So there I was, standing at the bottom of a mountain. In actual fact, I’d just fallen off a cliff, but I didn’t even know it yet. All I knew was this crazy and unfortunate series of events:
- My marine toilet was blocked by a guy on the boat
- I tried to fix it and broke something, so it started leaking
- I turned off the seacock to stop the leak. A seacock is a fitting in a boat that allows water to flow in or out – if you turn it off water intake will stop
- The guy (who assured me he’d grown up on yachts) and I decided to go for a dive while we ran the engine to charge the batteries for an hour…
- We came back to find a very angry engine billowing smoke as a result of not being cooled by the water it was supposed to be pumping through the seacock we had turned off…
Now my friend Rob had discovered that I had milky oil, which didn’t mean a whole lot to me beyond “there’s salt water in your oil”. Cool, so now what? We had to find the source of the leak, and fix it. He said this could be anything from a head gasket ($300) to a cracked head that needed re-machining ($3,000)… $3,000 is a lot of money… Or so I thought.
But what do I do now? How do I figure this one out when I don’t know about engines? Why do marine toilets have to suck? How come seacocks have to be plumbed to toilets and engines at the same time? Why did we not check the water was running? Why did we leave the engine on? And most importantly… How could all of this happen on my maiden voyage?!
Someone told me recently, “you write very… ah…candidly in your blog”. And I suppose it’s true. A lot of this blog makes me look like a bit of a fool, but I’m not trying to pretend that chasing a dream is as easy as buying a yacht and sailing into a glorious horizon… If you’re looking for that story, move your mouse to the X in the top right corner of your browser, because that’s just not how life goes. It’s always an adventure, and it’s the uncertainty that makes it that.
I’m extremely lucky to have had Rob during this time in my yacht-owning journey. He picked me up many times over those months, right when I was ready to cut a hose to a seacock and let Kuna sink to the sea floor – very literally letting “sunken costs” be sunken costs.
It’s really funny how life works out sometimes. How there’s people you meet by chance who instantly make it hard to imagine having gone that part of life without them.
So keep in mind, as you read the next couple of blogs that finish off this crazy story of my catastrophic maiden voyage, that every little step I took up that mountain, every little thing I learned, and every scary decision I had to make, I only did with the help of an incredibly generous human who I was lucky enough to call a friend.