Our first anchorage, after leaving Elizabeth Harbour off George Town on Great Exuma island, was Lee Stocking Island. Ewan asked Ross to teach Ellie how to work the anchor windlass. It turned into quite the lesson in survival.
Excerpt from CHAPTER 1 7 – REVERSING COURSE
Ross raced to the bow inside the forward cabin and threw open the inspection door. Smoke billowed out and fire was dripping in clumps of flaming grease from the windlass motor. In no time it would ignite the 200 feet of nylon anchor line coiled under a pile of chain in the bottom of the locker. He emptied a CO2 extinguisher into the burning compartment and visibility shot to zero in a white flurry.
Reaching into the smoking cavity, Ross groped for the thick wire that supplied power to the windlass. When it burned his hand, he knew it was the one. The cable was too thick to yank apart and there was no way to see the nut holding it on.
Ross searched through the toolkit Ewan had pointed out during their boat orientation together and grabbed a hacksaw. With flaming grease raining around his arm, he feverishly sawed away at the live cable until it parted. The windlass stopped immediately.
“Are we going back to replace the windlass?”
“Nope. The rest of the electronics seem OK. You’ll just have to do anchor sets by hand and live with that burned wire smell in the forward cabin.”