Saturday September 3, 2011
Where’s the dinghy to this trailer? It’s on our boat!
One thing that we keep going back in forth with on our trip is what kind of dinghy we want to use. The discussion has gone back and forth with pros and cons of having a RIB (rigid inflatable boat) which are close to the top of the line for the dinghy world but has issues of being stolen the most, or keeping the wooden nesting dinghy that we made ourselves a few winters ago. In the end we figured we’d start with the nesting dinghy and after working with that for a few months if we decided we wanted a RIB we’d pick up a used one in Florida where it would be much cheaper than if we were to try and get one here. Forgetting that Matt spends any free time of his on the internet scouring for deals, I came home after work on the Friday leading into Labor Day weekend to find a shiny new dingy sitting on a trailer in the street. I was launched into an excited speiel about how much the dinghy and trailer cost, and if we sell the trailer for X amount of dollars and our current inflatable for Y amount of dollars then it’s really only going to cost us Z, which will be a great deal! Oh, not to mention an even better deal if we sell the nesting dinghy, but I ran out of letters without having to go back to A.
So borrowing Jack’s truck for the night we hitched up the trailer, threw our bags in the bed, and made our way to the boat to start our holiday weekend. After a stop for dinner and picking up last minute things at Meijer it was pitch black by the time we arrived at the marina. Not a big deal at all if we were just rolling our normal dingy to the water and motoring out to the boat, but our plans tonight involved backing the trailer into the drop off to get the new dinghy in the water and getting the old one on the trailer to take home the next day. I was pretty sure it would end with the the truck in the water knowing our luck, but somehow everything went smoothly and without issues.
Since we had gotten there so late and had already eaten there wasn’t much for us to do. I had rented a movie for us to watch and after rotating the tv to be viewed in the v-berth and shoving all our pillows toward the bow we snuggled in under the covers for a nice relaxing night in our future home. As usual there’s just something about the boat that always puts us to bed early and as soon as the movie was finished we went through our nightly routine and crashed.
Weather reports for the next day, Saturday, was calling for hot sunny weather for most of the day with a few storms in the morning. While still lying and bed and sleeping around 8:30 in the morning everything was calm. Then we felt a few rocks of the boat and the wind started to pick up a little, and all of a sudden out of nowhere the boat was heeled close to 40 degrees which forced Matt to literally roll on top of me as a strong gust came upon us and forced us on our side. Wondering what the hell was going on both of us jumped out of bed to look out the port side windows facing the lake. I’ve never seen a squall before in real life, but I’m guessing this had to be one because you couldn’t see 50 feet in front of you because the wind was so thick and blinding. Thunder and lightning began to break out of the sky as winds whipped higher and higher. Matt turned on our instumnets and took a look out the companionway to check wind speeds. A constant 40-45 was blowing at the moment and things looked like they were only going to get worse before getting better. We turned on the VHF to see if there were any distress calls since we knew this was a popular fishing area for small boats in the morning, and they were probably as surprised by this sudden storm as we were. There was one message coming through of a little flat bottomed fishing that was taking on a lot of water. The message kept cutting in and out, but after we heard the Coast Guard reply we heard it was in Grand Haven. Not that we really would have been able to do much anyway without putting ourselves in harms way. Matt crawled back in bed after making sure we were secure and would not blow away. For awhile I stayed pressed against the glass watching the lightnining touch down all around us and split off into tiny little fingers. I don’t know why I’m so amazed by lightning, but I could always just sit and watch it for hours. Finally when things started to calm down a little I crawled back into bed and passed out next to Matt.
We woke up for good about two hours later. Opening the hatches and companionway the view looked completely different than it had just a few hours before. The sun was shining without a cloud in the sky and temperatures were already spiking close to 80. Relaxing on deck while enjoying a pop tart breakfast I watched Matt take a reading of the tension of our standing rigging and also of the other people in the mooring field make their way out to their boats for the holiday weekend. Instead of taking advantage of this beautiful day by going for a sail or just sitting on the deck of the boat we had to head back into town to return the truck to Jack and meet up with my family who was having a Labor Day BBQ. Making our way back home we showered, dressed, and changed cars while we made our way to my aunt and uncle’s house where my family was waiting, including my parents who had flown in for the weekend. We spent a great few hours catching up with everyone and eating perfectly grilled souvlaki (or burgers or brats) and enjoying a few glasses of riesling. We were even lucky enough to score a few leftover hot dogs and burgers on our way out the door. Yes, no grocery shopping or cooking!!
After our afternoon of socializing it was straight back to the boat for the remainder of the weekend. By the time we got back in late afternoon it turned into any other Saturday afternoon. Too late to do anything but lounge. We had stuffed ourselves on so much food that afternoon that we didn’t even need to make dinner that night. Our only project for the evening was using a halyard to winch the new dinghy out of the water and get it on the deck of the boat so that the next day Matt could drill in holes to the transom and we’d be able to transfer over the wheels that were on our old dinghy. In some ways this project went better than I imagined it would since Matt was smart enough to be in charge of winching while I guided the boat over the lifelines and onto the deck. The only trouble came when I had blocked myself up by the bow pulpit and was slowly getting pushed back over the lifelines. At least it was a warm enough day where an accidental swim wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world, but I somehow managed to keep my balance and maneuver my way back to safety.
The remainder of the night was spent in bed watching movies in bed again snuggled up under down covers and eating frozen Snickers. An eventful and uneventful day at the same time.