We only had time for a quick trip over to the fuel dock and back but it was important to us to prove to ourselves that we could handle the departure and return on our own so we went for it. The wind seemed to pick up immediately as we departed the slip and things were interesting from there out.
We just missed the the slip on our return, so we decided to head back out the fairway, make a 3-point turn at the end, and return for another attempt. At the end of the fairway we bore to port with the intention of backing briefly then heading back down the fairway to starboard. What I forgot of course was that the prop would let us do no such thing in reverse.
Rather, the stubborn thing pulled the stern hard to starboard and started backing down the fairway the way we had just come. We decided to go with it, threw the transmission into neutral and just drifted back to where we could grab the cheater lines on our pilings and pull ourselves in to the slip by almost sheer force of will.
So, all said and done, no bones broken, no gelcoat scratched, no hurt feelings, and no style points awarded. Well, we'll do it prettier next time...