Monday 17 February 2014

The little boat

About the dinghy. We are of the school of thought that the best dinghy for us is the least attractive to thieves. The reasoning is, it's an item which will be left on beaches for many hours at a time while we do our business on shore and we like to see it still there at the end of the day. It would be huge inconvenience to be without a dinghy, since it is the workhorse of the whole enterprise. The little boat hauls people and goods to and from shore. It enables living on the hook (or mooring) not having to rely on over priced marinas, or docking against abrasive pilings on town docks (Ashiki has a few scars to show from those).

It struck me about our friend with the pedalling kayak, he was happy with the $3,000 he spent on it. Compared to a inflatable with outboard (which a lot of people use) his will never run out of petrol, breakdowns are virtually nonexistent and because its pedal powered on a fast kayak hull, can go long distances quite quickly. Its a great deal. I don't know about leaving it on some beach unattended for 6 hours though, he’d have to extract the pedalling mechanism and take it with him I suspect. I didn’t ask.
Dinghy doing yoemans' work.
Ours is an old ratty fibreglass model, picked up for $180 on Gumtree, which I proceeded to cut in half, added another pair of bulkheads, which Susie glassed & painted, and ended up with a 2 piece boat. One half nests inside the other half and takes up less room on deck, in other words, a nesting dinghy. Means I need to assemble it each time we arrive somewhere. Small price to pay, it is then left tethered to Ashiki during the stay, and loaded  back on the foredeck with the help of the foremast halyard (a 3 part block). Also no outboard, we row it. I like rowing, you get used to it. I can row any distance now.

I’m not knocking Rockingham, its a great place and we really enjoyed our stay there. But there are a couple suburbs there which Perth people know about. Lets just say, things can get “borrowed” there.

Dinghy in happier times, when no one
is trying to swipe him..

We were away for about 4 hours, hopped the shuttle bus to the big Rocky shopping mall, and on coming back to the beach:

I can't see the dinghy. I think it's gone!

But then, as we walked closer I saw it but not where we left it. At least it was still there. Getting to it, we found someone else’s thongs (flip slops) inside. Odd. And the oars had been moved. We take the rowlocks with us when we leave, so whoever tried to use our dinghy would have had to use the oars as a pole and pole along. No rowlocks means no rowing. 

Out we rowed with our shopping stuff to Ashiki and later that day came across a couple from one of the anchored boats we were friendly with. They saw the guy on the beach acting strangely around our dinghy. He dumped his bag in it, walked up the beach some distance, stood around, came back to it. Tried to take it out. Paddling was too difficult. The couple watching this were a little distressed as they knew it was our dinghy but they didn't know what to do.  (I would have called out from the boat “Hey mate, that’s not yours”). But they didn't. The guy must have given up. Good thing no rowlocks. 

The couple in question anchor their dinghy - an expensive RIB with outboard - 10m off the beach to a small anchor. He strips off to his budgie smugglers and wades out to it. No one else appears to leave their dinghy on that beach..

Maybe Rockingham foreshore is a no leave dinghy on the beach zone.

Negative stuff like that usually makes us want to leave the next day. Since a big regatta was coming to the local yacht club and boats were vacating moorings all around us. It was going to be a week of racing and I didn't want to embarrass the yachties by entering, a fully loaded live aboard cruiser and junk rigged to boot, and out-sailing them all... We left the next day.

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