I've mulled this over for a few days and I've concluded that it definitely was a theft. Here's the story. We anchored near the mouth of Reid Harbor (Stuart Island - about 4 nm away from Roche Harbor) on July 2nd. We launched our dinghy
12.5' with a 25 hp Yamaha outboard) and our 2 kayaks. We settled in and enjoyed the Harbor. When we anchor
, we like our privacy so we avoid the 'congestion' at the head
of the Harbor near the main dock
. We had our 2 kids
and dog with us. We like to walk our dog 3X a day as that works best for his comfort levels. I'm meticulous about tying up our dinghy
and kayaks. On July 3rd we did our last dog walk, had a later dinner, showered up, watched the night come in and settled in to watch a movie
. Went to bed
at 11:30 - all was well. Woke up at 7:00 July 4th and our dinghy and kayaks were gone. Stolen. I used the binocs and scoured the Harbor. Our stuff was nowhere in sight. We had go walk the dog and now had no craft to get to shore (other than moving the mother ship). This was the middle of our first trip. We're....hooped. We need our stuff. Pulled anchor
, went to Friday Harbor fuel dock
up and walk the dog. Told our story to the fuel jockey (she was really sweet and arranged a 2 hour tie up at the barge dock for us) and I reported the theft to the Sheriff's office. Called my insurance
, started a claim and started a new dinghy search. Went back to Canada
with a heavy heart. Couple days later I get a call (on my cell no less) from Victoria Coastguard. Our dinghy and kayaks were found by a homeowner who lives at the mouth of Reid Harbor. Turns out he and his wife are absolute sweethearts. The story is that the next day he finds our stuff at his shoreline with the dinghy prop grinding into the gravel. I suspect that it was a prank gone wrong. Someone decided to prank the Canadians (or our boat regardless of nationality) and may have thought to return our stuff maybe the next night. Stupid. We need our stuff to get to shore and enjoy being anchored AND getting around. When we pulled anchor the prankster(s) must have freaked and just let the stuff drift. I still see it as a theft. I'm glad to have met some nice people along this journey but thought it important to pass on this event. I have to consider locking up my stuff on special days or prank days (I didn't know that July 4th was a day for pranks). Our stuff was retrieved 4 days after the theft and was dirty but ok. Prop scratched up but completely serviceable. I'm still peeved.
PS. We had battery
problems with the dinghy so left it tied to the mother ship the entire time and I used the kayaks to get doggy to shore. It was not an issue of a failed knot
. BTW, we always hoist our American courtesy flag and I do know that there are idiots/thieves on both sides of the border.