20080905

Where's All This Water Coming From?

There are common questions in the liveaboard household, including:

“What’s that smell?”
“Where’s all this water coming from?”
And my favorite, often asked by the captain on his way to the head first thing in the morning: “Do you think the pumpout’s full?”

If these three happen simultaneously, you know you’re in trouble.

Every captain is intimately familiar with the question, "Where's this water coming from?" When visitors come aboard for a tour, captains will often tell the story of a leak: where the water came from, how he figured it out, how he fixed it – or how he’s trying to.

A caulking gun is never far away. Mark fires it up and scours the boat, caulking at will. For months we endured a terrible leak in the aft stateroom; every time it rained, water would silently seep down the wall, mildewing and destroying books and papers beside the bed. We left the shelf bare – heartbreaking in a place with so little room – until Mark discovered that the caulking near the front of the fly bridge was rotten. He somehow deduced that rainwater was coming into the top deck through the fly bridge, seeping down the length of the boat, and draining into the cabin through the aft deck. This sounded like a pretty big leap in logic to me, but he caulked and sealed the fly bridge one weekend, and the leak in the aft stateroom stopped.

An important lesson I have learned living aboard this boat: if you throw enough possible solutions at a problem, one of them will eventually work.

But sometimes, when you plug up one leak, the water finds another spout, as was the case yesterday morning at 5 AM, when I was lying half-awake and heard the unmistakable sound of water pouring very close to my head.

"We have a leak!" I yelled to Mark.

He came running in from the salon (yes, he was up at 5 AM), and asked me three times, "We have a leak?" to which I answered three times, "yes!" all while we are scurrying to clear shelves and lay out towels and grab the big pot from the galley to catch the water.

We know where the water is coming from - which G-H-I hurricane is it today? - dumping several inches of rain on us yesterday.

Time to get the caulking gun.

1 comment:

James Jones said...

If there were no leaks or problems, then it would not be as fun. I believe all the trials and challenges have brought you closer to eachother. What a way to start your morning though.