There’s nothing like being ripped out of a dream by a blaring alarm to remind you you’re not sleeping in a house.
Paddy and I had a 4am wake up call today courtesy of the bilge alarm (an insistent shrieky siren that lets us know when there’s water in the boat that shouldn’t be there).
The alarm was a little overenthusiastic during our trip to Tonga and had me leaping out of my skin a bit so I think I might be a bit sensitive to the sound.
It was certainly me sitting bolt upright yelping “what the hell is that?” while Paddy dozed on peacefully.
After some yawning, muttering and pulling up floorboards we deduced that yes, there was water in the boat that shouldn’t have been there.
I was quite proud of myself actually – once upon a time Anxiety Girl would have heard the siren blaring, taken one look at the water sloshing into the bottom of the boat and immediately decided we were done for.
It would have been “throw the goodluck trolls in the grab back and get off the boat, we’re going down!”
This time though, even in a 4am fug, I was able to avoid leaping to the worst possible conclusion in a single bound, go get a torch and help Paddy check out what was going on.
I figured since he was only looking mildly annoyed that it wasn’t anything too catastrophic, but decided not to ask any annoying questions until he had finished bailing the offending water from the bilge with a glass and sponge. (Admittedly I may not have been quite so chilled had this happened in the middle of the ocean…)
The most important thing to check when you have water coming in to the boat is whether it is salt or fresh. If it’s salt water then it’s coming from outside and you might have a leak, if it’s fresh then it was inside the boat already and can be isolated.
In this case the water was fresh and coming from, of all mundane things, a leak in the bathroom piping. So after bailing out the excess water from the bilge and shutting up the alarm we were able to crawl back into bed and deal with it in the morning.
After pulling everything out of the bathroom cupboards the next day we discovered the culprit was a tiny crack in the piping leading up to the tap in the sink – a lot of fuss and noise for a minor household chore (albeit one you have to bend yourself into awkward positions to sort out).
So think about that next time you are grumbling about having to do plumbing repairs at home – at least your house doesn’t holler at you until you get it fixed.