Lisa had been drinking more and more water the past few days and I was noticing a slight taste in some of our drinks. We usually use the crystal light flavor packets so at first, we chalked it up to odd-tasting flavors. Then in the afternoon as we were sitting in the saloon relaxing I looked at her water bottle and the culprit became clear. The halocline between the fresh and saltwater was readily apparent. I hadn’t been testing the water maker water the way I should have. This resulted in bad water going in our freshwater tanks. We filled our tanks with fresh water when we left Marina Pescaderia. It took several days for the tanks to start taking on the saltwater before we noticed it. We always carry an extra 10 gallons of freshwater in two 5 gallon jerry cans in case something happens to our primary water source. We also carry a case or two of bottled water. Since we were prepared with our back up water supplies this wasn’t an emergency but something we wanted to get fixed quickly. We can’t stay off-grid forever on 15 gallons of fresh water.
Our original plan was to visit Culebra on our way East. With our saltwater issue, I called around to find a water maker repair shop in the area. Reefco Services was located on the east side of St. Thomas. Since it was on our way we chose them to service the water maker and order a new membrane. We started planning our trip to Saint Thomas, USVI. We would have to save Culebra for next season. When we arrived in STT we reserved a slip at American Yacht Harbor. This allowed the technician easy access to the belly of Unwritten Timeline. I was pretty sure the membrane was bad but I wanted a second opinion before we set off through the Caribbean. Freshwater isn't always easy to come by in secluded anchorages. The technician determined the membrane was in fact faulty. Another membrane would have to be ordered. The expected delivery time to STT would be 5-7 days. We took advantage being at a marina with unlimited water and electricity and gave UT a good wash down, scrubbed the water tanks and did several loads of laundry. After a few days of boat projects and cleaning we were ready to explore the islands. We decided to leave the marina and go explore the island of St. John while we waited for the water maker parts. It was a short 6 NM to Maho bay from the marina so we topped off our water tanks, jerry jugs, and stocked up our bottled water and headed out of Redhook Bay.