Monthly Archives: April 2015

Clearing Medina’s through-hulls

The exhaust through hull - prior to being cleared

The exhaust through hull (on the water line)

This week the Skipper delegated the task of clearing Medina’s through hulls to me.

How did I get this unfortunate task?

By doing “such a good job” of clearing a cockpit drain hole (a type of through hull) from barnacles that were stopping a ball from one of Orbit’s toys from exiting, which in turn blocked the drain.

What are through hulls?

Through hulls are essentially ‘pipes’ that go from inside the boat to the outside or vice versa. They are usually found just above and under the waterline. Each contains a fitting that allows water to flow in or out, depending on its purpose.

Sorry barnacles, but it is time to go.

Sorry barnacles, but it is time to go.

Medina’s has through hull drains for the shower, galley, heads (toilets), cockpit, engine exhaust and bilge pumps. She also has a through hull intake for our saltwater which is split for a variety of uses, saltwater pump in the galley, flushing the heads and cooling the engine. We try to be conscious of what goes through each of the through hulls, as they can be easily blocked from either end.

Clearing through hulls can only be ‘easily’ be done when a boat is out of the water. Its not a very technical process, first, I scraped the ‘pipe’ with a screw driver until all the barnacles, algae, anti foul paint (the black paint) and anything else was removed. I then used sandpaper to smooth the ‘pipe’ to hopefully reduce the chance of anything making this area of the boat its home. The Skipper will then reapply the anti foul paint (and primer if required).

All cleared - ready for the Skipper to prime and anti-foul

All cleared – ready for the Skipper to prime and anti-foul

So, now having completed my delegated task (have a look at our Facebook page for some more details) I thought I would share the top 10 things I learnt when clearing Medina’s through hulls. I am sure you can imagine how I came up with each of these!

  1. Wear a long sleeve shirt with a button that you can do up at the collar.
  2. Pop your ear phones in, fast paced music works well for the initial scraping (e.g. Lonely Boy by the Black Keys) and slower paced music for the sanding (e.g. Mess Is Mine by Vance Joy).
  3. Scraping is not about strength, rather the angles.
  4. Keep your mouth closed when scraping – particularly when your ‘under’ the hull (e.g. clearing cockpit drains).
  5. After scraping or sanding, check yourself in a mirror before going out in public.


    Just remember not to sing too loudly with ear phones in – unless you want people to hear you sing …

  6. Use a ladder that is easy to move around the boat and move it around the through hulls to help create angles.
  7. Aviator sunglasses are not good ‘safety glasses’.
  8. Moisturise you hands as much as you can in the days leading up to the task (it helps to prevent the anti-foul dust getting deeply embedded in the pores of your hands).
  9. Wear socks with your shoes (a build up of anti-foul dust between the toes is not good).
  10. A human head and the hull of a steel boat should never meet, particularly more than once.

Writing this post has reminded me of a lesson a very wise lady from Aurukun once told me …

“Rather than allowing yourself to make mistakes but then beating yourself up for it, allow yourself to learn and enjoy the roller coaster.”


Medina coming out of the water

In preparation for our slow adventure and as part of our regular maintenance schedule, its time for Medina to come out of the water (also known as being ‘hauled out’ or ‘going up on the hard’).

Its a rather unnerving experience that I don’t think any boat owner looks forward to, but alas it must be done. Just getting to the ‘pen’ where she is pulled out is a little adventure (as you will see).

On our to do list is a fresh coat of anti foul paint (the black paint that stops things growing on the hull), clear some toys and pegs from the cockpit drains and check all our underwater bibs and bobs.

I’ve made a short video of Medina coming out of the water, will hopefully get some more video of what she looks like in her cradle and then back in the water.

Its too dangerous to have Orbit on board through this adventure, so we gave him to day off to play with his friends.

Hope you enjoy the ride!

Orbit + water = happiness

Orbit loves water.

A bucket and cloth and Orbit is happy to play when he's lost interest in fishing

A bucket and cloth and Orbit is happy to play when he’s lost interest in fishing

It doesn’t matter if it is salt or fresh, if he is submerged in it or just touching it. If he has his cranky pants on, all I need to do is add water and he is happy again. I just wish it was practical to do so each time he has his cranky pants on.

On the weekend we discovered a new way to add water into Orbit’s life.

We have the same routine when we come back into the marina, tie Medina up and once she is secure, we get Orbit out of bed then close the hatches. I then take Orbit for a walk to stretch his legs while the Skipper washes down Medina.

It was a really hot day and with more focus on getting off the boat than what we were wearing, I forgot to put our hats on. I thought, we won’t go far, we won’t need hats. But I soon realised we did, I decided to head back to Medina. Unfortunately this meant cutting Orbit’s exploring short, causing him to put on his code red cranky pants. Code red cranky pants translates into a mid range tantrum and is between a code black (the lowest level) and code day glow orange (the highest or most extreme tantrum).

The Skipper teaching Orbit how to was down Medina

The Skipper teaching Orbit how to wash down Medina

Once I had carried Orbit back to Medina (he refused to walk), the Skipper was still washing down Medina. Worried about taking Orbit into a hot stuffy boat (from having the hatches closed up), I had a brain wave and asked the Skipper if it would be ok for Orbit to finish washing down Medina with him. The Skipper was more than happy, and Orbit spent the next 10 minutes learning how to wash down the boat. He was in heaven, even putting his head under the hose for an impromptu shower.

Once all the salt was washed off Medina and the hatches open, I managed to get Orbit own below and into the shower. Luckily the shower involves water which means no cranky pants.

Once we were all showered and in clean clothes we were off to Orbit’s grandparent’s house. Within about 30 minutes of arriving, Orbit had found a bucket of water, and you guessed it, he was into it, within an hour of arriving he was in the bath, being cleaned up from the mess he created with the bucket of water.

As I said, Orbit loves water – no matter what form it comes in, lucky we live on a boat!

Orbit’s Easter ABCs

I started to watch The Secret Life of Walter Mitty movie last week (I still have to finish it, so no spoilers please). At the start of the movie, Walter describes the man he would like to be – Adventurous, Brave and Creative (an ABC man). Without intentionally setting out to do so, I believe we have managed to fit in the ABCs into Orbit’s Easter.


Orbit climbed his first sand dune! Once he got to the top he just ran and ran and ran. He just didn’t want to stop. The poor little thing absolutely crashed once we got back on Medina, sleeping for nearly 3 hours.

Orbit being adventurous

Orbit being adventurous


Just before Easter Orbit needed to get his hearing checked. Getting his ears tested was completely foreign to anything he has previously experienced. He was so brave despite the fear he was experiencing.

Orbit on his way to being brave (on the train)

Orbit on his way to being brave (on the train)


Similar to Christmas, Easter presented an opportunity for Orbit to get creative. After I cut out some egg shaped cards, he decorated them with different coloured paints. Luckily he was able to get most of the paint on the card rather than the table, upholstery or himself.

Orbit being creative

Orbit being creative

Happy Easter from Orbit, the Skipper and I, we hope you had a wonderful one!