So we waited almost a week for a weather window to cross the Gulf stream, and found one on Friday morning. This is such a stressful event, because we in small boats don't want any waves at all, but have to realize that isn't going to happen, so sometimes we have to just go for it. We did, at 0300. And we always look back and say, "if we had only waited..." or worse, "why didn't we wait?" Now we look back and say we are glad we went when we did, as it was a pretty decent crossing. It was calm enough that we went farther than we usually do, and ended up in Great Sale Cay, where we anchored for the night. We were so tired we slept for 13 hours, and almost missed the single sideband radio weather forecast at 0630.
And did I mention that we caught a fish? A nice one, trolling across the Bahama Banks. And he was delicious, baked with a tartar sauce and other spices at 425 for 25 minutes, and just a little more than enough for two of us. We're guessing some sort of mackerel or snapper. Anyways it wasn't poisonous.
Aaand there's always a little boat repair drama. Before we left we changed the location of our washdown pump switch to the bow of the boat where the hose is so we can turn it on and off from where we use it instead of inside the boat. The washdown pump pulls up water from the sea for use to rinse off the anchor rode and chain and to wash dishes, saving precious freshwater. ($0.25 to $1/gallon, very precious to some). It worked perfectly, not always the way things work out when I'm doing boat electricity; I should have known... After we caught the fish and I cleaned it there was a big bloody, fishy mess on the deck that needed to be cleaned up, but, not to worry, we have our washdown pump, right? Well, it didn't work.
I knew right away it must have been one of those new connections associated with the new switch location, so I went through and pulled on everyone one of them. I was successful in jerking one of them apart, so after rewiring that one it should work, right? Wrong, still no pumping. So the next step was to change out the pump, the switch and do some continuity testing, just how I wanted to spend the afternoon. Do we really need that pump?
As a side note, a boat repair guy of some credibility at the Rybovich marina we had stayed at previously had mentioned that the cause of the holding tank odor that we have been chasing may be our use of saltwater, not some plumbing issue, and that we should try using some of our precious freshwater to flush with to see if that eliminated the problem, so I closed both of the through-hull valves to the toilets, and we started pouring fresh water from a jug into the heads, instead of pumping in seawater.
Oh gentle reader, the suspense must be almost too much to bear, so I'm solving it for you. It turns out that the valve for the front head also controls the washdown water inlet, so our valiant pump never had any water to pump until I switched it back on. Now we're back in business. Whew!
Tonight the marina is going a special Super Bowl event, with chili, wings and more. I can't wait. We are really getting into the Bahamas mode already. We weren't able to decide whether to stay here or move on down to Green Turtle Cay, Staying here seemed the path of least resistance.
And the next blog I do will feature one of my favorite Bahamian topics, IRONSHORE! Stay posted.