Saturday, 2 June 2007

I nearly died

I could have died last weekend. Clearly I didn't.

We aren't campers au naturel. We fill our cars to the brim with equipment and we use electricity.

Now we're fairly new to this electricity on campsites lark. Some of the equipment we use used to run off the 12V power outlets in cars. To make this work using 240V mains power it is necessary to use a transformer.

The transformer we bought from a camping shop plugs into a three pin socket and links to a transformer which has a 12 V output with a socket that looks like a car cigarette lighter.

The transformer that Paul and Sandra were using did something similar but was bought in the States by Paul quite a long time ago.

Paul and Sandra are engineers and Sandra works as an electrical engineer.

I don't know much about electricity other than a basic understanding gathered from studying Physics at A Level. I do know that in America they operate on 110V and not 240V. I also know their plugs aren't the same as our three pin plugs.

This might explain what happened on our second night in Sandwich.

In the middle of the night Sandra could smell something that wasn't right. She woke Paul up to push him to investigate. His response, unsurprising for a drunken bloke was to blame bad gas. Sandra persisted and Paul got up to investigate.

He found flames coming out of their transformer which was sat in the middle of their tent.

Paul transformed himself from sleepy, dozy drunk into "man of action" (his words not mine). He chucked the transformer into the heavy rain outside - emergency averted.

Because if their tent had caught fire, ours would too as it was right next door, and then so would Mel and Gary's tent. On the upside this would have meant there wouldn't have been a tent for Mel to be ill over later that night.

No comments: