Wednesday, September 13, 2006


It's been a VERY long time since my last post. Please forgive. We sailed majestically into Wickford RI about the 29th of July. Donna's brother Len came to greet and we spent about 3 weeks in and around Wickford making lots of boat improvements. Len re-vamped the electrical system, we had a real holding tank (a.k.a. sanitation system) installed, and made lots of other improvements. Left RI mid-August and lingered for a week or so in Manchester and Marblehead MA, partly to wait out the wind & rain that were the remains of Ernesto. Found great joy and beauty on the Misery Islands. Proceeded on to SMUTTYNOSE Island. God, I love these names! Spent two days in Kennebunkport to visit with family vacationing in Wells, ME. Never need to return.

We left Kennebunkport last Sunday and were sailing along at about 6 knots in rolly seas when the Captain looked back and said, "The dinghy's gone!" (The dinghy, for you landlubbers, is a small boat that is towed behind the big boat and used to go ashore when big boat is at anchor or on a mooring, which is a sort of permanent anchor that you use temporarily.) Our dinghy is/was a 13' fiberglass sailboat that Neill bought cheap, CRAMMED with stuff for the drive to NC, and had made countless improvements upon since setting sail. We rowed it, and it had two sets of nice wooden oars in it. Not something we wanted to lose.

We came about, fired up the engine, and with the help of our GPS chartplotter, we were able to retrace our route and fairly quickly spotted the dinghy, floating along quite jauntily. With Donna's steady hand at the helm, we pulled along beside it and Neill was able to attach a line to it's snoot-boot. Not the best attachment, but it worked and we got a mooring at a yacht club in Portland (ME)

Now, it was the clip at the end of the line that had un-done itself. We should have replaced that right away but, no hurry, right? We weren't at sea. Or were we?

Monday morning we loaded our folding bikes into the dinghy and rowed to the yacht club dock. Neill tied it up and we rode off for a big grocery haul. Four hours later we return, break into the yacht club (they didn't give us a keycard) and unbelievably, the dinghy is gone! The line is still tied to the dock, so the clip must have undone itself again. We've been searching the harbor since (it's a big area) and have notified the Coast Guard and the harbormaster and every marina and yacht club. So far, no luck. Have begun to shop for replacement. Sure wish the old dinghy would float back!

Moral of the story? Don't rely on something that has failed once, and be sure to put your name and phone number in your dinghy. Not that WE did.


Anonymous Ann Flatten said...

Hi Donna & Neil, Amazing that you were able to find your dingy! As you've undoubtedly heard, Denver has been burried with snow and as a result the grocery stores here are practically empty still today. No eggs, bananas, lettuce. Empty shelves everywhere. We got about 6 inches over the course of the last 2 weeks--it all went north or south of us. Hope you had a nice Christmas and will have a great New Year.
You remember that my big back windows lost their seals. Well, I ordered new ones in June. Building Specialties finally discovered in Sept. (after many phone calls) that they didn't get ordered. I didn't want them put in in Nov. (earliest date possible by then) so here we are with foggy windows until Spring. Oh well.
Enjoy your boat and retirement. I'll keep checking your web page occassionally.
Cheers, Ann (

3:50 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home