Friday, October 8, 2010
Step Up or Sit Down and Run
Back in 1996 life was different at least for me. I was younger and had a jet ski and went out and partied and I had a jet ski. People thought I was cool or at least in my head I was cool.
One of the best days from that era for me was a trip I took to Ocean shores, Washington. There were a few people on there trip, some are gone; some are people I don't talk with much anymore. But that really isn’t the point of this post.
My brother and I both had jet skis. We had decided lakes and rivers were getting a little boring. So we made for the open waters of Ocean Shore. We dropped them into the Grays harbor and made the long run around the spit to the ocean side. Halfway around the spit we noticed that boats and a small ferry were circling around in like a cheap 60's western.
Keeping in mind we had no clue what we were getting into we moved closer. Not entering into the circle just kind of watching from the side line or so we thought. Before long we saw the people looking back at us pointing. It turns out they weren't pointing at us exactly, they were pointing at the pod of whales swimming near our little boat.
We had turned our skis off to watch the action turned out to be right in the middle of it. They swam by about twenty feet breaching just out of the water. We could smell there breath. It wasn’t nice. We really didn't understand the danger until one of the grey whales breached between us, just feet from my portside. The whale was very long. I can remember how its skin look cracked and slimmy. I can remember his eye looking right back at me. I remember that moment was the first time I could say that I ever saw a whale and was the first time I remember ever loving whales.
In a blink of an eye they dropped below the surface and we were off traveling in the opposite direction at about as fast as humanly possible. I wish that had been the most dangerous thing we had done that day, but in wasn't. We had a plan to meet our friends and family around the spit as I mentioned before. We went by the beach and no family. It had turned out that they had waited for us and when we had not showed up went looking for us. Being delayed by the whales had its consequences.
We headed around into the open ocean and the breakers as we found out in short order. I watched my brother go from twenty feet below to twenty feet above me. He said something about leaving back to the nice beach we had just been by. Honestly I didn't stick around to find out what his exact wording had been. I sat down and took off on a dead run. He caught up before long and away we went. The family was there sitting waiting for us, a little mad at our delay. I was just grateful not to have died twice.
We played in the 6 foot waves, enjoyed the sunny day, lunch was great and the sun got low in the sky as the afternoon got away from us.
Taking the skis around the spit and back to the little harbor in Ocean Shores we were stopped by the fact the tide had dropped by eight feet and three feet below the edge of the boat ramp. It stopped us in our tracks.
It was Sunday and everyone needed to head home back to Yakima, a six hour drive. Lee stepped up and said he would stay the night and wait for the tide and we left for home.
I guess there are several morals to this story. Know your environment, stick to the plan, and stay out of places you don't belong. Like the breakers. Oh and have a brother willing to step up and cover your ass.