sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Australia Cruising USA Cruising Canada Boats for Sale Sail-World Racing Photo Gallery FishingBoating
Photo Gallery FishingBoating Video Gallery Newsletters

 

Sail-World.com : The Complicated Tale of Runaway Bob the Dinghy

The Complicated Tale of Runaway Bob the Dinghy

'Runaway Bob'    .

There are those sailors who have had experiences like this, and there are those that won't admit it. No laughing is permitted while reading the following story about Bob the Dinghy and his experienced sailor owner:
 
We’d spent the Sunday evening of a long weekend on our boat, with the forecast for a fine Monday and nice breezes. After a bloody cold night, we got going around 11 am, intending to go to our club and top up the water tanks. As per usual, we started the motor, then I unhooked Bob from the stern cleat, and walked forward to attach him to the mooring buoy.
 
I then cast off from the mooring (single-handed, partner -- who wishes to remain anonymous -- was down below), and smartly went back to grab the tiller, to ensure we didn't foul the mooring line, hit any other boats, etc.
 
The rest of the day on the water was pretty routine. We picked up some friends from the sailing club, had a chat with others on the dock, then headed off. Filled up with fuel at the local fuel wharf, then a great sail for the day in 10-15 knots.
 
Anyway, in the middle of all this, I announced that I had no memory of actually tying Bob to the mooring buoy. 'Nah,' they all said, 'You did it, and it was so automatic, you just can't remember doing it. Happens to us all the time!'
 
Reassured, I stopped worrying.
 
By the time we dropped off our friends back at the club, it was starting to get dark. By the time we were approaching the mooring, it was pitch black – and with no cheery white Bobbing dinghy to guide us in.
 
Yep, sometime between untying Bob at the stern, and walking to the bow, I'd just let him go. No idea how, why or when. Certainly wasn’t a case of a dud knot; we have a loop spliced on the end of his painter that loops over the mooring buoy and CAN’T come undone. Also had never noticed him floating around as I motored off...
 
So there we were, pitch black, no dinghy, with the car a couple of hundred metres away on the opposite side of the water. What do we do?
 
Aha, I know: We'll liberate another dinghy from the near side of the water, tying our boat up to the wharf there. There's also a handy set of bolt cutters in the cockpit locker (kept for just this sort of emergency).
 
So we chase away the fishermen from the wharf, and I set off with a torch and bolt cutters. The plan is to cut the chain, take the dinghy so we can get ashore where our car was, then return to the opposite side and put a note on the dinghy explaining our situation, and leaving a phone number so we can pay for a new chain.
 
Fortunately, I find a dinghy which has the chain bolted on with just a pair of screws, which means the need to cut the chain is eliminated. Run back to the boat and grab a screwdriver.
 
This all works OK. Dinghy is released from its chains, and paddled around to the boat, waiting at the dock. We head back to mooring, pick it up and put the boat on it; then I ferry partner via stolen dinghy to the car side of the river so she can do the 20 minute drive around to the other side to collect me, then I paddle back to our boat to finish looking her up, closing sea-cocks, etc etc, before paddling over to the near shore, and replacing the bolts on the dinghy saddle. Easy.
 
BUT THIS IS NOT THE END OF THE STORY!!!!
 
Attached to the saddle that held the chain in place was also the dinghy's painter. In my haste, did I reattach the saddle to ensure the painter was properly held on? No. Happily it held while we were towing the dinghy back to our mooring. However, as I approached the mooring after dropping off partner, the painter came loose in my hand. But at least the saddle and bolts were still there. To save time, I tied the dinghy to our boat stern-first using a VERY short length of string (not rope), and attaching it to a line looped off the stern of the boat.
 
Then jumped back on board, did all the shutdown stuff according to the list, double-checking things like the ports were closed, electrics off, sea-cocks closed, etc etc. Lock up and chuck a couple of bags in the dinghy, hop in the dinghy, and get ready to paddle ashore. Last job is to arrange a bit of netting in the stern 'sugar scoop' that the previous owner used to keep the ducks off when the boat lived up the coast. Having seen ducks around our mooring, we continue this practice.
 
Now to do this, I need to undo the string holding the dinghy to the boat. Then to finish arranging the netting, I need to step back on the boat for a second. You guessed it! I look up, and there's the dinghy, just out of reach and getting further away.
 
Damn! damn! damn!. What do I do? Strip off all my clothes and swim for it (it's a coldish night, but I reckon it'd be OK)? Call the Coastguard and wait an hour or so while they come around? None of these are very attractive.
 
Ah, I know, start the boat up and motor around to collect it. The torch is in the dinghy, and it's on, so at least I can see it. So unlock the hatches (whoa, am I glad the keys don't happen to be sitting on the dinghy seat), put on the electrics (including nav lights), open the engine seacock, start the engine, run up the front and cast off the mooring. Run back to cockpit, put her in gear, grab the tiller.

Crap, the tiller's lashed to the backstay; what kind of stupid knot did I use to tie it up? Shove the motor back into neutral and wrestle with the knot (thinking a knife may be the solution here). Finally it comes free, and I can go get the dinghy.
 
Now where is it? Despite having a lighted torch in it, it's completely disappeared. Happily I did think to grab the billion candlepower spotlight, and I can soon pick it up. Stolen dinghy’s actually only about 20 m away (which is an interesting lesson, despite that torch being on -- a Dolphin one with a fresh battery -- just happened to be facing away from me and therefore was invisible...). Pick up the dinghy and reattach it to the stern (still stern first, because that painter isn't attached, remember).
 
Get back to the mooring, manage to pick it up OK (thank god there's no wind or tide), and restart the leaving-the-boat process. Lock it all up, and get back in the dinghy. In the meantime, partner rings: 'What on earth are you doing? Why are the nav lights back on?' Me: 'Just don't ask, OK.'
 
Finally cast off and paddle ashore, duck net in place. Drag dinghy back to its resting place and screw the bolts back in. In doing so, I find the nyloc nuts and washers that had been on the other side of the bolts, and which had dropped to the ground; earlier I was able to undo the screws without touching these -- I'd initially thought the screws were just self-tappers.... Do them up extra tight for the owner, so they hopefully won't let go in future.
 
As a final present, leave the perfectly good oar we'd picked up floating past the dock at the club earlier when dropping off our friends. Too long for our locker (and our little dinghy, if we ever see him again (SOB)). Hopefully the oar will be a pleasant surprise for the owner, whoever he is...
 
That's it.
 
FOOTNOTE: After a week, no sign of Bob, but left his details with Water Police. The Water Police guy was great. Said (Thursday) that he'd be going out later that afternoon, and would have a special search for the little guy. That was before all the rain started. Really, he could be anywhere on the waterways.

The tide was going out as we left, so he could have been swept up into the river, or down through the harbour and into the sea, and of course later we had a moderate westerly wind... Or he could have just drifted around the corner and be sitting somewhere in a bay filling up with water in all the rain.

So the following weekend, we mounted our own S&R operation, and after a couple of hours searching found him in completely the opposite direction we’d expected -- in the very last place we decided to look.

He’d been dragged up on shore, and was hiding in a little bay not far from




by Mark Cherrington

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=49135

9:29 PM Tue 23 Sep 2008 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World

The Galley Guys take on the Vancouver International Boat Show by Greg Nicoll with Frank Leffelaar and Friends,










Remember to properly dispose of obsolete distress beacons by Australian Maritime Safety Authority,




World ARC fleet bids farewell to Bali by World Cruising Club,














World ARC crews in Bali by World Cruising Club,


Could your sailing navigation use a tune-up? by Captain John Jamieson, Florida












The Boat Cookbook by BoatBooks,










World ARC fleet now arriving in Bali by World Cruising Club,














What can you do to prevent electrocution and ESD?
Pack this sailing gear for 'hands-free' lighting
Salty Dawg Rally Seminar Series planned October 8 in Annapolis
Europe tightens up on skippers competency certification
World ARC fleet departs Darwin under full sail
NOAA expedition discovers ship’s timepiece silent for nearly 200 years
Blue Planet Odyssey - Northwest Passage gate opens
A Cruising Guide to the Dominican Republic 6.0 now available
BNS Leopold I to commence counter-piracy operations
Africa Europe Challenge introduces 'Spectator's Package'
Wanted youth circumnavigators on a 'Voyage of Imagination'
Niagara-on-the-Lake, a popular cruising destination in Canada
The crowd-pleasing comforts of catamaran cruising
Death by Dinghy
'Sailing Stones' of Death Valley seen in action for the first time
Coast Guard searching for two boaters near St. Petersburg
20 coral species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act
Shanghai to San Francisco in under 2 hours via supersonic sub
PSP Southampton Boat Show 2014 - 2 for £24 ticket offer ends soon
A case of crossed wires? A shocking situation!
How amazingly awe-inspiring the Arctic really is   
New atlas provides thorough audit of marine life in the Southern Ocean   
European Odyssey boats arrive in Lanzarote + Video   
Multiagency rescue at Dunraven Bay + Video   
Canal Boating in the Alsace with the Galley Guys   
World ARC fleet arrives in Darwin   
Dangers of the Dinghy trip back to your boat   
European Odyssey visits Porto   
Timeless Tonga - Charter sailing in a Polynesian paradise *Feature   
A fine conclusion to the ARC Baltic 2014   
Where in the world are our strongest corals?   
Baltic 4 Nations fleet arrive into Stralsund City Marina   
Huff of Arklow nearing completion, expected on the water next month   
Incredible efforts to save yacht from being lost at sea   
ARC Baltic fleet visit six countries and six capitals in six weeks   
Helen Island, Palau -a beautiful and unique place   
Bart's Bash: Over 2300 entered from 588 yacht clubs - Join here   
Barnacle Busting   
From Penguins to Polar Bears   
Cornell turns back from the North West Passage   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph, contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW CRU NH
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT