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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Apsaras tries to sink herself

June 26, 2014

This morning we got up and were underway at 6am.  The Gulf of Nicoya is much like the Pacific Northwest in that it actually has currents you have to account for.  We needed to leave early so that we could catch the ebb tide and have the currents going with us.  We arrived in Herradura at 11am only to find the anchorage was super rolly.  So we departed a couple of hours later for Punta Leona, which turned out to be a smoother place to hang on the hook.

While underway we thunked into a couple of big branches or logs – we can’t be sure since they were submerged.  This is reminding us of home where deadheads in the water are common.  But it still freaks Melissa out a little worrying about punching a hole in the hull.  Even more so because our bilge pump has been running more than typical as of late which means that she can see the bilge light turning on more frequently today.  Dave has been looking for a leak in the water system but to no avail.

After we anchored, Melissa went into the aft cabin and found that the rug was sopping wet.  Dave checked, and it was definitely salt water.  So we immediately started pulling up all the floorboards looking to see where the leak was coming from.  Where the rug sits the bilge is only a few inches deep, so Dave’s theory was that there was some kind of a leak in the back of the boat that was coming forward into the aft cabin and coming up through the floor boards.  None of the rest of the bilges that we could access showed signs of water having reached anywhere near the top of them.  This is good because it (hopefully) means the leak isn’t very big.  None the less, salt water on the floor is a bit disconcerting.

Melissa hopped in the shower – which is where she was headed when she found the wet rug.  Meanwhile she can hear Dave in the compartments off the back of the boat rooting around looking for a leak.  Then she hears him start up the engine.  OMG.  This must mean we have to head for the marina immediately to save the boat, she thinks.  Soap in her hair she debates dashing out of the shower to help Dave raise the anchor.  Then the thought dawns that the leak can’t be that bad because the bilges were dry.  So she finishes her shower.  She hops out just as Dave is shutting down the engine again.  She asks Dave why he started up the engine.  He looks at her somewhat blankly and says, “to find the leak”.  Huh?  How did starting the engine help find the leak, you ask?  Well, because turns out that there was a hole in the exhaust hose through which the engine cooling water and exhaust flow.  That hose runs through the back of the boat and was dumping water into the bilges – probably for several days.  We didn’t figure it out till we were in the rolly anchorage that sloshed the water up through the floor boards earlier in the day.

Of course this is the second time that Apsaras has tried to sink herself this week.  The first time being when she blew the hose lose on the generator raw water pump.  Apparently she just needs a bit more attention.  Dave says that women are like that.  Dave says that he will wait for things to dry out and duct tape the hose in the morning.  That will hold till we can get a replacement.

Since we are still out of supplies, we decided to go ashore for dinner.  We had heard that this beach only has an “all inclusive” hotel that asks $50 each to access their facilities.  So it would have been $200 for the four of us just to have access to the restaurant – not to mention the actual dinner bill.  Hence we elected to grab a cab to a restaurant just outside the hotel grounds.  It was $160 for the four of us for four steaks and drinks.  Yikes.  Did we mention we hate the prices in Costa Rica?

When we got back to the boat we curled up to watch a movie.  Mother nature decided to interrupt that plan with a big lightning storm right over our heads.  Melissa saw the lightning strike the hill next to us sending sparks flying.  There wasn’t even a second between the time we saw the flash and the BOOM.  It rained so hard that it filled our tanks – 60 gallons in about 30 minutes.  Dave figures that means it rained 2 inches during that time.

Go Back

Wow! Go Dave. It took me seven months to find that same engine exhaust hose leak on my boat. We tended to sail a lot and engine only a little when we were in San Diego. In addition, the leak was on the backside of the hose and not visible from the aft locker door, only leaked when the engine spirt, and the water ran down the backside of the hose and under a board. The leak would seem to be gone for days or weeks at a time. And the we'd suddenly find those same wet carpet or water in the bilge. It was driving me crazy be caused I had looked everywhere and 'fixed' every possible thing. Life got much better after I really fixed it.



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