30 November 2015

The Case Of The Slowly Sinking Ship | Nancy Drew Investigates, Pt 3

If you haven't read Part 1 and Part 2 of the Case of the Slowly Sinking Ship, then you might want to check those installments out first - click here and here to have a read.

Could this be the cause of the mysterious leak on Tickety Boo - an attack by the aliens from outer space?


Nancy Drew was curled up on the couch next to the fireplace in the spacious living room at the Drew's house in River Heights. She was staring off into space, tapping her pencil on her notebook and trying to figure out what could have caused the leak on her friend Bess' boat. Absorbed in her thoughts of seacocks, thru-hulls and fresh water systems, she didn't hear the Drew's housekeeper, Hannah Greun, come into the living room.

"Nancy, you have a phone call. Bess is on the line and she sounds distraught," said Hannah. You better see what she wants. After you've spoke with her, come into the kitchen and try some of this apple cobbler I just took out of the oven."

"Thanks Hannah. I'll take the call in the den and then I'll be right in for some of your world famous cobbler," said Nancy. As she got up from the couch, she asked, "Do we have any vanilla ice cream to go with that cobbler?"

Hannah smiled fondly at Nancy. "Of course dear. I wouldn't dream of serving cobbler without ice cream."

"Thanks, Hannah. Father and I are so lucky to have you taking care of us." Nancy turned, went into the den and picked up the phone. "Bess, what's wrong? Hannah said you sounded worried."

"Oh, Nancy. You won't believe what's happened now," Bess exclaimed. "I've got another leak on my boat! It's just my luck. You know that Dave is back from college this weekend and he was going to take me out on a hayride tonight. But, how can I go anywhere knowing my boat might sink at any minute?!"

Nancy frowned and said, "That's strange. I wonder what could have caused another leak on your boat. Gosh, Bess. This is the most perplexing mystery. Don't worry, I'll be right over. I'll even bring you some of Hannah's apple cobbler. That should help take your mind off of this leak."

"Oh, thank you Nancy. You know how much I love apple cobbler! I should be on a diet, but I really could use something sweet just now. I'll see you soon. That is, if my boat hasn't sunk into the water by the time you get here."


I know some folks might be thinking that Nancy Drew has actually solved the Case of the Slowly Sinking Ship and that I'm just stringing everyone along with these installments of the Nancy Drew Investigates series. Nothing could be further from the truth. I still don't have a clue what happened on that infamous day when the bilge pump started going off. And, to top it off, I found a new leak on Thanksgiving.

Yes, a new leak. Go figure. When it rains, it pours. Seems like an apt metaphor for a leaking boat.

So, what's happened since I last left you with Part 2? Matt and Jessica came back over on Tuesday to see how things were going. We talked about the fact that when I filled the fresh water tanks on Sunday, the bilge had filled up with water, leveled off and then stopped. We decided that I should play around with isolating out two tanks and running experiments filling them up alternately and turning on the water pump to see what would happen.

Only one teeny tiny problem with this plan. I'm a weakling and I can't turn the plastic handles on the balance tube which connects both tanks to each other and the various hoses which lead to the sinks, shower and hot water heater. Scott turned them when he was here and said it was a piece of cake. I couldn't make either one budge.

Fortunately, Matt's a strapping young lad and was able to turn the handles and isolate one of the tanks. He did say, however, that it wasn't that easy to turn them. So, at least I'm not an utter weakling, but I'm definitely not as strong as Matt and Scott. So, now I'm dependent on those with more muscle power then me to help me isolate my tanks. {Sigh}

By this time, I was getting tired of the whole Case of the Slowly Sinking Ship. It was starting to feel more like the Case of the Annoying Boat Up to No Good and Trying to See What Will Send Ellen over the Edge and into a Chocolate Coma. Unlike Nancy Drew, who would doggedly persist in trying to solve the mystery, I decided to ignore the whole situation for a couple of days. Who needs a fresh water system anyways? I just trundled off and filled up some water jugs each day for washing up, drinking and the like.

On Thanksgiving morning, I decided it was about time that I opened the saltwater intake seacock so that I could flush our toilet. It hadn't been the cause of the mysterious leak, so there wasn't any reason to leave it turned off.

Wouldn't you know it, the minute I opened up the compartment to access it, I noticed that it was leaking. This is the very same seacock that was completely fine and dry up until then. Because, of course, this was just what I needed - another leak and one potentially coming from outside of our boat. {Grrr}

Fortunately, it was a minor leak, more of a seepage, so there wasn't any worry that our boat was going to sink from this particular leak, but it was a hassle and it confused the whole monitoring of the fresh water system because this seacock was now draining into the bilge too. {Insert your favorite naughty word here}

I ate a couple of Oreos (amazingly there were still some left from the ones Michele and Bruce had brought me earlier in the week), got myself together, said a few more naughty words and checked out the seacock. From what I could tell, the leak wasn't coming from any of the hoses. The hoses were complete dry and the leak seemed to be coming from the fitting itself.

It would have been so much simpler if it had been one of the hoses. That would be easy to fix and could be done while the boat was in the water. Instead, I started working through the worst case scenarios of having to have the boat hauled out so that it could be fixed in the work yard. Talk about depressing - more Oreos were required.

We had had this seacock and thru-hull (along with two others) put in by the guys in the work yard back in April/May, so my next step was to have Graham, the service manager, come out and have a look since they guarantee their work. Of course, it was Thanksgiving, so no one was around. I headed off to my friend's for Thanksgiving dinner and consoled myself with turkey and all the trimmings, along with a very large slice of pumpkin cheesecake. Pumpkin pie - yuck, pumpkin cheesecake - yum.

I came back to the boat and it was still floating. This is what my life has become. Anytime, I go someplace, I wonder if my floating home will be above water when I come back.

Graham came by to have a look on Friday. He couldn't see very well into the compartment and he and his guys are slammed with work right now, so we made arrangements for him to come back the next day with his handy mirror and tools. On Saturday, Graham came back and poked around. He agreed with me that the leak wasn't coming from the hose. On one hand, it was nice to know that I wasn't off my rocker when I had ruled out the hose. On the other hand, having a leak from the thru-hull or seacock is never a good thing.

Graham took the hose off and had a look at the fitting. Turns out everything was fine after all - the hose was the culprit. I tell you, these mysteries are enough to do my head in. False leads everywhere. Just when you think you've got it figured out, your case falls apart. Sneaky hose leak - winding it's way around some hidden path to give the illusion that it was coming from the fitting.

Although he didn't have to, Graham replaced the hose for me. He talked me through the process, showed me what he was doing, explained the different types of hoses, how to put the clamps on etc., which will come in handy once I track down the leak or leaks in our fresh water system and may have to replace other hoses and clamps.

The new hose did the trick. No more leaking from that particular spot on our boat. But, the Case of the Slowly Sinking Ship continues.

Stay tuned for Part 4 of Nancy Drew Investigates. Hopefully, Part 4 is the conclusion of this sorry saga. At this point, I don't know when I'll have an update as I'm just not going to deal with this investigation until next week. Georgie the Sailing Cat is staying with me this week while her humans are away and she likes to get into everything, as cats do. So, it seems easier to wait until she's gone to pick the investigation back up. Besides, unlike Nancy Drew, I'm a complete slacker and need a break from all of this detective work, so Georgie seems like as good excuse as any to put the whole thing on hold. She'd much prefer to just hang out and snack on cheese this week and so would I.

Wouldn't you rather snuggle up with this adorable cat then try to track down a leak(s)?

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  1. What a story. And it was a hose after all. Boats can be so wonderful and then sometimes not so wonderful.

    Georgie is now linked to Awww Mondays. What a cutie pie. Enjoy your week with him.

    Have a terrific day. ☺

  2. Good call to just walk away from the problem. If you stop thinking about it so hard, something is bound to pop into your head that you haven't thought of yet. And good for you having any oreos at all left! I would have certainly eaten the entire bag by now and have been full of regret and inflammation. I love these Nancy Drew installments. You've really got the ND vibe going! So as much as I hope you solve your mystery, I'm starting to want more of this so find another one that doesn't involve your boat sinking.

    1. I would love to reread some of the Nancy Drew books now. It's totally taking me back to my childhood.

  3. These Nancy Drew stories are very nostalgic. Hopefully you can solve the other problems with your boat next week, at least that pesky hose has been caught!

    1. I'm hoping it will be easy to tackle next week after I take a break from the problem.


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