Sunday, 26 October 2014

it ain't all shitty

That morning, we were doing it. After three months of being land-locked, we were finally going sailing once more in the Bay of Islands. We had 4 glorious days of leisure planned. The forecast mentioned gales and rain, but we didn’t care. Nyon can handle 30 knot gusts and being from the north-eastern Pacific, we knew we wouldn’t melt if it rained. Our plan was to just tuck away in a little anchorage and hunker down. It was going to be bliss.

That’s when it happened.

The skies cleared for a brief time,
we were still in denial about the head...

The toilet rebelled. Warning: when you talk about the head*, there is nothing pretty about it. I mean really, how can one make shit sound pretty? So here we were. The toilet was out of order. It wouldn’t flush. We decided we’d deal with it at anchor. “We’ll just pee in a bucket on the way!”

After a boisterous sail, we tucked into Pipi Bay as it is locally known, (oh the irony). The wind was gusting and the rain fought patches of blue skies. The blue skies put up a good fight. And for a brief time, the water glowed turquoise. We opted to procrastinate a little longer. By mid-afternoon, we decided we really should tackle the head. There was obviously a clog somewhere. We took apart the toilet, cleaned things up, and changed the joker valve. After everything was put back together, we tried to flush the toilet: Nothing. This had now become one of those boat chores.

The welcoming committee lulled
us into a false sense of
"it'll be fine"
By then it was dark. We realized that we would have to take the next day to rip apart our plumbing system and find the problem. 

Oh by the way, the next day? It was my birthday.   

When something goes haywire on Nyon, we don’t call the plumber or electrician. That’s why the morning of my 42nd birthday, after fortifying ourselves with toast and scrambled eggs, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work. Oh yeah, living the dream. First the toilet came out. The Lectra Scan** was next. Following that, the hoses were taken apart…  Yeah. It was as shitty as it sounds. At least the holding tank was allowed to stay put. We found the problem and went into full repair mode. In the process, we accidentally broke a couple bits and replaced them with other bits. (There are times when I’m grateful that Rick’s father taught him to keep stuff, “‘cause you never know”. Rick is the king of recycling and repurposing. This comes in handy when you are on a budget and you live on an older boat.)

No need to see us do the dirty
work, we'll let your imagination
do the work
I am happy to report that by 1430, everything was back in place, the head was fully functioning, and the boat was cleaner than it was when we left port.

The best part was that we still had two days left of actual relaxation at anchor. And we decided that my birthday hadn’t happened yet. All we had to do was pretend we were on the other side of the dateline. It’s all about perspective.

It’s funny what a flushing toilet can do for your state of mind. When we returned to port and friends asked us about our time in the Bay, we sincerely replied: “It was awesome!” It just goes to show you, it isn’t always cocktails at sunset, but it sure ain’t all shitty either.

Nyon, after the excitement
First barefoot tramp of the season: Best birthday present ever!
(Well, that and a functioning head!)

Making a wish

*Reminder for our landlubber friends: The toilet is referred to as the head on a boat.
**The Lectra Scan is our sanitation system.

1 comment:

  1. Let me be the first follower to wish you Happy Birthday!

    Like you I had a little problem with the head on our boat not working too, but for me all I had to do was go to West Marine and pick up a hand pump rebuild kit. Now life is good again! I hate for anything on the boat not working, so I'm all over it when something decides to quit.

    Did you hear about the hurricane that hit Cabo and La Paz? Things are slowly getting back to normal now.




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