Tuesday, March 5, 2013

It Doesn’t Suck

3 Steps to Showering on Journey
  1. Turn on water.  It ranges between “stimulatingly” cold (you can take that kind of stimulating, thank you very much!) and “Owww!  HOT!”  Wayne’s working on that.  It is getting better.
  2. Wayne hollers either… “Stop turning on and off the water! You need a continuous stream” or, more often or followed by, “You ran the water too long!  The bilge pump just overflowed!” It does not take many seconds before our geriatric, clogged bilge overflows.
  3. I yell back, “I just finished!” while Wayne begins one of least favorite tasks, mopping up the bilge – again. Standing water’s scent is not improved with age, and our bilge didn’t quite ever dry, making this talk particularly unpleasant.

Wow, an onboard shower, and not just
a cockpit shower.  Looks inviting,
doesn’t it?  Tease!
Our bilge pump sucked, or rather, the problem was that it didn’t suck, at least not properly. It whines annoyingly, like Eyore, but an octave lower.  Worse, instead of properly erridicating the graywater from our showers, its feeble inefectual pump cycling repetitions were draining our already power-challenged battery – aka – our electrical power system. 

Sweet talk and prayers clearly weren’t working.  Nor was the Carribean version of that infamous Egyptian river, Da Nile.  Wayne reluctantly but stoically embarked on Stage Three in The Battle of The Bilge:  intimidation and brute force. It was not his first foray bring out the big guns in the Battle of the Bilge.

Our geriatric bilge pump.  It’s working better now thanks to
Wayne’s latest round of repairs, but its days are limited.
“I’ll get you, you little bastard!” Wayne threatened (the sump pump, not me, that is), shaking his socket  If only cantankerous bilge pumps could be intimitdated into cooperation. 

Thus, Wayne spent the afternoon
  1. cleaning out the bilge water*
  2. replacing the bilge pump with a spare our former owner left on board -- which didn’t work
  3. reinstalling our current, decrepit bilge pump
  4. cleaning out the drainlines from the sump
  5. removed the backflow valve – it was stuffed up beyond repair

*Fortunately for you, I missed my opportunity to take a picture of the sump pump water.  “It’s pretty gross,” Wayne says.  He should know better than anyone.

When he was done, Wayne promised me the bilge pump wouldn’t overflow.  I didn’t believe him. Wayne took a shower.  Eyore was quiet.  

Wayne still says he’s replacing the pump, and adjusting the shower control knobs.

Hot, cold and flow control knob.  We’re getting
closer to controlling all three.  We’re not
quite there yet.
I look forward to showers being one step;).  I’m sure Wayne does even more than I do.  I will still do the buckethead routine for shamppoing (click here to read about that), but maybe I can do it in the shower now which will come in handy in crowded anchorages. 


  1. Hot tips:
    1) Install a tempering valve in the outlet of the hotwater heater, set at 95-100. Then only use hot water in the shower.
    Plus, the valve means you can't get burned.
    2) Shower on deck. You're from out-of-town. Who cares what other people think, except for the other people that shower on deck?
    Cheers from Bright Water.

  2. Great story Dana...made me laugh out loud, but I doubt Wayne feels the same way! Ethereal

  3. Thanks brightwater. We've got it dialed in now. We do have a shower on deck, but when it's cool or when we're in really crowded anchorages, it's nice to have a little more privacy.

    Ethereal... Wayne's generally a pretty good sport. And the last 2 showers I managed to not overflow! We're getting there, bit by bit.