We topped up the diesel and water tanks, and this time when we left the slip we brought the docklines with us. Usually when we go out for a day or a week they stay on the pilings to make it easy to come back into our slip when we return; they even have marks to show us where the cleats go. But we won't be back for six months, and we'll need them when we tie up the boat at new places.
It didn't feel any different, motoring down Back Creek and out into the Bay on a gray, chilly afternoon. I had hoped to sail a bit, symbolic of the beginning of our grand adventure, but the light winds meant it would be a motor trip. Four uneventful hours later I was at the helm nudging the boat against the floating dock at Knapps Narrows. I knew we'd have a challenge to turn around in the morning, but for the evening everything was going to be perfect. But as the bow came close, the current took the stern and swung us around - cool! Now we were facing the right way, and all I had to do was a bit of helm to bring the stern closer to the dock.
For an instant, all was well and Dan stepped off, line in hand, to tie us up. But the current continued to move us, and now all the lines he'd carefully prepared thinking we were going to be tied up facing east were on the wrong side. Before we could move them to the other side the current pulled us out - only now Dan was on the dock, with the boat held by one line, and I was at the helm alone. Not to go into too much detail, but there were some fairly comical moments with verrrry long docklines and the boat halfway out into the channel. There was no one on the dock to help, although at the same time that meant there were no witnesses to our debacle...and then, we were tied up snugly, with a heron standing on a nearby piling silently watching us.
(originally posted 13 October 2009)