Life in a leaky boat!
You will recall we had a few leaks appear during the heavy downpours of mid December, two of them easily dealt with, one of them major. Since then, we had been waiting for a sunny day with no forecast rain to reseal one of the three large windows on the port side, and last Monday was it! It is a big task – 4 hours with both of us at it.
Here is the process: lift the glass from the frame, clean up the old sealant from the frame and the glass, put masking tape all around, reapply new sealant (black Fix Tech FS200) around the frame, stick the glass back on. You need to be an octopus to fit the thing back in! Unfortunately the glass slipped a bit so we were not convinced the window would seal properly.
And it did not! Our handy work was tested during the next days of incessant rain. As we feared, we still have leaks, not only between the frame and glass on the window we worked on, but also between the aluminium frame and the side of the cabin. And the other two windows are leaking too. We found puddles inside in odd places. That’s the thing with heavy rain and wind; water penetrates in every tiny gap you did not know existed and finds its way inside sometimes a long way away from the ‘source’.
We have investigated where the leaks come from on those and it seems to be between the frame and cabin wall rather than between the glass and frame. This will require each frame to come off, get cleaned up and white Fix Tech 15 to be applied between the cabin wall and the aluminium frame.
For now a bead of sealant around the frames is a temporary fix and we are on drip watch, armed with rag towels for mopping up! The real job will have to wait a while as we have at least a week of widespread rainfall… oh joy!
Change of Plan – Already!
With the wet season in full swing, made even worse by La Niña, sailing anywhere while getting drenched is not happening! Our trip to the Reef in January is cancelled and at the moment exploring in the Sandy Straits is on pause too. We hope the deluge is breaking the drought in the East and North of Australia but it is unfortunately drowning our plans and making our life miserable.
All we can do is sit on board and mop up the drips. It is testing our patience. It is also challenging physically as we have little opportunity to get ashore, stretch our legs and our spine. Chris has had a wrecked lower back for days and is struggling! Yoga and stretches in the saloon are better than nothing but…
As we have mentioned in previous posts, we don’t do ‘waiting’ very well. We are just killing time at the moment, and being boat bound in rainy conditions is not a lot of fun. The only consolation is that it is not as hot and sticky as before, just awfully soggy and boring! It is one of those periods when cruising life is far from idyllic.
On good days the Straits are quite appealing so we will leave you with a few images showing peaceful scenes.
On this first day of 2021 we hope life will soon get a little easier. Here is to better times ahead. Keep smiling, stay safe and big virtual hugs from us to you all.