A friend asked me this week, why do you love to ride in a dinghy? All sexual jokes aside, this was a legit question. I do love a dinghy. The small boat attached to a bigger boat can be a tender, a dory, or a RHIB. Some people give names to their dinghy such as Kevin or Against the Wind II. The word dinghy just sounds magical.
For my friends that live on anchor, the dinghy can be their nemesis. A necessary evil fraught with mechanical issues, challenged daily by mother nature, and the work horse of life on the water. Just as my Jeep is a necessity to daily living on land, the dinghy is vital to life on a boat.
My dinghy relationship is much more casual. I liken it to that crazy friend who calls you up on a Friday afternoon for a road trip. Sometimes, you have a plan and other times it’s just about the adventure and the wind in your hair.
I am certain my love of a dinghy started as a child with a cheap inflatable raft and my legs as a make-believe engine in our backyard pool. However, the obsession began with my first Caribbean dinghy ride in Antigua 15 years ago. The turquoise sea sprayed over my face as we zoomed from our anchored catamaran to our land destination. I still taste the salt, smell the sweet musty scent, and feel the velvety warm caress of the ocean on my fingertips.
Many dinghy rides later, I still take every opportunity to hop into a raft with a motor strapped to the back. Every dinghy ride is different. A well powered dingy speeds through the water, bouncing and splashing like a ride at an amusement park. Smaller engines and slower speeds are a reminder that life on the water is about the ride not the destination. Finally, the broke down dingy isn’t a ride at all and can be precarious but some of my belly laugh moments involved a deviant engine.
Whether my dinghy infatuation is a looking glass into the innocent summer days of my childhood or a modern-day escape from the responsibilities of life, I will take all the dinghy rides. I will continue to giggle each time the word dinghy rolls off my tongue and boat friends will continue to shrug their shoulders at my dinghy crush.