Searching for the leak

When we were just outside the southern barrier reef outside the Gambier archipelago yesterday (all sails up, going 6 knots, 2 fishing lures out), suddenly the water alarm in the bilge went off. Rip out the floorboards–stick a finger in the brew–taste–freshwater–ooofff. So no immediate danger, but still not great to have the bilge full of water. We sailed up through the Southeastern barrier reef and almost without changing course straight to the beautiful motu Tauna on the eastern barrier reef.

On top of the usual clean-up (store sails away, desalt the boat, etc.) we had to empty the bilge before we could open a bottle of bubbly and have some celebration tapas.

This morning the search for the leak in our freshwater system continued. We cleaned the whole bilge thoroughly, looking at dry and wet chambers, trying to figure out where the culprit was. First we suspected the watermaker, but then it became clear that the area of the aluminium tank (yep, the one we spent a few weeks repairing last year) was wetter than the rest. We considered taking the saloon bench out and opening the water tank, but fortunately it ocurred to us first, to check the vent line that comes up from the tank. It ends in a storage locker and behold–some things in there were wet. Our main storage compartment (filled up with a cubic metre of cans) is underneath that locker, so we emptied this one as well and dried everything in there. Now we keep checking for drops and hope that we’ve found the leak… What a way to spend the first day in a pretty, turquoise new anchorage ;-)

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