Stories From Other Cruisers: There Goes the Dink

Monday March 25, 2014


Jereme, Kim, & Oliver of s/v Laho


That’s right, it’s that time again where instead of telling funny stories or mishaps that have occurred to us, I’m sharing them from the other cruisers that are out sailing these seas with us.  You may ask why there was a two month lapse since the last one, and that’s because none of you are voulenteering up your stories.  Come on guys, I’m tired of hunting you down!  Plus I don’t have the Internet access for it anymore. I know you all have some good dinner table stories, I want to hear them!

Luckily one of my friends Kim on Laho Wind had quite the entertaining situation happen to them recently and I was ready to swoop in on it.  I’m glad that she shared, because having this happen your first week out can be a little embarrassing, but I think we’ve all assured her that we’ve done it at one point or another.  Keep reading for Kim’s account of what happened when she looked outside one morning and saw that their dinghy wasn’t there.  Here’s how it went down, according to Kim.  This story appears as it does on their blog post.  *All photos have been taken from LaHo Wind.


So, we’ve been using the dinghy davit lines to secure the dinghy behind the boat while still in the water (during the day).

But yesterday, it was starting to get pretty rough with high winds so we switched the dinghy being hooked up to the davits and instead cleated the painter line to the boat so the dinghy wouldn’t constantly bang against the boat.

Turns out, we didn’t check the pre existing knot attaching the painter line TO the dinghy, and it somehow came loose. :((((

The painter was still cleated on the boat while the dinghy & engine were long gone! The weird thing is we’ve been relying on that knot and have used that painter line to launch and stow the dinghy from the foredeck using winches — and it always held.

So what the heck do you do when you realize that your car has basically gone missing?

You freak out. Duh.

Oh wait, that’s just what I do. …a few tears were definitely involved. Lol.

No really, first things first, we called the marina to see if anyone had found/saved/returned it. (If you’re familiar with Boot Key Harbor, then you know that’s definitely a possibility — especially since our mooring isn’t too far from the end of the harbor and luckily the direction the wind was blowing).

The marina informed us that they had heard a report of a rouge dinghy and someone was possibly towing it in. Phew!!! That’s at least semi positive news.

We waited as patiently as possible while the marina staff went and checked for our dinghy at the dinghy docks. The whole time, I’m just thinking about how much our cruising budget is being blown from all these crazy issues. And now we might have to buy a new dinghy and engine? Not cool.

The marina finally called us back to say our dinghy WASN’T there! :(((

Oh no! Back to the drawing board. What now?

Jereme hopped on channel 68 on the VHF radio and was about to ask everyone in range if they had seen a loose dinghy. But just as we tuned in, there was someone talking about “our” missing dinghy!!!

Someone really had it!

Jer immediately chimed in that it was ours and the kind folks that saved it were nice enough to tow it back to our boat (they were only a few balls down from us). Phew!!!!!!!

Needless to say, we have retied that one knot and are being “extra” careful tying her up.

After telling our story to several other cruisers…many have said they’ve lost theirs before too. It happens. And if everything went smoothly, then we wouldn’t have any fun stories to share. Very true! …I’m sure we will always remember this day.

lost the dinghy



*If you would like to submit a story to be published in Stories From Other Cruisers, please email us at, or message us on Facebook at MJ Sailing, with the subject titles Stories From Other Cruisers. Please include your name, boat name, story, and a photo of your boat and/or the crew. Please do not send any lewd or profane stories as they will not be published.

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