Satisfying day…….

Today was both a work day and a fun day.   A couple days ago at Cat Island we noticed the bedroom floor was wet in the port hull……  Upon removing the viewing port in the floorboard, we found water, lots of it.  I pumped it out and for then next couple days it stayed dry…. Until we sailed to the Exumas yesterday.  The port bilge wasn’t full as before, but we definitely had salt water coming in somewhere so I pumped it out again and put my mind to solving the issue.

By the time I got it dry again, I remembered that the rudder had been removed on that side during our recent haul out.  The rudder seals must be packed hard with good grease or water comes in around the rudder posts.  Knowing, or being 99 percent sure that was the problem, I took everything out of the area behind the bathroom so I could physically enter the space to work on the rudder seal.   Sure enough, they greased the seal, but it wasn’t packed solid with grease and as I sat there water was seeping in slowly with the boat at rest so my suspicion was confirmed.  Knowing for certain what the problem is, is always 99 percent of the cure.

Squeezing my 250 pound body past the water heater into this hull section was not without wide eyed wonder if I could make it Or not!  Would I be stuck in the passageway forever?  I wish I’d paid more attention to Erin’s yoga instruction about that time.  After contorting my body unnaturally I fell in the hole and I was IN!  The first problem I encountered was that the door to the next compartment (where the rudder is) was closed, I failed to open it before I got in the hole so the door to that section wouldn’t open past my body.  I balled up on the floor and had Linda try to push me down more so the door would pass over me….. yep, your right it didn’t work.  I had to crawl out of the hole again, open the next door then get back in.  By this time I was toast…… I was done.

My lovely wife brought me a fan that made the space bearable and the tools I didn’t know to bring the second time I went in.  The big grease gun wouldn’t physically fit in the place it needed to be to fill the rudder post,  I remembered a small one I had, Linda found it and the spare grease cartridge.  After getting this sticky blue grease on every wall around me and all over my sweaty arms and legs…… I got the rudder post packed.  A half a roll of paper towel later it was time to try to get out again.  I’d been in there 2 hours sitting on my legs.  After passing the tools out to Linda I managed to work my fat belly out of the narrow passageway…. Again.

I have full confidence in the solution, seeing the leak and knowing the remedy gave me great confidence that the problem has been successfully solved.  Linda advised that I take the dish washing liquid bottle and jump in the water before I touched anything outside the hole.  The swim/bath was quite cooling and at the same time just the ticket for removing the first layer of grease from my arms and legs.

So now with the boat 500 gallons of water lighter and re-entry of that water blocked…… I’m a happy boy.  The fun part of the day came next…. Lol.  Linda and I bobbed under the boat for quite some time…. The water temp is perfect now, no “cold shock” when you first get in.  After bobbing we went for a nice little dinghy ride, walked on the beach and came back to some of Linda’s wonderful Mahi and rice leftovers.

Being here in the Exumas on Castle Beach (we consider it the best beach in the Bahamas) we are happy campers tonight.  We enjoyed the wilderness feel of the out islands and of course the full freezer of fish, but the wonderful protection of the Exuma Cays is a very, very hard place to beat.

Batelco (bahamas telephone company) was down yesterday and part of today, but as you might guess… It’s back up this evening.  One of our reasons for coming on back to the Family Islands was to get internet service again.  Today we found out what the world was doing when we got internet service, solved important issues on the boat and had fun in the crystal clear waters behind Black Point at our favorite beach.  All in all we had a productive and satisfying day.

Coordinates for the best beach in the Bahamas: N 24-04.73. W 76-23.08.


2 Responses to “Satisfying day…….”

  1. Julie says:


    We had the same thing happen a couple of days out (troubleshooting moist carpet) but figured the yard hadn’t packed it properly after the rudder repair so we needed to do it. Mark did his version of what you described above and filled it to the brim. After reading this he is wondering if the grease is exiting out of the bottom of the rudder.

    Glad you guys are having a great time!

    • Rusty and Linda says:

      It may be going out the bottom…. Not sure, I am sure it was leaking over the top seal, I saw it happening. I’ll check it periodically and see.

      Now that we are back in the wonderful Exumas we are having more fun. The out islands are wild with 60 mile open ocean passages to make, we LOVE the Exumas.

      Thanks for the reply, Rusty

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