Monday, February 9, 2015

The Case of the Disappearing Glasses

09 February 2015

If you are reading this in hopes of learning great amounts, it might be time to disabuse you of that notion!  There are wonderful blogs out there that we have followed for years that teach, that share hard earned knowledge and that pass out great wisdom.  Maybe someday we will have learned enough to help others on this same journey.  For the time being maybe we can just entertain a little as we muddle our way through the learning curve, making mistakes – some dumb, some perfectly logical, so far none that are disastrous.  We are a little less overwhelmed than on day one, we are able to laugh at some of the challenges and are not too embarrassed to share some of our misadventures. Others you may not hear about … at least for awhile.  This one we are willing to share.

The Scene of the Disappearance
We have two heads (marine toilets) 
on board and each one has its own set of problems.  (wouldn’t you know it?)  Up front is a manual Jabsco.  Pretty straight forward – flushes with sea water either overboard or to a holding tank.  The holding tank can be emptied by a pumpout system at a marina or pumped overboard via a macerator (think blender).  Our holding tank is a Nauta bladder-probably an after- thought to comply with marine regulations where pumping overboard is not allowed.  It is small (theoretically 15 gallons) except it is mounted vertically rather than horizontally – a nod to not having much space – and therefore probably has only a 10 -12 gallon capacity.  That means basically it needs to be pumped out every 3-4 days if used full time.  It seems to have a small leak! (ugh)  While tightening a fitting in hopes of fixing it, Jim was leaning over and his glasses case, with his prescription glasses inside, slipped out of his pocket and disappeared into the depths of the compartment and presumably from there into the vast bilge system.  Not good!

The bilge is the lowermost part of the interior of the boat.  In this boat it seems to consist of a number of separate compartments connected by tunnels so that water in one compartment can flow into another one and at the lowest point can be pumped out of the boat.  Hoses run through these and often the connections between the compartments are not obvious. There are small fiberglass walls, dark nooks and crannies all over. It is a veritable maze.  There are a number of access doors through the floor and some walls which provide a lookout to check the status down below and gain access if necessary.  I have never liked bilges, they are dark, icky, and some seem to always have a little water in them.  In general I would just as soon have nothing to do with them.  However, if water decides to come into the boat I am very glad for it to have a place to go from which it can be pumped right back out to where it belongs – outside the boat!!  So... now you have a general idea of the abyss into which the glasses case dropped.

We searched high and low.  Jim removed various access covers, no luck.  Even with a 2 ft long magnet (the glasses case is metal) and a high powered flashlight and an extra long mirror on a stick (imagine a dentist tool on steroids) we had no luck finding it.   How it could have disappeared so quickly and so effectively is beyond us.  In any case, if the fitting still leaks after all this, Jim is not going to be happy.  Actually he is not happy anyhow, but if he solved the problem, the loss of the glasses might just have been the price to pay.  Me?  I expect them to show up somewhere, sometime…..

We have a second head…and it has its own unique personality, but that is a subject for another day.


  1. My husband lost his glasses somewhere in the house-we never found them. This is meant to be commiserating :) You have a better story!

  2. Jeremy lost his sunglasses on a hike in Italy and we found them next to those random Virgin Mary statues in the wall on our way back down. I will send some of his good juju your way!