You must sing the title to the tune of “London Bridges” to get the humor in this potentially catastrophic situation. You see I was sailing close hauled in 25+ knots of wind with 6-8 foot waves Christmas Day with two guest as we returned to St Thomas from a week in the Spanish VI. We were reefed down and still cruising at over 8 knots and were halfway to St Thomas and within 2-3 miles of where I wanted to tack and make for Buck Island to take them to swim with the turtles.
All of a sudden the line holding the inside aft part of the dinghy parted and dropped that corner of the boat into the water, which acted like a huge scope collecting water that was passing by at 8 knots. Knowing we did not have time to lower sails before the entire davit system was ripped off, I jumped to work starting the engines and facing the boat dead into the wind in order to depower the sails and stop our speed. Once I did this the situation calmed immensely. With the help of the gentleman I had aboard we rigged a couple blocks and wrenched the dinghy back up and secured it with four different lines, so we could limp into harbor and I could rig a new bridle for the back part of the dinghy to be raised.
It took all of 10 minutes to rig the new bridle and we were back to having fun. I could have down this out there, but with the winds, waves, and only being 10 miles away it made sense to do it once it was calm in an anchorage. I now have time and I am going to look into wire lines to solve the chafe issue, which I of course will write about if I go that route.
Turns out the worst part of all this was that my brand new week old sandals USE to be in the dinghy. Haha. I am now waiting on my new, new sandals to arrive so I don’t have to wear my snorkel booties the very few times I wear footwear at all, but that is a whole different story.