I decided to post this rather than hijack another thread on when and if to help fellow cruisers having difficulty. This is a true story.
I was down at the dock
on a breezy summer day changing out the batteries on Idora. Across the way from me (astern) one of my neighbors arrived for an afternoon picnic sail on her classic 30 foot gaff rig catboat. (I had seen her earlier in the week cleaning
and painting and knew that it was her boat.) Now I could see that she had been preparing for a date with her new (non boating
) beau. She looked excited and pleased, obivously looking forward to the afternoon.
In that marina it was common for people to secure their dingy ahead of their boat in the slip, tied off to the bow in some way and to back out with it in that position and then walk the painter back to a stern cleat on the way out of the marina. I noticed that she had moved her anchor
forward during cleaning
and that it was hanging over the bow roller on the starboard side of the bowsprit
In due coiurse she started the engine
, cast off and backed out of the slip. Unfortunately the wind
in combination with the dingy in the water
tied to a bow cleat conspired to prevent her from turning the boat. So back and forth she went unable to turn in the available space, only able to move for and aft. Frantic to control the boat she added more and more power on each fore and aft traverse in a vain attempt to turn. Finally, she gave up and hollered up to her boyfriend to untie the dingy painter and bring it aft so that the she could overcome the wind
and turn the boat. The hapless boyfriend proceeded to untie the chain brake and the anchor
fell straight into the dingy--now she was really in a pickle and resumed roaring to and fro at full power, completely unable to control the boat with the weight of the anchor in the dingy! Quite correctly she hollered up to the boyfriend to recover the anchor. Unfortunately, he proceeded to vault over the bow into the dingy where she could no longer see him. Her anguished cries indicated that she thought he had fallen off the boat until she witnessed the anchor come flying up over the life lines and crash onto the beautiful teak deck
. THEN!! as a result of his thowing the anchor while standing in a moving dink he toppled over backward and splashed into the drink!!
This was just too much and the poor woman was reduced to tears. She cut the engine
and drifted up against the stern(s) of the adjacent boats. By this time everyone in the marina was watching these unfortunate events
and a mob
armed with boat hooks, life slings and dock
lines conveged on the scene. The dingy was secured to the stern, the engine restarted and the beau fished out of the drink and deposited on deck
As they motored out of the marina I could not help but feel that it was quite likely that they would end up married. What an excellent first date.