The turbulent waters of the past two days were not the only rough part of the day. In the afternoon I noticed some rain clouds dumping their contents on the water upwind from us. They did not look fierce or ominous. As they approached they provided enough of a light spray that I thought it would be a great opportunity to have a shower outside. Dailin, Teyauna and I used the fine spray that collected on us to lather up with a bar of soap I brought outside and we went to work of lathering up in anticipation of some more serious water from the clouds. So we waited, and waited but the drizzle just continued and but not enough liquid sunshine to rinse the soap off. The torrential downpour that we so desperately were expecting did not materialize. Almost as fast as it came the misty water blew past and we were left standing there all lathered up in soap and shampoo. In the end we had to resort to spraying ourselves off with the outside cold water shower on the back deck of the boat which was definitely not what we had bargained for.
As I went inside to hang up my shorts and get a change of clothes I noticed something I did not want to see. Because Zakary’s bed takes up all of the cupboard space in our bedroom half of my clothes are in a cloth basket which is in front of the pontoon storage locker. This storage locker door has a vent in it right in front of my cloth clothes basket. As I looked at this cloth basket I noticed that it had a water line along the bottom and up the side. Upon immediately taking a closer look, my greatest fear was realized as I notice the basket was in a puddle of water that was soaking into the basket. I pulled out my clothes which were still mostly dry, thanks to a package of baby diapers that were at the bottom and sealed in plastic. I then went in search of the cause for this water leak. I soon discovered that the water was spraying in through the vent at the top of the door.
When I opened the door, and to my horror, I noticed that the top hatch to the pontoon storage locker was not latched completely shut. Prior to us leaving San Francisco I remember opening this hatch which was located under the kayak strapped to the railing of our boat. Because this kayak was there, we did not notice for the past few weeks, that this hatch lid was open and feeding our food storage a good daily dose of salt water as it splashed up the front of the boat.
Our year supply of freeze dried canned goods and other storage items were completely dripping! We had about 80 cans stacked nicely into boxes and these boxes were dripping with seawater and already starting to mold. Inside of the hatch was also some boxes of sanitary supplies, medicines and vitamins. Fortunately the medicine was sealed inside of ziplock bags, but some of the cans were also starting to rust already.
For the next hour we had everyone in the boat form a chain from this storage locker to the dining room in order to remove the sopping wet boxes of number 10 cans. We were pulling out cans of “Thrive” brand dehydrated sour cream, chicken, pineapple, banana chips, apricots, strawberries, corn and so much more. It was a disheartening site to see. We had to peel off colorful wet and moldy labels and write on the lids of the cans with a permanent marker what it contained, otherwise we would be having some surprise meals (we did miss one can and will have an adventure to see what that dinner will be. We also had to pile up the dripping cardboard boxes and ended up tossing them overboard. After the project was completed the entire boat was a disastrous mess of cans all over the place inside and out.
We went into the storage locker and mopped up the mess with some old towels. We then wiped it dry and ensured that the hatch cover was securely fastened. All this was done so that we could place all of the cans back into the pontoon locker in hopes that it would stay permanently dry from here on out. Orin was the lucky one to climb into the locker as the rest of us formed another human chain to pass the cans into the locker again.
It was sweltering hot in the bedroom and storage locker as all hatches were now shut and no breeze could blow through to help cool us down. So much for my outdoor shower earlier.
Once completed we draped a plastic shower curtain that I had stowed away for emergency use over top of all the cans just in case there was another leak. Now with no boxes there will be nothing to soak up the water but fortunately there are some drain holes in the bottom leading any moisture into the bilge of the boat which can then be pumped out by the on-board electric bilge pumps. It was definitely a long project that I don’t want to have to repeat, let’s hope for some smooth sailing tomorrow.
8:50 pm PDT, Lat: 12° 21.681′ N, Long: 123° 27.064′ W, Course 204° T, Speed: 7.2 K, Wind: NE 24K, Swell: N 12′ Rough, Cloud Cover: 60%, Barometer: 1008 hPa, Temp: 26°C