Wednesday, November 30, 2011

LEAK is a Four Letter Word

All stocked up & ready to go!!...Not
  I've said before on the blog that when you're a traveler, you're plans are "etched in jello". Despite our daily efforts to ready Malaika for open water sailing, we will not be leaving Hidden Harbor Marina on Dec 1st as planned. Scott discovered a small leak in the hull while doing a battery project the other day. He didn't tell me about it until he had a chance to consult with Aaron from s/v Creola. Aaron is a Captain & has worked in & on boats for years. Water is leaking in slowly around a screw hole that holds a grounding plate to the bottom of the hull. It isn't a major thing, but must be fixed. Fixing requires hauling Malaika out of the water so the repair can be made to the fiberglass on the bottom. We could also hire a diver to repair it but that process allows a lot of water into the boat. Sounds like big mess. So, Malaika is going "up on the hard". We've been pricing the most affordable boat yard to do this in all morning. The plan is to haul her out, Scott & Aaron will make the repair (patching fiberglass), & then launching her back in the water. The old "Bust Out Another Thousand" saying is ringing in my head. Yesterday Scott & Aaron added a 2nd bilge pump to Malaika's system. A bilge pump pumps water out of the hull. It is a vital organ on a boat. Now we have 2. Yay!
Scott & Aaron working on the bilge pump

 It was a bit ironic for me yesterday to learn about the leak because I had spent the afternoon putting together our "ditch bag". A ditch bag is a bag full of survival goodies that you grab & run with in the event you have to "ditch" your boat because it's sinking. The options of what to put in a ditch bag vary widely depending on the survival gear you already have. We do not have an epirb, a location device that is activated if it hits water. We also do not have a "life raft". That being said, our ditch bag doesn't really need to have all kinds of elaborate life saving equipment because the reality is, without an epirb or life raft, if we're not found in 2-4 days, our survival would be doubtful. We do have a dinghy, which is our life raft. We are also purchasing a "personal" epirb that we would activate manually if needed. They aren't as good as an epirb but much more affordable & still extremely useful. Im using capri suns for sugar & water. We included flares, mirror, whistle, sunscreen, fishing tackle, knife, compass, flashlight, reflectors, plastic bags, copies of our passports, basic 1st aide kit, lighter, batteries, packaged tuna, etc. We will also have a water distillery which could help us collect water via condensation. I think all this talk of leaks & ditch bags will make our parents a bit unsettled but just remember Mom & Dad, we have to plan for these is extremely unlikely that we would ever be stranded for long in the popular routes we plan on traveling these next few years.
  Now our new departure date is in a week. Maybe. Etched in jello.
Love & Miss everyone!!! XXXOOO
A little peek into my kitchen cupboard. Everything labeled & in ziplocks!

A few ditch bag ingredients

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