November 27, 2012 by Last Star blog
there seemed to be an outpouring of sympathy for Patricia’s plight at the top of the mast last week. I am perplexed at the perceptions of what is actually going on here. My mother called and she seemed alarmed and going on about what a horrible son I am. I quickly ended the call. Facebook was flaming me as some sort of Svengali but please recall that Patricia NEVER said she wouldn’t go up there and fix that pesky little bulb. Is it my fault that it is 60 feet in the air? She’s lucky that I am able to haul her a** up that mast and back down safely. Now let’s pause and review MY situation.
Here is a snap shot I took of the door to the area under the sink.
yes, that is a 12 inch opening. There are stars in the adult film industry that can boast better than that. I’m not trying to make a direct link here to that I’m just trying to provide a scale, paint a picture if you will. OK, so try and imagine me with my head through that opening, both shoulders, and arms. Then it stops, you see you can twist into that hole but then my chest and torso sort of get locked up. It hurts, it hurts a lot. I know it is not high but it is also not easy.
The next photo is of the myriad of pipes and tubes that constitute the pump and accumulator.
It’s damn dark in there with no flash from a camera and when you are literally filling the opening no additional light comes in either. At least the edge of the door is pressing nicely into my ribs. Does anyone recall the view Patricia had from her perch….a bit nicer than this I’m thinking. I get no respect.
SO let’s fast forward to this morning. We were leaving for Melbourne and I am doing a quick check of the engine oil etc and am still staring at the water under the motor that is NOT flowing to the bilge. You see our showers both drain into the bilge via the “limber” holes that run below the sole of the boat. Now these holes are small, can get clogged, are quickly made by the original builder and just need attention on occasion. So I am wondering if this water under the engine is coming from our shower and NOT finding its way via the limber holes to the bilge and bilge pump to be evacuated over the side. One way to find out if the water is from the showers is to decide if it is “fresh” water or “salt” water. I call Patricia over to look with me and dip my finger in the water and tell her to “lick it”, my request is met with the usual reaction of one eyebrow raised. Since I could not convince her to lick it I once again realized that I would have to take the brunt of the load upon my shoulders as usual.
I again gingerly dipped my finger into the cleanest section of the water that I could find and it was in fact salt water. Not good. I got the trusty mag-light and in short order found a salty stalagmite (could be the other one, if I’m wrong please spare me the retort, I’m a liberal arts major, not a geologist) running down the back of the engine. There was a hose clamp leaking that is part of the raw-water cooling system. Boats don’t have a radiator (there is no air that would go across it, they rely on water pulled from the outside to go through a heat-exchanger, same principal) and this water is NOT under high pressure so it can leak without all the steam and fanfare you get under the hood. I looked at the rusty bolt on the hose clamp and knew that some WD-40 would help here to prevent it from breaking. Don’t use PB blaster in a case like this as it is so potent that its oils can actually dissolve a gasket between the engine and main gear box for example (this hose was very near that). So after a few minutes and a slight turn of the screw the hose was tight and no longer leaked. So in summary I was the one who had to taste the water from the bilge, Patricia did not do it, I did! Patricia get’s “E” ticket rides to see the beautiful water, the dolphins, the curvature of the earth and I have to stick half my body in a tiny dark hole and drink water from a bilge like a rat. Harrummph.