Sure, I’ve been by myself on Ojigwan countless times while we were tied to a dock, but never while at an anchorage. While it might not seem like a huge deal to you all, it was a big accomplishment to me, and terrifying to Ridgey. Ridge had to fly to Atlanta to attend the funeral of one of his best friend’s mothers. He was only going to be gone one night, but worse has happened in less time. First things first—I finally had to be trained on taking the dinghy out by myself, as I would need to drop him on shore and pick him up upon his return. I had been driving in the days prior to this and was ready to use it on my own. Other things I needed to think about were: water and electricity usage. I had learned how to start the generator but didn’t really want to have to do it. It is loud and scary and comparable to the furnace in the basement of Kevin McCallister’s home in “Home Alone”. The evening after I dropped my Captain off, I headed back to the boat by dinghy, solo, for the first time in the terrifying waters of Miami. The ride back was pretty sketchy. There was some serious chop and I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. Should of brought the EPIRB I thought…or at least a life jacket that I realized was not where it should be (damnit Ridgey). “I’m never going to make it over these waves”, I said as a paddle boarder scooted by me and waived. I would have rather been on that I thought at the time. I seemed to be giving it a ton of throttle but I just wasn’t going anywhere—also, the bow was so high up out of the water, I thought I was going to flip with the next gust and be shark bait. I was certain that this would happen. I kept inching forward, towards the bow (For once I had remembered something Ridge taught me) and it got a little better, but it was pretty touch and go for a while. When I finally made it back to the boat for what seemed like an hour later (was really 10 mins), I tied the dingy up reallllllyyy well. I was a bit excessive actually (see photo), but I was not losing that thing on my watch. After I tied it up, I went inside, checked the batteries and settled in for the evening. I never turned on a single light (because…amps), but instead used our new solar lights. Ridge had recently bought these inflatable solar lights from Amazon and they provide plenty of light and are just all around super cool. They float, they blink and they provide a shocking amount of light. See link below to purchase. I carried that solar light around with me for the rest of the night like it was a little camping lantern, and used it to read in bed. I was of course, reading, instead of playing on my phone because I refused to flip on the inverter and charge it. I also didn’t turn on my beloved VHF radio to listen to boater gossip. That was the hardest. When I woke up the next morning I checked the battery—I think it was 93% or something. I finally decided that I could turn on the inverter. Not for my phone though, for the Ninja so that I could make my precious morning smoothie. I decided I would try out our solar phone charger instead of wasting energy on that. It turned out to be a rather cloudy/rainy day, though so I eventually had to plug it in. Again, I didn’t turn on the VHF and I’m sure I missed out on something crazy, like the Coast Guard found Americas Most Wanted man living in derelict boat at Marine Stadium Anchorage. As it started to get dark on evening two sans Ridgey, and I saw I was still doing quite well with the batteries, I decided I could turn on some lights. Ridge would be home in a few hours anyway and he could run the generator if he so desired. Weather was pretty crappy in the area and Ridges flight ended up getting delayed. He didn’t end up arriving at the dock until just before midnight. I got his call and headed out on solo dinghy trip number two to pick him up. It was super calm on this particular evening…maybe eerily calm…It sure made for a smooth, quick trip out of the anchorage. I didn’t have any issues on my cruise to get Ridge until I entered the no wake zone near the Marina where I was to pick him up. I looked behind me to check for boat traffic, as any good boater would do…at midnight, and when I did, I saw a MASSIVE shark fin glide out of the water. Just as soon as I saw it and squealed, it glided back down into the dark water. I knew it wasn’t a dolphin for multiple reasons: Number 1 being, I am not an idiot and I know what a dolphin fin looks like. 2. There was no blow hole and 3. It was huge and wide. Ridge will try and tell you I was seeing things, but I know damn well what I saw…Jaws. I definitely needed a bigger boat…and I’m pretty sure I said that out loud, right as soon as I picked up the pace in that no wake zone. We got back to the boat with no issues—Jaws didn’t attack, and we actually still had enough battery charge that we didn’t have to run the generator that night either. I was even able to use what battery life I had on my phone to google different types of shark fins to try and identify the beast (it was either a tiger, bull, or great white—Rickenbacker Marina dwellers beware). Ridge seemed pretty proud of my conservation, although not surprised. He said that he knew I wouldn’t use much because I was so fearful of the generator that I would do everything within my power to use little to no energy. He was right. Anyway, to summarize—I can obviously make it on the boat by myself…for just about two nights, I am really good at conserving energy and also I know the difference between a shark and a dolphin.
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