Water rationing for 12 days in the Bahamas

We are back in West Bay near Nassau, Bahamas.

West Bay anchorage is at the ‘pin’.

It’s been 12 days since we started rationing our water. Currently, the water in our holding tanks is used for drinking and cooking only. No showering.

Usually, we make our own water using an automatic desalination/purification system. The watermaker pushes sea water through a variety of filters, which we have to clean or change every so often. At full tilt, the output of our watermaker is about one liter per minute.

Unfortunately, our watermaker stopped working.

Without the ability to make our own water, we curbed our habits. We washed our clothing and dishes in sea water. I kept six Nalgene bottles full of fresh water to use for drinking or boiling pasta. I filled these bottles regularly.

Here’s a picture of Rick filling one of the bottles with a pipe in the floor this morning.

Filling water bottles directly from the fresh water holding tank

Our catamaran is designed for long-distance passage making. As such, SV Aphrodite has capacity to hold a lot of water. In fact, we can hold as much as 675 litres of water per side. And, we were full – holding about 1350 litres of water – when we left Florida in January.

I’m sure I’ve said this before – my husband, Rick, is very handy. He determined that the watermaker motor had seized. The motor needed to be replaced. So Rick ordered the part, and went to Miami to pick up the motor. He also brought some other parts that might be difficult to source now that we are underway.

The watermaker needed to be fixed quickly before the membranes became damaged. (The watermaker needs to be flushed with fresh water regularly.)

Here is the scene on our boat two days ago. What stood out immediately was that the new motor was about twice the size of the old one. This meant that my husband had to reconfigure the housing of our watermaker.

The new motor is on the cabin sole to Rick’s left (right of the photo). The old motor in in the housing on his lap. The new motor is much heavier and larger.

By nightfall my husband continued to work on the watermaker, declining a sundowners event for cruisers at West Bay beach.

Here is a picture taken by my husband to help him locate wires in a circuit board that would make many technicians weep.

Rick took pictures of the wiring to keep track of where they would need to be put later on.

Soldering together was not an easy task.

Rick sat for two days with his legs in the bilge, clipping at wires as he adjusted himself to prevent other wires from falling in the bilge water. Today he worked for 18 hours straight. We passed him coffee through a crack in the door. He seemed to prefer it that way.

And now, 48 hours later we have water. I’m glad that we can use the taps again. We can shower again. But, I think I’ll stick to using salt water for washing clothes. It allows me to use as much water as I like without having to run the watermaker for hours at a time.


  1. What a great husband your Paul is going to be! Some girl is going to be sooooo appreciative! For the record, I think what you are doing with and FOR your children is absolutely fantastic. These are going to be 4 children who will adapt to whatever life throws at them, and goodness knows life has lots of unexpected twists and turns. Keep up the awesome posts!

    I’ll be seeing my dad at the end of the March and I’m sure we will have fun discussing your adventures. He said Rick called him from his satellite phone, I believe when you were still in Florida.

    Hello to Rick and I look forward to the next edition of Becoming a Sailor –



    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Passed him coffee through a crack in the door”, you always include such colourful descriptions and see the humour in everything, I enjoy your blog so much. All the best


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