Dinghy Adventures

The wind is howling away out there, and we are sitting tight praying our anchor continues to hold.  It was a restless night, with the boat swinging a lot on it’s anchor and the wind whistling and howling loudly.   According to our new boat neighbor Dave, even the big boats like megayachts are coming in for shelter from the conditions out there.  He was happy about it though, as his girlfriend works as a chef on a megayacht that just came in to Atlantic City during the night to take refuge, and he was off to see her and have what he called in his Australian accent  “a dirty night”.

Not only are we held hostage in Atlantic City by the wind, we are finding it difficult to even get out and about in our dinghy.  We haven’t introduced you yet to our new dinghy, who we are starting to call “Way Wee”.  We got it used from some friends of the guy we bought our boat from.  It is a small inflatable dinghy with a tiny 3 horsepower, 2 stroke Mercury engine.  It doesn’t have a transmission, meaning it only has forward gear, there is no neutral or reverse.  This makes starting the dinghy an adventure.  You have to get yourself all positioned to go before starting the engine, because as soon as it starts, that’s it — you’re off!!  With two people in the dinghy it works out all right — one person gets the lines all ready to cast off and the other person starts the motor and steers.  But with only one person in the dinghy it gets a bit more challenging.  Like yesterday.  We had been on the boat all day while thunderstorms passed by and strong winds blew.  Finally just before  sunset it cleared a bit and I decided to take the dinghy over to the beach nearby for a walk by myself.  Getting over there was no problem, but on the way back I had super strong wind blowing the wee dinghy ashore, and it was almost impossible to get it out in deep enough water to start the engine with out having the boat blown into the marshy weeds along the shore.  I finally had to stand almost waist deep in the water, with one leg in the dinghy and one leg standing in the water  trying to anchor us in place while pulling on the pull  starter cord awkwardly in that position.  And of course it didn’t want to start, and I had to try about 100 times before it finally burst to life and reared forward, with me scrambling to get in before it left without me.  Whew!  Even the littlest things take on a sometimes annoying quality of adventure out here on the water!!

Today we are getting all geared up to take the dinghy out in spite of the strong winds to get food.  We have heard there is a grocery store within walking distance on the Brigantine side of the anchorage, and so we will go on a quest to replenish our food supplies while we continue to wait, wait, wait for the wind to once again become our friend.

But there is some good news.  Cap’t K climbed up the mast a few days ago during a moment of calm, and succeeded in mostly silencing the banging mast cables!!  He drilled two small holes part way up the mast and inserted a wire into one hole, around the cables, and out the other hole.  Then he sealed up the holes, and voila, the cables are attached to the side of the mast and not banging freely inside!!  Yay!!!

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