Lessons taught in toes

This morning my toe is still purple, but the swelling has somewhat subsided.

This is not the first time my toe has been purple. I spent last summer with a purple toe on the other foot after walking right into a dock cleat. You’d think that would have taught me a lesson to either wear shoes or watch where I’m walking.

Once again we were docking, once again I was barefoot, and once again I was rushing to grab a line. However, this time I was on the boat, so I wasn’t worried about dock cleats. Instead I walked right into a block for the jib sheet.


This time the lesson is learned. Watch your toes while sailing!

How much fire is too much fire?

If you’ve cooked on your boat, you’ve probably lit a fire on your boat.

Both the Seahorse and Gimme Shelter have been equipped with Origo alcohol stoves.


We’re hesitant to cook on them because alcohol is more expensive than just plugging in an electric griddle or using an electric coffee pot while at the marina … and also because I did manage to set the galley of the Seahorse on fire during one breakfast incident when I thought the burners had gone out. I tried to refill them, but they weren’t really out — flash fire. Thankfully we only ended up with a melted dish rack and a few singed spots on the couch, but ever since then we’ve been incredibly fire conscious.

I actually refurbished a propane oven, but it was a very old model with zero safety features (and it wasn’t cooking things very evenly either). So after much debate we decided to sell the oven and stick with the alcohol stove for now.

Gimme Shelter also came with an oil lamp mounted on the bulkhead. We finally decided to fill it up and give it a try last weekend.


Despite the paraffin lamp fuel claiming to be odor free, I could still smell it burning. I also instantly became paranoid that it would either set the boat on fire or kill us with carbon-monoxide poisoning.

I know that for centuries sailors have safely had lamps and stoves on boats, but the second I light them I can’t stop being paranoid the boat will burn down.

So tell me, do you cook on your boat? If so, do you use alcohol or propane? Would you use an oil lamp? How much ventilation does an alcohol stove or an oil lamp require, so that the fumes aren’t dangerous? What fire prevention measures do you have in place?