Day 5: Toilet Troubles

posted in: Atlantic Crossing II | 6

The Amazing Marvin is skirting the shores of Cape Verde as the wind pushes him along to Barbados. A predicted drop in wind speed failed to happen, so Marvin is in perfect trade wind conditions at the moment.

The only unfortunate development so far has been the plugging of the exit valve to the kids’ holding tank with something. This resulted in a “holding tank full” light going on despite the seacock being open, disabling two of our three heads. Greg found the location of the plug only after several stinky rounds of digging around with the roll of steel tape he usually uses to feed wires. It is beyond a 90-degree turn in the hoses, close to the exit port, and it looks like the only way to unclog it is to go up the pipe the other way, from the underside of the boat. As Mel learned in med school, going up the pipe the other way is no fun. We’d rather not mess with that in these seas, so the family is back to using one toilet.

Tommy just banned Mel from making an off-color joke regarding the toilets. Party pooper.

Boat stuff: 180.7 nm in 24 hours. Spinnaker is up. The hydrogenerator worked a whole 24 hours before it started making its unhappy noise and died. So the toilets aren’t the only things crapping out on us. The wind is running between 11-17 kts true and seas were down to 4 feet until recently, when they kicked back up to 6 feet. We are on course now to our midway point, keeping the wind angle between 130-150 degrees.

6 Responses

  1. Jon Carr
    | Reply

    I found a picture today of a toilet plunger being used on the outside of the hull to dislodge plumbing jams. I thought back to your toilet problem in this post. Might be a useful tool, however I’m not so sure I would like to be in the water when it cuts loose. I am unable to copy the picture into this reply but you get the idea. Safe travels, Jon.

    • Mel
      | Reply

      Great idea!

  2. Ken Douthit
    | Reply

    We have been enjoying your post from the beginning. Very well written and informative. We took possession of our 48 at about the same time you did, but we went the other direction. We went through the Caribbean to the Panama Canal and then up the West coast to Long Beach, California (our home). Now we are back in the Sea of Cortez for at least a year. Amazing diving and fishing.

    I have a question. Could you let me know which spinnaker you are using? It seams to be working really well. I put a code zero on and it is not easy to deal with with just 2 people on board. If you decide to head this direction, let me know and I could give you tips regarding the Left coast.

    Ken and Joyce
    s/v Rubber Ducky

    • Mel
      | Reply

      We have a Quantum A3 Fibermax 1.8 oz asymmetrical spinnaker. It is designed for downwind sailing and can tolerate winds 8-25 kts apparent — perfect for the trades. I can tell you that it is much tougher than the Parasailor we had.

      • Ken
        | Reply

        Thank you. If you come to the left coast keep my contact info. I can help you with cat friendly marinas, including, west coast of Central America, Mexico, Sea of Cortez and the Southern left coast of U.S. Enjoy

        • Mel
          | Reply

          The Sea of Cortez sounds fantastic! We will keep your contact info. We are returning to “land life” soon, but we hope to be back out there again!

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