“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that our very act of existence becomes an act of rebellion.”
Undoubtedly, no boat is a better value pound for pound and foot by foot than a great dinghy. It is better than a car, because so long as you have 12 inches of water under you, you can go anywhere you damn well please. In the Bahamas, skipping across the clear blue water at 20+ mph only inches off the water is a joy of which I never tire.
It all started for me as a 7-year-old, I had a little red dinghy with an Evinrude 1 ½ hp, that my Norwich Terrier, Pally and I rode and crabbed all over the Shrewsbury River in New Jersey.
A generation later, I remember in Marsh Harbor my kids, Erik, Kristen and Hans [11,8,and 5] dressing up as pirates for Halloween and pillaging the anchorage of all chocolate and candy. They had complete freedom knee boarding in anchorages and getting ice cream on their own in Man O’ War. They learned to row, read the water, navigate and of course tie off a cleat, tie a clove hitch and tie a bowline behind their backs. I trusted them at the tiller of the 15 hp Johnson more than most any adult!
At 62 I still get to relive my childhood, which Susan claims I never left, in our 10’ Achilles, Puddle Jumper.Baci stands on the bow seat with her front paws on the pontoons and ears flapping in the wind, and of course I never steer in a straight line when I can zig and zag over the turquoise waters towards another pristine beach.
The dinghy serves as a taxi to other cruisers for cocktails and visits with friends and fellow travelers, as well as a way for Susan and I to explore reefs, beaches, and mangroves. Puddle Jumperprovides an incredible degree of freedom in this Bahamian paradise. We love her!
In a world that tries to create status with Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and Lexus, forget it. I’ll take Puddle Jumper in New York minute. Plus dinghies are a better investment. They require less maintenance, cost far less and last longer. Our last dinghy was 14 years old when she took her final cruise to a landfill. She would still be with us if she had not been skewered by a swim ladder on a Morgan 51, off Little Harbor in the Berrys. Plus, what car can you drive from Hopetown on Elbow Cay to Wally’s Restaurant in Marsh Harbor for lunch? Sorry gotta go, Baci is already in Puddle Jumperready to put NASCAR to shame.