|Installing watermaker = cockpit disaster|
We have been carrying two things since we left Kemah: jerry cans and an uninstalled watermaker. Well, we might just be able to quit carrying the jerry cans and start using the watermaker! Vlad has been working diligently down in the lazarette, or "the hole" as we've been calling it - drilling, putting together parts and generally sweating for the past two days - and I think he might be done very soon. Very, very soon.
These are super exciting times aboard Bettie. Vlad worked for 20 hours on a friend of ours boat (thanks, Tom!) to get this watermaker, and we bought about $800 worth of parts for it before we left. Since Providencia, we have been hauling 20 gallons of water at a time from random marinas, businesses, and the ever-present Providencian ship's agent, Mr. Bush, but those days might be soon behind us. Our goal was to install the watermaker before the San Blas, in case we had problems finding enough water there, and it looks like my handy man will get it done.
This watermaker is ancient, large and not as fancy as newer models. But it was a heck of a lot cheaper! (Check out the new post topic at Little Cunning Plan, where they talk about cheaper, creative ways to fix sailing problems.) Vlad is going to either power it through a giant 4,000 watt inverter or by using the small gas generator we are going to purchase, and he is installing a faucet so that we can control exactly when the water is ready to go into our tanks. We want to make sure there aren't any salty malfunctions, ruining all of our fresh water.
Watermakers are not essential, however. Vlad just got a good trade on this one. Down here in the tropics, you can also put together a rain catchment system to supplement your water supply, which we are going to do after a few more projects. Here's a good discussion of "to watermaker or to not watermaker" on Sundowner Sails Again.