Many of our adventures (if you’ve read any previous entries, you’ll know adventure is simply a euphemism for mishap) begin with Tanya doing something dumb. I have told the following story before, but it is worth repeating in this context.

When I first spent time on a sailboat, I broke something important, by accident, of course, and the result was a forced overnight sail from Key West to Naples. This night sail, full of stars above and phosphorescence in the water below, was so beautiful that I became convinced that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. So, you could say that a mishap started it all for me. It was the first, but certainly not the last.

My sister would agree with me when I say I wasn’t dealt a great hand in the common sense department. I try to compensate for it with book learning, but no amount of books and articles on sailing and boat-handling compares with common sense to give one the know-how they need on the water. A person, like my husband, with a solid dose of common sense, runs into only a fraction of the embarrassing situations in which I frequently find myself. As for the rest of us, we learn by experience (which is simply a euphemism for pain). My only saving grace is that I am an extrovert, so I usually have a friend around to help me in my distress.

The latest adventure (mishap) involved me and the dinghy. I have learned from previous experience (pain) that you should really secure the dinghy well so that it doesn’t try to drift back out to sea while you’re having an outing on shore. I’ve gotten good at really dragging it up onto the beach and either anchoring it or tying it off to something secure. I took the small ones to the nearby sandy beach on Saturday to enjoy some well-deserved swimming and relaxation, making sure to secure the dinghy well on shore. It was just out of sight, so after about an hour, I had one of the children check it to make sure it was where we had left it. It was.

We then proceeded to have a lovely afternoon, swimming and finding interesting sea life, losing track of time in our enjoyment. We swam, snacked, and made new friends. I forgot entirely about the dinghy, and was blissfully oblivious to the tide. When we were becoming overcooked, I packed everyone up and we headed around the dune to the dinghy. Our newfound friends came along to wish us well and carry some of our things (very kind of them). As we approached, I knew immediately that we were in trouble. The tide, instead of trying to pry our dinghy loose and strand us ashore, had simply crept out and stranded us by leaving our dinghy high and dry. Thankfully, the newfound friends were gracious amid my embarrassment and helped me and the kids drag the darn thing down the beach and through the mud to water deep enough to float her. From there, I continued to wade out (losing both flip flops in the muck—and retrieving them when they floated to the surface) until I could start the motor.

A favorite saying in our home has become “all’s well that ends well,” so that’s where I’ll end it. We made it back safely, and will probably not have to do that again…especially since I just checked the tide tables so I can time the next outing a little bit better!