Sunday, June 17, 2012

Found: One Mojo, slightly used

Breakfast in Baie de Povai, Bora Bora
Well the water on the cabin sole turned out to be fresh, and on further investigation turned out to be leaking out of  the  number one tank into the adjacent aft number two tank which is  not in use because it leaks! In fact the second tank contained 36 litres of water  in bottles which were now sitting in a couple of inches of fresh water. After taking out the bottles and the free water I noticed a pipe from the first tank running along the bottom of the second tank that then entered a  roughly glassed in sort of junction. It certainly looked dodgy and I guessed that was where the leak was. It must surely have been where the water from Tank two had been leaking years ago so I decided I would try and find some sort of hosepipe  and bypass the mess of pipes and that horrible thick old fiberglass junction box. Later in town I  was pleased to find a hardware store that sold clear tubing and I got a metre of it and some hoseclips and  after a very late lunch of raw fish, nice chips and Beer dinghied back to the boat.

The boat by the way was now at the head of Baie de Povai, further south than Vaitape village where I had initially stopped. I moved from there  because I was never happy there – it was too deep for me and all the chain was out,  it was noisy  and there were too many dinghies and launches and other small vessels racing noisily by and creating annoying wakes, and also I was too close to a nice big well equipped american sloop called Reality. It must have been at the extreme in one direction of its swinging about on anchor when I arrived in the gloom, but now was so close I could here his motor running to charge the batteries and keep the watermaker working – as I heard the old guy on board tell his wife who I could see looking at me resentfully – or am I paranoid?- and I could here him chatting loudly on Skype to his mates in the USA and the Carribbean! I felt like an intruder.

Now I don’t have an electric windlass or even a manual one so I have to haul up all that chain and the anchor by hand, and as I mentioned previously they are both a lot heavier than they were last year, so it’s such an effort to do so that I only ever shift reluctantly.  In fact I wondered if that sort of strain might give me a heart attack one day – so far no ill effects and I think its getting easier! But it leaves me pretty wacked for a few minutes!  Anchoring over here is therefore quite tricky for me because I like to anchor in up to about 10 or 12 metres of water, but the bottom here is often more than twice that right up to edge of the reef , without  a gradually shelving bottom that eventually emerges onto a beach as in New Zealand.  So I have to hunt round the bays for a rare spot where its not so deep, and so where I am now, its 14 metres and the holding is good, so I am not going to shift from here for now. It takes about 15 minutes in the dinghy to get from here to Vaitape which is the main town.
Practicing for Races next week
Back on the boat during the night it occurred to me that I needed to make sure the leak wasn’t coming from somewhere else so this morning dried the number two tank completely again and then watched to see where the water would appear from. The leak is very slow but eventually I established it was emerging from under the paint! It must be tracking along from further forward perhaps at the place where the pipe passes from number one to number two – in any case my hose was not going to help! The only way to fix the tank would be a major refit of the whole system, and I am not about to do that. Instead, after wondering how I could sail without a water tank, I decided to just get more bottled water. The leak amounts to a couple of litres per day – and I am not sure if this leak is new or not but the tank was still half full when I got back to the boat last month, so maybe the tank only leaks when its filled right up, and if so, the leak might disappear once the level gets lower. We shall see!

As for the two splits in the sail – Ive stitiched them up and reinforced the repairs with stick-on repair sail cloth on both sides. Again, we shall see.

Tomorrow I am booked to go on a snorkel trip that advertises sharks and manta rays, and the day after I am probably going to be preparing to set sail for Suwarrow Atoll, about 700nm away. The mojo that I found is a used one and slightly the worse  for wear but still functional I think. Again we shall soon see!

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