A photo a day from Oriental, NC, the surrounding Pamlico County area, and nearby rivers, creeks, bays and other waterways of coastal North Carolina.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

11.15- Tow time

A newly-anchored itinerant sailor with a motor-dinghy gives a tow to another itinerant in her two-armstrong powered "Dink"

I met this young woman at the Dinghy Dock today as I was riding by.

She had come ashore to go grocery shopping, leaving her "old man" on their sailboat at anchor out in the harbor (not in camera shot above).

She had rowed ashore in a "Dink" dinghy.

When she returned to the Dinghy Dock after a couple of hours, she found the winds had grown fairly stiff... about 15 to 20 knots... out of the Southwest.

(Notice two of the anchored sailboats in the picture are pointing straight into the fresh breeze... the third/middle sailboat, flying Netherlands flag, is not pointing into the wind only because she is aground)

Finding it impossible to row the light dinghy straight into the wind far enough to reach her boat, the woman had been embayed for at least an hour before I showed up.

As we were chatting, another sailboat came into the harbor and began trying to anchor.

We watched as her captain dropped anchor, hoping he would dinghy ashore soon and maybe be able to help the woman return to her boat. The anchor dragged, and the sailboat drifted towards another anchored boat. The guy weighed anchor, motored around, and tried again. Anchor dragged again. Guy weighed, moved and dropped the hook yet again.

By this time, another woman had walked up to the Dinghy Dock, introduced herself, and explained she was waiting for the guy out there trying to anchor to come pick her up.

By this time there were four of us watching this guy try to anchor... Watching someone struggle with anchoring, particularly in a Southerly or Southwesterly blow, is considered better-than-TV entertainment in Oriental.

After the guy dropped anchor again, we saw him finally lowering his dinghy from the stern davits into the water. Great, we all thought... one woman was waiting for the guy to come take her to his boat, the other woman was hoping the guy could tow her dinghy back to her boat, and myself and another guy were watching all the drama with great interest.

The guy got in his dinghy, hauled in the painter, and started motoring... away from the dinghy dock! Where is he going, the watching crowd wondered in chorus, while at the same time noticing that the guy's sailboat was swinging awfully near it's anchored neighbor.

The guy motored his dinghy about a hundred feet ahead of his sailboat on the starboard side, then stood up in the dinghy.

"He's dropping a second hook" we all said, again in chorus.

So the guy dropped his second anchor from the dinghy, motored back to his sailboat, went aboard and hauled in his hawsers to satisfaction, neatly pulling his sailboat away from the threatened neighbor.

He then came ashore, and happily gave the stranded rower a tow back to her "old man" just as the sun set.

Another exciting 90 minute drama at Oriental anchorage!


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