LAHOWIND » Just you, me, + the dog.

And then we lost the dinghy.

First a crab pot. Now the dinghy.


As in, “hey, let’s take the dog to shore….Ummmmm, Jereme WHERE THE “F” IS THE DINGHY?!?!

Pretty stellar record thus far, wouldn’t you agree? 😉


>>Only iPhone-tography for this post…I wasn’t really running to grab the big camera after realizing that our dinghy was no longer tied to the back of the boat like we left it a few hours ago…if you know what I mean? 😉

The good news is…we were lucky enough to recover the dinghy (full deets below). In the meantime, we’re still working on the necessary fixes for the crab pot situation. It’s looking like we might get a short haul (out) to check the running gear (prop, prop shaft, cutlass bearing, & rudder).


So, we’ve been using the dinghy davit lines to secure the dinghy behind the boat while still in the water (during the day).

But yesterday, it was starting to get pretty rough with high winds so we switched the dinghy being hooked up to the davits and instead cleated the painter line to the boat so the dinghy wouldn’t constantly bang against the boat.

Turns out, we didn’t check the pre existing knot attaching the painter line TO the dinghy, and it somehow came loose. :((((

The painter was still cleated on the boat while the dinghy & engine were long gone! The weird thing is we’ve been relying on that knot and have used that painter line to launch and stow the dinghy from the foredeck using winches — and it always held.

So what the heck do you do when you realize that your car has basically gone missing?

You freak out. Duh.

Oh wait, that’s just what I do. …a few tears were definitely involved. Lol.

No really, first things first, we called the marina to see if anyone had found/saved/returned it. (If you’re familiar with Boot Key Harbor, then you know that’s definitely a possibility — especially since our mooring isn’t too far from the end of the harbor and luckily the direction the wind was blowing).

The marina informed us that they had heard a report of a rouge dinghy and someone was possibly towing it in. Phew!!! That’s at least semi positive news.

We waited as patiently as possible while the marina staff went and checked for our dinghy at the dinghy docks. The whole time, I’m just thinking about how much our cruising budget is being blown from all these crazy issues. And now we might have to buy a new dinghy and engine? Not cool.

The marina finally called us back to say our dinghy WASN’T there! :(((

Oh no! Back to the drawing board. What now?

Jereme hopped on channel 68 on the VHF radio and was about to ask everyone in range if they had seen a loose dinghy. But just as we tuned in, there was someone talking about “our” missing dinghy!!!

Someone really had it!

Jer immediately chimed in that it was ours and the kind folks that saved it were nice enough to tow it back to our boat (they were only a few balls down from us). Phew!!!!!!!

Needless to say, we have retied that one knot and are being “extra” careful tying her up.

After telling our story to several other cruisers…many have said they’ve lost theirs before too. It happens. And if everything went smoothly, then we wouldn’t have any fun stories to share. Very true! …I’m sure we will always remember this day.

^^s/v LAHO moored in Boot Key Harbor.^^

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Bahamas + Caribbean.

Mark RoopeMarch 27, 2014 - 4:35 pm

We had exactly the same this year when our dinghy forged an escape plan and snook away when we weren’t looking.
Your whole world collapses around you especially when you are in a place where the only way to get to shore and back in by dinghy. We could of swum but the bread did not taste good afterwards.
Luckily our dinghy was retrieved two miles off the coast by a Dutch boat called Lunatic we will be for ever grateful to.
I know how you felt!

Kelley - Sailing ChanceMarch 27, 2014 - 5:35 pm

Get a few caribeanera before you leave the states. We have one clipped to a rope on our dinghy and just clip up everywhere we go. Works great in a hurry or if ita choppy and you know you’re always attached. For some reason people always see us do this and go, why didn’t I think of that?

[…] our first week as cruisers, and already have lots of fun stories (hitting a crab pot and then losing our dinghy) to tell for the rest of our […]

Jessica - MJ SailingMarch 28, 2014 - 2:20 am

Oh no! What a complete panic moment, but I’m so glad you got it back! Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. Multiple times. We managed to lose ours (and get back) twice. Once in the Bahamas, and once in Mexico. At least Jereme let you talk about it, I had to keep our incidents hush hush, haha. 😉

Uncle PaulMarch 28, 2014 - 9:41 am

Kim I can relate. Just lost
My snowmobile. If was tied up to the igloo used some really good twine from good old
Fashion Sasquatch skin and poof a quick blizzard and it was gone. Gotta teach Jan to tie a better knot with mitts on. Thankfully some fellow ice fisherman stepped out of their ice hut to get more beer and take a leak and saw it slide by. Gosh I hope spring comes soon. We are losing our minds in Canada.
Love reading of your adventures and the great photos of paradise. About 16
More sleeps and we’ll be adding to the congested traffic jam of tourists in Naples heading out for early bird dinner specials at 4 pm Be safe

HarrietMarch 28, 2014 - 5:43 pm

We were paranoid about losing the dinghy when it was tied to the boat with the painter. We attached a separate shorter line to the towing ring in addition to the towing harness. The shorter line with a hook on the end was handy for tying up to the dinghy dock. It’s great that your dinghy didn’t get too far. In the Bahamas, it could be halfway to Cuba!

[…] get me wrong…we have definitely experienced our fair share of ups AND downs. Hello, missing dinghy […]

[…]  Here’s how it went down, according to Kim.  This story appears as it does on their blog post.  *All photos have been taken from LaHo […]

[…] of you might recall what happened the last time we trusted something original like this…yup, we lost the freaking dinghy after a knot we never checked or re-tied came loose. That should’ve clearly been lesson […]

[…] we have yet to master the fine art of keeping valuables high and dry. Too many items, including the dinghy itself, cell phones, sunglasses, beach towels, tools, and plenty of Oliver’s dog toys have […]