When we returned from our most recent trip to Bedwell Harbour, we were a little apprehensive about docking the Big Boat for the first time by ourselves. The wind was blowing fairly strongly, even in the harbour, but as we made our approach, things seemed to be going well.
Thankfully, Donna Gail, the very large power boat which moors near us, was out at the time, so we had a straighter run into our slip. Steven was at the helm, while I pointed and gave him instructions. He was carrying more speed than we’d used last time, since we had such trouble turning previously. As we headed into our slip, I asked Steven to kick it into reverse to slow us down as I prepared to step off on to the dock. Being careful, I watched my step as I put my foot on to the side of the finger.
However, as we figured out later, the quick hit in reverse caused our stern to kick out away from the finger at the precise moment I stepped on to the “dock.” The sound of my inflatable PFD blowing up was what alerted both Steven and me that I’d stepped right into the water.
Steven managed to dock the boat without my help, while I swam to the stern to avoid being stuck between the boat and the dock. Steven tied up and got the ladder, but between fatigue and 4 layers of sodden clothes, I couldn’t get myself up the ladder under my own steam, so Steven used the webbing on the back of my PFD/harness to haul me out of the drink and on to the dock.
With only a scraped left hand and a beautiful bruise on my right leg to show for it, I’ve made it through another rite of passage.