Saturday, January 19, 2008

Poopyjuice II: The Sequel


So we are in Georgetown, Great Exuma. This is the town with the marina which supposedly possesses blackwater holding tank pumpout capabilities. (if you have not read the original "poopyjuice" entry, please go back and read it now) Today was the day we were to take Audax in for her much anticipated poopyjuice pumpout. I skyped them this morning to confirm. Their response was not encouraging: ".. it will cost you $50, ya know... we may not get to it today, we're really busy...." I could sense his reluctance and attempts to discourage us. Apparently, he did not want to deal with poopyjuice any more than we did. I can't say that I blame him. So we steamed off for Georgetown Marina to see him. As we steamed in close to the marina, we figured we'd better hail him on the radio to confirm our intentions. Their response:...."it's too shallow for you to get in here with your draft, and our pump is broken anyway..". SHIT. Obviously, their reluctance to pump our poopyjuice had prevailed, and they just fed us bullshit so they didn't have to deal with it. SHIT. A sad silence fell over the members of Team Audax. I was frustrated. I, more than Jordi or John, was SERIOUSLY PEEVED at the prospect of living with poopyjuice vapors for an indefinite amount of time. I erupted. I began to yell... "When we drop anchor, I am making it my personal mission to figure out how to empty that holding tank out!! There has to be a way to do it!! I'm going to do it... I'm willing to do whatever it takes!!" etc etc, (expletives omitted)

We dropped anchor in the sheltered Red Shanks anchorage. (very breezy as a front is moving through today) John and Jordi went to work on changing the engine oil which was due. I cleared out the V-berth to gain access to the holding tank. I studied it. I focused on it. I thought and thought and focused some more. I had a plan: I would scab together whatever pieces of hose we had (for changing engine oil) and attempt to fabricate a hose which would hopefully be long enough to insert into the pumpout connection on the weather deck and reach down to the bottom of the holding tank, and then siphon out as much poopyjuice as we could. I had a plan; I went to work. I had to enlist the help of Jordi to manually hold together one of the hose connections which was not perfectly airtight, as I sucked on the other end of the hose to get a siphon going. (gross, huh?) I was ALMOST able to get a good siphon going, but not quite, and not for my lack of trying. It was very gross, as you can imagine. In the process of trying my damndest to suck enough through the hose to get a siphon going, you guessed it, I actually had a small amount of poopyjuice go INTO MY MOUTH. Yes, that's right folks, sucking a bit of poopyjuice into my mouth while trying to get the hose to siphon the tank out; you read that correctly. I immediately spit it out and declared "I'm done". Jordi watched, laughing out loud in utter astonishment. I didn't give up. I talked John into letting me use the telescopic engine oil discharge pump (instead of my mouth) to pump the tank out from the deck discharge. He reluctantly agreed, sensing my level of dedication to this task. All three of us went up on deck; two holding together makeshift hose connections, and one pumping the telescopic pump. Success. Poopyjuice flowed out of the pump discharge, into the ocean. (hey... it's legal here, remember?) Poopyjuice also flowed freely out of every non-tight makeshift connection in our jury-rigged suction hose, and through the fingers of anyone who happened to have their hands on it. It dripped liberally all over the boat and all over us.... but we didn't care, as long as it was flowing out of the pump discharge, and into the ocean. "Keep going, keep going, keep pumping... we're doing it!!" Believe it or not, we were excited at this point. But then we lost suction. On to the next phase of the mission.....

We had managed to suck out enough poopyjuice to get the level about 1/3rd of the way down the tank, which freed up two of the three tank connections to be undone. I then figured we could undo the larger of these two, and pump the rest out from that open tank connection, into a bucket which could then be dumped overboard. We knew, as a team, that once we undid that tank connection, the smell and mess would be unbelievably grotesque, and there would be no turning back. We agreed, as a team, that it was worth a shot. We methodically discussed and verbally practiced what each of our distinct roles would be once we pulled this tank connection apart. "Are you ready? Let's do it.... here we go."

The smell that filled the V-berth upon removing the larger hose from its tank connection defies words, so I will not even make an attempt. Suffice to say that we were all moaning and groaning and trying to contort ourselves to somehow direct our mouths toward the overhead hatch where fresh air was blowing in. We were all trying soooo hard not to vomit... no time for that. This surgical strike must not be foiled.... we must prevail. Jordi and I held hoses and connections in place as john pumped the poopyjuice into the bucket, and ran the buckets out to dump them overboard. SO GROSS..... so gross. After three or four bucket runs, we finally had the tank empty enough where we could undo all three connections and remove the tank. John and Jordi removed the tank and cleaned it out thoroughly while perched on the transom swim ladder. I cleaned up the crime scene inside to the best of my ability. we re-installed the clean empty tank, and now all is right with the world. We rejoiced. We laughed. We marveled at our determination, persistence, and seamless, flawless teamwork. Team Audax prevails over the poopyjuice. We were still discussing it in amazement over our spaghetti dinner this evening. As I type this, Jordi is retiring to the V-berth for a night of serene slumber, totally free of the poopyjuice vapors which plagued this same V-berth less that 12 hours ago.

Let us all rejoice and be glad.


Chris said...

Hey Steve,
It's your cousin Chris...hopefully you still remember me. Pam told me about your "Southbound Saint" blog awhile ago and I must admit I've been a faithful follower ever since! Your pictures and blogs are extremely entertaining and I'm sure the closest I'll ever come to such an awesome adventure...GOOD FOR YOU!!! I have to say that "Poopyjuice II: The Sequel" is by far my favorite posting (I'm still LMAO!). If you haven't already, you really should consider a writing career. You've probably heard that by now. Well, I just wanted to say "Hello" and let you and the Team know that I am enjoying your voyage every step of the way and Thanks for the Poopyjuice postings (and, of course, all the pictures).
Cousin Chris

Steve St.Jean said...

Thanks, Chris! So nice to hear from you! Shoot me an email if you get a chance and tell me what you've been up to?
Thanks for reading,

Trisha Silverson said...

OMG That Was Actually Quite Funny To Read But Feel Sorry For You Guys.... I Am So Proud Of What You Are Doing Steve, I Know What A Dream This Was To You!! I Am Following You Around The Ocean Buddy!! Take Care and I Wish You The Very Best!!! Luv Trisha XoXoXo

Steve St.Jean said...

Anybody in here know who Trisha Silverson is? If so, email me clues at:
Especially you, Trisha. I'm drawing a blank here.....