The next English frigate we escaped with no more than a shot in our quarter. Then we was chased two days and a night by a French privateer, firing between squalls, and the dirty little English ten-gun brig which made him sheer off had the impudence to press another five of our men. That's how we reached to the chops of the Channel. Twelve good men pressed out of thirty-five; an eighteen-pound shot-hole close beside our rudder ; our mainsail looking like spectacles where the Frenchman had hit us--and the Channel crawling with short-handed British cruisers. Put that in your pipe and smoke it next time you grumble at the price of tobacco! 'Well, then, to top it off, while we was trying to get at our leaks, a French lugger come swooping at us out o' the dusk.
This is from "Rewards and Fairies" "A Priest in Spite of Himself" by Kipling. http://www.telelib.com/authors/K/KiplingRudyard/prose/RewardsFaries/priest.html
What is the meaning of "to get at our leaks" ?
I am glad if some one kindly teach me.