Colin has become our “dinghy boy”, so to speak. Every time we need to go to shore, he has taken on the reponsiblity of getting the dinghy ready. He helps one of us lower the dinghy to the water. Then, he gets into the dinghy to unclip it from the davits. Each time, he also needs to get out the pump to re-inflate the tubes. Yes, we have an air leak that needs tending to!
The other evening, we were getting ready to go ashore. Colin went about his regular dinghy routine. Wil and I were putting away one of the paddle boards, when Wil noticed that Colin and the dinghy were drifting away from the boat. Colin was so busy with his chore that he was completely surprised when he looked up from what he was doing! He has driven other dinghies in the past, but this one is new to us and he had not driven it before. The 25 hp engine is the maximum size for the 11.5-foot boat, so we haven’t been in a rush to have the kids drive it yet. Now suddenly, Colin was drifting away!
We were impressed with how Colin stayed calm. He listened as Wil instructed him how to start the engine. However, once the engine was running, Colin couldn’t hear the instructions on how to engage the throttle. As he was still drifting away, he thought to turn off the engine to listen to further instuction. Then, he was good to go. He restarted the engine and then drove back to the boat. Whew!
There are paddles in the dinghy, but sometimes wind and currents can be too strong to paddle an inflatable boat against them. Fortunately, it was a calm evening, and if Colin had needed the paddles, he would have been able to row. Moral of the story . . . anyone who gets in a dinghy must be able to get back to the boat in the event that a line is accidentally untied or dropped.