Saturday, 28 May 2011


Oswego. Getting into a harbour without a motor alone is tricky. Getting into a harbour without a motor at night is somewhat of a daredevil act. But that is exactly what we had to do. Our motor ceased Friday mid day and despite his best efforts Gabriel couldn't revive it. We had to decide between pressing forward, against the wind, to find a place to dock or anchor overnight within the Thousand Islands, an area none of us are familiar with. Or head SW, with the wind into Oswego, a harbour that Gabriel has been to and had a vague idea as to its layout. We believed we had a better chance at a safe approach in Oswego, so that's where we ended up. We made good headway under sail, but the wind died just as we approached the city. Gabriel tried to mount the small outboard motor meant for our dinghy to Rodeo, to propel her forward with whatever power the small engine would afford us. Now, for those of you who know Gabriel this next part will not come as a surprise. He hung overboard trying to hang the little motor at the stern, while Fernando held him in place by wrapping his big arms around him.  He was practically up side down yanking on the motor line to get it running. Unfortunately, because of the waves, the small propeller would only work when we came up on a swell and it would lift right out of the water each time the bow dipped down. We slowly made it out of the open lake and into the harbour where the light wind disappeared altogether. This was a problem. We weren't moving and we still had to make it down the channel and into the Oswego Marina. I'm not sure how any of you would remedy this situation, I sure as hell didn't know what to do. But Gabriel, true to his Kamikaze form, lowered the dinghy into the water, remounted the motor, jumped into the inflatable boat and began to dance with Rodeo. His intention was to push the boat with the force of the dinghy behind it. It took a few daring maneuvers, but he finally got the boats going in a straight line and down the channel we went. We made slow but decent progress, and we felt quite happy with how well we were doing until we had to pull the boat up to a docking wall in the marina. We had no way of slowing the boat, now that we got her going, so we hoped that she would slow down enough for us to jump off and tie her off without crashing. Unwilling to leave Rodeo to her own devices, Gabriel pulled out his dance moves again. He bounced the rubber dinghy off the giant hull of our boat, until she got into position and submissively approached the docking wall at a sensible speed. With hearts pounding and adrenaline encouraging our every move, we hurried off to tie up all the lines and forced her into a complete stop. Sweet Lord have mercy. We spent a good five minutes high-fiving each other and reliving the excitement of it all. Then we celebrated our victorious arrival at Oswego Marina with a glass of Cytrynowka, a lemon infused vodka my dad made for us. With emotions rained in and Rodeo safely docked, we settled into a good night's rest after our first 36 hours out in the open waters. 

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