Today, Feb 24, 2015, I had to solve a problem. Early in the morning I decided to motor the dinghy over to Oceanside Harbor Beach to check out the surf because the waves broke on the other side of the quay. Even though we were pretty close to the surf from where our boat was docked, we couldn’t see the waves. So I prepared all the equipment for the dinghy, put on my lifejacket and headed over to see the waves.
Arriving on the other side of the harbor, I sidled up to the dock without trouble and tied the dinghy onto one of the dock cleats, then walked over the quay to the beach to look at the waves. I thought to myself that the waves were just surfable. Satisfied, I returned to set up the dinghy to motor back to the boat. I got everything ready to go, started up the dinghy engine then pushed off the dock. The inflatable started to move forward a little bit, but then the motor just sputtered out. At that point, I was headed straight for the rocks, so I lifted the motor to make sure its propeller wouldn’t hit. Then I pushed off the rocks with my hand, angling back over to the dock so I could see what was wrong.
I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the motor. I tried starting it over and over again but it still didn’t work. I couldn’t call home because I hadn’t brought my phone. I could walk around the entire harbor, but then I would have had to leave the boat. That’s when I knew what I had to do. I set up the paddles and rowed back to Kandu. The return trip was a bit slower traveling, but only about 15 minutes.
When I returned to the boat, safe and sound, my parents asked what took so long. I explained to my dad the problem. He got into the boat and I watched him turn on the motor the very first time he tried. It was at that point that I remembered I had forgotten to push down the choke once the motor was ignited after pulling the starter chord. It was a good lesson in keeping calm and solving a problem. Next time I take out the dinghy, I will make sure to be a little more prepared.