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The Stove Incident

The Stove Incident

I arrived in Trinidad to look at Crazy Sophia and settled in with getting the work done and because i was living on the boat with the kind permission of Powerboats i connected the gas to the stove and arranged to get the fridge working the shore power on and some coffee and Milk to make me feel comfortable (those were the important ones because lunches were served on the street at a really good price for great local food
Friends of mine from Shady Lady were going shopping and i asked them to arrange a kettle for me and they did with happiness

THe next morning I light up the stove and that was when I noticed the copper coloured filler around one of the burners but the plate worked well and Coffee was easy and for the next three weeks while the boat work was going on all was well except that the Brazilian Gas bottle could not be filled in Trinidad and it was huge and was staining the deck with rust. One of the other boats in the boatyard was giving away two Campingaz bottles and I accepted them and asked the Gasman (a local businessman who is really helpful and Kind) to get me a control valve and a regulator which he did and gave them to me for USD20

I also asked the Gasman about the filler around the burner and he said he could maybe fix it but as I was leaving so soon I should buy some very high temperature Epoxy and seal the ring that way which I did and all was well

So we left for Grenada on the shakedown sail and still all was well with the stove but as we arrived in Prickly bay the epoxy started sparkling around the burner and neither John nor I were happy about that plus the Campingaz bottles were empty so we had those filled and when they were returned by the local supplier I connected one of them using the fittings supplied. I turned the gas on and could hear the initial flow of gas moving towards the stove so I was happy and because i had been using the stove for around two weeks now it seemed fine.

Thats when I decided to go and make a cup of coffee and I pressed the gas release on the stove and light the lighter and guess what BOOM and in one second I had no hair on the front of my body and i was thrown backwards to the other side of the boat but luckily I was not on fire. I never thought the force from that gas would be so strong. Even with being an old fireman i was trained to fight those fires but now i understand the terms used as the expanded gas hits you

John came racing out of his cabin looked at the burning stove and ran back to fetch the fire extinguisher and was ready to explode white powder all over the boat like a great firefighter but I had recovered and shot out of the boat and because I was hairless it was faster and switched off the gas supply so only the top and oven part of the stove were burning so I shouted to John to please use a blanket to douse the fire but he couldnt find one. Fortunately I had one at hand and smothered the flames and the fire was out with only a slightly blackened blanket

That is when the reality of the situation set in and I looked ant myself and saw what I had done to myself and how nearly it was to a deadly situation and I was shocked at how quickly things had gone wrong
I have read on many ocasions about gas explosions on boats but never dreamed I would be the victim of one and with no eyelashes no hair hairless arms and legs i looked a sorry state and my eyes started gumming up but not for long luckily

Well that was it all the boats near to Crazy Sophia picked up anchors and ran and I couldnt blame them maybe its because they saw the flames coming out of the gangway or maybe they smelled gas but they were out of there.
Needless to say we knew we couldnt sail on a course towards Brazil and onwards with that SMEV oven and stove one day longer so we went out on the Grenada Cruisers net and eventually we found one but it was bigger and better than the one we had so we had to modify the boat to fit it.
That took a few days but now Crazy Siphia has a Force 10 three plate with and oven and griller so its awesome because it works and we can have toasted cheese with our coffee as well

What was funny was that the few hairs I had left were twisted and every time o put arms together and closed my lips the hair acted like Velcro and kept my mouth shut so i couldnt complain or moan because the hairs were reminding what a stupid situation it was.
Needless to say three months later i have hair growing on my legs and arms again, My moustache is back to normal and my bald spot has grown to look more of a baldy spot without those few stray hairs popping out

I just hope there arent too many of those type of fiery awakenings from this crazy lady


  1. aaaah! sounds like I'm glad I wasn't there...... any pictures of the hairless rat?


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