Friday, 1 July 2016

Too much excitement

The last thing Mary Anne and I were interested in after 55 days of taking turns cooking en-route was preparing another meal aboard Traversay III.

So, in the early evening, we set out towards Zizzi's, an appealing Italian restaurant with a familiar name from our London days.

We had walked no more than ten paces down the dock from our boat when a flicker of light caught our eye from a nearby powerboat.  In less than a minute, the flicker had turned into a serious conflagration.  As neighbours came running and unrolling fire hoses, I called the fire department.  We quickly realized our tiny fire extinguishers would be useless and efforts were more concentrated on protecting the adjacent boats with sprays of water than in any serious belief that the fire could be controlled.  Hoses were advanced when they seemed to be having some effect and a hasty retreat declared as various butane bottles exploded with a sharp crack.  Diesel fuel, cabin woodwork  and fiberglass fueled a bright and smoky fire.

In a short time, the firemen arrived and tamed the flames with their much larger hoses.  Of course, unlike in a house fire where all that water flows away or fills the basement - it sinks a boat lower and lower in the water!

By morning, the bow was all that was visible; Traversay III sits a few slips down in the background. Fortunately, a favorable wind direction [for us] spared us any of the acrid smoke.

And as if all this excitement weren't enough, the dive team then arrived to tidy things up.

At first, all their busy-work seemed to have little effect as they started various compressors and a hard-hat diver positioned air bags around the sunken hull.

Then, very quickly, more and more of the cabin started to appear.  The diver rushed to and fro adjusting the bags as the emerging hull tried to roll over first one way and then the other.

Finally, diving was done and pumps emptied the remaining water from the hull, The derelict was subsequently towed away to a lift where the insurers could begin to contemplate the nature of their loss.

All was again quiet and tidy in our Townsville marina.

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