Nasty Business #2

When last you left us, we had just bleached our way out of our wasteful failure. This morning, our new hose arrived and we proceeded to prep ourselves for putting it in. Lots of stretching exercises, since we had to reach impossible to reach areas and cram a rigid 15 ft. hose through holes that were one size too small. We could then blissfully fill our minds with the memory of what stretching felt like and soldier on.
We have been here before.
Back when we had little Journey, we had to re-invent the entire sanitation system on board. We chucked the 33 yr old bladder, I mean would you really want to trust your waste to an untested old plastic bag? We installed a new tank and ran all new hose.
This hose is stiff, thick-walled and I just know they make the inside of the hose about 1/16th of an inch smaller than the the fitting it has to go over. We followed the West Marine guys advice and bought the "hose lube" to make the job of fitting the hose end onto the barbed fitting easier. Well, let me tell you, that doesn't work. It only took us two frustrating hot hours to determine that. Then we used boiling water when we were told that we needed to apply heat and hot water would do the trick. The trick was on us. Two down and we were thinking we would never have a toilet that we could use. Enter another sailor who told us of the wonders of the heat gun. Not a blow dryer, they don't get hot enough, gotta have the big gun.
So as we prepared to install the two ends, I grabbed the heat gun out of the locker and set it on high. 1700 degrees of heat that would make the job possible. We have also found that putting a gob of liquid soap on the fitting will help when the hose is quickly crammed home.
There is one more vital item that we could not forget. Before the hose went on the fitting, we needed to place two hose clamps up on the hose, so we could tighten the hose to the fitting. Forget this, and we would have to start all over. I watched as Al placed the clamps on the first end of the hose.
I hate being the one to hold the heat gun, but I don't have the strength to jam the heated hose onto the fitting, so....
Heat guns are real tricky. I could burn the flesh off my sweetie by just rotating the darn thing the wrong way. Turn it too far in the other direction and I could set fire to the dirty laundry while melting the nylon mesh bag it was inside. Too far forward, and I would be singeing wood and removing varnish. Then there was the carpet on the floor. and yet, the gun needed to be rotated around the hose to heat it evenly.
 It was a tight space and if there was any room for error, it would be in favor of Al. After all, I needed that hose crammed on quick, and he was the only one with the strength to do it.
And when we finished with the first hose, we had to repeat it all over again at the pump out fitting. This was an acrobatic movement which involved both of us standing delicately on the lip of the toilet while hunched into the rear of the locker behind it. And of course, the heat gun had to fit in there too. And rotated around a hose that couldn't be moved. There were some touchy moments while we watched a bundle of wires smoking, before realizing that the smoking was coming from the hose and Al slammed the last hose on. That's when I asked Al if he had remembered to put the two hose clamps on the hose. Yes, he had.

Nasty Business

There are two words that strike dread in the pit of every sailor's stomach. Sanitation Failure. That is to say, finding out part or parts of your toilet/holding tank have stopped doing what they are designed to do. We are feeling dread.
The last couple of days, I have noticed a slight odour de waste emanating from our rear cabin. Our head (bathroom) is adjacent to the cabin, and the holding tank resides below the bunk. The odor was faint, and it has been warm, so I didn't pay too much mind to it. This morning, Al and I removed the mattress, and cover-board to access the steering quadrant and install the rudder indicator there.
The smell was, shall I say rich?  We quickly checked the connection at the holding tank, tight and holding. We started to visually follow the hose back to the pump-out fitting and found a large suspicious bulge. Then we noticed, to put it politely, the ooze flowing forth of a certain brown shade.
Our hose was shot, ruined, kaput! Boys and Girls, can you spell retch?
Al and I locked eyes and uttered the only appropriate curse in unison.
There was only one thing to do and after setting fans up in what seemed like helpful places, we began the fix. First we had to let the tank drain, because the outlet connection is located (naturally) at the bottom of the tank. This involved a disposable container, a disposable wood plug, some smoke and mirrors (ok, not the last two) and teamwork.
Once the tank was drained, we had to cut the hose into pieces to easily get it out of the maze through which the builders decided would be fun to remove 22 years later, when said hose was as stiff as iron.
We measured it, then went to find replacement sanitation hose.
Now you would think that in a village which boasts over 2600 sailboats, that finding 1 1/2 inch waste hose would be a piece of cake. We needed a 15foot continuous run, so we are now waiting on new hose that should be delivered in the morning. We could have installed new hose today, if we had been willing to use high tech, nuclear meltdown proof, guaranteed to never leak, smell or bend to fit back into the boat hose. It was only $15.00 per foot. Ha. Ha-ha. Ha-ha-ha. We went with hose that costs $4.35 per foot. Our Sh8t don't stink. Or at least it won't after tomorrow, for a very long time.