Marcie unexpectedly had to go back to the U.S. for a couple of weeks. While she is gone, I will try my hand at writing the majority of our blogs instead of my usual once weekly contribution. I'll do my best to keep them interesting for everyone, but for those of you who could not care less about the technical side of our lifestyle – we apologize. -David
A couple of months ago, a small galley sink faucet that we use with the watermaker broke off. It's hard to believe that the faucet only lasted 25 years – I guess they just don't make things like they used to. We were working our way across the Great Australian Bight at the time, and there wasn't a marine chandlery within 300 miles. I dug around in my bag of old plumbing fittings and found some parts that could be used to make a temporary fix. Ugly doesn't begin to describe how it looked, but it worked just fine. When we arrived here in Mandurah, I found a chandlery that had a respectable looking faucet and repaired it properly.
I used to poke fun at my dad who saved everything that could possibly be useful someday. He even had a big bucket of bent nails. I always thought that it was because he grew up during the Great Depression when times were tough. It didn't seem reasonable to me to save all that junk when there were 12 hardware stores within a 10 minute drive.
Now I think my dad would be quite proud of me. I have all kinds of junk... er, I mean potentially useful stuff, stowed in every little nook and cranny on Nine of Cups. I have a big bag of plastic plumbing fittings and valves, another of bronze and a third with brass. I have a drawer filled with connectors, wire and other miscellaneous electrical stuff. One section of the bilge is devoted to all manner of hoses and tubing. I have stowed various hunks of metal, like old flanges, flat stock and old mounting brackets in various little cubbies around the boat. The area behind the starboard settee is my place for keeping stainless, aluminum, copper and PVC tubing.
Hardly a week goes by that I'm not scrounging around, searching for just the right part to fix whatever broke that day. I've made countless temporary fixes and quite a few permanent repairs from my stash of bits and pieces.
So I've adopted my dad's philosophy since living aboard, and I never throw anything away that could be useful someday. Well, actually I don't keep bent nails, but other than that it works for me. There just aren't that many hardware stores in the middle of an ocean.