Have You Ever Lost Your Dinghy?

Have you ever found your dinghy?

Whye Waite


Photo by Dazzle Jam

Late last night, after rowing our ten-foot inflatable dinghy two-hundred yards through the surf and boisterous bay of Yelapa, Mexico, we finally arrived at Tally Ho, our moored Nauticat 43 sailboat. It was all I could do to stumble aboard with the rest of the inebriated crew, tie the dinghy to the rail, and say nite-nite.

The following day — no dinghy.

“Someone stole the dinghy!” Chava quipped.

“Probably not,” I groaned, my head squeezed in a Racilla hangover-induced vise.

“I’m sure it was the poor excuse of a knot I tied last night,” I added.

We scoured the beautiful Yelapa, Mexico bay, with binoculars yielding zero results.

The raucous crew of Tally Ho consists of Rich, and Laura Brazil, Sal “Chava” Taormina, John “Jack Cravalle” McDill, and Kristy “Christina” McDill. Our eight-day sailing adventure from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, would culminate in Barra de Navidad, two hundred miles south.

We spread the word to everyone we encountered for the duration of the trip — Puerto Vallarta, Yelapa, Chamela, Tenacatita, and Barra de Navidad.

We became “that boat” that lost its’ dinghy.

After arriving in Barra many days later, our good friends John Schulthess and Monique Boucher of the Lagoon 44, Baja Fog, made it their mission to help us recover our runaway dinghy. They notified Dino, the Barra de Navidad Harbormaster, and Isabel, his assistant. We, in the meantime, flew back to Petaluma, California, with our tails between our legs.

John, from Baja Fog, called me the following week with the great news of a dinghy recovery in the Sea of Cortez and excitedly asked me to help identify it. No luck as it was a different make and model.

Two weeks later, a fellow sailor/cruiser named Greg, whom we met in Tenacatita, called to say a missing dinghy arrived in Las Hadas marina, near Manzanillo, Mexico, courtesy of a local sport fisherman. Greg kindly gave me the contact email for Marco, the Las Hadas Harbormaster. Could this be it? Las Hadas Resort? The sight of our Honeymoon and several other anniversaries?



Whye Waite

Humorous, sometimes serious, sailing stories, and inspirational life lessons from an old sea salt