One of the regular questions the Skipper and I get asked is, ‘how do you get Orbit into the tinny’?
We only put Orbit in the tinny when the conditions are appropriate. We have often had wonderful plans to be put on hold until the wind or swell drops.
We use a pretty simple process, one that has worked to date with no major mishaps. The biggest mishap so far has been associated Orbit’s enthusiasm to assist with loading the tinny. Orbit was passing a water bottle to the Skipper and let go before the Skipper could grab hold of it. Lucky it floated!
Once the tinny is in the water and secured to the transom, I pop Orbit into his lifejacket. I have learnt to have what ever we are taking in the tinny ready to go and on deck before putting Orbit into his life jacket. Going in the tinny is one of Orbit’s favourite things to do and once his life jacket is on, he knows he is about to go on an adventure. Orbit has the usual patience of a nearly 2 year old (i.e. not much), but even this is severely limited once the life jacket goes on – he just wants to go!
While I am in the cockpit putting Orbit in his lifejacket, the Skipper hops into the tinny and transfers the majority of our gear and any large or heavy items. Once Orbit is in his life jacket and on deck, he helps the Skipper load the tinny, passing each of the remaining item or bag at a time. Once the tinny is loaded, I then pass Orbit to the Skipper. When they are happy in the tinny, its my turn to hop in. Then the Skipper passes Orbit to me and starts the outboard. The Skipper then undoes the lines that are holding the tinnie to Medina and we are off on an adventure!
Coming back on to Medina or onto another boat, we go through the same process but in the reverse order.
Our adventures usually fall into three categories, a shore excursion (and swim when its warm enough), visiting friends on their boats or a spin around the anchorage. We all love going for a ride in the tinny, it breaks away any of the niggles of cabin fever. The Skipper and I are already talking about when we’ll let Orbit take the tinny out by himself, but that is going to be for a long time yet!
A big thanks to Andrew for taking these photos for me!