Yeah, it has been a challenging week for both boat and crew. We arrived in Marineland early last week with our heads swimming with stuff on our “must do” list. Miami and our crossing over to the Bahamas is imminent and our list of things to get done before we leave the affordability and accessibility of US shopping and repairs is long. Once we are in the Bahamas, grocery stores won’t be available at every anchorage and, where they are, the prices can be fairly steep. Repairs and getting spare parts will be even more challenging.
We need to do our Bahamas 3 month provisioning ASAP. And, boat projects? Certainly, we have a few small boat projects to tackle but the biggest challenge is the water intrusion issue in the bilge under our V berth. This issue first popped up in Cape May and has plagued us ever since. First, the bow thruster was leaking. We shored that up and the leaking abated… for a hot minute. Then we assessed the anchor locker and sealed several areas where water could find its way into the inner boat. This slowed down the water but didn’t stop it. Finally, in Marineland, we figured it out.
Not only did we definitely confirm that the water was salty (eliminating condensation or a leaky water tank as possible sources) but we actually got down and dirty in the bilge, visually and manually checking every square inch…and we found it. We couldn’t see the leak but we could feel it. A small dripping bit of water in the starboard bow thruster tube near the hull of the boat. Yay…but yikes! This is not a situation we want to have when we cross the Gulf Stream.
Marineland is not near anything walkable so we decided to head to our next anchorage and hope for the best. We knew we needed the boat hauled out and to have the bow thruster tube properly assessed (it sits under the waterline). But we knew we had our work cut out for us. Finding an expert to work on your boat in a timely manner has been the biggest challenge of this journey. There are a lot of them but they are all fully busy, usually booking new clients weeks or months into the future. Sigh.
Arriving in Daytona Beach, we were discouraged. We decided to shake off our worries with a dog walk along Beach Street towards the touristy area of Daytona Beach. Within minutes, we came across Daytona Marina and Boat Works. A quick discussion with the receptionist and we had a remote “maybe” that they could help. A phone call from the owner later that same day took it to a “sure, I think” but not until the following week. It was the best we could ever hope for. Long story short, we were hauled out today at 0900 hours and the bow thruster was immediately assessed. Yes, the bow thruster tube was failing at the seam where it meets the hull. Apparently, the seam was not correctly sealed at installation and it was just a matter of time before water found its way in.
This is all very shocking and unexpected, of course, but the good news is that we have an amazing expert from Daytona Marina and Boat Works on the job (thank you Rich!!). Weather permitting, we will be back in business, heading south, by early next week. Whew.
In the interim, the crew of Wild Horses is nestled comfortably in a hotel. But we are not wasting our days! We have spent the last several days provisioning for the Bahamas (we have a rental car) and we still have access to the boat during the day so we will be washing, waxing, finishing small projects and otherwise making her feel like the awesome home that she is. It is not the adventure we were expecting but it is still part of our learning journey. And, guess what? If you were to run into us these days, you would still see big smiles on our faces. We are happy that our crew is all healthy and soon our lovely boat will be too. 😊
Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.