We went down to the boat today to try for a sail. It didn’t work out, the waves were too high – I’ll put that story at the end. Anyhoo, we ended up back at the dock, where it occurred to me to fill our water tank, as we’d not done that yet, and there was some question as to what the faucets did.
But first, it’s worth noting that our broker at Seacraft Yacht Sales looked up our new Flicka for us, and found out that they’d actually sold her to the owner before Dave and Sherrie! So he had a whole comp page for us to see, and it states:
This Flicka’s hull and deck was built by Pacific Seacraft and then shipped to a professional boat builder where her interior was custom built with offshore cruising in mind. Her hull is completely insulated and bulkheads are bonded to the hull (no liner). The use of warm woods such as Honduras Mahogany and clear fir ceilings give her a unique and cozy interior.
So she was built by a (unnamed! bummer!) professional boat builder, who did all kinds of interesting things, probably in the name of offshore cruising. The boat sold in May of 2012 to a teacher (college professor I think?), and, then sold in 2015 to Dave and Sherrie, and then to us in March of 2016.
On to the mysteries of Elska:
Here you’ll see our faucets:
Everything was standing up so nicely in the space behind the faucets, until we motored out into Puget Sound today, where the waves knocked us around so soundly that stuff was flying off the shelves.
One, two…..three? Dave said one is for water from the freshwater tank, one is for seawater and the third is….a mystery. It’s a good thing I love mysteries.
The first mystery was, which faucet for which tank? There are two pedals for three faucets. Only the right pedal works, pushing out water from the middle faucet:
This middle-faucet water wasn’t salty, it tasted musty. My guess, it comes from the freshwater tank.
The left one made a strange, stifled swish sound, until I investigated further and found a new valve handle that I hadn’t even known existed, under the cabinet that the stove is installed over:
We knew about the yellow handle, but the green handle was hidden! And turned off! I didn’t find it until I took a picture around the corner, and then looked at the photo. See, cell phones save lives. Or maybe, cell phones find valves. Either way.
So, I turned on the green handle, and VOILA! Or, as I like to say, VIOLA! Because the deep tone of a viola is particularly beautiful, much like when things suddenly fall into place. Water now came from the far left faucet. I tasted it, and instantly spit it out. Today I learned that there is nothing subtle about saltwater.
LEFT FAUCET: Unsubtle seawater. (Unsubtle Seawater, my new sea shanty ukulele cover band.)
MIDDLE FAUCET: Musty freshwater tank water (blech, I better figure out how to clean that tank).
RIGHT FAUCET: ????
Interesting things about the right faucet: when I filled up the freshwater tank today, about a tablespoon of water shot out of the mystery faucet. I don’t know why. I also don’t know why there’s a rubber cap on that faucet. Why would you need that? Does stuff pour out when you’re not looking?
So then I thought, why not pull all the bedding and cushions out of the v-berth and see what’s under there?
All kinds of fun things!
The tank on the right seems pretty clearly to be the freshwater holding tank, being that when I stuck a hose in the deck opening marked “WATER”, this tank filled up with water. Also, it looks about 30 gallons, which is how much water that tank is supposed to hold.
But! Allow me to show you the MYSTERY ON THE PORT SIDE.
Two caps on a tank that has a big partition in it, with little through-ways cut at the bottom corners to let stuff run between them. In the top container was a roll of packaged crackers (not ours). In the bottom container is about two inches of standing water. Is this meant to be a cooler? Why crackers in the top and water in the bottom? I’ve never seen a cooler that had top covers like this.
Also, why the cracks? Should I be worried?
That’s a drain hole, isn’t it? This can’t be any kind of water tank, because water tanks are made of plastic like the one to starboard. This is basically a varnished cupboard with a drain hole. Doesn’t that seem like a cooler? It makes sense that it would have an airtight seal on a food compartment if you’re going offshore – you don’t want bugs. It’s actually a smart idea.
To be specific, two mysteries abound:
- What is the third faucet for? Where is the pedal that runs it?
- What is that compartment with the two airtight seals for?
Now on to today’s sailing adventure.
In which we go sailing because “it looks nice out”.
We’re still dealing with The Wettening 2016, or maybe you’d prefer my other name, Kitchen Katastrophe 2016, in which our kitchen was damaged by a leaking refrigerator hose. We’re still dealing with the whole room being sealed in with plastic, while fans run. Greg is home today, and it’s so beautiful out, we thought we’d say goodbye to this crazy house and run off to Elska for a sail.
The sky was so blue! And the tops of the trees were moving, so we thought the wind must be good. Yeah, the wind was a little too good.
As we drove the car down the hill to the marina, we noticed that there were some nice white caps (wind!), but only one or two boats out. “I know it’s a Tuesday afternoon,” Greg said, “but how can it be such a beautiful day and no one is out?”
Apparently, there was a small craft advisory we didn’t know about:
URGENT – MARINE WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE WA
PUGET SOUND AND HOOD CANAL- 144 PM PDT TUE MAR 29 2016
…SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM PDT THIS EVENING… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SEATTLE HAS ISSUED A SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY…WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM PDT THIS EVENING. *
WINDS AND WAVES…NORTHERLY WIND 15 TO 25 KT WITH 2 TO 4 FT WIND WAVES. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY MEANS THAT WIND SPEEDS OF 21 TO 33 KNOTS ARE EXPECTED TO PRODUCE HAZARDOUS WAVE CONDITIONS TO SMALL CRAFT.
INEXPERIENCED MARINERS…ESPECIALLY THOSE OPERATING SMALLER VESSELS SHOULD AVOID NAVIGATING IN THESE CONDITIONS.
Oops. As it turns out, we’re both relatively inexperienced mariners, and we’re in a very small boat. Although the boat isn’t an issue – Flickas can handle offshore seas, a dinky 4 foot wave isn’t going to bother her.
But, once we got out past the breakwater, we noticed that the big 40-foot yacht in front of us had its bow flying up into the air and then crashing down, whenever it hit a big wave, which was about once every 5-10 seconds. That seemed….you know….kind of dramatic. I said something like, “Wow, if that boat is moving like that, what will the waves do to us?”
Unsurprisingly, they did the same thing. Elska’s bow flew up into the air, over and over, and came pounding down. And yet, surprisingly, I was not that bothered! Flickas are very, very solid. I could really feel the difference, it was amazing. I love this boat so much! I’ve gone from the 30-foot Hunter to this little thing, and I can tell you that I’d have been completely freaking out on the Hunter in this weather, but my biggest concern with my Flicka was simply that it was very obvious that I’d be getting very tired, very quickly from smashing around in these waves. My pain and fatigue levels are already quite high today, on top of stress and lack of sleep. I knew that if I kept going, I’d be completely whipped and in the red zone in less than half an hour. That’s a very bad place for me to be, especially in a situation where I might be called upon to demonstrate physical strength and/or mental acuity.
Greg was also not in great shape, he’s been getting over being sick, and he’s exhausted, too. We haven’t set up a Lifesling yet, and if one of us went forward in these crazy, rolling seas, and managed to trip and fall overboard, the other exhausted person would be very hard-pressed finding a way to both control the boat and get them back aboard in anything under 10-15 minutes. On top of that, our long-shaft prop was coming out of the water every few beats. It might stall just when we needed it. It just wasn’t worth the risk. We were too tired, and too inexperienced for the conditions. I turned her around and we headed back in, sails unfurled. <sigh>
Look how calm it looks inside the marina! The breakwater hides the chaos.