[posted by Jeff]
There I was , lying in bed around 0600, sort of asleep and sort of awake. Then I hear a loud bang, followed by another. In my sleep state, it registered as a hold cover being dropped on the deck of one of the seiners nearby and I grumbled about someone making all that noise.
At 0730 my phone rang. I was on my way to make coffee and detoured to the salon to find it. As I came up the ladder I noticed the smoke from the G-East boathouses, which were gone. Turns out that the bang was a propane or fuel tank exploding as the boathouses burned. The entire row collapsed and as of right now, there is no accurate count of how many boats were destroyed. Hopefully, there was no one aboard any of the vessels and there was no loss of life.
As we were watching all this develop, a mere 400 yards away, I remembered that I have our two fuel tanks empty as I am cleaning the sediment from the bottom and replacing the original shutoff valves. I have no way to move the boat right now... (guess which job just got bumped to the top of the work list)? I also ran a mental checklist of safety equipment.
Fortunately, we have safety officer Juliet aboard and she takes her job very seriously. We have three smoke detectors and three carbon monoxide detectors. They are tested monthly and the batteries replaced regularly. We have plenty of fire extinguishers but I am planning on adding more as I go through and finish staterooms. The propane tanks are awaiting their locker on the boat deck but for now live on the stern, where a leak would just flow overboard.
Safety systems, they are important when one lives in a house, and arguably more so when one lives aboard. For now, we'll keep hoping that no one was injured on G-East.