Friday, August 29, 2008


In the background you can see the good ship Mariner ( she is just behind the yacht with the dinghy tied to her stern and has a blue cover over the mains'l on the boom). In the foreground is my trusty dinghy with my yachts registration number painted in the stern sheets - KZ4472. She is a fibreglass clinker dinghy of approximately 8 1/2 feet long of unknown design. I bought her a couple of years ago off the online auction TradeMe for $460 when my older and smaller wooden dinghy nearly drowned me one day (long story and too embarrassing to tell). I keep the dinghy permanently tied to the pontoon and use her to get out to the good ship Mariner and also as my tender when going away for day trips around the harbour or short trips up the coast. For longer trips I take an inflatable which I can easily get up on deck.

I picked this new dinghy up from the seller at Snell's Beach about 100km away. If you were ever wondering how well an upturned dinghy travels upside down on the roof rack of an aging Honda then the answer is it depends on the driver (long story and too embarrassing to tell).

If you look closely at the bow of the dinghy you will see that she is chained to the pontoon. This is not as satisfactory as how she was originally secured, which was with a long length of stainless steel wire rope which enabled the dinghy to float well away from the pontoon allowing other dinghies and their occupants easy access.

Well shipmates, about four weeks after I had this new dinghy back and wired to the pontoon, I went down one day and found the dinghy had disappeared! - I don't think I have been as furious for a long time and I was a long time furious believe me. It wasn't so much the money involved, it was the time taken searching out and bidding on the online auctions and having to drive all that way to pick her up.
I knew the dinghy had been stolen because I could see that the piece of thin wire painter still attached to the pontoon by the padlock had been flexed backwards and forwards until it had broken. A pair of oars had also been stolen from a dinghy close by belonging to the owner of the yacht opposite mine on the moorings.

I reported the theft to the local Police Station - and I must say to my embarrassment that there was a point where I was describing with great eloquence the pedigree of the thief, where a certain glance from the constable had that - tone it down or you will be arrested look about it.

The dinghy was found two days later by my friend whose oars were stolen. My dinghy had one of his oars in it, we never found the other one. In the bottom of the dinghy was a plastic bag with fish bait in it - so someone had stolen the dinghy to do a bit of night fishing.

My dinghy doesn't have a name and I shall have to think of one - something along the lines of 'Rinky Dink', 'Calabash' or the dinghy equivalent of 'Hunky Dory'. - Just had a thought and a Dilemma - because I got my dinghy back perhaps I should name it 'Boomerang' - Hmmm, as a Kiwi I might have to think about that one.


Katherine said...

I'm glad you got it back... What about the "Godwit"? They come back, are New Zealand birds. Too trite?

Tillerman said...

Not trite at all - God and wit do go together - you only need to look at humanity to see that God has a sense of humour

Kathryn said...

I'd love to hear more of the "(long story and too embarrassing to tell)" X 2

But I'm very glad that you got your dinghy back after all your time and effort. These people with no scruples don't realise or just don't care how much inconvenience they cause.

Kathryn :-)

Tillerman said...

Maybe I might use them as a blog post some day, it would make for an amusing if embarrassing story.