I have created this blog with the hopes that you, my friend, will follow me as I sail around the world (figuratively or literally, not sure yet) with my parents on their Contest 48. Whereas I hope to keep you updated with exciting adventures of exotic ports and epic waves, keep in mind that cruising - that is, traveling by boat in a leisurely fashion - tends to be filled with days of intense boredom, punctuated by moments of sheer terror. Please keep this in mind as you read these entries, for this platform will be just as much an attempt for me to maintain my sanity (and connection to the California-based world), as entertainment and reassurance for you. And so, follow me as I sail the world.

P.S. All material on this blog, words and photos alike, are copyrighted by me. Copyright 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. If you decide that this material is worth re-publishing, please give me credit and lots and lots of money.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Was It My Fault?

We will never know. But it was I who tied up the dinghy, which inevitable holds me responsible. This is an embarrassing story that I would much rather forget, but 1. it teaches us all a good lesson, 2. there is no better way to attract readers than to recount mistakes, and 3. there is something refreshing about posting the stupid things one does on the internet.

Let's back up a bit. A few days ago we headed out to the anchorage at Punta de Mita on Rutea. We feel like we have been spending too much time in the marina tied up at a dock, and it is really important to keep the sea legs for the upcoming passage. I recruited Jared and Christine to buddy boat with us on their boat Archituthis, to go out there with us. Jared and Christine both graduated from UCSC with degrees in marine biology, like to surf, and are significantly younger than most of the couples cruising here. They are also planning to do the Puddle Jump. Thus, we have become good friends, especially as traumatizing experiences tend to help people bond.

Nobody was hurt, except Squib, Archituthis' dinghy. For those of you who aren't familiar, a dinghy is a little inflatable boat with a small motor that serves as a car, transporting people from their sailboats to the beach, the surf, or in this case, to our boat for a beer, that fateful evening.

Jared and Christine came aboard our boat around sun down. I took their painter (dinghy line) and tied it around the cleat on our stern. I am absolutely POSITIVE I tied a proper cleat, but that doesn't really matter. We had a nice evening, and when they went to leave around 11:00 p.m., their dinghy was gone. Shit. Of course nobody "blames" me, but it would be like if you parked somebody's car for them, and when they went to get it, the car was gone. Was it your fault? Did you leave the keys in the car? Did you forget to set the emergency break? Regardless, I have to take responsibility.

Back to the story: Dinghy gone. Christine and Jared hopped in our dinghy with Dad and they started doing circles around the boat to try to find it, but there was no moon so the sky and water were pitch black. They gave up about an hour later, and we all went to bed feeling pretty horrible. In the morning they began another search mission. After a few hours of searching, they had given up and as we were pumping up the inflatable kayak to give them, we see a dinghy towing another dinghy. Alas, Squib had been found.

Apparently Squib the dinghy did not like being tied to Rutea, and decided to go surfing at El Faro. He was found by some surfers, flipped over and inadvertently anchored in the surf. The surfers took it out of the surf and re-anchored it outside the surf, not thinking much of it. It was brought back to the anchorage by another boat who heard that Archituthis lost their dinghy.

Squib was fine, although the motor is pretty f.ed up. Christine and Jared have been really nice about the whole thing, never chewing me out and even going so far as to say that there are many other factors that could have led to Squib's disappearance- frayed painter, high freeboard, etc., etc. They even invited me to surf with them yesterday morning, which I took them up on. We anchored their boat right outside the break and surfed La Lancha for a few hours, then sailed back to La Cruz, eating a pancake meal on the way. I don't think they hold a grudge against me.

Last night we went out with a few other friends, who, when I met up with them, gave me a lesson on tying a cleat. Ha. Funny, guys. I am not sure if I will ever live this one down. But, better to embrace our mistakes, laugh about our mistakes, and learn from our mistakes, than pretend that they never happened.

And so, the moral of the story? In the words of Ice Cube, "Chiggity check yo' self before you wreck yo' self." Or, chiggity check your damn dinghy painter to make sure it is secure before it gets wrecked in the surf.


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