As well as doing school, I’ve been schooled too.

‘Why did you say those are George’s sensors on the bottom of Quest’s hull?’ Jack asked me.

‘They’re not?’ I said.

‘Of course they’re not. They’re for the new sonar.’

Oh. ‘Where are George’s new sensors? We still have them, right?’

‘Of course we do. They’re in his new instrument box – in the computer software. He hasn’t exactly got new feelers all over the boat.’

Oh – I think I’m going to spend a year thinking that. Oh. Oh. Oh.

Yesterday, Cap Jack was busy fixing his boat in paradise. This is part of our life on Quest. Very, very regular. And when it comes to the heads; the toilet is the most attention-seeking part of Quest. ‘Fix me, fix me!’ it seems to permanently cry. We’ve had all kinds of toilet breakdowns. So much so, even though we officially have two heads on Quest, we’re functionally down to one. We gave up the ghost with the other one a while back. Sometimes we talk about bringing it back to life with nostalgic fondness. Then we remember the hours we put into trying to fix it. Ok. Let that one go.

I won’t get too specific. Don’t want to gross you, dear reader, out. Ha! Just don’t eat sweetcorn on a boat. It’s now banned on Quest. We even met a pithy Canadian once who accused us of not chewing our corn slowly enough. The greedy Ormerods? Are you kidding, lady?!

When we left for home last May, we poured a ton of cooking oil into Quest’s heads. I know it sounds strange, but that’s what everyone told us to do. In theory, it keeps the whole toilet system nicely lubricated. Now we wonder – maybe you’re supposed to do that when you don’t leave your boat in a boatyard for a whole year-and-four-months.

Check this out. Even though Questie has been beautifully air-conditioned during our absence, there have still been some changes. All the rubbery stuff inside her has degraded. Hairbands, silicone mats, scissors with rubber ends. Weird, no? And the heads’ cooking oil has gone super sticky. Nice job for Cap Jack  – extracting sticky goo from toilet while me and the girls shoved our heads into boat school. Oh, oh, oh.

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