As most of you know, I am now taking Driver’s Ed classes in dinghy operations. I would like to think that my skills are improving daily, but alas, I don’t think that’s actually the case. Poor Monty sits quietly by my side as I putt along. When I try to speed up I usually turn the throttle the wrong way and slow down. When I’m trying to slow down, guess what, I speed up. Now, out in the open water through the harbor that’s not such a big deal. Our little dinghy engine just sounds like its having a bad day! When we’re trying to dock, well, it’s a horse of a different color.
For example. Imagine 50 or so dinghys all lined up on the inside of a U shaped dock and me trying to pull in to the only available spot. In the middle!
My stress level goes up and my heart starts to palpitate as I consider my options. I then start doing some self-talk to reassure myself I can do this. So closing my eyes, (it’s a bad idea I know) I say a quick prayer and then proceed to power through it.
Now, mind you, I have an audience. On yeah, people are milling around, getting on and off their own dinghys so anything out of the ordinary gets their attention.
So here I go. Monty is talking quietly to me in a reassuring voice telling me to throttle down, now turn. . . hard right. . . take it out of gear. . . now reverse. . . No! Not forward! Reverse! Oh Lordy! Did it go badly! Not only did I have an extreme bumper car (boat) episode, I backed into a dinghy behind us, broke off our light pole and managed to turn us 180 degrees from where we needed to go.
It was at that point I just shut off the engine!
Monty, immediately started reassuring me that I didn’t do too badly. “It could have been worse,” he said. “Nobody was hurt, and nobody fell overboard so we’ll count it as a win”. Well I was mortified and making it worse was the fact I had an audience to witness my debacle. Thankfully one of the ladies took pity and said not to worry that at some time they had all been there. Practice makes perfect she assured me.
On that note we eventually got tied up to the dock after pulling ourselves around and through the other boats. I guess it’s part of the process but it may be a while yet before I pass my Dinghy Certification Exam as given by one Mr. Monty E. Brumbles.