Bit of a segue:
This year we were in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia, sleeping with the radio
on, when a French Canadian started screaming his boat was sinking at about 2 am. The Coast Guard in Martinique
tried to assist, but it appeared (again) that few cruisers have their radios on overnight. I called in that I was coming, got a general description of boat and location, gathered up buckets, tapes, straps, and plugs, and started dinghying the mile or so to his boat. A couple of other guys got there first, and got it bailed to where the bilge
pumps would keep up. They had left and he was sitting there dazed, with no pants on. He said he had returned from shore and found it half-sunk.
I said he/we ought to figure out what through-hull was the problem. With all the boards up, we could see that no flow was coming from the engine, and that some was coming from the bow. A further look showed that his toilet was full to the brim, and still just trickling over. Another common problem - toilets below the waterline that only sometimes overflow when valves are all left open, but cascade as the waterline rises.
Never did figure out the pants thing. Maybe I just don't go to the fun parties he does.
The longer version of this story is hilarious (I swear) , and can be found on our blog at:
Gone Sailing: Man with a Bucket at 4:30 am