How I Spent St. Patrick's Day

How I Spent St. Patrick’s Day

While everyone else in Savannah was partying, I spent the day cleaning and restarting a diesel stove.

Throngs of drunk people dressed in green wandered past the boat. A band set up their stage on the harborfront directly across from our boat – facing our boat – and serenaded us all day long.

I’m exhausted. My day began before the 9 a.m. deejay started mixing. At 3 a.m. last night I heard someone stirring in the galley beside my bed. It was Eve. Smoke from the diesel stove was finding its way into the folks’l where she and Bly and Rigby sleep.

Needless to say, when I heard Eve again at 5:45 a.m., worried about the gross black stuff coming out the chimney top, we turned off the stove. I made breakfast on the hot plate and using the electric oven. Then I spent most of the rest of the day trying to start a flame in that darn stove – and then keep it alive.

What we discovered was that the stove was choking on its own thick ash. It wasn’t burning quite hot enough – likely because I had been running the fan to contradict the draft when we were sailing yesterday… and forgot to turn it off. The fan probably caused the fuel not to burn hot enough to burn off the residue it creates inside the firebox. Yes, I now understand (somewhat) how a diesel stove works!

Later Eve and I walked the streets a while, marveling at the decibel level, checking out the crowd.

Around 11 p.m., as I was crawling into bed, one of those magical moments happened – the kind I always hoped for on the Neverland. First one, then another, and then another crew member slowly congregated around my bunk until everyone but the captain was there, talking, laughing. I felt like Wendy telling bedtime stories to the Lost Boys.