“Stay away from the pier and don’t jetski more than six miles from the coast,” said the rental guy.
“SIX MILES FROM THE COAST! Do you think I’m Columbus?!” I didn’t really say that but the thought of having a jet ski stall, leaving my kids and me bobbing around on a heavy piece of plastic six miles from the beach was a little disconcerting.
“Uh, sure,” I said, as I puttered away from the dock with my daughter seated in front of me. Unfortunately, our boy missed the great adventure while he nursed a nasty cough at home.
“Oh, yeah,” hollared jetski guy, “stay away from seaweed.”
I gotta tell ya, if you’ve never been on a spunky jetski, put it in your bucket list. Oooooo baby, pull that throttle and it’s a rush of pure freedom…a thrill you won’t forget. Judging by the number of “awesomes” I heard, my daughter thought so too. My buddy, who was going to ride with our son, chased behind on the second rental, which was fast but didn’t seem to have the muscle our water hog had. Basically, we were leaving him in liquid dust.
“DAD! SEAWEED!” Too late! By the time I let up on the gas, we’d already skidded through a few hundred feet of thick, rubbery kelp. “Splutter, splitch, splatch, cough.” There we were, not quite six miles off the coast but a good mile from dry land. My buddy had followed us right into the pit of dispair and was parked about 100 yards away.
“Dang!” I thought. “What now?” Not many triple A boats sailing by to tow us home. “AH! iPhone!” Fortunately, I had tucked it away and 1 bar was all I needed to contact my wife. “Honey, you’re not going to believe this but your daughter and husband are stranded in the middle of the ocean on a broken jet ski. Can you drive down to the dock and tell the jetski guy to SEND OUT THE RESCUE TEAM?!I don’t have his phone # on me. Hurry please because there’s a school of great white sharks circling us.” Not true, but it sounded exciting.
“What’s Clinton doing,” asked my daughter. I looked over and saw him swimming by the vessel.
“I’M PULLING THE KELP FROM THE INTAKE PIPE!” He yelled.
“Ah! I can do that! Stay here,” I said to my daughter, “I’m going to do something extremely brave to save our lives!” I never pass up the chance to self-agrandize, especially when all I had to do was reach underneath the ski and pull vegetation from a hole.
Sure enough, in a few minutes, both jet skis were back in action. After some careful navigation out of the seeweed traps, we were zooming back to port. It was comforting that enroute we ran into the life guard boat, which had responded instantly to my wife’s emergency call. You gotta love those Redondo Beach rescue teams.
“So, did you have fun?” I asked our daughter after saying ‘goodbye’ to my buddy. I was fully expecting the heavenly eye roll.
“Yeah! That was awesome!”
“I’m very proud that you didn’t panic.”
“I’m proud of you too, Dad.” We smiled, hugged and drove home. Now THAT made my day!