We left Rimouski and headed down river again. The water no longer resembles a river but appears to be the ocean. Our destination was Matane, about a 60 mile run.
A boater’s worst nightmare almost happen to us in the Matane Marina.
As is customary, when gassing up a boat at a gas dock in a marina, you turn off all electrical devices on your boat — generator,circuit breakers, and let your engine-compartment blower run for a few minutes to expel all gas fumes to eliminate all possibilities of a spark-causing fire.
What you don’t expect is that the gas pump itself could cause a spark. Have you ever heard of a gasoline pump nozzle having an electric current running through it, enough to cause sparks right when the nozzle touches the gas-cap opening? That would be unheard of.
Well, that happen to me today. The attendant handed me the gas nozzle, and with the gas cap off, exposing the opening to the gas tank, and when the metal gas nozzle touched the metal opening to the gas tank, sparks flew, causing a small fire around the opening of the gas tank. I even felt a shock when this all happened.
We were fortunate to extinguish the flame immediately.
A mechanic came out with a voltage meter and determined that there were 110 volts coming through the gas metal nozzle. Evidently gas nozzles are wired from the pump, down through the hose to the nozzle, to allow it to shut off. Something was shorting out through the process on this pump.
So to avoid further risk, I got a plastic 5 gallon gas can and had the attendant fill it 12 times as I poured the gas into the boat’s tanks from the plastic gas can. I wanted to top off the gas as we are going over 200 miles tomorrow and I needed a reserve amount of fuel.
Needless to say, this could have been a huge diaster, with a bad ending. We certainly had someone watching over us. We will say extra prayers of thanks to the Good Lord tonight!