When you live aboard a boat your senses get tuned to the ebb and flow of water, the normal sounds of the boat at anchor, the everyday feel of familiar components in use. So when something unusual intrudes on my senses it is a " UH OH " moment. Some " UH OH " moments are more serious than others.
So when after communing with nature I went to operate the manual pump on the toilet and an abnormal resistance was felt, I knew I had one of the more serious moments.
Yup a plumbing blockage is a bit of a nightmare scenario especially when the toilet is situated below the waterline as it is in Elphants Child.
So after leaving it for a while in the [vain] hope that the clog might dissolve of it's own accord I donned the rubber gloves, put the plans to go ashore to the pot luck on hold and set about troubleshooting the plumbing. Working back from the outlet seacock I traced it to a large pipe which was just about completely blocked with hard calcium scale. I have no idea how this formed as I have been following the good heads guidelines and using vinegar on a monthly basis and this is supposed to prevent the build up.
My neighbours in the anchorage were treated to the unusual sight of a man beating the steps on the back of the cockpit with a large hose. Boat S&M maybe?
But no I was just trying to breakup the scale deposits and open up the hose.
Well it worked, the scale broke up, the hose cleared and I refitted it.
Normal service was resumed.
Just as well, the alternative is too hard on my knees.