It was about time to check on the boat. Originally I planned to leave the boat in Marciana Marina for about three weeks before returning from Sahara and then prepare it for the winter.
Then… life happened and it took me 10 weeks to be back on Elba and I had sailed to the canaries in between.
Last week it was about time to check on my tiny wooden boat and it was not too early for me to check. We arrived quite late in the evening. It was pitch black and some waves where rolling through the port. As I opened the cabin door I already had not the best feeling and immediately I could see the water. It already reached half way up the seats. One battery was already flooded and therefor we did not have any electricity or light in boat and I did not capture any of it on camera.
As I found out the next day, the bilge pump broke some time before and stopped working. Over several days the boat filled up with water since the planks are not and will not be 100% tight. We had 70cm of water in the boat. What a shock, what a luck. It could have been so much worse, had I arrived some days later. From the outside you could not really tell, as the boat was still well afloat, but on the inside it would have made a huge difference with just a bit more water. So far nothing except the one battery was ruined.
I turned on the heater, dried everything and worked on the boat for the next days. I already knew before that some things broke during a very heavy wind in mid November and had already ordered it.
- I changed the bilge pump
- rewired the remaining batteries
- added an extra solar panel
- changed bronze lipped fairleads at the stern
- fixed the backstay which ripped out of the transom
- fixed the ripped trapaulin
- put the boat with the bow to the jetty
and worked on the 8hp outboard Yamaha until it finally worked again and lets my little dinghy fly through the port.
On the last day we had quite some wind and gusts in the 50kn. The boat was holding well and I am confident for the winds to come. It was just a bit of a shaky night and after 5 days we were already on our way back to Switzerland.