I got an email from Brad Van Liew this morning (aboard Tommy Hilfiger’s Freedom America in Class 2), wondering where I was going, “Portugal or somewhere warm?” So I filled him in on last night’s ballast tank leak and my (successful for now) fix (highly edited, but no point in starting from scratch….).
Yo Dude! Yeah I know it must look strange on the position report, but last night I sprung a leak in my starboard ballast tank where an errant screw (missed it’s target inside the tank) had been replaced with epoxy. Some pressure in there, it was squirtin’ pretty far, like getting a knife cut on the old Monty Python show…. So I dropped the working jib (turn downwind again) and went on port tack to fix tank. First I take a nap, then get out all the stuff to work with. I had everything but a thickener for the MAS F.L.A.G. (Filleting, Laminating and Gluing) epoxy resin I have. I get started and coated the drilled out hole with the resin first and then went searching through the boat for something that might work. Potato flakes? No good, wouldn’t dissolve. Powdered milk? Nope, too chunky.
So, you know what makes good emergency epoxy thickener? Fine ground anise seeds! To warm it up and speed the cure, I taped one of those chemical hand warmers on it which seemed to work.
So by this morning it had pretty much kicked off and now I’m back on starboard tack doing the staysail-lee helm-extra water in the leeward tank dance tryin’ to go SOMEWHERE. I’m not puttin’ that working jib up till it’s down to 20kts. That was insane yesterday. Thought I was gonna wreck the boat for sure. Which is why I’m gonna be way late to England unless that right shift coming is better than I see now on the weather info. Could be though, I’m bound to be due for some luck soon.