I'm new here, but I saw this confessional and thought I'd share a recent incident. Day after Thanksgiving near Annapolis
So I'm a new owner and my boat was moored (to a professionally installed mooring) in a nearby creek because the weather
has been too foul to bring it home to my slip.
I've spent all weekend watching videos of sailboats foundering on Youtube and reading horrific stories (Like SV Distant Star), freaking out because my boat is unattended and we were getting 20kt winds with gusts to 30kts.
I figure I don't want to be another guy whose boat gets loose and causes a problem so I throw a lifejacket, the dink and a bunch of electrical
tools and a new bilge pump
into the truck. I drive out to the marina, load up the dink and row out to my boat with no problem. The wind
damned near blew me there.
The dink (hard plastic) has a pinhole leak, so I haul it out of the water
onto the foredeck and tie it off to a cleat. I watch the wind
beat on it for a minute and pronounce it good. I check the lines to the mooring
, and they seem secure so I relax a little. I unbutton the cabin
and go down to untangle the electrical
spaghetti I've inherited.
About 10 minutes later I hear "bonk, thud, splash". I run up and see the dink in the water
, its lead resting on the lifelines
. I reach for it, and "sploosh" into the drink it goes. I drop back down, grab the boathook, but too late, the wind has carried the dink out of reach in seconds.
I strip off my slicker, kick off my shoes, ready to jump into the water, but then I remember that it's only 47 degrees without the windchill and my self-preservation gene kicks in. I sat there for 10 solid minutes watching that boat float away, getting about 6 different kinds of pissed off. It's windy, cold, and cloudy and there is NO ONE about. The damned pier is only 35-40 yards away, but it might as well have been another planet.
The anticlimax is, I used my cell phone
and called around. The local beach community vice-pres and some of his buddies came out and plucked me off and back to shore a couple hours later. I saw my dink waaaaaaaaaaaaay at the end of the creek, washed up on shore.
But wait, there's more!
The kind gents who gave me a lift
, lent me a boat hook and gave me driving directions to the dink. It washed up in a neighborhood of enormous mansions. The dang thing had washed up into a marsh. I cautiously made my way out to it through the reeds and grass until without warning, the soil composition changed and I hit the muck and "Slurp!", the mud sucked me down, nearly to my waist. I dug myself out and stuck to the grassy clumps. I recovered the dink and drug it back through the mud and grass getting stuck 2 more times.
I finally made it back to my truck. As I was man-handling the dink into the truck in the stiff wind, I slipped in dog-$hit that someone had left while walking their dog. I fell right on my bum. 45 minutes later, I was finally home, showering the mud and poo off of me, and downing a half-glass of rum
All this, and I haven't even sailed yet. Give me strength.