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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Runaway Dinghy

To the the right, a very undesireable and unusable dinghy.
To the left, not that appealing a theft target that gets us around.

A short walk on a well-populated beach seemed a reasonable place to haul our dinghy onto its sandy shore.  Normally we bring a lock along and find something solid to secure it to from the metal cable we keep in the dinghy for that very purpose.  We didn’t as we figured a good pull up for a short walk on public beach would be fine.

Fifteen minutes later Wayne noticed a dinghy that looked remarkably like ours, bobbing some distance out in the bay.  Indeed, it not just looked remarkably like ours; it was ours.

Whether it was a rouge wave (unlikely -- there is little wave action here and only a 2’ tidal range all day) or an unconcerned, mischievous or malicious individual we’ll never know.  We believe the latter is more likely. Dinghy thefts are relatively common in this poverty-stricken country with high unemployment and a thriving “used” dinghy motor market. Ours would be far less appealing with its older, battered off-brand motor, but if opportunity presented itself, well….

Regardless, of more urgent importance…. Who would swim out and get it?  I am the stronger swimmer, by far, maybe because I really like it.  But the dinghy’s motor is temperamental and Wayne is a mechanical wizard and the dinghy was some distance out, moving out further, quickly.  Plus, it’s tough to get into a dinghy from the water when it’s bobbing in above waist deep water.  Both of us going was not a viable option as we were carrying some items that would be best kept dry, so someone needed to hang out ashore with them.

Against my better judgment, Wayne swam to the dinghy.  The swim was a exhausting for him, and getting into the dinghy, especially when tired, more so.  Knight that he is, he did eventually clamber aboard and safely motor our chariot to shore.

What we learned…. Climbing over the back of the dinghy by the motor is the easiest way in when it’s bobbing in more than waist-deep water.  We will not likely consider leaving it unlocked in the future.  We may argue about it, still, but it would make more sense for me to swim out and row (we keep oars in our dinghy at all times, though now just one oar but still row-able, but that’s another story) in if unable to start the motor.