From the outside looking in, it could be imagined that somehow living the dream in Mexico and perhaps even living aboard now in Port San Luis means that we we must have all of our ducks in a row and that we seem to always be one step ahead things. Reality, Lori will gladly tell you, is all together different and at times it's a miracle we are still floating. Take the last few days as a shining example of what we call "The Circus".
The fun started when we decided to move off the boat for a few days due to a nasty Southern swell that was forecast to come straight into the anchorage. We plan on spending most of the winter in the protection of Morro Bay, rather than on our Port San Luis Mooring, but we are also trying to put off the move as long as possible, which means paying close attention to the weather and sometimes having to just deal with it. Someone with a nick-name "The Princess" doesn't deal well with rolly conditions, so off the boat we go. Our big new tender was pulled out the water on the trailer in anticipation of the weather, so we were back to using our back-up hated Walker Bay deflatable, which is where the story takes a turn downhill. Since the dingy will literally sink in about 24hrs if not pumped up, Lori and I headed to the pier after we dropped the kids off at the bus station with the intent of me bailing out the water and pumping up the dinghy.
It was a cold morning, so I was wearing sweat pants, a sweatshirt with my new foul weather jacket and wool socks with my Crocs, as I climbed down the 15ft ladder. I was in the process of stepping into what looked like an inflatable swimming pool when disaster struck. The shifting water and deflated dinghy shifted under my feet. The dinghy pontoon had just enough air left in it to bounce me up into the air like something from the Matrix and back flip me into the water head first. So there I was kicking frantically to pull myself out of the ice cold water and into the sinking and deflated dinghy, with Crocs floating while I practiced my sailor language. Lori was looking down from the pier at the whole thing and was smart enough not to take a photo of the mess with her smart phone.
As soon as I was back in the dinghy, or better described as a floating kiddy pool over flowing with water, I was screaming what I was going to do and it was going to cost us money. If we needed a back up dinghy, one that Lori and Amy feel more comfortable operating and docking, then it needed to be safe. We love the 17ft 140Hp SeaSwirl boat, but we can't put it on deck during bad weather, can't bring it to Morro Bay for the winter, and Holy Smokes does it use a lot of gas compared to our Yamaha 15hp!
It was a long cold car ride to my folks house in Pismo Beach and as soon as I got out of the HOT shower, I started searching the internet for our new dinghy. After our $300 mistake on the sinking aluminum skiff and fresh out of the water I wasn't going to play CraigsList Roulette....we were going to buy a new leak free dinghy and we were going to buy it NOW.
Less than 24hours after my swim, Jason and I made the 500 mile round trip to New Port Beach and we now have our new 14 foot leak free inflatable dinghy floating along side THIRD DAY. It was a complete budget buster, but I wasn't going to have Lori or one of the kids go through what I have now done twice...swimming due to a crappy and unsafe dinghy. Now we could either play this new dinghy purchase as something well planned, budgeted and timed or we can be honest about it and admit how it really happened, in a swirl of Profanity, Chaos and Panic.
Speaking of Budgets, I have everything ready and will post our budget number for our first two months back tomorrow. Looking at the numbers somehow makes me want to break into our Sipp'n Tequila, compliments of Casey on SV V'Ger as a going away gift.
Bob posted a comment asking if we got a new dingy or a bus, the answer is both really, because the new 14ft, 7 passenger dingy will also double as shuttle bus for when we are doing sailboat charters.