November 27th was a beautiful day. The water was calm, the current was with us and although the scenery was awesome, I stayed below working all day. I worked at my computer through skinny water, slow downs, no wake zones and even as we skimmed the bottom. I was proud of myself and my diligence. Danny was content at the helm so I didn’t even go up to drive. I made us a great leftovers lunch and went back to work.
When I needed a break about 3pm, and headed up to the bridge, I was greeted with the words “Tim and Karen have a fire on their boat.”
“Wait, what? A fire?” I was stunned. Everything had been going so smoothly.
“Yep, engine fire in port engine,” Danny replied.
“Ok, so what do we do to help?” was of course my response.
We turned around as they had been behind us, and waited, and watched. Tim and Karen’s boat has gas engines so the risks are higher when there is a fire. (Gas explodes faster than diesel.) Danny was on the radio communicating with Tim as well as a nearby yacht club.
The fire was small and Karen put it out quickly. Clearly the port engine was disabled at that time and while they shut down the starboard engine to go check on things, the props continue to move due to current etc. The fire was out but the boat was drifting. No real problem as the water was deep enough but of course to complicate things there were crab pots. It was at this point that the boat drifted right over a crab pot. We couldn’t see the buoy, nor could Karen, so Tim started the engine. He stopped it almost immediately. They had indeed caught the crab pot.
We moved in closer to go alongside and tie up. Lines were ready and fenders set so we could tow them in. The Savannah yacht club was prepared to receive us even though we were not members. (There is a safe harbour initiative and we were in distress; at least Tim and Karen were.) We had our hero capes on, connected with little difficulty and became Dragonfly Towing. (Imagine Superman or the Little Engine that Could? Lol) The 50 foot Dragonfly was towing the 52 foot Let it Ride. Tim sat at his helm. I think now that the fire was out, he was enjoying being towed.
At the dock, the dogs thought it was time to head to shore so once we were secured, I leashed them and headed up the ramp, passing a diver in full gear on my way. Hmmm, we would need one, but I was being pulled by the normally lazy boat dogs. The dogs took care of their business and I cleaned up and headed back to the boat where I found Karen talking to the diver. He was at the yacht club to clean a big boat but would dive and clear the line and crab pot from the starboard prop for us first. It was really wrapped up so it took him about a half hour but the good thing was that he first cut the line on the pot before going in to clear the rest. AHA, a crab pot! Danny pulled it up to find a lane snapper and 3 blue crabs! Not thinking, he at first cleared the bait trap and then dumped the crabs out and the fish in a bucket. We had to get the oven mitt to protect his hands from the claws but it was fun watching him “fight” with the one crab. Crabs were cleaned and then Danny decided he would try to catch more. We had the crab pot after all…but he had already tossed the bait. The lane snapper became the next bait.
Lines cleared and engines cooled a bit, Danny went below on Let it Ride and found that the alternator was blown and missing pieces but that that was the only real damage. A new alternator was ordered and the mess from the fire extinguisher cleaned up. We were safe and really had been very lucky. The fire was small and easily put out. The yacht club took us in. There was a diver already in a suit ready to go. The crab pot wasn’t full but had enough crab to entice us to get more. The damage was minimal and the repair part could be here the next day. We were not in the middle of Georgia marshland, but in Savannah, a beautiful river town with a great historic area, great food and great people. I told Karen and Tim they should get a lottery ticket.
Once again, flexibility is key. We are now on our way to Brunswick GA with the repairs complete. Had the fire not happened, we wouldn’t have seen Savannah and we most likely would not have seen the beautiful sunrise this morning.
Sometimes we get blog worthy things close together. Other times we do normal things for us and I get to be creative in the blog. In any case there is rarely a dull moment and I have yet to finish any of the 3 books I have started, let alone start the several on the boat. Tim says this is the first major issue in 1500 miles. I think we are good for a bit.
PS En route to Brunswick, Tim and Karen took the superhero capes and did a fuel run for us. Oh how we love the camaraderie of the boating community!