Tuesday, October 14, 2014

When the Shite Hits the Fan

       We have a saying in the boating world and that is "Don't ask if something will go wrong while you're out cruising, ask when it will go wrong." Well...that something happened to us this morning as we upped anchor in Slade Creek, North Carolina. With a considerable amount of mud on the chain and anchor Joe was having a good ole time with his new wash down pump squirting all the gooey mud away as each link dropped into the anchor locker. Within a few moments he realized it was time to check in on SSB Cruiseheimer's Net. He went below with most of the chain already in the locker to call into the short time and underway segment from Slade Creek to Broad Creek, Oriental, NC. When he returned to the bow and attempted to resume squirting...nothing. Not even a dribble. Assuming he blown a fuse he once again went below to check. The bilge pump light was on indicating it was running. Hmm...Joe thought, "Why is the bilge pump running?" Then he stepped in a puddle on the floor! Lockers were flung opened. Hoses checked, seacocks closed. "Where the hell did all this water come from?" He opened the anchor locker. I heard a yell. "SHIT!" Actually, his response was another four letter word. Use your imagination. The hose clamp on the wash down pump in the anchor locker had disconnected. The wash down pump was running, pumping seawater into the boat! Where was I during the event? Stationed at the helm where I usually am when we're lifting the anchor with the engine running. That's why neither of us were able to hear the wash down pump nor the bilge pump running. After settling down I went below to help out and survey the damage.

Joe checking for leaks at the
wash down pump connection.
     The cushions in the V berth were soaked! Not a good sign. Fortunately, my guitar, Bodhran (Irish drum) and computer appeared dry. When I lifted the cushions where under normal circumstances "water tight" lockers lie underneath I discovered about two feet of water sloshing about where clothing and blankets were stored. This was our Sunday morning "entertainment" so to speak. Needless to say, there would be no sausage, eggs and bagels served this morning. At this point we both could have benefitted from a snifter of rum!

     In order to get underway lockers needed to be pumped out, wet clothes needed to be packed into plastic trash bags, musical instruments needed to be moved and secured along with other miscellaneous items stored in the V berth. We both reasoned that these things happen to people who live in houses, too! Plumbing disasters happen all the time. That made us feel a bit better about our situation and we realized that it could have been worse. There's a reason Joe closes all the seacocks and drains whenever we leave the boat. It's because they are holes in the boat that allow sea water in. I'd never realized how quickly sea water could infiltrate until this little lesson.

     Even with our dilemma we managed to make some headway south today. This evening we're anchored in Broad Creek, Oriental, NC. Our wet stuff has been placed on deck to dry. Tomorrow we plan to reward ourselves with a marina stay at River Dunes in Oriental. This is a long overdue treat since we haven't stayed at a marina since leaving Rhode Island. As always, things could be worse. At least no one was hurt and nothing was broken! We are still learning...


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