Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Jewell Island to Portland

[Kyle] The next morning after sleeping in a little too long, we left Jewell Island for Portland. There is no direct route between most places in Maine, so we got to weave among the islands on a beautiful clear morning with plenty of wind. We are finally starting to see other boats. This gorgeous Memorial Day weekend has been perfect for everyone to start this boating season.

We topped up our fuel and water and picked up a mooring right downtown from Portland Yacht Services for about a zillion dollars. I had been to Portland a few times at work and always thought the place was really cool. I couldn't believe we had just sailed here in our own boat. It's been 973 nautical miles since we left Norfolk.

We had a day planned of unglamorous stuff: showers, tons of laundry, cleaning, etc. We took a walk along the waterfront during a drying cycle and decided we were hungry enough to get dinner as well. We had a nice meal (they don't skimp on the lobster!) at a crowded little place with plenty of local flavor called J's Oyster. There were lobstermen and boat crews at the bar exchanging sea stories. The place looked like it hadn't changed since 1975.

We got back to the marina and changed our laundry over. I offered to take the current finished load to the boat and make the bed while Maryanne tended the rest. She helped me carry stuff to the dinghy and was standing on the dock as I loaded up. The harbor is very busy and there is a lot of swell and wakes. When I finally went to get in the dinghy, the dock went up and the dinghy went down. I had originally planned to make the ungainly plop down to the center of the dinghy and then just keep low until the painter (the line to the dock) came taught. What really happened was that I built up a little momentum with the longer drop, then I landed slightly off center, then the painter, which was tied shorter than usual, pulled the dinghy short before I could get my weight low. What it looked like was that I got one foot in the dinghy and then just rolled over it into the water on the other side. I managed to get a hold of the grab line on the side before I went in so I didn't go all the way under or anything. The force of me on the grab line, however, rolled the dinghy toward me with enough force to launch one of the oar handles directly into my face. The thing came straight at me and the end of the handle hit me directly between the eyes, adding injury to insult. I assume it must have broken my glasses but I never did see them again and - AND my cell phone was in my pocket. Everything else fortunately stayed in the dinghy. It was also getting cold and windy outside. Maryanne and I were washing all of our warm clothes so we were already getting cold in our shorts and t-shirts before I had to row to the boat in wet stuff - brrr! I am really glad we have heat on the boat. Looks like instead of sightseeing tomorrow, we'll be spending a bunch of money we hadn't planned replacing all of that stuff.

So, what did I learn? Always, always get in the dinghy slowly and carefully because you never know what's behind you and always carry a cell phone in a ziploc bag until too far from the water to throw it in.


kate said...

OUCH! Sorry for your injury! (and the insult part of it) I did enjoy the play by play description, however. It went by in actual visual increments for me as I read, and then I just played it back in my head really fast (AKA real time) to get the overall effect. Hence, the OUCH. Having to replace your glasses and your phone just isn't funny. But oh, the learning experience -- you just can't put a price on that, eh?

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your Dingy adventure. Having one foot in the Dingy, while the other is still aboard the Yacht,can be a a painful experience. It happened to me more than once. I now use either the Main Halyard or Topping Lift, and use the Tarzan swing aboard approach, even if Jane is not there to catch me.
Glad to hear you are having a great time.