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  1. #1
    Offshore OceanRider
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    San Pedro, CA (LA Harbor area)

    Ocean Breakdown/SeaTow/LB2CAT Ride 10/19/08

    SUBJECT: Ocean Breakdown/SeaTow/LB2CAT Ride 10/19/08

    Sundays LB2CAT training ride is brought to you by (insert Tow Service Sponsorer name here). Some of you reading this already know about my ocean breakdown yesterday. Those that know and called “thank you” its just one more benefit of belonging to a “riding club” such as and/or SoCal. A club is not only a good source of friends to ride with but of friends you can count on. I believe that were I still out there drifting aimlessly where as Captain Ron would say; If its gonna happen; its gonna happen out there. One of you may be the one that rallys the troops to start the search or not.

    THE RIDE: I may now have a new local record. I’m possibly the only jet skier that’s been towed back from both Avalon and Two Harbors, Catalina Island by both SeaTow and Vessel Assist respectively, within a two month period. So which one do I recommend or which Ocean Tow Service should you have? If you don’t notice me recommending one over the other it’s because I have both. Bottom line is you’re gonna get towed if you call. What you probably want to know is what if it was me. What do I do. If you’re out in the middle of the ocean and your friends don’t ride back or loose you don’t panic – yes, “grasshopper” there are sharks out there; just as long as their not Great Whites circling you you’re o.k.

    Read my previous story titled: Almost sunk my ’08 Kawasaki 250X – September 14, 2008 for some more entertainment while you’re still waiting for a new issue of WaterCraft World or the other PWC rag. Yes JJ (Jason Johnson) Sep/Oct issue pg 26; that was me that hauled your wet self back to your RXT-X after you took that gnarly spill. Just in the nick of time too. I didn’t know they installed ejection seats on those RXT-X’. Barely snatched him from the jaws of that Great White lurking around the course. What, you didn’t see him? Why do you think I stopped?

    Conditions were good for wide open throttle riding to the island and that we did. I wouldn’t know of the return trip because I didn’t come back on my own horsepower. Incredible - I thought to myself. And I used to make this trip on my sailboat and considered 4 hours a relatively good time. It didn’t matter if we sailed, motorsailed or powered over it would still take 4 hours or so each way.

    The Seadoos fueled up with 5 gallons and the Ultras with 8 gallons of that premium Avalon gold. The dinghy dock is now gone for the fall and winter. You fuel up just like Mexico. They hand you the hose from up above and when done you can either drive off with the law in persuit or simply place your cash or credit card in the handy dandy blue bucket on a string. No doubt we can outrun any boat there but not their radios.

    From Avalon we proceeded up the Catalina Island coastline to beautiful Two Harbors. To say that it was a beautiful glorious day would be an understatement. The only thing missing were dolphins which I saw on my leisurely ride home. They were body surfing off my Ultra on a string (polypro).

    The sun shone just so on the water making for some great film footage and some great riding but nobody brought a camera. The ride from Avalon to Two Harbors was even more spectacular. If you are into some waving jumping there were lots of good opportunity and if you didn’t get that last landing just the way you wanted – no problem, a similar wave set was sure to come. As we sped by we saw numerous fishing and diving boats either on anchor or still searching for a good spot for their paying customers. These boats tend to leave some Dukes of Hazard (old tv show with car that gets launched in every episode) jump opportunities just by moving. On one wave as I got launched rather unexpectedly I saw myself nearly doing a full barrel roll; only problem is I would not know what to do with it once in the air. There are no PWC riding schools on this coast. If I was back in MiamiWaveAcademy would be the place to learn how to do these barrel rolls.

    The great part of this 14 mile part of the ride is that if you wanted ocean conditions you just headed off shore a bit. If you wanted more lake like conditions you just swung back in towards the coastline. Just dial the ride dude! The other great thing about riding up the coast line is that you are now heading into somewhat head seas with the island blocking all of the offshore wind. End result is a much more comfortable ride. This ride is probably way better than any other part of the coastline and island.

    Why just last week this same group rode from Cabrillo to Marina del Rey. That ride was more like several rides in one. Initially we got great rollers just off Cabrillo but once past Pt. Fermin it settled down rather quickly then we came up on Pt. Vicente where it got rough again and then we had the Redondo Beach bay area that was lake like. The run from there to Marina de Rey reminds me of the DanaPoint to Oceanside ride. Behind the fuel dock was the best looking powerboat complete with its own on board helicopter that I’ve ever seen. According to John the owner was somewhat stuck up. I guess its because he would rather be riding with us than sitting on that 20 million dollar yacht. Ten gallons each way for us on the Ultra 250X.

    Keep in mind that the ride to our favorite Island is always on a beam sea with the ride home varying but also on a beam sea that’s why anytime you go up or down the coast it feels way more comfortable. Once we reached Bird rock John and I stayed for some food and rest. Wow, that was a good workout. Paul and Lee departed back to Long Beach.

    Once on approach to the dinghy dock I started scanning the area to see who was there, that I knew. On this trip I saw a sailboat with a Seadoo on its forward deck and so I naturally swung over for a closer look. This is the first time I’ve seen a sailboat carrying a jet ski. Don’t’ get me wrong I love sailing and I love burning that petro on my jet ski but carrying one on a sailboat just seems like to much of a contradiction.

    Before long Skipper Frank, his friend Lazlo, John and I were having a great conversation about sailing, travel, Bulgaria and PWC adventures. We then decided to carry the conversation on to land. It’s awkward to put it into words here but in about five minutes flat I could tell that the other three made it perfectly clear that there was a significant other in their lives; and that they were of the opposite sex. Why did I mention Bulgaria? If you don’t know you haven’t been there lately. Since you only have a choice of only one restaurant on Two Harbors thank goodness it’s a good one. The Bulgarian exchange girls are still working there as long as their visas hold out. Food is great and the service and views are excellent.

    John and I enjoyed a great tuna melt sandwich with a “cold brew” while our new friends enjoyed great looking plates of waffles, eggs, potatoes and a thick ham slice. This was at 10:45 a.m. Three and a half hours earlier I was at the launch ramp in Long Beach. Little did I know that it would be another seven hours before I finally made it home that day?

    SeaTow Captain and Deck Hand – It just so happened that my SeaTow driver and deck hand was the same one that towed Dubz back after his breakdown just prior to the LB2CAT race. He can now say that he has towed everything from jet ski’s to a 40’ Carver. Only my tow by his standards was rather fast at a whopping 14 knots per hour where as the Carver towed at a reasonable 8 knots.

    Several sea towing stories and adventures were exchanged during this two or so hour adventure. One story that I recall is of a couple that left from Huntington Beach on their power boat with the intent of going to Catalina Island on a 4th of July weekend. It seems that they somehow ended up totally missing Catalina Island and ended up on Santa BarbaraIsland before they knew something was wrong. The woman kept telling the man; you see this can’t be Catalina its way too small and there are no moorings. Somehow they also managed to break down with their only way of calling for help being her cell phone. No GPS or VHF on this boat. She dials 911, and gets the Highway Patrol, who routed the call to the USCG who in turn routed the call to Sea Tow. Enter my SeaTow Captain and same Deck hand (his younger brother by about 10 years). You see my SeaTow Captain was born in a hospital but the only home he has ever known is on a boat slip in NewportHarbor.

    Just as we’re about five miles from Queens Gate (entrance to LB Harbor) I spot Franks boat. The one carrying the Seadoo on the foredeck. I watched him leave while waiting for my tow about 4.5 hours ago. He is sailing with that SeaDoo on deck. I don’t know if he saw me waving but I’m sure he didn’t miss that green beast at the end of a red poly pro line.

    Also, just as we make it into the breakwater we notice all these fireboats. SeaTow Captain tells me that he heard on the radio as he headed out that a scuba diver was reported drowned – just inside the breakwater. This morning I read the following in the LB news.
    LONG BEACH - The search was suspended Sunday night for a man who fell out of a fishing boat near where the Queen Mary is docked in Long Beach, a fire official said.
    The man was fishing with a friend in a small boat and fell overboard about 11:30 a.m. about 100 feet south of the breakwater near Pier J, said Long Beach Fire Department spokesman Josh Johnson. It was unknown whether the man could swim. Divers and boats from the Long Beach Fire Department, Long Beach Lifeguard Association and the United States Coast Guard searched to no avail, and the rescue effort was called off around 5:30 p.m.5:59 p.m. to be exact because we were just passing by when the fire boat formation was pulling away.

    The search is to resume at sunrise, but KCAL9 reported the man is presumed dead. No shit Einstein. You’ll know where the lobsters will be dining tonight.

    SeaTow Captain also told me that some boaters also like to use Bird Rock as a landing platform. Bird rock is located dead center to the entrance of Two harbors – right about where I broken down. One can’t fail to miss it due to its white bleached guano covered surface. It is also approximately one story in height. Thank goodness for autopilot.

    What to do at Two Harbors. People watch. Wait for the Catalina Express. Sit in the bar and have a buffalo milk or other beverage of your choice. Take a hike to the other side of the island – twenty minutes max. Go take a hot shower – 50 cents. Try a great ice cream cone at the store next to the restaurant. Sun bathe. Walk the beach. Swim. Fish. Learn to speak Bulgarian? See you on the water.

  2. #2
    Offshore OceanRider
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    San Pedro, CA (LA Harbor area)

    This is the story of the superyacht I wrote about up above.

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