I left the boat out on the mooring
this weekend. Rather than have to get up early and row out in the dark tomorrow morning I decided to go out and get it this afternoon. It was blowing 15 gusting to 25 but the boat is in a relatively protected little nook. I decided it seemed pretty safe and that I could go for it.
I got off the dock
and tried rowing against the wind
to make sure I could do it in case I overshot the boat which I could. I turned around and started heading out. I was surprised how much I was getting blown around, not only out towards the boat but getting rotated a bit too. Well about half way out a big gust hit me and spun me sideways. I dug in with my windward oar to try to right myself. The oar popped out of the oar lock, the shock of which caused me to fumble and dig in my now leeward oar and trip the dinghy
I watch water
come to within an inch of the edge of the gunnel guard before the dink righted itself. At this point I was badly off course and was going to miss the boat and (hopefully) fetch up on an abandoned island 300 yards away.
I overcorrected and ended up pinned against the mooring
ball then, as I drifted down, against the bow, I again over-corrected and ended up too far off the boat and drifting at an alarming rate away from the boat and succor and into the white capped and ice jammed bay. Just as I was about to pass the boat and be really screwed I grabbed the stern cleat. I washed the alkaline taste from my mouth with whatever saliva I had left and climbed aboard.
Had I gone in that water
I would have had about 5 minutes before I was unnable to rescue
myself. I am sternly reminded again, that we are all here only by the rightness of the decisions we make and maybe by the grace of god. Next time I will not even chance it on a windy day unless it is August.