Sunday, February 1, 2015


It is 12:30 am and I am peacefully sleeping until suddenly catapulted out of bed by the smoke detector.  As I propel myself through the dark boat towards the wood stove I am mentally taking stock of the whereabouts of our fire extinguisher, fire blanket and my large boxes of baking soda.

But once at the front of the boat, no emergency.  Flames are not licking out around the stove door.  Smoke is not spewing forth.  The logs are slowly burning down emitting what warmth remains in them to try and keep the boat from being too freezing when we get up.

False alarm.  But just to be sure, I open a window to make certain we have fresh air circulating through the boat.  Then back to bed.

.....1:15 and I am once again hurled out of bed by the call of the smoke alarm.  This time I am muttering as I move to the front of the boat where all is again serene.  What the heck?  I can't smell any more smoke than one usually smells when you have to open the door of a wood burner.  The fire looks more restful than I am at this moment.  So again, I open another window and go back to bed.

...1:45 and you guessed it.  The siren sound of the alarm blasts me out of bed once again.  This time I am not just muttering.  I am loudly telling the smoke alarm what I feel like doing to it and in no uncertain terms.  The fire in the stove is now just a bed of smoldering embers.  No threat here.  But, just to be sure I open what is probably our last closed window.  The boat is now as cold as the outside and the wind moves through it unobstructed.

I stagger back to my bed and, may God be praised, that is our last false alarm of the night.  Now, it might have something to do with the fact that I took the smoke detector and put it in the cockpit but whatever.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.

It was only much later that morning after a few cups of liquid caffeine that Mike and I decided what we think was actually happening.  Remember all those open windows and all that wind?  We think the wind was blowing the smoke from the chimney back into the boat and setting off the alarm.  Don't tell me God doesn't have a sense of humor.  We could almost hear him chuckling.

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