Gormless Serendipity

In all the years that I've been sailing, I'm ashamed to say that I've never really bothered to drive the dinghy. It's not because I'm totally gormless (Yorkshire word meaning without gorm) when it comes to motors or that I haven't wanted to drive it, it's just that it always works out that Matt takes the driving seat – just as he does in a car. (Now come on ladies, admit it – I'm not the only one am I? I am? Oh!)

Anyway I decided that when we became ‘liveaboards' I would need my independence so would need to be able to jump into the dinghy and go ashore when I wanted to. For various reasons, it had been some time since I had been out by myself in the dinghy so I decided that I should make the effort and go to the supermarket. As a last minute thought I took my mobile and told Matt to switch his on – we had been having a few problems with the outboard motor so better be on the safe side. So off I went – a mile of so into the shore. As I set off and was getting into my stride, 2 other dinghies came roaring past – huh - I put my foot down (or should I say twisted my wrist) not that I'm a girl racer or anything but come on I do have some pride…I soon caught them up but they were going to a different dinghy dock so we went our separate ways - chickens!

Got to the dinghy dock and tied up the dinghy carefully – round turn and two half hitches (I've been well taught). Off to the supermarket, got lots of goodies including some ice-cream – what a treat – mouth watering at the thought - yummy. Back to the dinghy, piled in the shopping then off I went. I only got about 100 yards when the outboard motor stopped. Tried to pull the cord to start it again but it was stuck fast – wouldn't pull out at all – this had happened a few days ago to Matt – the cable had come off the spool – he had taken the top case off the outboard and wound the cable back on. OK that's obviously what's wrong again so I need to do the same or should I just row back – I don't think so – my exercise routine has gone to pot a bit lately so I'm sure I'm not up to a mile row in 30 degrees of heat. It'll probably be easier to do if I'm back at the dock though so I undo the oars and start to row…………

Now all I have to do is get the cover off – huh huh – not as easy as it looks – needless (without need) to say no matter how I try there's no way that cover is coming off. Look around for someone to help – no-one about – there are a couple of other dinghies on the dock but no one in sight. I call Matt to ask how to do it but he can't explain over the phone so tells me to see if I can get a tow. So I sit looking helpless (that's a bit like gormless but without help) and wait for someone to come by – thinking of all that yummy ice-cream melting away. Two chaps eventually walk toward the dock and I almost jump on them to ask if they can help – I quickly tell them what's wrong - that the cord will not pull out but they're both now looking gormlessly back at me and explain that they're just a couple of tourists come in on a cruise boat. OK thanks. I sit back down but now I'm looking hopeless (without hope) knowing that soon I'm going to be ice-creamless (and if so I scream more!) too so I carefully stow all the shopping as best I can under the seat and head off in search of help. I eventually find a very friendly dockmaster who organises a tow back to the boat for me.

Once back at the boat, Matt examines the outboard - “You do know that the reason the cord would not pull out was because it's still in gear don't you?” Gormless look greets him (I'm really good at gormless) “Er no.” Anyway he decides to take a look under the cover anyway to see why it's been stopping for no reason and low and behold he finds the carburettor is totally loose – the screws just about falling out – so that's the reason it's not been working properly – lucky that I was so gormless then eh? So remember if you ever, in your independent state, loose your gorm, just check around the corner to make sure you haven't found a bit of serendipity in it's place!



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