"Egret" N4674 - Scott and Mary Flanders
Ed. note: On February 10, 2011, Scott and Mary Flanders, on board their Nordhavn 46, Egret, arrived in the Canary Islands. In doing so, Egret became the eighth Nordhavn to circumnavigate the globe. It had been four years, five months since the couple departed Gran Canaria, intent on seeing as much of the earth as possible, although not necessarily with an end goal to circle the globe. Voyage of Egret documents the Flanders’ entire trip, an endless adventure that has put them in touch with the most fabulous places and interesting people. Much route planning and forecasting was required in order to get to some of their ports of call. But the days of detailed planning are over…for now. “Egret” is now back in Fort Lauderdale, the place the couple called home for so many years, and, ironically, the starting point of their world wide cruising escapade that began with the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally in 2004. They currently travel hither and yon, sometimes by boat, sometimes not. Here, the latest update from the Flanders as they keep us continually apprised.
March 31, 2008
Position: Under way from Puerto Montt S41 46.26 W73 06.84
Well, mis amigos, Egret will soon no longer a marina queen and under way beginning her longest single cruising season ever with the fewest stops. Leaving Turkey and arriving Ushuaia, Argentina eight months later covered more miles but at a more relaxed pace except for the final push from Gibraltar that took just 110 days. After running and rerunning the numbers we will have to make a mainland Chile stop before pushing off for Robinson Crusoe Island in the Juan de Fernandez Island group off the coast of Chile. The miles are scary with no handy dandy fuel pumps along the way. The rough mileage is 4200nm to Tahiti and according to the 'book' Egret has a 3000 mile range. Whoops!! We know from experience our range is much more when throttled back, particularly when we have a little push from wind and a surface current. Additionally we carry approximately 280 gallons in deck fuel bladders and an additional 50 in various jerry jugs including another 11 gallons tucked away in the diesel heater tank. We also have the generator burn to consider. For this first long leg to Tahiti where fuel mileage is such an issue we will be moving fairly quickly keeping generator burn low with the most time spent in the Gambier Islands. There is a supply ship visiting the Gambier's every two weeks who will deliver fuel from Papaeete if necessary for the last 900 mile leg. Bottom line: we feel comfortable with our decision particularly with the ability to get fuel in the Gambier's.
Frank Sain, our super volunteer crewman arrived a few days ago and helped with the last minute trips to the grocery store and a few boat tings. Egret has never been so loaded with supplies as she is now. Even before taking on fuel, we are approximately 60% full, she is sitting below her lines. Every nook and cranny is full. You can't get a sliver of additional food in the freezer. There are three cases of beer in 1 1/2 liter plastic bottles next to the bed on YT's side. Two cases of milk are on the floor in the forward stateroom. Franks bed has tings stuffed along one side and so on. Part of the reason for such heavy provisioning is food availability and the other is hyper pricing in the islands. So time will tell how we'll make out. You'll know when we know.
On the local scene the last week; Kiwi Roa's wife Jo arrived, Moni the Finn's sweetie arrived from Switzerland, the German and Brazilian couple left for a trip to Germany, an Aussie boat arrived from New Zealand after a 46 day passage and the American ketch Endeavor arrived back after taking a group of friends around the northern islands. The cruising season is winding down with most boats on their way south thru the channels to Ushuaia or west thru the South Pacific. Within a few weeks arrivals and departures will be an occasional happening as winter moves closer. It will be hard to leave this area. Beauty equals the challenge. High latitude cruisers are such interesting folks having honed their skills over the years and have come from where ever to enjoy this area as well. Their stories of far off places are priceless. Mary pointed out one thing consistently interesting in sailor's eyes, we being a powerboat, is not the fact we spent a year in the Deep South but the fact we came from Europe. Coming from Europe to South America is child's play compared to higher latitudes but most Kiwi and Aussie cruisers haven't been to Europe so see it as a big mystery. We look at New Zealand, Tasmania and so on as a big mystery, their back yard. Funny.
Mon 3-31 Here we go!! Egret is underway riding the tide thru the islands to tonight's anchorage (6.7 knots at 1300 rpm - over 5mpg, Egrets kind of deal). After saying goodbye's, taking on fuel and paying the marina fees we were underway at 10:30 local time. The timing couldn't have been better with the tide just starting to fall to give us a free ride out between the islands to tonight's anchorage. Tomorrow the seas lay down a bit, so with a south wind to give us a push north up the coast tings should be good. We will have a swell from the SW at 3 meters (9' +) and a mild SE wind. The key is a wave period of 14 seconds meaning gentle swells.
Last night the cruisers gave the Egret crew a potluck dinner. We received more information from the Aussies on rough weather small powerboat handling. Interesting, what he told us is what we found on the Argentine coast in those storms as we moved south to Ushuaia. Coming from a true professional vs mom and pop cruisers was comforting to know we did the right thing and now have even more confidence. (Like a sailboat hoving to, a powerboat that can't maintain course or change course to make things more comfortable you round up into the wind (or just off the wind lengthening the wave), adjust your speed to roughly hold station and steering and wait out the storm) He was a commercial crabber fishing the Bass Straight north of Tasmania in a 55' steel trawler. (Aussies - picture 1) We had a great evening with the group, 2 Aussies, 2 Kiwi's, 2 Americans, 1 Finn, 1 Swiss & our crew. Picture 2 is a black necked swan that was paddling in different directions squawking the entire time trying to avoid Egret. In the end it flew a bit out of the way.
We took on 2562 liters of fuel (674.2 gallons) at 542 Chilean pesos a liter. When we arrived the USP (US Peso) was 440-1 and fuel was 517 CP/liter. The USP is now 420-1. Double whammy. Two years ago the CP was 735-1 USP. Geesh. We filled the foredeck 150 gallon fuel bladder and topped off the 50 gallon (44 usable) bladder behind the flybridge. We also filled the main tanks. Because we have decided to make a last mainland Chile fuel stop to buy us another 300 or so miles we didn't fill the 100 gallon cockpit bladder or the piles of plastic jerry jugs we accumulated before we left. There is no reason to sink the transom any further than necessary until we push off for the big stretch to Tahiti. Looking at the big picture, it costs what it costs and doesn't matter. We aren't going to change our lifestyle as the USP bounces along with fuel costs. The cruising we are able to enjoy is priceless. Time can't be bought AND is finite. You get the picture.
So there we have it. We'll switch to our usual at sea reporting with happenings and weather updates from professional weather forecaster OMNI Bob (Bob Jones - firstname.lastname@example.org Ocean Marine Nav Inc) Bob guided Egret on her ocean crossing to South America as well as important points on Egret's cruise north this year. Bob is also working with another group of Nord's working their way to Alaska this summer. As usual we'll give you read deal reporting giving you as close to reality cruising as we can make it.
March 24, 2008
Position: Drying grid, Marina Oxxean, Puerto Montt, Chile
Well, mis amigos, Egret is on the wall. Wed, 19 Mar Egret moved from her berth to tie herself alongside the marina wall waiting for the water to fall out from under her settling on a timber grid put in place by yachties. The timber beams are approximately 6" X 12" and are level. They are bedded in very dense coarse sand. Scary stuff for the Egret crew. We have seen this done before a number of times with sailboats but NOT with our little white fiberglass home. Fortunately we have a wide, strong keel to sit on. We had lots of help from other boaters who have done it in the past. Moni, our Finish buddy gave us the drill. First, as soon as you are settled on the grid and secured to the wall so you won't tip over you tighten up the fore and aft spring lines as much as possible. We got these lines bar tight by one person (YT) 'pumping the line (lifting it up with Moni tightening on the drop). With the springs secure Egret will fall in the exact same place on the next low tide. Next the bow and stern lines are drawn up but not as tight.
In preparation we bought a small portable 220V, 50 cycle pressure washer. We loaned the sprayer to two other boats before we used it so we had the drill down pat. Once sitting on the keel we scraped the fat/barnacle layer off the waterline and pressure washed the heavy slime on the bottom while Mary attacked the prop and its three thin flaking coats of bottom paint. Puerto Montt's harbor is extremely foul. The Robinson Crusoe shellfish packaging plant discharges their untreated waste directly into the channel just upstream from the marina plus the usual salmon farm pollution. Yellow fat accumulates on the waterline bringing all kinds of critters for the feast. There is a commercial fuel dock nearby adding to the pollution as well. By working on the bottom until the tide was close, (after dark), we managed to get the bottom spotless along with the heavy work on the prop. It was a looong night watching the lines to shore, adjusting, watching, no sleep, adjusting, no sleep and so on until we were sitting on the bottom again at 4:00 in the morning. At first light we were back out but with the heavy falling mist and cool temps there was no evaporation after we rinsed the salt water off the bottom. Mary got the prop shiny spotless and ready for a single, very thin layer of bottom paint. We need to get maximum fuel mileage on the up coming trip so we need to keep the prop clean until we are under way but not have so much paint millage to flake off and make the prop slightly inefficient.
Soooo, the plan is as we type this waiting for the tide to fall once again is to put a single relatively heavy coat of bottom paint on the hull and a thin coat on the prop. The rain has cleared and the day is relatively sunny with a breeze. Late afternoon is when we'll start, finishing after dark. Hopefully we won't be blocked in by fishermen pouring in for Easter weekend, Chile's biggest weekend of the year including Christmas. Friday is the day they will arrive so we need to be gone. Two coats would be better but to work the tides for the next four days would be a bit much. In New Zealand we'll do a proper haul, remove most of the bottom paint, take our time and so on.
One interesting thing we ran in to was a chunk taken out of the keel edge along with a few smaller dings. This happened when we got crossed up in very heavy current in Estero Peel working our way into the interior of the Chilean Andes permanent icecap. We touched bottom then got swung sideways to the tide until we regained control. We bounced over a small roca (rock) in the process. This damage could have (probably would have) holed a lesser boat. Fortunately Egret has two distinct advantages. First, the hull laminate is VERY thick on the bottom Secondly, she is built in a two piece mold. This construction entails marrying the two halves, first butting the hull overlaps together then adding many, many layers of glass overlap to bond the two halves into a single hull. With the keel sitting on the bottom there was no way to do the repair so we just slapped on a layer of bottom paint and will let the repair wait until New Zealand. In New Zealand we will grind out the damage and replace the missing laminate with West epoxy and biaxial glass. That mis amigos is confidence in construction.
One of the few tings dependable in life are tides. They rise and fall on schedule, don't tolerate delays or us willing them to speed up. It is what it is. Fall it did....on its schedule which was very fast once under way. YT was caught out with the boat a foot off the dock when she touched down. If the drying grid were perfectly level it wouldn't be that big of a deal but it falls away toward the outside. Tilt city. Not real bad but bad enough we were nervous. We put extra lines ashore plus we swung the boom over the bank and winched the hook tight against the steel wall support. It was late afternoon when we started. Mary went to work on the prop getting it perfect before rolling on a very thin coat of bottom paint with a 2" foam roller. She also did the bow thruster tunnel along with the scoop strainers and wing prop, strut and shaft. Our buddy, Moni the Finn worked ahead of YT with a heat gun drying as we went on the inboard shaded side. It was tough going with the boat sitting on her keel but in the end we got a respectable 7/8this job with one heavy coat of Turkish bottom paint. We floated off the grid around midnight and soon after were snug in her berth. The cost was nominal after the piratical quote from down the way. In addition to materials our only expenses were a pair of jeans each, a couple shirts and Mary's jacket. Not bad and another life's experience for the memory banks. Today, Friday we celebrated by taking Moni the Finn and our Kiwi neighbor from Kiwi Roa to the nearby little village of Puerto Varas for a great meal in a shoreside restaurant' specializing in seafood. The view over a miles long freshwater lake was spectacular. The snow capped volcano in the distance is the sister to Japan's Mt Fugi.
Yaknow, looking philosophically at the past weeks doings as a microcosm of the cruising life we see just how fortunate we are. Puerto Montt as a destination is no great shakes after some of the places we have been. This said folks from all over the world come here as a vacation destination via cruise ships and fly-in's. We are that spoiled. The other cruisers are so interesting, all with their own stories. We became close to the now departed Swedes, Moni the Finn, now Kiwi Pete and so on. A few days ago a rust weeping steel sloop appeared with a German cruiser and his Brazilian mate. If there was ever a classical snapshot of a living life to its fullest it is this couple. He bought his boat after a fire in a storage yard. Only one side was warped from the heat and a "little interior damage". Yup, the mast got melted a bit but here they are after three trips from New Zealand to here via the Gambier Islands and French Polynesia in general. No money, no worries, work when they have to, eat a lot of fish and just simply LIVE. The only extravagance is a black pearl earring......in one ear (plus a couple other do-dad's). Stories of anchoring in chain snapping coral heads, reversing winds, islands in text only on one charting program but in detail on another (yup the rheum line from Gambier to the Tuamotu's) all end in the same scenario ( U, F word). In context it is not foul language but quite definitive, the words rolling out as any other in Gerglish.. The anchorages and information flow. Mesmerizing. Work seems so far in the distant past it all seems like a fairy tale. OK, OK, I'll let up. Sorry, sometimes I can't hep myself. Particularly after a pisco sour and perhaps a little extra.
So its time to fire this version of VofE into space. Time is moving quickly. We have run out of time before we leave (in less than a week). We are leaving tomorrow (Tue) for a two day vacation to Valdivia (up river from the coast), 3 hours north west by bus. We'll putz for two days then back for final provisioning, Frank Sain's arrival on Friday, final final provisioning, getting our zarpe for Juan de Frenandez and we're off. It will take a day or two to clear the coast depending on tides but that's another story. We have sent an e-mail to a contact on Juan de Fernandez (Robinson Crusoe Island) to the local agent to see if he can supply 600 liters of diesel. If so we'll run straight to Robinson Crusoe. If not we have to make an overnight stop further north on the mainland Chile coast for final fuel. Every gallon counts in the 4000nm+ trip to Tahiti. In addition to the main we also have to consider generator burn. Egret will be the pig of the sea (POS) until we are able to empty the fuel bladders and get down to our main tanks. Its something we prefer not to do but if we are to make this southern sailboat route to Polynesia its a must. Ciao.
March 18, 2008
Position: Marina Oxxean, Puerto Montt, Chile
Well, mis amigos, grande news. MS is back...Oh happy days. AND all our boat goodies made it through without some of the marginal goodies being tossed at the airport in Miami. Tings like 3M buffing polish, Biobor fuel additive and so on. The ultimate test will come in a little over a week when Frank Sain, our additional crew for the trek from Chile to Tahiti, will attempt to bring two quarts of Egret white gel coat. The boat company that was such a part of our lives (in another life) still uses the same color and same manufacturer we used on Egret. Between a particular disastrous attempt to Med moor in Barcelona with a touch of wind and the trials of Ushuaia's AFASyN dock in mucho wind, our little white fiberglass home needs a bit of touch up. The mechanics of gel coat touch up is straight forward and simple. Matching gel coat is not. We have tints aboard to attempt our own mix but it sure would be nice to use gel coat that matches straight out of the can. We'll see.
Along with boat goodies came YT's new Nikon camera along with our Swedish buddies' new Canon camera. Christmas in March. Like two kids they disappeared with theirs, and we with ours. A little later when we both had the beginnings of how to use these upscale techno devices we met again to compare...like two kids again. Nikon vs Canon. I'll save you the boring details but will say both are amazing. Speed and power. D300 Nikon, D40 Canon. Today's pictures will be the first with the new camera. Picture 1 is Bjorn from Lindisfarn (Linda's Farm) and his new toy. Bjorn and Annika have a great website (in English and Swedish) complete with pictures including their Antarctic trip. www.sailaround.info Picture 2 is a weekend fisherman tending his nets. He rowed out and made an early morning set, retreiving the net shortly after catching a number of small fish.
With Mary back the social whirl continues. Our Canadian friends on the steel sloop Ave del Mar left yesterday just as we arrived from the airport. They were still in sight sailing south to winter in Ushuaia. They have so much to look forward to and will be touched forever by their experiences of the next year. Growing experiences to be sure. The Scotsmen left by air returning in Sept to sail south, the ones who took 52 days from New Zealand. A new Kiwi sloop arrived a couple days ago after a 39 day difficult passage from New Zealand. They had to drop down to 50 degrees south to find wind. When they did find wind it was a bit much. As they were sailing through the center of a low in light winds the west wall of the low caught them with too much sail up. Until they were able to get the foresail wrapped, there was to much load on the furler to winch it in, tings were tense. Mast looked like a snake. (Interesting comparison. Egret could have stayed higher driving through the low wind high in comfort...that is until we ran out of fuel. We don't have the range.) Kiwi Roa is a beautiful 50' aluminum, take no prisoners high latitude special. The owner Pete is the designer and builder of the now popular Rocna anchor. Pete built this boat some years ago in England doing all the work himself. Pete's wife is flying in shortly and they will spend at least a year in the Deep South.
Back to the social whirl, tonight (Sun) is a potluck up at the marina cruisers den. We have Antarctic movies taken from two boats we'll see along with the usual boat talk. The other day we were talking with some yachties about the cumulative knowledge on the dock. Barring personal opinions there is an amazing amount of information being shared freely among all the boats when in a discussion or answering a question. This is how we all learn along with our own experiences. The more you learn the faster information comes.
Now for a shameless commercial for our coming crew's N40, Darlin. Frank has spend so much time during and after the NAR on OPN's (other peoples Nordhavns), crossing the Atlantic twice and many other trips with no end in sight, he has decided to put his baby up for sale. Darlin is a VERY well equipped, and kept turn key knowing Frank, U.S. built passagemaker. The price is very reasonable and would make someone a great boat to take where ever. I'm sure Frank would help deliver Darlin' where she needed to go. Give Darlin a peek in the brokerage section of the Nordhavn website if you have any interest.
Its Tue morning and time to fire this VofE into space. Last night's potluck was great fun and informative. Pete from Kiwi Roa gave a thorough description of New Zealand cruising including South Island and Stewart Island below that. Hmmmmmm. Later he took us through the western Pacific into WAY out of the way places they traveled in their ten years cruising that part of the world. Hmmmmmmm again.
Every day puts Egret closer to leaving. Can't wait. Ciao.
March 10, 2008
Position: Marina Oxxean, Puerto Montt, Chile
Well, mis amigos, still a marina queen waiting for MS (my sweetie) to return. Egret is mechanically ready to go, the buffing is nearly done, and YT is anxious to get on with this summer's adventure. We are still in a dilemma of how to take care of the bottom, whether using the drying grid or diving and cleaning the bottom first here then along the way through the Pacific. When MS gets back and the tides cooperate we'll probably lay on the wall and paint on the tides. We still need to heavy provision with canned goods, vino and so on. We'll take on fuel and perishables the day before we leave.
Even though we have cruised a number of miles since arriving in the Deep South, December before last, we haven't been to sea. We find each time after a layoff it takes a couple days to acclimate. Once acclimated we could go forever. The longer we are out, land seems to be a chore whereas at sea tings are comfortable and predictable. No problemas.
Adding to the pressure to get going, Aussie friends on Six Pack (a small sloop) sent an e-mail to friends here saying they are having a great time at Robinson Crusoe Island (Juan de Fernandez Islands off the Chilean coast and Egret's first stop on her way west). Robinson Crusoe Island is the real life setting where the stranded Selkirk became the person Robinson Crusoe in the ageless classic. The cave where he lived is still there and preserved as original. Can't wait & VofE will have pictures soon after arrival. Speaking of pictures, there is a new Egret batch on the VofE website. We haven't been able to open the files here to see what is posted but they are Chilean Channels pictures.
Also new on the nordhavn.com website are the logs from buddies on N62 Grey Pearl. GP is another NAR alumnus and very capable cruisers. GP is on her way to Alaska, fastracking but taking the time to stop at interesting places. Currently they are in Central America (Atlantic coast). Both Capt Braun and Capt Tina (husband-wife owners) are writing, sometimes in the same log. It is an interesting read where you truly get the feel for their trip. Log of the Grey Pearl is located in the Owners Voyages page of the Community section.
Not much else to report. A Scottish boat arrived a couple days ago after a trying trip direct from New Zealand. Fifty two days...food for 46 and so on. They made it as far west as Tasmania before they turned around to revisit Patagonia before returning to Scotland. Patagonia gets to you. Gotta have more. YT has been making the rounds of dinner aboard different boats as well as aboard Egret. Tonight it's our Swedish buddies who returned after saying goodbye a week ago to replace their defective camera. (Mary is bringing their replacement) Last night it was the Swedish couple aboard the Finnish boat along with a Chilean...and so on.
Lastly YT has been dragged kicking and whining to enter the world of Skype. We now have our own Skype account at 2.1 cents a minute to the States from Chile. That sure beats $.95 Iridium time or $.50 Chilean internet cafe phones. Simple, cost 6 bucks for a headset with earphones and a mike that hooks up to your or an internet cafe's computer. skype.com if you haven't heard.
So there you have it. Not much to report but the good news from Grey Pearl. Mary is in Fla and will be home shortly. Be patient, soon we'll be rockin n rollin with daily reports at sea along with OMNI Bob's weather. Like before you'll get to see the real deal as it happens. Ciao.
March 2, 2008
Position: Marina Oxxean, Puerto Montt, Chile
Well, mis amigos, this VofE will be a little different, a bit of techno detail. MS is on her way to the States for two weeks so not much will be happening except a few boat chores. We are taking advantage of the dock and buffing our little white fiberglass home to look like new. One side is done & we have turned her around for the next go round. She hasn't been buffed since Turkey and it shows. It's amazing that with a little effort she looks like the day we took delivery. In New Zealand we'll repaint the blue stripes on the flybridge and the bootstripe to make her perfect. In some cases after we have been at it a while we'll see other dockies pick up the compound can or wax and start their own clean up. I don't know if it is the admiral dropping hints or old fashion peer pressure but it happens. In one case here there was a backlash...sort of. The Swedish boat who did so much computer work for us took us to task. When I asked what I could do for them after the hours she put in she said "buff our boat too". Geesh. But we did, starting with the cockpit, fiberglass on the raised deck and lastly the hull above the rub rail. In the end Linda's Farm (our nickname for the boat and very close to the correct pronunciation) shined and they were thrilled. So was I. The only downside was in a few places the gel coat had been left to long and had become porous so no amount of buffing, or wet sanding then buffing would bring it back. A lesson to learn.
Along those lines we'll pass on two boat chores so you may store this information in the grey matter or elsewhere if you are more organized. One is recent and one previous on another boat.
Literally an hour before MS left for the States we were sitting in the salon reading and we heard the water pump cycling. Not a good sign unless someone is taking a shower. We were not. A quick race around and we found the master toilet about to overflow. Mary ran to turn off the water pump circuit breaker and I lifted the toilet handle to evacuate the bowl. We have Raritan Atlantis fresh water flush toilets. To flush the toilet you simply tap the little handle and she flushes. To evacuate the bowl for any reason lift the handle and the macerator pump empties the bowl. With the water pump and head circuit breaker switched off we took MS luggage up the dock to wait for the taxi.
So began the task of figuring what the #%$#@&^* is going on here. I thought it was something electrical so the place to start is the mysterious box up inside the back of the toilet. Fortunately in factory design and installation by removing two panels we could tilt the head forward without removing hoses, a grande plus!! We read the manual, checked everything we could check and still no cure so we did what every guy would do with the admiral away. Let the whole mess sit and have a beer after removing the fresh water hose from the electric solenoid valve and putting a cap on the hose end. After all we have two heads, one nearly new. Have a beer or two we did. The next day, yesterday, we gave it another go. In trying to think this thing through, there is a single source of water...through the electric solenoid valve timed to open and close by the electrics in the back of the head. Either the electrics were shot or the valve had an issue. The mechanical part is easier for me so off came the solenoid valve. Yup!!!!!! Inside was a wayward O-ring from one of the snap together fittings used in the water system. The O-ring had been pushed by water pressure through the lines and seated on the edge of the solenoid diaphragm allowing water to flow unrestricted. Who wouldda guessed? A chance in a zillion but there it was. Back together with everything and voila, it played like it should. A good clorox clean up later and a congratulatory brew with a neighbor and all was well.
The next toilet tale comes from a friends boat, N47 Strickly for Fun, during a Med winter. We were talking between ourselves about backing up SFF's fresh water toilet feed (same as Egret's) with a sea water flush as well. The N47 has the salt water wash down hose pass thru the master cabin head on its way to the bow. Both Egret and SFF have the latest 'Whale' fittings and tubing for carrying water, cold and hot. Whale tubing is 15mm O.D, hard shell, semi flexible tubing, blue for cold water, red for hot. The fittings work on the Chinese handcuff principal with tightening fingers and an O-ring. They work well and are super easy to work on or modify. The singular tool you need is a PVC cutter to cut a perfectly clean 90 degree cut. The hose and fittings simply snap together. We began by cutting into the salt water hose and installing a T. From hose leading from the T we installed a valve leading to another new T allowing either salt or fresh water to feed the toilet. In the original fresh water feed line we installed a second valve to allow fresh water as usual when open or closed when using sea water as on an ocean crossing or whenever fresh water is a premium.
Aboard Egret the salt water wash down hose runs down the port side, opposite the head, and YT is a bit lazy. We could run a sea water line to the head and a set up like SFF's but instead we have a pail of sea water in the shower to flush the head when water saving is important. We have had but a single incident where we did this but when it happened the toilet bowl evacuation feature was priceless. On the Atlantic crossing from the Canaries to Brazil our watermaker was down for a few days. With limited fresh water we used sea water to flush the heads.
Lastly, there is another lesson to learn here. Both SFF and Egret carry extensive spares. Egret has a 2 gallon zip lock bag full of spare Whale fittings. That is a lot of fittings. Plus 10' of blue tubing. If we hadn't had the Whale end cap in stock (not used anywhere in normal usage), bought on speculation of someday having to block off a line we would have been in trouble. (we had 3) Yes we could have moused something together but it wouldn't have been quick and easy with no problemas. You get the picture.
If we were to do another new build we would have the Nord guys plumb the Atlantis heads as we did SFF. (Yes, we would buy Raritan Atlantis again...best heads we have ever had.)
So there you have it. A few sea stories and a couple days in The Life. MS will be in the frozen wastelands of the north for a few more days before flying south to sunny Fla. Will be glad to have her back. Ciao.