Summer Cruise: Day 7 & 8 (bilge diving)
31 August 2014 | Levington, River Orwell
Set off up to the boat yesterday - youngest (chief engineer) in tow. The 'plan' was to fix both pumps in the afternoon/evening and then go sailing the next day. So much for the plan.
Things started off well enough. The bilge pump was fixed within minutes. The blown fuse was indeed the cause of the problem. Tested and approved. Bilge monitor worked fine too. So far, so good.
Next: the fresh water pressure pump. The old one was replaced like for like. Once wired up and started, the new one sounded a lot healthier than the one it replaced. However, it kept going and going and going. And then, the bilge pump kicked in. Not good.
I tasted the water in the bilges and it was indeed fresh water. A leak somewhere. Bugger - or words to that effect.
This is probably the leak we have been chasing for longer than I care to remember. Somewhat angry, and more than a bit annoyed, we set off to track it down.
- Forward head: clear
- Aft head: clear
- Saloon: clear
- Engine room & calorifier: clear
It had to be in the galley somewhere. But how to get underneath the galley? Seats and floorboards removed and we got there in the end. We discovered a 'new' part of the bilge. You had to be a contortionist to get to it. But once there we did locate the leak - happily squirting away whenever we tried to pressurise the system. It had to be in the least accessible part of the boat - where else?
Anyway: slept in, waiting for the chandlery to open. Got bits of hose and joints. About an hour of bilge diving and hose wrestling later everything was in place. Or so we hoped. Water pressure switch flicked - pump ran for a couple of minutes and we could hear the water being pumped around the system. Then the pump stopped - a good sign. Ran the tap and water squirted out. Great success - high five.
I am now left with the niggling suspicion that the water pressure pump may not have been at fault at all, but I have to admit that the new one does sound a lot healthier. Keeping the old one as a spare. You can't have too many spares.
Sat back for a minute in the cockpit and contemplated what to do next. I had promised chief engineer we would be back home by 17H30 as he had arranged to meet with his internet weirdos/friends. This still left us a few hours to go sailing, but truth be told I wasn't up to it. I had barely recovered from the gennaker wrestling a couple of days prior and this morning's bilge diving and dinghy riding had left me a somewhat the worse for wear. Decided to knock it on the head there and then. Chief engineer approved.
So, now what? Not given up on getting away at least two more days next week. Destination to be confirmed, but looking at the forecasts, it will most likely be Ramsgate (again) with Bradwell as a back-up. Either Tuesday/Wednesday or Wednesday/Thursday. Chief engineer notified he's got to be ready to scramble a two hours notice and to adjust his social diary accordingly.
Stand by your beds.