Episode 21 - Fire Onboard and Fragile Boats

Episode 21 - Fire Onboard and Fragile Boats

February 04, 2018


We had a close call on Catsaway!  We decided to take the outside route from Stuart to Miami to avoid the high number of lift bridges.  The weather conditions looked ideal; NE winds blowing 15-20 knots.  Waves were predicted to be about one metre (3 feet) high.  However, we forgot that when the winds and current disagree, large swells can form in the ocean inlets.  When leaving Fort Lauderdale, we experienced swells of 1.5 (4.5 feet) metres going against us.  This caused a few waves to sweep over our bow.  Our hatches were closed but not sealed and so we knew water had entered the cabin, but decided to deal with the mess later.  Halfway through our journey, Diana smelled something burning from her spot at the helm and ran inside.  The stove and oven were off, she turned towards the master cabin as smoke was curling from there.  The smoke was coming from an overheated USB cable that had been splashed by salt water and was slowly burning through the bedcovers and mattress.  Greg grabbed the fire extinguisher and put out the fire.  Jazz was sleeping in the master cabin and was irritated at our intrusion and jumped through to the sitting area.


Things we learned:

  1. Always seal your hatches before ocean journeys!
  2. Never place USB/electronics in a place where it can get wet and stay wet
  3. Use fuses when creating your own electrical contraptions


On the way through South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, we saw much of the leftover devastation from the recent hurricanes.  We saw more than one mast sticking out of the water, many damaged boats still tied up to mangroves, and several beached vessels.  We would like to invite all those who have been affected by the recent hurricanes to come for a sail if we are in your area.


Cellophane Sam - Every Cowboy


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