Day 9, Year 5: One Less Hole in the Boat
Date: Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Weather: Hot and Sunny, Late Afternoon Rains That Keep on Going
Location: Rebak Marina, Pulau Rebak, Langkawi, Malaysia

There’s always more than one way to solve a problem, and in the case of our faulty and then leaky through-hull, we simply decided to fill the hole with epoxy and eliminate that hole in our boat. So far, so good. We are back in the water and we have no leaks, so all is well. The hole we filled was one of three through-hulls that bring salt water into the boat. In this case, it was bringing salt water into the forward head in order to flush. We will simply put a “t” in the flexible pipe bringing salt water into the aft head and run a hose to the forward head. So $500 later, that problem is solved. The $500 is the cost of being lifted out of the water and then having to stay overnight on land. If we had been successful with the Dash and Splash, the cost would have been considerably less. But that didn’t happen and we’ll just have to live with it. What an expensive overnighter! But we did get a chance to apply more bottom paint to refresh what was put on last year in Thailand. We use an ablative paint which means that when we do get growth and we dive down to clean the hull, a little bit of paint is removed along with the growth. Now we have more layers on and that should serve us well until we get back to the Caribbean in early 2011. Or at least that is the hope.

We got back to our slip around 3:00 this afternoon, just in time for the afternoon rains. When we first arrived there were just black clouds and wind, but by 4:00 the rains came and they are still coming. Unlike yesterday’s deluge, today’s rains are just a steady dibble dop. We read in the cockpit for awhile just to decompress and then came inside to fix dinner. However, our pleasant evening was disrupted by the realization that our bilge pump was coming on every couple of minutes. We checked all possible sources of incoming water and there was none, so we figured the problem had to be back-siphoning from one of our bilge pumps. When we got back to the dock this afternoon, we raised our dinghy and dinghy motor on the new arch at the back of the boat. The extra weight lowered the through-hull that takes water out of the boat below sea level so that the new bilge pump Mark had installed just before we left for the US last April was now pumping water out and then siphoning it right back into the bilge. Mark dug into the plumbing spare parts kit and found just the valve that needed to be installed to stop the back-siphoning. So once again, a problem was solved. Now it’s time to have no more problems.

But then, there are always problems. I guess that is what makes life interesting. At 7:00 AM I was walking back from a trip to the bathroom at the Hard Dock (can’t use your head when on the hard) when I stopped to say good morning to Peter of Southern Cross. Southern Cross is fairly new catamaran and just yesterday, Peter had discovered water in the core of one of the hulls when installing something on the outside of one of the hulls. He drilled a hole and water starting pouring out-not good. So this morning he was contemplating his situation and said to me that Richard of Sea Bunny had suggested that he find someone with a moisture meter to further explore the problem. It just so happens that we have a moisture meter, so we were able to loan that out. After all the help we received from folks yesterday, it was nice to be able to help someone else. After talking with Peter, I then continued my trek back to Windbird and got to watch the almost full moon go down behind the hill. It was so beautiful. I wish I had known about the Full Moon Festival here on Monday night, but I think we were too absorbed in our through-hull problem to know that it was happening. Evidently all evil spirits were whisked away from there, so that tells me that we should have no more unexpected issues.