The dinghy trails from the back of the sailboat. Bryan named his dinghy “Where’s Andy” in honor of his longtime sailing partner, next door neighbor and often tardy free spirit Andy. On sailing adventures over the years they lost their dinghy 4 or 5 times and each time ritually named the new one “Where’s Andy.”
We left for our crossing to Provincetown in rough waters and grey skies, knowing there would be significant waves, but we were following a storm that drew the winds in a favorable direction for the sails, and going with the waves and wind in a storm is at least tolerable. Three hours into our crossing, the dinghy who had been flung from one wave to the next finally broke loose from its painter (the rope from which it hangs behind the sailboat) by breaking a little chunk of the fiberglass bow to which the line attaches. Bryan was determined not to lose another Where’s Andy, and besides, it is our ride to shore. Bryan turned the boat around into the crashing waves and handed me the tiller while he fished out a small Bruce anchor from the locker and attached a line. I headed towards Where’s Andy who was intermittently in sight when cresting a wave and Bryan heaved the anchor into the dinghy to snag it. On the second pass he got it and started to pull it in, only for the rope to come loose from the Bruce anchor! Bryan lunged to grab the boat while I stood ready to grab his legs, and he managed to get two fingers on the rubrail, and pulled it in. Where’s Andy is actually a sailing dinghy, so it had a convenient mast hole where attached the painter. We were off again in the right direction, but not without a rip in the mainsail that Bryan repaired with sail tape, hanging on as the boat heaved vigorously. Some time later the jib sheet came unattached and Bryan had to reattach the flapping sail as I tried to keep the boat on even keel. I was glad when he got a vest and tethered himself to the boat for some of the tricky parts.
Late at night the waves finally calmed down enough for him to attach the self-steering contraption and he was able to doze for short periods in the cockpit while I tried to rest below, although still too rocky to really sleep, so I checked on him from time to time. We were rewarded by a firefly-green plume of light off the back of the boat as thousands of phosphorescent sea creatures lit up.