Just like one can’t survive living in the burbs without a car, you can’t survive cruising without a dinghy. Nobody knows this better than us due to the Honda fiasco, when we found ourselves skipping adventures ashore and on the water, afraid that we wouldn’t get back to EV without a swim. I just wish that we hadn’t sunk a small fortune into the thing before we gave up and bought a new outboard. When the dink goes down it moves to the top of the priority list.
The dink, sometimes known as Cat Nip, has been self-deflating since Carriacou. She became a Deflatable the night we all piled in for a birthday dinner at the Lazy Turtle. Not the worst dock in the bay because they were all rickety featuring lots of sharp edges and nothing to block your dink from getting trapped under the dock as the tide rises, a cruising nightmare. Consequently most of us used small throwable anchors off the stern with middling results.
At some point in the evening we heard a pffffffft sound and said “what was that?” But then we say “what was that?” a lot. She’s been slowly shrinking ever since but at a ever-increasing rate. I wore out the foot pump, bought a new high capacity hand pump but the writing was on the tubes, as it were. It was time to get out the soapy water and find the leak. I don’t enjoy this but the slowly sinking feeling was getting to me. With the dink hanging in the davits I found no bubbles, but then a lot of the dink was hidden from me. Next day we could call the “Half Monty,” in the water being tossed about in the wind and waves, but still no bubbles. Another day of “Half Monty” and I’d had enough. It was obvious this would require the “Full Monty,” propped up on Hog Island beach right beside Roger’s ramshackle beach bar. Two unfortunate friends volunteered to help. In an effort to keep this short I’ll just say that by the end I had a very clean leaky dinghy.
I’d heard about a professional inflatable guy that used to build them in the Caribbean. He was next up. He throughly went over Cat Nip with still more soapy water while she was up in the davits. No bubbles, less money in the bank.
After the sailing regatta in Carriacou Mr. Inflatable and I beached the dink on the sands of Le Phare Bleu beach, pulled the Yamaha Motor, battery, fuel tank, and all the crap that I keep in her, got a little trailer under her and hauled her up to Palm Tree Marine for what can only be described as water boarding for inflatables.
Bubbles were found! A small patch was glued over the tiny nick but did anyone tell me he uses the slow twenty-four hour, no-inflation glue? No, they most certainly did not. While I was desperately trying to email Marce or our friend Mark to wend their way over to the next bay to pick me up Mr. Inflatable snuck past me and made for Woburn Bay, which leaves me with a long swim. Just then a guy I recognized from Burger Night at Bob’s started to get into his dinghy and declined to give me a lift because he was visiting a friend’s boat but said he’d send Mr. Inflatable back for me. I didn’t like his plan but beggars etc, etc.
As sure as his word, not ten minutes later Mr. Inflatable came putting around the corner in his beaten up old hard dinghy. When
he dropped me off at Escape Velocity he said he’d pick me up the next morning. Nice. He did and Cat Nip is back in the garage.
Fingers crossed, spin three times, spit twice, and hope the patch holds.