Boat Journal

Chronicling a love affair with sailing


So, I was moving the boat over by myself last Friday so it could be hauled out for painting and other seasonal maintenance. There was a bit of a breeze, but nothing heavy. I had a line ready at the bow and beside me in the cockpit. There was enough of a breeze that the bow came in first, rather than my sidling up to the dock, so I went forward, grabbed the line, jumped to the dock. I tied on the forward line. By then, the aft portion of the boat had started to slip away, so I pulled on the lifelines, got hold of a stanchion forward, and started trying to turn the boat so I could grab the aft line and tie it off. The anchor got in the way, so I was pushing the bout out a bit to get the anchor positioned better. Well, me and the wind pushed it a bit more than I hoped and I found myself in a precarious position.

Don’t you love it when things start moving slow motion? Well, in those precious seconds, I was able to hold onto the lifelines as the boat slipped away from the dock. Unfortunately, I don’t have alot of upper body strength, so I let go and plunged into the water.

Luckily, the water was a nice temperature. Also luckily, there were no jellyfish and I was only 30 or 40 feet from the boat ramp. So I swam over and let myself out. I walked to the boat lift and grabbed one of their boat hooks (which I should have done in the first place). I pulled the boat over and tied up the rear. I went home and took a shower.

That afternoon, I started to hurt. I apparently hit a rib pretty hard, because there’s a big bruise on my back, but it mostly hurts in the front. Nope, I never did get checked out by the doctor. And there was still the work to do that I was hauling the boat out for in the first place.

So mornings I worked for a few hours, until it started to hurt. Then I’d take a break, go home, get some more good drugs, then go back and work a few more hours. Luckily, Erik and Wendy gave me a hand so I could avoid alot of the heavier stuff.

Now it’s all done. The boat is back in the water. I can recuperate.

What did I do right? I knew the marina well enough to know the closest place to get out of the water.

What did I do wrong? I should have waited until I knew there were people around, in case something went wrong. I should have backed the boat up and pulled up so the rear was closest to the dock, the way the wind was blowing. I should have taken a boat hook off with me to pull the boat in to tie it off.


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