As the sun sets on day 6 of “Project poop tank removal”, I’m reminded that 18 months ago we had set today, “Four, twenty-six seventeen“ as the day we would untie the lines and set sail. While that day was never meant to be anything more than a target it now symbolizes how close of a bullseye we would have achieved if it hadn’t have been for shit happening… Quite literally.
A couple weeks after we both had given notice at work, we received a call from our marina friend alerting us of our secondary bilge pump alarm continuing to go off. Not a fun call to receive, especially when a round trip to the boat is a full day’s drive. Ultimately, we discovered that years of urine and salt water had corroded our aluminum black water holding tank and as Erin says “if we wanted to keep shit out of the bilge” we were forced to delay our departure and replace the tank.
The quote that we received for 10 thousand dollars, mostly for labor to replace the tank, made us realize that we would be doing the majority of the slog ourselves as unemployment and the lack of a steady pay check was looming. Six days and plenty of blood, sweat and tears later we successfully cut through our fiberglass birth, have the tank removed and are well on our way of replacing all of the hoses.
4-26-2017, while this is not the day we set sail, it does give us a chance to reflect on the changes that have occurred as month long live-a-boards.
Our cars have become storage units – no real need to drive them far, as Home Depot, West Marine, Blackburn Marine, Kemah Hardware, Target, and Walmart are all within blocks of the boat. The vehicles are much more practical to hold our personal items that would normally be stored in the boat holds, back in the days when we had indoor plumbing or a bed didn’t take up the entire length or the galley.
Getting to know our neighbors, both the human and avian type has replaced watching our favorite TV shows. I no longer go to the gym each morning, but still get a workout in without realizing it. Computers have taken a back seat and are only touched a few times a week. I actually surprised myself when my calendar showed zero April meetings. Sock are no longer part of the wardrobe, no need for these with flip flops being our main shoe. Happy hours have shifted to BYOB, but are quite possibly happier.
4-26-2017. While it is quite disappointing to be delayed, each day we directly see the impact of our labor and know that soon it will be our time to “Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain