Well…the most amazing blue waters of Barbuda has almost got us in trouble…we knew the Northerly swells were picking up but did not think it will be impossible to go with Scolli (our dinghy) to land on the beach…where we would meet a water taxi to take us on the lagoon to the Frigate bird colony (biggest colony in the world)! We did hear on the radio that one of the American Yachts had reservations and suggested that they will rather not take the change to “beach” their dinghy – as it is to heavy to pull it out on the beach – but will rather go all the way around to the entrance of the lagoon – about 3 miles in heavy seas!!…in order to meet the Water Taxi!
Well…some that know Johann… he is always up for a challenge and a bit of excitement is that expeditions normally bring about! – especially with his First Mate at his side (never mind her fears for the unknown!)
Well…we were armed with cameras and some dry clothes inside the Pelican Case … Scolli was geared and I had all the instructions…when we get there…jump off and start pulling the dinghy as fast as you can…get it on dry land before the next wave breaks! Easy….no problem…except…..the waves were bigger and quicker than what we thought!
A big wave broke into the dinghy and halve the beach was by then in it as well!! So..it was too heavy to pull it out and so it was just being bashed wave after wave….
We ended up very wet and with the help of the Taxi man we managed to get it out on safe dry land…
Changing into dry clothes now to get to customes first to clear out and then back into the Taxi to do some bird watching – that was the easy fun part…
We still needed to get the half drowned Scoli back into the water …another challenge that I was not quite ready for…
Neither was Scolli!! …
The first wave that filled the dinghy at least three quarter with water and sand had my shoes and the pelican case floated inside the dinghy! (and I was rowing for dear life on the instructions of the Captain!!) For as moment I thought the second wave will capsize us! And I just could not imagine that we would have been able to retrieve her without life jackets…and life will be horrible without a dinghy…trust me …that is your life line if you are sailing!
But with the strong arms that I have grown and the once from the Captain and a lot of help from Above…we made it to the flatter water behind the waves …and my prayer was heard to “Please let the Engine start”!!…it did but it took us about a kilometer to get the water out with an open bung and a dinghy that just could not plane!
This is it!! Never again with me on that dinghy will I attempt a beach landing in any swells or waves!!
Here is my conclusion and a few Facts for whoever is interested:
- Barefoot makes AMAZING dingies!! They are lifesavers when you need them!
- Pelican Cases ARE worth there money in their weight!! They are waterproof!
- Crocs can swim
- Yamaha is tops!
- Don’t go for too small an outboard on your dinghy …you might need that extra power
- Praying helps…keep on trying !
- The Captain does not always know best
Scoli is my new best friend and the Captain will have to work on his position on my list of hero’s! 🙂
Photo’s: Barbuda needs no explanation….just look and see…