Night two of the beach trip with the church youth group, and it was time for their worship service on the beach.
For the first time in years, we're not under a burn ban, so the chance for a fire is pretty exciting. One of the families brought a big bag of dry mesquite, another provided a giant metal bowl to contain the fire. Two of us stored up our dryer lint for tinder.
And then we couldn't get the fire to start.
The books of matches were damp in the ocean humidity and the wind was blowing out what little action we could get from the lighter we found.
A rotating group of six or seven or twelve of us were making wind shelters, finding other tinder, and blowing gently on the bits we could get to flame.
At one point we had a hoodie and a towel over our heads, a pizza box wind shelter and our bodies protecting the fire pit. Everyone covered in a fine patina of sand.
Tinder tried included paper bags, pizza box, tortilla chips, coffee filters, hand sanitizer, alcohol pads, and shelf fungus.
It was nearly dark out when we started, and soon we were depending on phones and a single book light to illuminate our efforts.The worship team started thinking about an alternative focal point-you can make a fair amount of magic with glowsticks, right?
And then my partner walked over to the next beach house and asked to borrow their lighter fluid. A little squirt on one of those coffee filters, and soon enough, we had our fire.
The wood was dry indeed, and burned merrily.
By the time the worship service was over, it was a wonderful mix of coals and flame, perfect for s'mores production.