Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Although I'd like to say this is a picture of a lovely old boathouse or some sailboats, or that it's a study in horizontal and vertical lines, the fact of the matter is we're here today to talk about dinghies. This shot, taken from last weekend's Urbanna Oyster Festival, shows all the hazards and humiliations associated with dinghy riding.

In case you're not familiar with the term, a dinghy is a small vessel which transports people from their boat to shore without having to pull the boat up to a slip. You can just toss the anchor overboard and pray you and your big-boned frame make it to shore in a toy raft .

In the photo above, the dinghy is that postage-stamp-sized raft getting ready to capsize transporting those nice folks from the mainland to the bottom of Urbanna Creek their boat anchored off shore.

Although dinghies do serve a purpose, you won't catch me in one any time soon. No siree.

Problem #1 with dinghies is my inability to say the word with any degree of seriousness. Dinghy. Say it again. Dinghy. Say it three times in a row with mucho gusto and tell me it's not funny. Then imagine some suave captain beckoning to a lady friend, "Hello there, would you like to take a ride in my dinghy?" I don't think so. It's just not dignified.

Problem #2? Dingies are way too small. Just look at those poor people pictured above. Any moment now the bow end of that raft is going to buckle under due to way too many people in the boat and that lovely lady in the green vest is going to be pulling seaweed from her epiglottis.

There are other problems with dinghies including lack of horsepower, but until I can move beyond #1 and #2 above, the horsepower thing is irrelevant.

Now, let me share an excerpt from my friend Wikipedia on the topic of dinghies and their lifesaving capabilities:

"On yachts shorter than 10 meters there is usually not enough room for a reasonably sized dinghy. A dinghy is useful to avoid the need for expensive dock or slip space, so owners of small yachts compromise by carrying a small rigid dinghy or deflated inflatable, or by towing a larger dinghy. Space can be saved by storing items in containers or bags that are tied to the dinghy. Dinghies are sometimes used as lifeboats." (!)

(!) Based on what I see above, if I were in need of saving and the choice was to hop on a dinghy or swim to shore, I believe I'd be swimming. And pulling seaweed from my epiglottis--happily.

Have you ever been on a dinghy? Do you think these people made it to their boat without going topsy turvy? Does a sillier word than dinghy exist? If so, what is it?


Annie said...

OK..now that the photo finally loaded ..(not like yours to give any problems usually)..I get you. Now I see what you are calling a dinghy and why you don't like them.

Over here, or should I say "down under" they are usually made of much sterner stuff and called "tinnies", (which to me sounds a bit like a can of beer). But if I had to, I would rather go in a tinny than in one of those plastic toys in the photo!

Mind you, since I don't spend a lot of time down at the water side, they could well be using the others by now.

But funnily enough I don't seem to have any of your problems with the actual word, pronunciation or spelling. You may have noticed I have refrained from using it more than once, in case it sent you overboard again!


Kate said...

Dinghies are scary stuff! Give me a little jon boat anyday. I'm impressed those people made it to shore!

Mental P Mama said...

Well, the dinghy dock was a popular place. I'm just sayin'.

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

Oh, I dunno, I think epiglottis gives Dinghy a run for its money.

Linda said...

My word that's a tiny dinghy! Isn't there a weight limit on those? And what about life jackets? Is that the Dinghy Captain there in the back? I'm afraid I might have an issue with that particular setup. I'm with Kate, I'll take a jon boat over THAT dinghy any day.
Dinghy, dinghy, dinghy. HAHAHAHAHA!

Daryl said...

Its not dinghyified to sit in one let alone ride in one .. but you love the floats we had at Gwynn Is. which also sank in way deeper than I expected when MY large boned frame got into one ... I was sure I was headed to the bottom of the Bay .. seems to this city gal that the only difference between the dinghy and the float is a motor... just sayin'

And WV proves it: desam .. translated from Ebonics: The Same... or its refering to CBW's paterfamilias

Caution Flag said...

I used to date a guy who called one day to proudly tell me he had just bought a boat. Out to bay I drove only to find him waiting in his new dinghy. The relationship ended shortly thereafter. I did, however, reconnect with him recently via FB and found that he had finally upgraded to a canoe.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

No dinghy rides for me! I am totally sticking with the pool noodles!

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

@Caution Flag - now THAT is hilarious!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Annie, somehow a tinnie dinghy makes me laugh even more. However, on a more serious note, we have sturdier dinghies here too (not called tinnies though) - the rafts were the most prevalent this past weekend, though.

Kate-I never actually saw those people disembark so for all I know they're swimming towards the EAstern Shore as we speak. I'm with you on the jon boat.

MPM-I don't think I've ever seen more dinghies in one spot before in my life, and I'm not just talking about the boats. However since we *are* speaking of the boats, I agree that was a very popular spot - one we seemed to have completely overlooked on Friday when we got lost in the food maze (aka fried food death trap).

Meg-Epiglottis definitely gives a run for the money, I agree. (That word popped into my head like a jack-in-the-box last night, and I had no idea what it meant because those brain cells died a long time ago. Looked it up and thought it sounded like as good a place as any for seaweed to become lodged.)

Linda - According to Annie, it's not just tiny, it's tinnie! And tell me about the lack of life jackets! They're going down like a cinder block unless that green vest has a pull cord on it and that's a bouyant outboard under the man's armpit. It's not.

Daryl-Ha! I'm not sure which has me laughing more, dinghyfied or paterfamilias or the other two words you've introduced me to this week. Hoo ha!

CF-Oh what a relief the relationshp ended. Something tells me he would be one of those who suffer from short boat syndrome.

NNG-Wonder if those wonky teeth float?

Yes, CF needs to come to the next Blog Fest. Her sense of humor seems right up our tinnie alley.

Happy Government Holiday Eve!

foolery said...

When I lived in a coastal world those were twice as big and called Zodiacs. I crossed the Molokai Channel (nine miles of inter-island ocean) clinging to one of those. Awesome.

Country Girl said...

Flopbot is a funny word. I don't know how real it is, but I read it in a James Herriot book.

Yes, I've been in a dinghy. It was better than getting wet, which isn't saying a whole lot!

big hair envy said...

Wow. I thought I left you a message today. Guess I must be getting a little dinghy in my old age;)

Enjoy the rest of your week off. I'm insanely jealous. Why don't you come up to K&Q this weekend? Noe and I will show you a good time!!!