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Old 29-11-2009, 19:29   #1
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You'd Think I'd Know Better by Now...

I'm new here, but I saw this confessional and thought I'd share a recent incident. Day after Thanksgiving near Annapolis, MD.

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.
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Old 29-11-2009, 19:36   #2
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Well...

For someone who has not sailed yet, you are well on your way to fitting right in!


Don't give up. We all have had those days.

Heck, I was working on leveling out my boat in the jackstands, and I did not want to run the risk of toppling it over onto my neighbor's powerboat. So I backed my truck up to pull the powerboat and it's trailer out of the way while I worked.

I am not that familliar with hitching up to trailers, and before I knew it...
!!! C R U N C H !!!

I managed to back my tailgate into the tounge of the other guy's trailer.

I finally got everything moved, leveled, and moved back, but at the end of the day, I had a lovely new dent in my otherwise undamaged truck tailgate,
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Old 29-11-2009, 19:39   #3
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There will be better days under sail...of course there will also be plenty of others where you can just insert a new event into your present story and call it good. At least you didn't go in after the dink!

Keep a positive attitude and you will be surprised how many of these days just become good stories after a couple of sundowners.

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Old 29-11-2009, 21:25   #4
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What did we ever do before cellphones? Thanks for sharing... I think there are some lessons for me here...

- Learn some really good dink tying knots
- make sure someone knows where I am going, even if it's just to the hook for a few hours
- My cellphone is my friend but what if it died?
- Don't swim alone in 47 degree weather (good call BTW)
- Some rich people don't police after their dogs either - cretins
- When it's 47, blowing and cloudy stay home with the rum...
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Old 29-11-2009, 22:14   #5
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Pretty cool story - thanks for sharing! Reminds me a bit of the time I told my mate to drop a bit more anchor line before we jumped off to go spearfishing in strong offshore winds. Watching the boat disappear rapidly toward the horizon when we were miles from anywhere created a lot of anxiety.

(Noting I am sure to commit a few embarrassing acts in the near future - something very few have immunity too).
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Old 29-11-2009, 23:20   #6
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That is quite a story! Hearing about others misfortune always makes me smile. Sorry about the mud, but nice job chasing down the dink. There are not too many folks who would go through so much trouble to chase a small tender with a pinhole in it.
Spencer
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Old 30-11-2009, 00:22   #7
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Double tied...

Having gone for a long swim in Sydney Harbour I now tie the line on in two places on the dink and two places on the boat.

A few times I've found a tie less than secure.

Maybe a few members could suggest ways of properly securing the dinghy?
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Old 30-11-2009, 01:37   #8
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Good to see you here as well Bubblehead.

Welcome Aboard
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Old 30-11-2009, 02:42   #9
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Originally Posted by BubbleHeadMd View Post
All this, and I haven't even sailed yet. Give me strength.
I don't see your problem. You went to the boat, and later, arrived home alive and without finacial loss. Thats a good day!


As for the dog ****, well, just sittin on this boat I get it flung at me a coupla times a day by someone!


Have fun when the weather brightens up a bit


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Old 30-11-2009, 06:14   #10
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These are the kind of things that keeps one a wee bit humble in life............i2f
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Old 30-11-2009, 06:25   #11
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I was lazy, pure and simple. I failed to use a locking figure-8 when I tied the dink to the cleat. Never again.

I almost left the cell phone in the truck because I was worried about getting it wet. Glad I didn't.

The boat was transferred from the mooring to my private slip near my house in even more sheltered waters so I'll sleep much easier now.
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Old 30-11-2009, 09:07   #12
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... 45 minutes later, I was finally home, showering the mud and poo off of me, and downing a half-glass of rum.

Only a half-glass! That shows remarkable self-restraint.

Great story, and I'm glad it all ended well.
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Old 30-11-2009, 16:35   #13
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After a request, I realise I should have posted the rest of the story I started above. The incident was off Yacabba Head, which is the Northern Headland of Port Stephens NSW AUSTRALIA. After the runabout we were diving from disappeared out to sea, we were left sitting on the rocks in wetsuits with out diving gear and the nearest phone was a few hours rock, bush and forest scramble away.

In the end my mate who owned the boat dropped his weight belt and gun, put on his flippers and goggles and sprinted after it. Worst case scenario there is an island a mile or so offshore he could have swam too if he missed the boat while I went to get help. Luckily thanks to those 3’ long free diving fins we use he was able to chase the boat down. He got back looking pretty exhausted and proceeded to let out at least twice the length of anchor rope!

The real bonus was we were wearing wetsuits and fins and he had me to alert the authorities if things went bad. Another mate I did a bit of diving with had something similar happen in onshore winds off the solitary islands at Coffs Harbour. The boat sank leaving them sitting on the rocks in their diving gear until they could wave down a passing boat. (This is seriously one of the reasons why I am buying a steel yacht).

I can only imagine having something similar happen in somewhere in the middle of the Pacific would be genuinely life threatening. Kind of reminds me I should check my anchoring gear and brush-up on my anchoring technique before I head to sea in my new yacht!

Shane
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Old 30-11-2009, 16:56   #14
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huh?

What's your point? Sounds like you had a good day boating....
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Old 30-11-2009, 17:09   #15
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God I love sailing lol How else could you have this much fun!!

Welcome to the cruising life its an adventure but that is what keeps it fun

Wayne Canning, AMS
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