).
The hot water heater is located behind the engine and under the steering station. In order to change out the heater, I had to clear out the “garage”. This is a storage area behind the aft stateroom where we store all the stuff we will never need again – 4 five gallon jerry cans, a styrofoam cooler, 5 blankets, a Christmas tree, Christmas wrapping paper, etc, etc. Then I had to remove the shore powered refrigeration system and remove the panels between the storage compartment and the engine room. It took me a whole day to get access to the water heater and remove it. It then took the entire next day – including 3 trips to the chandlery – to install the new one. The following day I restored order to the “garage” and took a hot shower.
Now, all is well with Sapphire until the next boat part fails.