Then, I hit me. The dinghy is already in the water. Carol is tied up with a different project. With only one person in the dinghy, it will come onto plane (this is what speedboats, not (usually) sailboats do, and refers to the action of the boat climbing over it's bow wave and outrunning it, resulting in significantly more speed). At planing speed, I am max ten minutes from Paradise Cove, where cold beer can be found. Did I mention it was hot?
So I climbed back into Sea Bird for the required life jacket, $20.00us, and the portable radio. Informing Carol of my plan, I also powered up the radio on Sea Bird, telling her to monitor for any problems. (Like she was going to single hand the boat to rescue me.)
Back on board the dinghy, which we have named "Little Putt", I checked the fuel situation. Not much, but it should get me there and back, and I am trying to deplete the tank anyway as I am going to be changing the engine, trying out the other one we have to see which I prefer. So off I go, at warp speed.
Fortunately, I had miscalculated badly, and ran out of gas fairly early into the journey. Assembling the paddles I keep aboard for just such an emergency, I mean circumstance, I commenced to journey back to the dock under impulse power.
Did I mention it was hot?
Fortunately, a fellow boater passed and offered a tow. Although by now I was in sight of the dock, I happily accepted his offer, and, once underway, keyed the microphone on the radio.
"Sea Bird, Sea Bird, Sea Bird, this is Little Putt. Over"
I could picture Carol, who has never actually had the VHF microphone in her hand, staring at it, and wondered if she would respond or perhaps just switch channels.
"Little Putt, this is Sea Bird. Over."
"I'm coming in under tow, you might want to come up on deck. Little Putt out."
"Sea Bird out."
This is, after all, the hailing and emergency channel, and you don't tie it up.
So out she came, with the camera. We stowed Little Putt and took the car to Paradise Cove to celebrate Carol's first radio conversation.
And my first rescue at sea.