The Phone Call


Tuesday night, I worked late.  It was our open house, and I didn’t get home until 9:00.

Excitedly, I burst through the companionway, announcing, “Hi!  I’m here!”

The music of Beanie’s video game, Pokemon Ranch, played in the background, but the cabin was empty.

Thinking that they might be in the restroom, I sat down at the dinette for a moment, before deciding that the counter needed cleaning.

On the counter was a scribbled out note that appeared to be written in Beanie’s handwriting.  “Kiwi sucks!” it seemed to say, then other stuff was written underneath it.  I laughed, because Beanie had been getting in trouble for using “bad words” lately.

Then, I saw that the writing underneath it was something about the Wharf, the marina where Kiwi is slipped.

So this was definitely not Beanie’s writing.

Kiwi sucks?  Was there a billing issue with the Wharf or something?  I turned the note right side-up and took a closer look.

It actually said, “Kiwi sunk!!!  I’m at the Wharf seeing if ins will cover the fuel clean-up.”


I didn’t think Kiwi was capable of sinking.  As far as I knew, it had positive buoyancy, meaning that it is stuffed with Styrofoam.  It has an outboard motor, so there aren’t a lot of through-hulls anyway.  And it has no bilge.

But, shoot.  Apparently it had.  I wondered if the recent storms had swamped it, when water leaked through the windows.

So, off the the Wharf I drove.  I practiced deep breathing, so that I would be calm and collected when I arrived.

I saw my dad’s SUV in the parking lot, so I quickly walked down the dock.  I was greeted by a cheerful Beanie (in her life jacket) running down the dock, nowhere near our slip.  I couldn’t see Kiwi from where I was, and a smiling Rob greeted me.

“Do you want to see our boat?” he asked, grinning.

I figured it was a laugh-or-cry kind of situation.  And we were nowhere near our slip, so the boat must have drifted.

He and Dad laughed and pointed to a rather large sailboat.  At first I wondered if this had been a set-up, so that they could show me a very nice boat that Dad had bought.

But, no, this large boat was partially submerged.

As I stood, baffled, Rob pointed to the number on the dock post.  “We’re not the only slip 14,” he said.

Apparently, when this boat sunk, the harbor master looked into the records and found the owner of slip 14, which was the owner of our slip.  He called him, so the slip owner called Rob, without seeing which boat had sunk.  The slip owner was surprised, because he didn’t think Kiwi could sink.

The slip owner called Sea Tow, so they called Rob and let him know they were on the way.  He talked to them, as he made his way down the dock.  Kiwi’s mast was still upright, so he considered that to be a good sign.  He chatted as he made his way to Kiwi.

It was floating.

“My boat is still floating,” he told Sea Tow.  They didn’t believe him, and had him check to see if it was swamped.  It wasn’t.

He looked at the boats next to it, and did quite a bit of looking around, before he found the other slip 14, nowhere near Kiwi.

So, while our night was very late, it was better than the morning for the owner of the other slip 14.



8 thoughts on “The Phone Call

  1. Oh. My! I am so glad *it was not* your boat. Maybe your *Kiwi sunk* note could be hung up somewhere so you can chuckle when you pass it.

    When we lived aboard, we were about 14 boats down the dock. Each day we would pass our neighbors boats on the way to ours. One day, we noticed one of our non-liveaboards boat wasn’t in the slip. That was odd because when our neighbors were coming in (or taking their boats out) we knew – at that time, our dock was full of families and we were all close.

    By the end of the day, the boat hadn’t returned and the dock neighbors all commented how odd it was. So, I called my friend (the owner) and she was so surprised, because she hadn’t taken it out! They called Harbor Patrol….it turns out that a boat with their slip number (but the marina across the way) was being towed into the boatyard for repairs – the boatyard towed the wrong boat!!!!! I couldn’t imagine returning to an unexpectedly empty slip, or one with only the mast showing (as in your story).

  2. Kiwi is Kiwi. Even that night, there he was bobbing their jauntily, despite the storm. But he’s always like that. Water just rolls of him like a duck.

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