Friday, August 23, 2013

Two in the crew: Day Three

Steve was up with the birds on Thursday morning, in spite of the previous evening's Martinis, and took a swim in the bracing waters of Mattapoisett before I was conscious. He was in extraordinarily cheerful spirits as I made my coffee, but I bore with it manfully.

I was just starting to feel human again, with the caffeine coursing through my veins, when the holding tank for the head sprang a leak. And I don't mean a little trickle of a leak, either. I mean arterial bleeding, a geyser of, well...  "Shit!" I said, in a mild, reflective tone, and then added, pedantically, "In the literal sense."

The tank is not in fact a tank; it is a rubber bladder lurking like a giant garden slug under the starboard-side settee. I had inadvertently pumped it too full while trying to get the seawater-intake side of the pump working; the valve was in the wrong position, and so while I thought I was pumping seawater in and seawater out, I was in fact inflating this gruesome Sack-O-Shit to horrific proportions.

Now there is a vent on the tank, so this should not have led to an explosion. But apparently the vent is blocked.   

It could have been worse. The head had not seen heavy use, and most of what was in the tank was sea water. I had faithfully added some digestif compound to the tank at intervals, which mitigated the noisomeness of the brew. It all drained into the bilge, and a few bucketfuls of fresh Mattapoisett seawater and a bit of pumping restored the salubrity of the cabin atmosphere.

After this delightful start to the day, we motored uneventfully through the Cap Cod canal, pulled into the Sandwich city marina, a nice place, at the eastern end of the canal, to refuel and pump out whatever was left in the holding tank, and there picked up, by pre-arrangement, another crew member, call him Tom, the chap shown on the right above.

Once we emerged from the canal, about noon, the wind was about ten knots, from the southwest, and the forecast was benign, and so we decided to head straight from Sandwich to our destination in midcoast Maine. 

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