Our Quest for a Dry Bilge Continues…

A Week Aboard S/V Sabado: 10/9/2022 – 10/16/2022

Hello! Let’s jump right into it-

Last Sunday, we spent the day relaxing at home. 

Monday morning, we finished up some overdue cleaning, organizing, and filming.

On Tuesday, we went to shore to shower + do laundry at the Maritime Center but were disappointed when the doors were locked. A quick Google search confirmed that they should’ve been open. Upon further investigation, however, we discovered that the facility is seasonal, only open from Labor Day to Columbus Day, so we were one day too late. 😩 We dinghied home and started the generator to heat some water for showers on board instead. 

And as happens every time we run the genny, something started making a strange sound. This time, the culprit was the saloon AC unit. We had switched it on to put a load on the generator, and it rattled like never before, so off the settee cushions came, and into the compartment, we went. 

We found the rattling bit, tightened everything up, and patiently waited for the water heater to cook us up a couple of showers. 

Wednesday, I had an appointment on shore, so Ray walked me to my Uber and then headed to a laundromat to take care of the dirty clothes we couldn’t wash the day before. We met back up later that afternoon and took the dinghy home, opened a bottle of wine, made dinner, and watched the sunset. ❤️ 

Thursday morning, we were woken up early by the wind. If you’ve never heard the wind whistle through the rigging of a sailboat, it sounds like a cartoon ghost… “oooooooooooohhhh” “oOoOO oOoOO”-get the gist? Anyway, it’s tough to sleep through, so we were both sipping our coffee(s) before sunrise. 

We tried to make it a productive day by exercising, budgeting, and troubleshooting some of our ongoing projects. Eventually, we succumbed to our favorite stormy weather activity: making popcorn and watching movies. 🍿

Friday morning, the wind subsided, so we decided to go to shore and get some supplies for our latest attempt to have a dry bilge. We took an Uber to West Marine to pick up some new hose + hose clamps and somehow spent over $150… A typical West Marine experience😅 

We got back to the boat and got to work. 

Here is a bit of background info for you:

The bilge is the lowest compartment of a ship’s interior, so any leaking liquids accumulate there. It’s normal to have some fresh water in your bilge from time to time from sinks/showers/condensation, and depending on how the boat is set up, there could also be engine oil, coolant, and even toilet waste in the bilge.

On Sabado, we prefer to keep a bone-dry bilge; dusty, even. Keeping a dry bilge makes it very obvious when something’s gone wrong. Our starboard bilge is a desert, but our port bilge has had fresh water in it frequently, and we’ve been working towards figuring out the source. We’ve narrowed it down to the shower in our guest cabin (port aft cabin). A few weeks ago, we were sure it was the drain holes on the shower shelf, so we sealed them up with silicone but still found fresh water in the bilge.

After thoroughly checking out our plumbing/drainage setup, Ray realized the factory had combined the hose that leads into the bilge and the hose that leads out the thru hull into a header. On this header, the hose for the bilge is below the hose for the thru hull, meaning that no matter what, a portion of the shower water goes into the bilge instead of out the thru hull.

The proper way to fix this would be to swap the positions of the hoses, but we don’t want to mess with the thru hull hose until we’re hauled out of the water. So, we decided to extend the hose to the bilge by connecting it to a section of the new hose. The longer length allowed us to feed the hose upwards, so there would be a “hill” for the shower water to climb before it could drain into the bilge… ideally forcing more water through the thru hull hose instead.

As boat projects usually do, the job took us all day. Ray invented several new yoga poses to access the points he needed to work on, we changed our minds a few times about the approach, failed once, bled a bit (just some tiny finger cuts, don’t worry), and did some cursing. 

Surprisingly, I attempted to film it this time. We usually avoid filming projects like this because the access panels are so small and dark that I never know where to put the camera! I didn’t have enough time to work it into this week’s video, but check back next week to see how it turned out! Here’s a sneak peek…😂 see what I mean about difficult to film?! (I promise, Ray does in fact still have a head.)

Saturday morning, we published our latest YouTube video, listened to the weather forecast, and headed to shore. We strolled around for a while to escape the touristy strip before finding a coffee shop to hang out at for a bit. We chatted about when we’ll be able to leave Newport and where we want to go next- we’re hoping to be out of here early next week, but we said the same thing last week…didn’t we?

We found a sushi spot on the walk home and stopped in for a lunch date before heading back to Sabado.

Today is looking sunny and calm, so we’re going to go fill up our water tanks and top off our fuel tanks. Hopefully, I’ll have some sailing to tell you about next week! 🤞🏼

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