A little leak here, a little leak there...
Funny, we thought once the masts were on, it would be a piece of cake getting Moontide back into sailing trim.
But we failed to consider that we have two completely different masts stepped onto the deck now, and how each line of running rigging attaches to the boat is a whole learning process.
Outhauls, downhauls, topping lifts, reefing points, sheet winches, wire connectors, fairleads for the sailing sheets, cleats -- all have to be built onto the masts... in appropriate locations.
One doesn't want to promiscuously drill holes into one's shiny new masts, does one?
Looking at photos of the old masts, then standing on deck and making fools of ourselves simulating the movement of working lines to see where things will work -- it gets to be mind boggling!!
But, two sails are on: the genoa roller furling, and the mizzen. The main is on-again-off-again as we work out where everything goes. Can't run blocks for the reefing points until the outhaul is set, and I can't set the outhaul cleat until I figure out where the reefing blocks go! How does anyone actually ever figure this stuff out?!?!?!?
For eight months, we have carried bottled water onto the boat, avoiding putting water into the tank. Gabrielle has carried dishes to the restroom down the dock to wash them in a good natured way... getting the masts on was our priority. The bilge has been dry.
But with the masts on, Gabs tackled the water tank problem while I continued working on deck.
Since the water tank is fiberglass and integral to the hull, She extensively researched ways of patching it from the inside, and decided to go with epoxy.
First we cut 2 new holes in the top of the tank and installed access lids on them. Then she cleaned out the inside of the tank. Towel dried, then cleaned it again. Let it air dry for a week or so.
Just to be sure, she applied 3 coats of epoxy to the bottom and sides. No easy feat, believe me.
Next step: wash out the amine blush. She filled the tank with water, scrubbing the new surface with a bristle brush as it filled.
(Gabrielle here writing as Michael takes a break from blog posts)
With 110 gallons of fresh water back in the tank it was time to test systems. "Water preasure on" Check. "All faucets opened." Check. The tanks had to be flushed twice before use. It was on the second flush that Michael peaked into the bildge to find ... WATER! Somewhere on this fool ship we still had a water line leak. " Bloody hell!" was all I could think as months of packing water onto the boat and dishes off rushed back to my memory. Moontide, like a petulant 2 year old , has a way of eliciting reactions from her people. Once our emotions settled logic emerged. In the restoration pages we detail the art of finding the leak but suffice to say the actual leak was from a tiny imperceptible hairline crack around the grey water outlet. A couple bottles of different food coloring and my being perched atop the tanks for hours to detect an errant drop of water lead to the true cause. This was Michael's initial thought but an optical illusion deceived us early on as we traced the leak. Once the true source of the leak was isolated , Michael made quick work of repairing it. Again we tested the systems and this time, all was dry. This confirmation was not a minute too soon. My dear Michael was left with the task of ensuring all was working and dry as I raced to the airport to collect my sister, Kim who was traveling in from R.I. for a visit... and yes, she stays on the boat.
My family already questions our sanity for taking on this venture,
no running water would have erased all doubt.
NEXT POST: Moontide Rises! The Pirates Festival and sister Kim's visit