Sunday, December 23, 2007

Michael rowed the boat ashore, hallelujah!.....12.23.07

They say there are those that have…..and those that will. Well, we’ve finally graduated into the ‘those that have’ category. We flipped the dinghy on a beach landing. Looking back on it, we learned a ton of things. Let me set the scene for you.

We had just come from a leisurely lunch on land and were dinghy’ing back to the boat when I had the wild idea that we check out the coastline since it was such a beautiful day – the sun was shining, I was dressed nice and warm, and the temp was probably 65 or so. Now when I say I was dressed warm, I was wearing my heaviest black sweater, a heavy water resistant jacket, jeans, & ugg boots. Michael & Chad were both in shorts, t-shirts, & flip flops. I was snapping away pictures and we cruised for about a mile and a half to two miles. We were commenting on how nice the beaches looked, and decided to go in to check one of them out. The surf wasn’t breaking, it looked nice and mellow. Chad put his money & phone into his pocket, I put the camera in my jacket pocket, and the movie camera was in my other pocket. Michael’s backpack was in the forward V of the dinghy, Chad’s was beside me. I had taken off my ugg boots to prepare to run the dinghy up the shore and we started coming in for a landing…. suddenly there were a string of 3 breakers…..and the 2nd one tossed us. People say things like this happen in slow motion…..this wasn’t the case for us. The dinghy tossed upside down – everyone and everything went flying and it happened so quickly that all 3 of us think that time actually sped up during those 20 seconds or so. Michael & Chad cleared the dinghy when it flipped, I ended up underneath it. When I finally surfaced I could only hear “flip the dinghy over” and “grab the stuff”. I went scrambling for everything – I managed to get the backpacks, the camera bag, one ugg boot, one flip flop and a life preserver. Meanwhile Michael & Chad were dragging the boat up onto the beach. Once the dinghy was safely up the shore, and drained a bit, we decided to get the heck back out of there as the tide was rising and there seemed to be more and more breakers hitting the beach. The dinghy engine was soaked and wouldn’t start so we’d be rowing it out of there. We timed it perfectly, everyone got on the boat, the dinghy wheels were raised and we rowed out of there. We found my other ugg boot, but decided against looking for Michael’s other flip flop.

We traded off rowing & paddling back to the boat, Chad & I paddled while Michael tried to revive the engine and then we would switch and Michael would row while we rested. I had changed my soaking wet sweater for a spare t-shirt before we headed out which was smart since everything I wore weighed a ton wet!! We decided the theme song for the day would be “Michael rowed the boat ashore, hallelujah!” We also decided that I could survive underwater a lot longer than the dinghy engine….a redeeming quality if I’ve ever heard one! hahaha. Oh, c’mon, you have to have a sense of humor during these things!! We got about half way back when a nice man & his son on a commercial fishing vessel came over and asked us if we needed a tow back in. Of course, we GLADLY accepted!

Back at the boat we were all completely FROZEN!! And wouldn’t you know it….one of the items that was lost was the KEY to the boat! Doh!! Haha…. So Michael figured out a way to get inside without destroying something while Chad unloaded the stuff from the dinghy and rinsed the stuff out.

So what did we learn?
Never, ever, think a dinghy landing is a breeze.
Always, no matter what, secure everything before attempting a dinghy landing.
Take a VHF radio with you, no matter where you go! (Not as if we’d use it, we were in no danger, but it reminded us to have one with us at all times anyway).
Secure all of the ‘important’ stuff in waterproof bags & secure it to the boat.
Swimming suits are required for any dinghy ride!

Long story short, we got lazy, did something stupid, and forgot for a moment that Mother Nature & the power of the sea are in control, not us. That won’t happen again!!

No one was hurt – sure, there were a couple of bumps & bruises & some stiff & sore backs & necks, we lost a set of keys, some change, Michael’s hat (how many will we have to bring with us to last the 6 months!), his ‘favorite’ pair of sunglasses, & his flip flop. And of course, some bruised egos. Luckily, no one was there to see us! A bonus!! The only thing that didn’t make it was the camera – apparently it isn’t waterproof and I haven’t been able to revive it. When we purchased the camcorder, we looked long and hard at a non-waterproof one but the thing we kept worrying about was that it might get wet. That was a good decision. It works perfectly fine even after it’s dunking. So when we’re in San Diego, we’ll be camera shopping. It’s a bummer because this little camera has been so good to us! Until then, Chad has lent me his camera to use.

After a warm shower, a good dinner, & a movie, we all crashed & even slept in a bit this morning. Michael & Chad worked on the dinghy engine and was able to get it working by noon. This afternoon we plan to dinghy into town so we can do a load or two of laundry (all of the salt soaked items) and try to relax. We owe a drink to the nice fisherman who towed us in and we have a friend of a friend on the island that we were supposed to meet up with yesterday that we have to find & apologize for standing up!

The weather looks like Santa Ana’s are going to hit so for now we’re planning to hang out here for a while. We’re paid up through the week so we’ll see how it goes.

It’s been an action packed couple of days…hahaha….I’ve enjoyed it and find it pretty exciting. Michael’s ready to have nothing happen. Hey, isn’t that the cruising life? Fixing the boat in exotic places! Poor Michael…..the first day out it rained, the second day we got our butts kicked on the crossing, the third day he had to fix the head in the morning (a frustrating task!) and then rolled the dinghy during a landing, had to row the boat back, lost his stuff….he just needs a nice calm day! He keeps questioning this cruising life! Hahaha….

So that’s the cruising life so far – I hope you’re enjoying hearing about it all. I look forward to the comments that everyone is posting! Thanks!!

More to follow….Cheers!
Michael, Rene, & Chad


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