Our wonderful Baby Blake marine toilet has been a stalwart piece of fine machinery aboard Curare for all these past 40 plus years. It is about the only original piece of equipment left as everything else from the engine, winches and rigging have been upgraded. We have never felt the need to replace our precious Baby because there is no better marine toilet made anywhere in the world. So we just periodically maintain the toilet by keeping the moving parts clean and lubricated, and replacing parts as they wear out.
But how do you anticipate when the main discharge pump shaft is going to break? Is it after 2,000 cycles or 200,000? Surely there would be warning signs. Does the amount and consistency of debris have an impact? A marine toilet is one of the hardest working pieces of equipment on board but we had not anticipated such a calamitous failure hence we do not carry a spare shaft in one of the lockers. Fortunately for the reader we do not have internet to post graphic pictures of the current situation.
Of course the shaft decided to part ways on a Sunday just as we are getting organized for an offshore passage. Do we delay our plans to have a new shaft machined somewhere in the Bahamas and then miss our weather window? Or do we just grin and bear it and bucket and chuck it? Fortunately GG was able to McGyver something together with twine, lashing and hose clamps and with a little bit of finesse the effluent can be coerced overboard. Certainly not a permanent solution but hopefully one that will last the next week or so.