The Water Incident

Aft of TahinaWednesday last week, we went ashore in Rodney Bay and did some last minute Christmas shopping. There’s a small mall within walking distance of a dinghy dock in the harbor. We spent a few hours first with the gift shopping, having some lunch, and finishing with some grocery shopping. It took all four of us to carry stuff back to the dinghy.

For some reason, there were some large long ocean swells in the anchorage. That combined with some gusty winds, and a few jet skis nearby, had the water pretty choppy when we arrived with the dinghy at Tahina.

The girls jumped on board to hold the dinghy and help unload. I started unloading and making sure items were going well on board so they wouldn’t fall off. I had just put my backpack (which holds my laptop, camera and other important items) up on the deck when the dinghy tried to go under the transom. Karen was sitting on the side of the dinghy and nearly hit her head on the bottom of transom. So, I tried to help push back. Somehow, my hand must’ve been tangled in the strap of the backpack. The next thing I knew the backpack was rolling off the back of the boat! I watched in slow motion as it dropped into the water.

Before I knew what I was doing I jumped into the water and grabbed the backpack before it immersed. I was hanging on the back of the transom holding it in the air. One of the girls grabbed the backpack and immediately opened it and took out the laptop. My shorts were wet, including my wallet, and I realized my iPhone was in my pocket. Uh oh!

Needless to say, this was a pretty intense moment for me. The laptop is a crucial part of my blogging and photography processing. I do have regular backups on separate harddrives, so all would not be lost. A quick examination of the laptop and backpack showed no significant water intrusion in the laptop compartment. But, there were a few drops of water on the back. I wiped it off and opened the top. Bad news! The screen was black. But, I could tell things were still working – in fact, in low-light (or shining a flashlight) I could still see the screen. Further investigation determined the only thing not working was the LED backlight was not working. I can still use the laptop hooked up to a monitor, but use on shore is not practical. So, I’ll need to get this fixed.

The rest of that day I was not in a happy mood. I dried out the contents of my wallet and removed everything from the backpack and dried it out. Nothing else was harmed. I’ve always been so careful with the backpack, and I couldn’t believe this had happened! But, it was almost Christmas, and my daughters were here. So, I did my best to put it out of my mind and enjoy our family time.

The next day, Christmas Eve, we moved to St. Lucia’s World Heritage site: The Pitons. These monstrous volcanic mountains on the SW corner of St. Lucia are an amazing sight and a popular area to snorkel, dive, and bring your boat. The nice sail down did a lot to recuperate my state of mind. I’ll talk more about our visit here in
upcoming posts..

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3 Responses to The Water Incident

  1. Fred Burke says:

    I’m glad that Karen didn’t get hurt, it sounds like she could have gotten bonked pretty hard. Sorry about the laptop, though. Did your iPhone somehow (amazingly) survive the dunking?
    Hopefully the rest of your Christmas was much less eventful.
    Take care and here’s wishing you all an early Happy New Year!!
    -Fred-

  2. walter baker says:

    For the benifit of us landlubbers— for extented sailing, several weeks,what do you stock on board for food and water. There is no super market to go to. Just curious. smooth and carefree sailing. happy new year to you. walter, wilmington, nc.

  3. Patrick says:

    Man that sux…
    Can I recommend a dry-bag\backpack or a dry-bag inside your backpack. I have a small dry-bag\ipod case that can hold a ipod\phone (or two) and a wallet or two. I never leave the cockpit without putting my stuff in that bag. I started that rule after we swamped the dinghy on a charter trip.

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