Position: 5º 43.878′ S 112º 40.158′ E
Arrived safely in Bawean Island (off the coast of Java). Last night’s passage was an exciting one. We ran a gauntlet of several dozen fishing boats, clustered in semi circles around us. Some crossed our path close enough to smell what they were having for dinner. These boats don’t use proper navigation lights, if they use lights at all, so it is difficult to tell which way they are going or how close they are, until they are on top of you. Luckily they are also hyper vigilant, and I rarely do more than keep an eye. Last night though, I changed course a few times (20° or so) to avoid possible nets and lines.
That wasn’t the real excitement though. Towards the end of my shift, I was startled to action by the shrill whistle of our high water alarm. This is a little device that I installed in our bilge to warn us before our feet got wet. I grabbed the headlamp and launched myself down the companionway steps. After silencing the alarm, I started to pump the bilge out. The pump was able to move the water out fast enough, but it was coming back in by the bucketload. “This is going to be a problem,” I said calmly to Vick, who was still resting on the settee. I asked her to grab my tools and a few bungs, and meet me in the cockpit. I opened our starboard lazerette first, and was rewarded with a clear picture of the problem. The output hose had torn and not only was sea water rushing in at a startling rate, the water we were pumping out was just going straight back into the boat. FUN!
I fixed the problem, cleaned up and sent Vick back to sleep. Just before I changed watch, I checked the bilge, just for good measure, and found it was nearly full again. the hose had torn a second time. I fixed it again, and went to sleep.
We are now safely at anchor, and I’m delighted to say that I have enough hose in my spare kit to replace the whole run if needed. That should probably happen before the next passage, though I do so enjoy the special (sailors only) combination of midnight, sloppy seas, exhaustion, adrenaline, wet, that make these fire drills memorable.
All is well.