Thursday, May 26, 2011

More Leaks

Today has been eventful to say the least. I had been planning a dissertation on the life of a flying fish, of which 5 were extinguished on the foredeck overnight. I was also going to explain why I tacked to the SE putting us on Port for the first significant time in the trip. I was going to mention the lovley suny weather and how much I am enjoying Bill Brysons book "A short History of nearly Everything" And I was going to remark on how the last time I sailed nonstop in this boat for nine days, I went from Lord Howe Island to New Zealand, but instead I will append a copy of a letter I sent rather urgently earlier, to real sailors that I know after I had discovered a new and concerning leak in the boat, this time at the aft end. I have fixed it, and not a drop of water has appeared in the Bilge since, but he whole event was again for me massively stressful, and I am still waiting for my hands to stop shaking and my heart rate to settle down to normal. This is my letter:

I need some advice ASAP. This afternoon water started leaking in through the stern tube- at least I think hats what you call that black somewhat conical rubbery fitting over the prop shaft between the end of the gearbox and the place where it exits the hull about a foot further back.. It half filled a bucket in about 20 minutes so was more than just a drip, it was a steady stream coming out of the front end of the fitting. I noticed the black tube is wider at the aft end and theres a sort of ridge going round like a collar midway along, and behind it were two hose clamps. They were easy to tighten but doing so seemed to make the leak worse so I stopped. There were no hose clamps forward of the collar - should there have been? - in any case I put one around and tightened gently and the leak stopped. Then I put another one to be sure. There have been no futher leaks at all. The boat is fine right now and no leaking at all. Theres never been water from that place before, ever.

My question is should I do anything else - probably theres little I can do but what if the leak returns? Other than start bailing of course. What would happen if I started motoring? Why were there no hose clamps on the front half of the fitting?

Should I alter course for nearest harbour? (Tonga?) Any thing else you can suggest or should this be OK now?
Sorry to burden you with this. Its worrying me. I'll check email again in a couple of hours. Also sending this to a couple of other yachties in case you don't get this tonight


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