10 November 2017 | Majuro, The Marshall Islands
25 October 2017 | Tarawa Atoll, Kiribati
22 October 2017 | Equator South Pacific
07 October 2017 | Port Denarau, Fiji
05 October 2017 | Denerau, Fiji
23 September 2017 | Musket Cove, Fiji
23 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
15 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
08 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
06 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
01 April 2017 | Georgetown, Bahamas
31 March 2017 | Georgetown, Bahamas
26 March 2017 | Lee Stocking Cay, Exumas
20 March 2017 | White Point, Exumas
17 March 2017 | Staniel Cay
02 March 2017 | Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera
24 February 2017 | Little Harbour, Abacos
16 February 2017 | Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas
14 February 2017 | West End, Bahamas
11 February 2017 | West End, Bahamas

The First Rule of Sailing Is

16 February 2017 | Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas
Keep the water outside the boat. Every sailor is taught this simple rule of crisis triage, and now I was to be tested.

Yesterday while sailing from Great Sale Cay to Green Turtle Cay I became aware that our bilge pump was cycling on. I went below and discovered water pouring in. I tasted it. Seawater. The boat was basically sinking. Sailors call this "taking on water." You never want to hear those words. The only thing keeping us afloat was a single bilge pump, and it could barely keep up. Water was entering aggressively from somewhere. But where?

Every boat begins its life as a perfect, water tight vessel. The hull. Then we proceed to drill holes in it for important things like steering and engine shafts, and then for nice things like heads, sinks, showers, refrigerators, speed and depth sounders, generators, watermakers and so on. Any one of these holes can sink the boat, which is why it is essential to know exactly where every through-hull is located, for just such an emergency.

While Tammy steered through the 25kt winds howling above, I proceeded below to tear apart the boat. I checked and closed every seacock. I inspected the packing around the engine shaft and the steering post. All dry. And still water was pouring in. It seemed to be entering directly into the sump area of the bilge. How was that even possible? Smarter sailors than I may already have enough information to deduce the source.

As it happened, fate, providence, luck intervened. From above Tammy cried, "Hang on!" and we were struck by a large wave that threw the boat violently. Suddenly the water intrusion stopped. I tidied up belowdecks, and we went on with our sailing day, arriving in Green Turtle Cay some six hours later with a perfectly dry bilge.

So what happened? I have since deduced that a siphon had developed in the bilge hose. The very hose that was pumping out the water was also siphoning it right back in! I vaguely recalled reading about this effect. There should be an anti-siphon valve in that line. Island Packet did not see fit to install one. I will be remedying this situation at the first opportunity.

Meanwhile, we have enjoyed two days of fantastic sailing from West End to Green Turtle. Yesterday was particularly spirited with winds gusting to 32kts. My mainsail was reefed to nearly a trysail with just a handkerchief of jib. The boat was balanced - and flying.

We expect to be here for one more night till a front moves through, then we'll continue south to Eleuthera.
Hailing Port: Myrtle Beach, SC
Crew: The Hetzers: Tammy & Michael
About: Email: michael (at) webhenmedia (dot) com
Home Page: http://www.sothishappened.me
Album: Main | So This Happened
Oct-Nov 2017 aboard Moon Dancer
54 Photos
Created 10 November 2017
33 Photos
Created 22 April 2016
65 Photos
Created 30 June 2015
Continued, beginning with Christmas Eve on Hawksbill Cay through Staniel Cay and beyond
73 Photos
Created 27 December 2013
This album covers a lot of sailing. First we sailed Aria from Little River to Nassau with Tom Leonard and Gary Miller. Later, while I remained aboard Aria, the family plus my old college pal, Larry Knipp, joined me at various times throughout the winter.
53 Photos
Created 21 November 2013
Conrad and I hiked 8 days through Bavaria beginning in Oy-Mittleberg and ending in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
28 Photos
Created 30 July 2013
June 2013: St. Helena Sound, Beaufort, Hilton Head, Bluffton
33 Photos
Created 25 June 2013
Tammy and I, sans kids, visit Beaufort, Morehead City, Bald Head Island and Southport
26 Photos
Created 1 April 2013
Instead of a bushing, I used two custom-made steel plates to repair an elongated hole that supports the alternator.
9 Photos
Created 15 February 2013
Photo essay of my project to replace heat exchanger, and make several other upgrades to the fresh water and sea water loops.
18 Photos
Created 26 January 2013
25 Photos
Created 6 September 2012
Tammy and I sailed to Cape Lookout Bight, then returned via Wrightsville Beach to Bald Head Island, where the kids and dog joined us. Lovely family vacation!
27 Photos
Created 12 August 2012
Michael's voyage from the BVI to Bermuda, May 7, 2012
25 Photos
Created 6 May 2012
Pictures sailing in our home waters, a stretch of the coastal Atlantic called, Long Bay.
5 Photos
Created 28 April 2012
Scott Jackson, James "JD" Dodd and myself sailing from Marsh Harbour, Abacos to Little River, SC, clearing in at Charleston, SC
21 Photos
Created 24 April 2012
Hetzers, Plus Sarah Martin!
32 Photos
Created 8 April 2012
Trying out the new mainsail, a mylar/taffeta laminate sail from Neil Pryde.
9 Photos
Created 3 April 2012
17 Photos
Created 3 April 2012
Six guys, two identical Beneteau 40s, a dozen islands and ample stores of rum - how I spent spring break, 2010.
20 Photos
Created 3 April 2012
Summer 2010
20 Photos
Created 3 April 2012
Christmas 2009
20 Photos
Created 3 April 2012
The boat was in Milford, CT when I bought it. We sailed it home... well, motored mostly, as there was no wind, and we got the mainsail jammed in the mast on the first day. We came ashore in Atlantic City to take on more fuel.
26 Photos
Created 2 April 2012