The Gift of Going Without

Needing Less Doing More

The Tipsy Taxi and Other Dinghy Misadventures

anisleep

This picture is completely unrelated to the post but features Ani asleep at the wheel.

It took one season, and not even a whole season, for our first dinghy to die.  The dingy was an afterthought anyway.  It had been folded up and stored away in some random warehouse for an undetermined amount of time.  It’s sedentary lifestyle did not deter us, in fact we were looking forward to breathing life back into the crappy ‘ol PVC raft.  Plus we were just grateful to have been given a tender at no cost to us.  It was probably this cavalier attitude and our endless demands that killed the girl.  The dinghy didn’t appreciate being ripped out of retirement just to be put back to work.

In the first months of our maiden voyage, a slow leak started in the dinghy, planned by her I’m sure.  Being the clever (vindictive) girl she was, our tender waited until we were deep in the Bahamas (no dinghy life support), two miles from our sailboat (no first responders), and full to the brim with freediving gear to start sinking without the slightest shred of integrity!  You may think I’m being dramatic but you were not there!  You didn’t have to scramble to find a line long enough to sloppily tie the bow and sides up, connecting the boat together at the stern with 1” of free board between you and the water.   And you didn’t have to limp home her lifeless corpse with your tail between your legs.

And each time, Jackie looked on from the upper deck of the Breeze with a smile.  Sometimes smiling at our obvious success, sometimes with a smirk at the thought of us actually hitting the drink.  One of these days…

aniapple

Another unrelated picture but come on! You’ve gotta be impressed with Ani’s apple eating style! Is it obvious that the author is her Mom?

You would think that the previous encounter would be enough to teach us a lesson.  Prevent us from being cheap…ahem…as resourceful when a tender is concerned.  You are thinking, surely they saved their pennies and sprang for something reliable.  You’re thinking of the wrong couple!  Do not get into the habit of overestimating the author and her husband.  Our next hand me down, dug out of retirement dinghy, was the infamous Tipsy Taxi.  Because of her crappy…ahem…unique design, the Tipsy Taxi earned an actual name.  The name was coined by a friend of ours and one of the proprietors of the cruiser friendly, Long Island Breeze.  Being a Louisiana girl, Jackie Higgins has a quick wit although the Tipsy Taxi was low hanging fruit for her!  She watched us get in and out of the ever rolling 7’, round bottom, fiberglass junker each time managing to board our not-so-trusty steed, clutching our hearts in utter disbelief that once again, we had eluded the inevitable roll and plunge.  And each time, Jackie looked on from the upper deck of the Breeze with a smile.  Sometimes smiling at our obvious success, sometimes with a smirk at the thought of us actually hitting the drink.  One of these days…

The Tipsy Taxi managed to bowl through the Bahamas to Jamaica, Honduras, Belize and the Florida Keys.  It’s crowning moment was undoubtedly proclaimed when she found herself floating (barely) our 210 lb. buddy Bruce, his 6’6” brother Logan, an obliviously fidgety Ren and a very pregnant me, perched atop the Taxi, an unlikely bow maiden.  We were rowing to shore, and why were we rowing?  To add insult to an already humiliating situation our small outboard motor decided to sprout legs and leave us in Honduras.  I hope that if the engine was that unhappy with us it found a better, more dignified post with another family.  Engine, if you are reading this, we are sorry and trust your new family needed you more than we did.

After our return to the US it occurred to us that the Tipsy Taxi never once threw us.  We never once suffered a wet fate at her hands.  So we gave her the most fitting retirement we could imagine.  We placed her, upside down of course (she wouldn’t have wanted to be a mosquito breeding ground) on the banks of the Cape Fear River, at the bottom of the hill where Ren’s mom lives.  There were hopes of her someday becoming a flower planter or bench.  I have no idea where she is now.  She disappeared one day and my hopes for her are that she’s scaring the crud out of some other poor souls every time they step over her gunnel.

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1 Comment

  1. I think I saw the ghostly image of “tipsy” in a foggy marsh early one morning on a fishing trip. She was bottoms up and the perch for several river turtles. And , she and the turtles seemed very happy……

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