Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 19-05-2014, 10:39   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: On a boat
Boat: Centurion 32 ft
Posts: 20
The Dinghy of Doubt

Hi sailors
I thought you might appreciate a newbie sailor's eye view of the dinghy in all its rubbery glory. Taken from my blog, emmajayashton | Songs from the Seas where you can find further tales of misadventure.

The dinghy provides safe, dry (ish) transport to the shore from a mooring or anchorage, at any time of the day or night, as well as a handy albeit never even remotely graceful entry point into the boat after a swim.

My relationship with this dinghy has been fraught with anger, fear and frustration. The reason for this, I discovered after an in-depth psychological self-examination, is that this nondescript, inert, floating rubber structure had become a kind of mirror to all of my deepest fears and doubts.

Those fears and doubts are discussed here in an article of a cathartic nature, through which I will lay my dinghy doubts to rest once and for all, leaving the dinghy and I free to enjoy future happy times together.

I can hear you wondering out loud whether this might not be a case of the Ashton overdramatising things again. I can thoroughly assure you that it is.

THE ORIGIN OF DINGHY DOUBT
It all started when the dinghy was blown up and used for the first time, in the idyllic turquoise waters of Carriacou, in the blazing midday heat. The dinghy takes a while to blow up with a manual foot pump and is heavy and cumbersome to heave over the side of the boat. Now bear in mind that this only needs to be done once and youíve got months and months of peaceful anchorage existence ahead of you. But I think that all of this stuff happening a day after a 28-day voyage made something pop inside my brain, and I immediately started viewing the dinghy as a fun destroyer.

Doubts and fears mirrored by dinghy:
Living on a boat is much more trouble than itís worth and you hate it.
The heavy cumbersome dinghy is going to land on one of your limbs and break it at some point. Like everything else on this boat.
Why have those people on that boat got an electric pump? Should I be hanging out with richer people?
How come their dinghy simply gets hydraulically winched from a handy locker embedded in the sprawling deck of their fifty foot catamaran? Should I be hanging out with richer people?

DINGHY DOUBT INCUBATES
My first experience of an anchorage, also in Carriacou, was, I am sad to admit, marred by dinghy doubt. At this point there were several issues becoming apparent.
1. The boat received the first scratches in its brand new amazing shiny red paint job when the dinghy motor accidentally banged against the side when one of us (not me) was climbing in or out. Meaning that an already precarious entry/exit procedure which included one-legged balancing acts akin to something a flamingo might do, various types of hoisting and a complex bag-passing system, was made even more complicated by trying not to let the dinghy nudge the side of the boat, EVER.
2. The motor, it turns out, is temperamental (no past tense here). Sometimes, it doesnít start. Sometimes, it does, and then it stops.
3. Every time we got in the dinghy, one of us had to get out again because weíd forgotten something. Sometimes twice.
4. The dinghy docks always have spiky bits on which could puncture the dinghy.

Doubts and fears mirrored by dinghy:
You totally scratched Philís boat and he now hates you.
Youíll probably scratch it again because you are a clumsy sod.
One day getting in or out of the dinghy you are going to end up doing the splits with one leg on the dinghy and one leg on the boat and the dinghy will shoot away causing your body to be ripped entirely in half.
You are definitely going to drop the bag with all the money in it in the water.
Or fall in the water, which most likely has sharks in it, remember that guy on his honeymoon who got eaten by sharks?
You can never, ever use the dinghy alone in case the motor (you know absolutely nothing about motors) fails and you are left to drift out into the open ocean, where you will starve slowly to death, or get eaten by sharks. This means you have no independence and will never get to spend time alone, and also means you are a massive loser.

Thus a few minor hitches for a frazzled post-Atlantic neurotic quickly spiralled into a deep hatred for this rubbery spawn of Satan. It was starting to look like there was no hope.

DINGHY DOUBT TAKES HOLD
Youíve read about the problems so far; they repeated themselves day after day, nourishing each of the dinghy doubts further, creating a black hole of negativity where the dinghy used to be. Then, I gave rowing a try. What a disaster. By this point, the self-perpetuating dinghy doubts were so out of control that I was left, rowing around in circles, stubbornly refusing to row any harder as the dinghy got pushed out to sea by strong winds. By this point, I would rather have been mowed down by a speedboat than let that dinghy win. I couldnít give it and its stupid spazzy oars any more of my time or energy. The dinghy made me cry, that rubbery arsehole.

Doubts and fears mirrored by dinghy:
I am going to get chucked off this boat for moaning so much about the dinghy.

DINGHY DOUBT BREAKS
Lots of niggling annoyances which werenít that bad fade into daily routine; things are rarely forgotten, bags are not dropped, entry and exit of the dinghy has become graceful and sylph like, the motor is much more reliable, regular snorkelling reveals harmless, sharkless waters, and further scratches have been prevented. Only one issue remained. I still hadnít summoned the courage to take the dinghy to shore alone.

It was time to take action. The scene: Kralendijk on the stunning island of Bonaire, an hour before sunset.
The action: I stare dinghy doubt in the face and fearlessly embark on my maiden solo dinghy voyage. It went like this.

Don swimsuit, get yoga mat, get in dinghy.
Hang desperately on to side of boat for maybe ten or fifteen minutes, begging skipper not to untie dinghy in case motor doesnít start. Iím not exaggerating. This is the level of dinghy doubt Iíd reached.
Persuade skipper to hold motor a little away from boat while I try to start it.
Motor starts and dinghy sets off, straight into offshore wind, causing dinghyís pathetic rubbery nose to fly up in air threatening to cast me out or capsize. I have to sprawl myself, terrified, over entire length of dinghy while still trying to steer (have I mentioned that if you fall out of a dinghy when the motor is on, it buzzes around you in circles while the propellor rips your body into tiny shreds until nothing remains of you except a few ribbons of swimsuit and your fillings?).
Make it to shore, tie dinghy to dock, experience brief moment of elation.
Do about two minutes of snorkelling and about five minutes of yoga, glancing at dinghy every ten seconds in case it has drifted off, worrying incessantly about the journey back.
Sack off yoga, get back in dinghy, try to start motor, motor doesnít start, all of my dinghy doubts coming flooding back. Fishermen laugh at me as I frantically tug the starting cord and paddle my hands manically, trying to avoid ropes on which the propellor can snag.
Sack off motor, row back, whimpering. Arrive safely at boat, successfully avoiding castaway scenario or circular rowing embarrassment. Breathe shaky sigh of relief.

After that, I just got over it. After all, itís only a dinghy, and I think it got blown up out of all proportion.
__________________

__________________
emmajayashton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2014, 18:49   #2
Registered User
 
David Dennis's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida
Boat: Grand Banks 42
Posts: 26
Re: The Dinghy of Doubt

I enjoyed the sense of humor in your article - funny work!

May you continue to improve your relationship with the poor dinghy.

I'm testing out a Torqeedo Electric Outboard - it might be a good answer for you if your motor continues to be balky. I've used it for an hour or so and it seems to work pretty smoothly. Unfortunately, it's a pretty expensive product that probably doesn't offer particularly good value for money for most people.

If you hang out with rich friends, they would probably let you borrow their electric dinghy inflator ... you probably don't want to buy one since I believe they require 110 volt electricity, which I'm guessing is not a standout feature of your boat.

D
__________________

__________________
David Dennis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2014, 19:21   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
FSMike's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bahamas/Florida
Boat: Solaris Sunstar 36' catamaran
Posts: 2,654
Images: 5
Re: The Dinghy of Doubt

There are never sharks in the water.
Well, maybe if you drop the bag with the money in it.

Your writing's great.
__________________
Sail Fast Live Slow
FSMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2014, 19:26   #4
Registered User
 
IceDog's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Montana
Boat: Building a Seaclipper 24
Posts: 224
Re: The Dinghy of Doubt

Thanks for making me laugh out loud...Great title and a great post!
__________________
Tilting at windmills...sigh, always tilting at windmills
IceDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-05-2014, 19:39   #5
Registered User
 
Cotemar's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Boat: FP, Helia 44 Evo
Posts: 5,717
Re: The Dinghy of Doubt

Tasty Rib

__________________
Cotemar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-05-2014, 09:29   #6
********* Emeritus
 
SaucySailoress's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 8,236
Re: The Dinghy of Doubt

Welcome aboard Emma. I like your writing, and hope you'll hang around and respond a bit here, it would be fun to have you aboard, methinks!!
__________________

SaucySailoress is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-05-2014, 15:53   #7
Registered User
 
Dulcesuenos's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Florida Keys, Bahamas Bound
Boat: 38' French Cat
Posts: 2,828
Images: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
Lol thats an oh crap moment,
Welcome aboard Emma, cant wait to see what you write about buckets,,,,,
__________________
Dulcesuenos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2014, 16:56   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: On a boat
Boat: Centurion 32 ft
Posts: 20
Re: The Dinghy of Doubt

Ha ha thanks for your comments guys...I do indeed have several opinions already on buckets, and even more on the dreaded boom and the toilet which you have to flush eighteen times! Oh, it's fun being a newbie sailor. Check out my blog if you enjoyed my writing, it's even got comedy songs about night watches on it I'll make sure to pop in from time to time to give you all a giggle at my latest boat gripe!

emmajayashton | Songs from the Seas
__________________
emmajayashton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2014, 16:58   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: On a boat
Boat: Centurion 32 ft
Posts: 20
Re: The Dinghy of Doubt

Ha ha ha thanks...I think!
__________________
emmajayashton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-05-2014, 17:21   #10
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Spanish & US Virgin Islands
Boat: Privilege P-45
Posts: 16
Re: The Dinghy of Doubt

Me thinks a travel writer is born here. But then again, who really cares what me thinks? Keep it up!
__________________
BOATDOCTOR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-05-2014, 02:43   #11
********* Emeritus
 
SaucySailoress's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 8,236
Re: The Dinghy of Doubt

Emma, I need to share your blog with all my friends. The dinghy experience, especially, reflected exactly my doubts about it (although it's my second best friend now); but I could never have worded it so eloquently!
__________________

__________________

SaucySailoress is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
dinghy

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DINGHY ... DINGHY ... Caribe ... AB ... Mercury alphabravo2 General Sailing Forum 11 03-01-2014 08:04
For Sale: LOTS of stuff (dinghy, outboard, sails, dinghy-tow, etc.) decca Classifieds Archive 7 31-03-2013 12:40
Raymarine Cseries power cable doubt Sonia3000 Marine Electronics 0 24-09-2012 08:40
Admiral Dinghy and his RTW Trip in a 9' Dinghy? Bark Cruising News & Events 4 09-11-2009 07:21



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:44.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.