Rainy Days

It rained every day last week, but it especially rained all day Saturday. And when I say all day, I mean ALL day. We did nothing but sit inside the boat and watch the flash flood warnings on TV.

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We had planned to christen the new grill, but we resorted to picking up fried chicken at lunch and then cooking burgers on the Origo for dinner.

Of course, the rain didn’t bother everybody. This guy thought it was quacktastic.

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Every time we had to walk the dogs, he was just puttering around letting raindrops fall on his head.

However, the fire ants definitely did not enjoy the rain. In fact, as water started pooling up in different places it created floating fire ant swarms. I tried to stay far away from them, but I think the dogs must have picked up a swimmer as they bounded around. Somehow I ended up with the first fire ant bite of the year.

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If you’re not familiar with fire ants, their bite is a bit like a bee sting, but it creates a little blister white head in the middle. Then you pop it, and the bite oozes for days. They’re especially fun when you accidentally stand in a mound and get 30 or 40 bites on your feet at once. I’m sure this was just the first bite of many in 2015.

Eventually the rain did stop. By Sunday evening the sky had cleared, and we were treated to a spectacular view of a new moon with the planet Venus shining nearby. (Well, sort of nearby, I mean it all comes down to perspective, right?)

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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.

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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.

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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?