We took the dinghy into town yesterday morning to pick up a few things which was a lot of fun. I love the fact that we are a 5 minute dinghy ride away from downtown – a trip that would have taken twice as long by car. There’s a spot at the end of Ego Alley where we tied up and walked around for a few hours being a tourist in our own city. Around 11am, as the temperature – and the amount of people out and about – started to rise, we decided to head back to the boat. We go into the dinghy, started her up with no issues, and pulled away from the dock. Matt gave it a little throttle and all of a sudden the prop popped out of the water. He immediately turned off the engine and began to investigate the issue. I grabbed the oars in a (pathetic) attempt to row us back to the dock and out of the way of oncoming traffic. A few guys on the dock came over to help us figure out how to get the prop back down into the water since it was now stuck in the ‘up’ position. We discovered that the lever to raise and lower the engine was in the ‘raised’ position. Turns out Matt was messing with it earlier that day and had accidentally left it in the ‘up’ position, not sure of what it was for. Well, mystery solved. All embarrassed and flustered, we profusely thanked the guys, as Matt hurried to start the engine. The cord made a funny sound like gears clanking as it started and we immediately shot back towards the dock. Turns out he had accidentally shifted the gear into reverse while troubleshooting the engine problem. He quickly threw it into forward to avoid running into the concrete wall, which would have most likely trashed our props. To add a final insult to the whole situation, as we threw it into forward, we were pointed at an odd angle and rammed into the side of a huge catamaran that was docked just ahead of us. Thank god our dinghy was inflatable and we just sorta bounced off. Meanwhile, there was a small crowd that had stopped to watch the whole fiasco. We’re talking 4th of July, downtown Annapolis, lunchtime. It was packed. We limped out of Ego Alley with our dinghy fixed, but our pride damaged. …oh, Ego Alley! We spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning and organizing the boat and getting ready for friends of ours to come over to watch the fireworks. After dinner we all piled into the dinghy and headed over to the downtown area to see how many boats were in the bay. Wow! It was like a mine field! I couldn’t even imagine trying to navigate out of there after the show was over. In the dark. With people who have been drinking all day. Not our idea of a good time! I was glad to get back to our boat all secure and safe at the dock.