If it smells like pee...

If it smells like pee… 

and it looks like pee…

Yes, you know what comes next!   (no, we didn’t taste it!)  

A few days ago we heard the bilge pump cycling, which should be a very unusual sound for a brand new boat at the dock as it means that water is being pumped from the boat’s bilge (the lowest part of the boat, just above the keel).  We looked in the bilge and saw a bunch of water (or so we thought)

We then sent this note to our friend Jonas at HR…

“Foul” was quite an understatement!  We then shined a light down the bilge and found the this!

I felt bad for the guys who had to pump it out!  After some digging, HR figured out that the aft toilet had a loose fitting when delivered from the manufacturer.  So each time we flushed that toilet, it flushed into the bilge.  Fortunately, we haven’t used that head for poop, so it was only pee but still pretty disgusting!  The HR team flushed the entire bilge with fresh water and chlorine-based cleaner, and Saltair is smelling sweet once again! 

And in other news…  

We have continued to find small defects in the boat systems and HR is on them almost as quickly as we find them.  We had a high voltage error in our engine starting battery, which was the result of a loose wire on the engine.  And the bouncing Raymarine charts on our plotters looks to have been caused by dropouts in the GPS signal due to another loose connection.  So we are continuing to make progress on the systems shakedown!

We now have our MMSI number, which means that our AIS (that's Automatic Identification System, a boat-to-boat position broadcasting system used for tracking and collision avoidance) is now up and running.  Our number is 368321440 and when we're moving near-shore, we should be trackable on Marine Traffic or Vessel Finder.   We will also work to update the track on the web site as well.  And by the time we head offshore, we'll have tracking enabled on satellite-based services as well.

It took some time, but we finally got our dinghy set up!  Here I am, trying to figure out how to get a lifting strap on a very slippery plastic case.  (ultimately, we gave up and used the lift point under the cover)

And here’s Seth, operating the hydraulic forklift and getting the motor down to the boat.

Once all together, we took it for its first spin and had a blast!  With the throttle roughly ⅔ of the way open the 20HP Tohatsu had us going at 16 knots!  We may need to teach Seth how to waterski!  

And of course, the organizing continues.  Yesterday Guillemette made what might be her final storage container purchase at Ikea, filling the car with crates of all sizes and shapes. 

She’s done an awesome job of breaking up very large storage lockers into more manageable spaces.  Next step will be an extensive inventory of all of the spares onboard so that we can efficiently find things without ripping the boat apart!

Today we got Saltair off the dock for a few hour sail, taking turns at the helm and trimming the sails.  We picked a nearby island (Bondon Island), about 6 nm away and did our own verion of the Farallon Race, sailing out, around it and then back to Ellos.  Saltair handles great and we’re getting more comfortable navigating in the narrow waterways between the rocks here.  Once back at the dock, we started chatting up our Swedish neighbors and they wound up coming in to spend the next 2 hours sharing their favorite anchorages, cute villages and good restaurants, giving us some great ideas for our next month or so of cruising destinations!

The weather for the next few days is looking a bit sketchy with some high winds in the forecast.  We’ll likely hang at the dock until things settle down next Tuesday or Wednesday, then head out for a few days of exploring.  We have scheduled a bunch of interior finishing work with HR for the week of the 10th so we will need to be back her by then.

That’s it for now…

Happy 4th of July for those reading from the U.S.!