Jetskiin' in a hurricaneSat, 9th Jul '05, 3:15 pm::
OH HELL THAT WAS STUPID! I just got back from jetskiing with Brian and I gotta admit, this was THE MOST STUPIDESTESTEST thing I've EVER done! Let me take you on a long journey, deep into the mind of someone as retarded as myself.
So we get into the Tampa Bay around noon and the winds gusts were easily around 40-50 mph. It was very hard to get the jetskis into the water as they kept being blown off on to the sandy shore. We looked around and there were about 2-3 other cars on the beach and just one windsurfer guy in the ocean. The water was amazingly choppy and the waves were about 3 feet in height. Quite frankly the first hour of jetskiing was simply awesome. The weather was rough but it was so exciting.
Things got more fun after about an hour and a half when the waves suddenly got twice as high! I was jumping the jetski from one six-foot wave crest to the next constantly. I don't think it is possible to explain in words how much fun that was. Brian and I kept going back-and-forth right next to the Courtney Campbell Causeway - Rt. 60 when I noticed in the distance, a big black wall of feeder band coming right at us. It was gonna hit it soon so we decided to get out of the water. We turned the jetskis around and all of a sudden, BAM! The rain pallets hit us so bad that my scalp still hurts after over 2 hours! It was absolutely impossible to stand out in the open and visibility was reduced to less than 50 feet.
We rushed towards the shore and put the jetskis on the trailer behind his huge SUV. The rain got stronger and the wind gusts were almost ripping the road signs off their poles. And that's when his truck got stuck in the sand! The back tire kept spinning and dug deeper into the sand. We got big pieces of stones and tried to jam them under the wheel but no luck. Guess it was time to call a towing company.
We called over ten local towing companies and each of them had a waiting period of over an hour, some as much as three hours! And it was gonna cost us a pretty penny to - at least $250! Just to get his stuck truck out of the sand! $250! Guess the demand's high during a hurricane and supply is low. We kept calling one towing company after another but then after no luck, we decided to do something ourselves. The reason why his truck was stuck was because the jetski trailer was filled with water and pulling 700-800 lbs out of the ocean was too much. So we went out and unhooked the jetski trailer which by itself was a major feat. All of a sudden, a Good Samaritan drove up in his huge construction truck. He asked us if we needed help and we looked at each other and said "HELL YEAH!"
It took him about 20 minutes to pull Brian's truck out of the sand and considering the fact that the back wheels of the truck were under almost two feet of ocean water, it was quite an accomplishment. We got out and we got stuck again! Since the chain from his truck to Brian's was still in place, it took only a few minutes and some pretty big jerks and pulls to get his truck out again. And then just as quickly as he had appeared, the guy took off and disappeared from our sight. All we know is that he was from some local construction company whose name probably starts with the letter "T" - it was raining too bad to actually keep my eyes open for more than a few seconds.
Back on the road and finally breathing normally, Brian and I just couldn't stop laughing. Oh my God! This was absolutely the stupidest thing to do in such a weather! But thanks to some kind-hearted random soul, we got off without any injuries or monetary losses. At one point, we were sitting in his truck just wondering how long it'll take for his truck to be pulled into the ocean, because it was certainly possible.
Obviously, throughout the ordeal, we both made sure that our personal safety was still the #1 priority. I even had my life-jacket on during the whole time. We weren't really worried about ourselves, but mostly his expensive and tricked out truck along with two jetskis on a trailer - all of that could've very very easily been sucked into the Tampa Bay within a matter of seconds. All we could've done at that point is stood on the shore and sighed. But, nothing bad happened :) Brian is at his home and I'm at mine with Giga playing with my toes. I even picked up a large pie of pizza on the way home and just finished eating it.
I think while we were going through all of this there was something else that was going in the back of my mind - something about how we take our secure lives for granted. During bad weather like a hurricane or a thunderstorm, we sit sheltered under our roofs, watching TV and eating warm foods, oblivious to the fact that the distance between everything and nothing is just 6 inches of wood or cement. Out in the ocean, pushing and pulling my hardest to unhook the jetski trailer from Brian's truck I realized how close to the raw power of nature we really were. One big gust of wind and a few waves and everything would be pulled into the ocean. One minute we were having the time of our lives riding one huge wave after another and the next minute we were shouting in horror as his truck kept sinking down into the sand by the second. And just like that, a few minutes later we were back on the road, on our way home - safe 'n sound and it didn't cost us a thing.
You know I always wondered why those retarded dare-devil skiers went down the most dangerous snow-covered peaks because they inadvertently cause avalanches and have to be rescued. Same goes for almost every outdoor sport that often result in emergency 911 calls. I used to think that these people must be REALLY stupid to not know the dangers and risks that lay ahead of them. Today I think I understood why. We didn't go out thinking this was going to be just another day in the ocean. We absolutely knew of the risks and decided that the fun we could have in four foot waves would be totally worth it. We got more than we expected when we faced waves taller than me! The thrill of jetskiing in a hurricane was absolutely worth every risk we faced. And if we had a video camera, it would look someting like this but instead of a surfboard, it'd be jetski. Thankfully, Tampa Bay is not a big ocean but just a small bay with land on three sides. Hence there wasn't much danger to ourselves of being pulled into the ocean and ending up in say, Cuba.
Well, I don't think I can ever forget an experience like this. I'm hugging my kitties a bit more tightly today.