So, the first day of vacation started at 5 a.m. By 7 or so the boat was on fire. And taking on water. Panic ensued. Everything that could fail, did. First, the hose shown here burned. Then the boat started taking on water. The bilge pump failed. So I started my new "emergency kicker", which promptly stopped working. Turned out the fuel valve was shut off. I remember hearing someone yell "call somebody!". The response? "Who do I call?". Silence. We prepared to swim. G was eyeing his weapons, wondering if the gun case would float. Vince put on his life jacket. I was on the swim deck in ice cold water on my knees. I finally figured out the kicker had no fuel and got us into shore. We had gallons of water on board. Almost as much water in the boat as beer in our bloodstream. Wow. A few guys on board were pissed at me.
Like I wanted a fire on board. Besides the engine was under water soon anyways. And the new kicker Gomes bought, saved the boat. And G's 7 mm. Anyways, it turns out that it was really nothing. A $10.80 hose. What happened was that a hose that was responsible for the cooling water got a kink in it. I simply didn't see it as it was under another hose. So the manifold got red hot and ignited the rubber hose. Scary but no damage was done. If we had been out to sea, it might have been different but we would have had to figure out how to plug the hole. A t-shirt and duct tape. Great Alaska tools for a sinking boat. So I learned a few things. A few of the guys now call it a "death trap" just because of one little fire and a near sinking. Geez. Babies. G and I have fixed it and we are going back out. Pictures to follow of great times and happy (unburned) faces. I lived another day to see the girls. P.S. G will be taking the pics this vacation. My camera ended up in a few feet of oily water in all the excitement. It is funny how fragile electronics are. Almost as fragile as some of the babies on board today. Wahhhh! We are sinking. And on fire. Boo hoo! Where is your mama, cry baby?


Andy said…
Babies??? Oh reeeeally? First, let's talk about what led up to this near disaster. The four of us: "Hey Ben, that engine doesn't sound right. And why won't it go into gear properly? Maybe we should stay near the dock until we figure this out." Adams' response: "Relax, it'll be fine. The boat is just stiff." Applies full throttle, heads out to sea. Noise worsens. 15 seconds later, exhaust hose melts, BOOM! vaporized fuel explodes. Fire breaks out. Sea water pours into boat.

Now the response from Cap'n Ben: "Ohmygodohmygodohmygodwhatarewegonnadowearegonnadie." He freaks, can't remember where fire extinguisher is, can't think of who to radio for help, can't start the kicker. Keeps insisting that the inoperative bilge pump will come on automatically. It didn't.

To his credit, once the kicker did start, Ben sat on the rear deck about six inches below the frigid water line and limped the boat back to the dock. That kicker was a lifesaver. But, suffice to say, the only infant on the HMS Bulldog was Rear Admiral Adams. Unless crapping your pants makes you a baby.
Well we will just have to disagree on the facts. I got the fire extinguisher immediately. The damn kicker fuel was shut off and I had to show you where it was..that WAS my fault. I didn't want to radio for help. We could have plugged the hole. And the stiff gear had nothing to do with the kinked gear. Nothing. I was right: I took her out on the Kenai tonight and the stiff gear worked just fine. All fixed now. That is what matters.
Alaskan Madman said…
As a mariner and a pilot, it is always, always advisable to conduct a sea test or pre-flight check BEFORE setting out as you did. (Including a newly installed back-up kicker, which is a warning sign because it was "new".) I know the trailer broke, and a sea test was not possible. That was a concern of mine, though I had other reasons for being unable to attend.
FYI - Monitor Channel 16.

Alaskan Madman
Anonymous said…
More proof that God protects fools and drunks. Or is it drunken fools?
Good luck brave souls on this Mini Exxon Valdez.
Andy said…
Liz says I was a bit harsh. Fine. It wasn't that bad. Ben was an oak. Now let's get some damn fish.
Alaskan madman: good advice. I KNEW you were too scared to come. A mental checklist is in the works and I definately learned a lot of stuff. Hopefully there is never another emergency on the boat but if there is, I think I am better prepared. On to the next adventure!
Anonymous said…
Nice. I wish I was there... sort of.

We're not going to have an emergency kicker when we're in the middle of the bush with nothing but the packs on our back and eachother. I hope you got the panic out of your system. I don't want to get shot for a bear when go out of the tent to take a wee.

Panic boy.

Jeremy: to say I wasn't a little paniced would be a lie. BUT it was because everything failed at once. And I stay clear headed enough to get the boat back to shore. Besides, I am going to be fine: I am going to strap a 'good luck' ham to you before bed. That way I won't worry about bears.
fdr said…
OMG, the story was funny enough, but the manly ribbing from your friends is even better..."choice."

Glad your all OK though...not too much room for error on these Alaska Adventures.

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