July/August 2010 Sailing Trip — Day 7

Ugh…instead of starting work on 0ur planned list of jobs, we had to first get the water tanks taken care of. Oh, well, it’s something I’ve never done, so I was sure it would be educational. And it was.

First, I learned that I don’t know (didn’t and still don’t!) what my water tanks are made of. They’re off-white, like aged gel-coat, inside and out. There’s some evidence that they might be metal, but it’s also possible that they’re fiberglass. If I think about it later, I might try to see if a magnet will attract an iron object through the tank wall. Maybe that’ll tell me something.

We drained the tanks, then used some soap and hot water to clean them out as good as we could. Unfortunately, each tank has (at least) three compartments, separated by baffles, each with one rather small (4″?) hole in it, plus a couple of very small triangular holes at the base where the baffle joins the tank bottom. Happily, the amount of visible growth in the tanks was very minimal, so we rinsed out the soapy water and replaced it with water and bleach that we ran into all of the pipes and left to sit overnight.

While all this was going on, we (naturally) had to go to West Marine, this time to look for tank cleaning chemicals and some kind of long-handled flexible brush to try to get to the unreachable compartments in the tanks. (Our tanks have only one access port each, which is in an end compartment.) No luck on the brush, and our friend Harold at the Gulf-to-Bay West Marine store advised us to eschew expensive chemicals and stick to bleach. “Just don’t leave it in more than a day or so!”

While all this was going on, we realized that our battery bank (700AH house bank plus 145AH starter bank) wasn’t charging above about 12½ volts, which wasn’t a nice surprise. We started trying to track down the cause and quickly got bogged deeply in too many unknowns. We’ll continue working on this tomorrow, in addition to continuing the tank cleaning effort.

Latish this evening, we went over to our favorite bar, Tommy Duff’s Irish Aviation Sports Pub, hoping to have some dinner and a nice draft Guiness. Man, the place was practically deserted at 21:30! And the kitchen was closed. So I had my Guiness, then we went to a nearby place called “Leo’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant”. Nice little place, which we’d seen many times before but never tried. The pizza was great (we took it back to the boat) and the people who work there are very nice. We’ll go back for sure.

Good night, all…

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