Saturday, August 4

Dinghy Driving 101

We have an inflatable dinghy that is our transportation from the boat to shore and vise versa.  We use it nearly everyday, sometimes multiple times a day.   And because we are anchored more often than not, it is definitely considered a lifeline.  When the sea breeze is blowing, the ride can become wet and even cold but the kids like it that way.  The faster the better and the bigger the waves, even better.
Riding in the dinghy is great fun and everyone wants a turn to drive.  The girls are learning the rules of the road, how to start the motor, steer, switch the fuel tanks, pump the gas and tie up to the boat or dock.

The younger the child, the more difficult the steering lesson.  Maggie can steer from point A to point B with no problem.  However, the fine art of letting the approaching boat know your intended coarse is a bit sketchy.  She likes to head right for them as if to play chicken.  Kate needs some bigger muscles to pull the crank cord hard enough to start the motor.  Sometimes she gets it and sometimes she doesn’t.  She has a need for speed and loves to drive FAST!  When Olivia is steering, you’d better not be in a hurry because she weaves back and forth.  Our path often looks like a drunken sailor is on board. 

The more crowded the anchorage, the more dinghies there are motoring to and from.  Block Island was by far the busiest dinghy traffic we have experienced so far.  Craig equated it to a pond full of energized water bugs on steroids.  We went ashore to go into town one afternoon and the dinghies were lined up both sides of the dock and 2 dinghies deep.  We had to crawl into someone else’s dinghy to get to the dock!  It is quite entertaining, makes for good people watching if you are a spectator on the dock.  We have found that everyone is a good sport and courteous about it.

Lookin' good Kate

Wet and wild ride!

Dinghy Dock in Block Island

Sometimes the dinghy ride is good for catching up on your sleep

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