Thread: 15-F Chasing Interstate 5
02-08-2009, 09:52 PM #1
15-F Chasing Interstate 5
Chasing Interstate 5
Today we ride. ‘Ping’ my phone alert sounds, The Boss has sent a text, and it’s 6:31am. “Raining hard here right now may need to push out or cancel, what do you think? I respond “you call it”.
“Raining hard, let’s play by ear for later’. A half hour passes, ‘Ping’, 6:50am. ‘Wanna Run?’. I type on the small pad ‘Yeah I’m game.’ I kiss Shaniah goodbye, she’s sounding off in a delightful explosion of joy. She quickly draws me a picture before I leave to take with me. It’s a picture of both of us standing together holding hands and smiling. I place it on my dashboard and a piece of Shinny Shoo stays with me, close by.
Clouds are moving swiftly, there is a fast current pushing the cloud cover, it’s heading duly east. I remind myself the Earth is already pushing over 6,000 miles per hour on its own rotation axis, getting down into the atmospheric layers, everything is moving. I’m now on the 5 freeway, fueled up and heading south to Dana Point. My wetsuit is damp and clammy from yesterday’s practice. I won’t mind putting it on the parking lot, I tell myself as this is probably the hardest thing I ever do, putting on a cold wetsuit. The mystery of it is I always survive, it’s always cold and my body heat always changes the thermal temperature, so it’s a repetitive complaint that has no merit.
I arrive at the launch, intermittent skies splay voluminous cloud cover, some building up and colliding and some drifting free to open space, but all tracking quickly to land. I wonder how long it will take this section to arrive in Oklahoma. The Boss is staging in his stall and I pull my rig next to his. We begin all preparations. Dubz is coming down to ride with us, it will be a threesome.
Our race team, www.PWCoffshore.com is the only action in the lot, it’s a somber energy, there is no rush to anything, Cloud bursts rumble and lay low their rain stock from time to time. Dubz is going to tack out on one of my Kawasaki 15-F’s, we’ll have 2 on the Big Blue today. The Boss is going to run his New Blue Ultra he just bought from Belton, it’s so super clean that it is reminiscent of a family heirloom being passed on with fond appreciation. I’m asked to come over and inspect the engine compartment, gleefully we chuckle at the obvious meticulous care this boat had in its former lifetime.
I tell the Boss a little story about boat ramps, watching the surge, the water line and timeframes. It’s one way of ocean familiarity and observation. I am learning to gauge this riding zone by reading the boat ramp. My own adaptation of water experiences in a collective design of swell patterns, spacing and how my boat and I are going to merge environmentally. He asks me how much swell today, I respond with about a 9 second interlude and about waist high in the troughs between swell peaks. It’s like reading the lines on a palm. But not for fortune, rather for adventure.
The three of us get kitted up, launched and the last check is conducted. We’re good to go. And so we do.
Outside the harbor, we nod in agreement and point in the direction of travel. It is agreed we will ride to Oceanside harbor. We’re off and running.
We head parallel to the swell on a slight degree drift to starboard. The hull loads up nicely early on as I’m feeling testy and I want to shed some aggression, I know I’ll settle into a comfortable pace early on. I pull WOT, there is nothing left to give. My only true drive can come from keeping the pump hooked up with the rolling seas. On occasion I let the boat run ahead of me, and then I pull myself in, back to the centerline of the boat. By the end of the day I would have done this several hundred times, if not a thousand.
Heading into the southern trackline of the sun’s reflection, a perfect shimmer dazzles brilliance. I smile, one of absolute satisfaction. A moment of clarity appears. I am riding into the infinite with 2 people I would share any front with for protection. I am running into oblivion, the abyss of existence. The dancing prisms of refracted light crack splices of light that burst like diamond laden bombs. I am watching thousands of souls dancing upon the surface of the water, cheering us on. I am so happy to be greeted this way. It lasts the entire ride.
Dubz is running red hot; the Boss and Ultra are pulling slightly ahead. The seas are wobbly and my hull and I are working hard to soft load into the rhythm of change. It is barely consistent and our speeds are very fast for the conditions, if not optimum. This is testimony to the skill level between the three of us. It is apparent that our riding is above average, above great, it is simply superb. To maintain that fast of a forward ascent is hectic business.
The 5 freeway has steely moving vehicles passing north and south. It’s on my port side. I watch a vehicle and track its speed alongside ours. Sometimes water travel is a quicker mode of transportation. Hundreds of vehicles pass along the Camp Pendleton corridor. We pass no one on our journey. The vehicle line snakes on the turns of the coast and we stay in step on the top of fast moving swells coming at us. The forces of all this energy are competing for an ending. We have new beginnings and endings every few seconds, a constant adjustment, a brilliant dance between disaster and mastery.
Dubz form is set solid, despite his frame. You see he is tall, and the shorter your body height, the lower the center of gravity. Center of balance and gravity are favorable for people of my size, both Dubz and the Boss have height to throw into their assault. The sea stays steady with a few exceptions where the swell matches the underwater geomorphic changes. We run outside to avoid a large kelp patch, then back on track heading south, sure and steady.
Several miles ahead the Navy and Marines are conducting training evolutions using their amphibious vehicles. There is a steady supply line from the beach to the ship. We stop and reconnoiter to head out and around the training exercise. 1,000 yards off the ship, which our berth is extended, and we interrupt our path and yield.
The ocean holds all the characteristic of the aftermath of purges that occur from rainfall. Bart had a saying once that has stuck in my mind like an old song, ‘Right as Rain’. I look around and rain certainly has made the land right, and washed out all our mistakes which are now floating in oblivion trying to decide which direction they want to head. Out to sea, to the bottom or back to shore.
I’m trying out a new helmet the Boss tossed my way, and I like it. Dubz is trialing one of my Force 6 lifejackets. Gear test time before the Mark Hahn 300 mile endurance race, it looms a short 3 weeks away. February 28th marks the anniversary of my sister Andrea’s death. Subsequently years later my other sister, Daria is born on the very same day. I will be running my boat namesake in their honor. One leaves and one arrives. Always with me.
My hands hurt on occasion and I take a few heavy hits to the upper body. These hits compare to getting clocked by a very aggressive and unforgiving opponent. The stun I get sometimes is hectic enough I have to either stop and collect myself or slow down until I can collect myself. No, I’m not crazy, I’m just good at what I do and I enjoy the challenge. This is my challenge, to push a fold, to get outside of my comfort zone and move beyond the eclipse of familiarity.
My teammates are the absolute best. I can’t say this if it weren’t true. We arrive in Oceanside with a fast and tedious pace that certainly draws attention. Three helmeted riders appear as if from nowhere. Who are those People? I image as people look at us with puzzled faces trying to put together a mind strategy of where did they come from, what are they doing, we are certain to lodge a paradox.
Equal opportunity is alive and thriving in PWC offshore endurance riding. There is no excuse being female, in fact it’s an advantage. Any time a woman can face a fear, compliment a challenge or go outside of normal comfort zones, she increases internally. That translation is transferred to the world, literally ‘outward’. Where are all the sistahs? The real frontier lies within. 'Stay hungry for removal of abandoned dreams, for they are the killer of any spirit. Rebel against mediocrity and give all, not your best.' This is my conversation I am investing in myself. I need to go where it is uncomforatable and make reclamation. i remind myself that a dream has many ways of manifestation, sometimes the altruistic hope lies hidden in the realistic attributes of purpose.
Fueled and outside of the harbor, its back to basics. I run with a bit of the chop right handed to feel my center balance points; it’s a bit dangerous in the chopped section. The lobster traps buoys dot the entire coastline. I start to recollect the colors and can make out the strands from fishermen.
This pace is furious; there is nothing left to get from our boats. We’ve been given all. I’m way too hot in my kit. I feel good to be with my brothers. There is something grand about excellence in teams. When you find a vein that splits and divides into more plausible wealth, the multiplication of talent increases the synergy. We are flying undeterred upon a liquid world.
I hope that my body responds tonight with a relapse of muscle memory and pain. If this happens I can gauge my weakness. I must find my shortcomings. Age has defiance to it; the experience of failings becomes a contribution towards evolution. I want to notch another level with less effort distributed.
We were not gone very long, running at speed, time evades reality. There is a shift of heart and soul when role players become rule makers. New rules apply when the old ones are broken.
Boats are back on the trailers, gear cleaned and everyone is sorted. Time for lunch. We head over to the fish counter and the skies explode in a blue brilliance of clarity. The past week’s storm has passed. Dubz and I are waiting for the Boss. We're steeped in talk and I look through the canopy of trees overhead and a large military transport plane is making a steep port side banking turn, and low. The sound is what caught my eye. The magic was their turn, a heavy bellied lined dark shape lumbering through the sky. Followed by a second and then a third. It was a parade lap. They immediately fell into another bank turn completely a S turn in the sky. Their wings were so off scale I wish I could have been inside to feel the force and watch any kind of strap or webbing stay inline with gravity to render Earth below. I imagined the men up there. They were having the same experience we just completed, but they were on airwaves.
We enter into an open forum of checks and balances. Dubz survives an attack from a foraging bird. Now mind you this bird was so fast that looking straight at Dubz during the assault, if I blinked I would have missed the contact. It was a brilliantly executed raid. Both of us impressed by the skill and daring of this small bird. Now mind you, not a bird of prey either. If this small bird can take on a table of humans, imagine.
Tactful ideas and concepts flow across the fish and chips. Our brethren team riders are at sea or coming home about this same time further due north. The phone rings, the Boss answers. Team riders are pairing up for the Hahn, boats are breaking, people are sorting their strategy, and I’ve been given some great invites by top class athletes in our field to team up. I tell the boss I am going to ride a stock boat in the Pro Open and mess around with that, Ironwoman style. The real Ironman rings in. Wants to know if we can team up, the Boss hands me the phone. I will not tell most of the dialogue as it is unfit for those who don’t run our waters. I tell him to Ironman, because well, he really is the ironman.
I look over at Dubz and confess my pastime today was writing while riding. They both laugh, I promise not to give away any of our real stories, protection at all times. I describe how I came to the nickname today for Dubz. He’s got a big heart, he’s tall, always in a positive groove and you cannot underestimate his strengths. TIN MAN. The ‘tin man’ from the Wizard of Oz. I could plug our entire team with characters from that movie.
We all agree that Trawlercat is going to have a chronicle of epic descriptions today. I am looking forward to visiting their adventure. It proves to hold similar aspirations for the unity we all enjoy, no matter how many nautical miles separate us, we all find our groove.
Driving home I listen to bagpipe music. My last mission is to text the boss.
‘Tin Man…LOL' is transmitted to his line space.
Final transmission received: ‘LMFAO’.
Last edited by shawn alladio; 02-09-2009 at 01:27 AM. Reason: typos typos typos as usual
02-09-2009, 12:32 PM #2
Shawn..Thanks again for lending me one of your thumpers. I don’t know how I used to ride my 15F… Damm.. It beats you up! I don’t feel to bad today. I thought I'd be more sore. I guess my on land training is paying off! Cant say my leg dosent hurt though. Nice big bruise on it, all swollen.. LOL…I mentioned to you hydroturf on those spots that the leg hits, but maybe shin guards would be just as good!
Anyways, great write up once again, epic times… Great riding out there yesterday! I love training with better riders than me. It only makes me want it more! Drives me harder to keep it pinned even though your body is telling you to let up. Even if your hands are completely cramped up, or your legs and lower back are screaming at you! You mind however blocks that stuff out long enough to say to your hand keep it pinned, then the cycle starts all over again…….
Because of my height, I am constantly moving my body on the ski. I never stay in one position for very long. Not like you, your form was impecable the entire time. I never say you sit! Your form was on spot! I have a hard time with that. So, I shift, fwd, back, sit, stand…. Then start over. Maybe not so fast, but I stay in a position long enough to burn… then I shift…Maybe not the best riding style. But for the "TIN MAN" it's my oil so to speak. No forarm pump like I get on my 250x though, I suspect it’s the HP difference. However, my hands were cramping shut, Maybe the different position than I'm used to, maybe the "fly swatter" effect these boats put out.
Force 6 PFD trial run… Man.. I really liked that PFD. At no point did I feel it shift on me like my normal PFD does. It felt like part of my body. It never once hindered my movement. My core stayed warm the entire time as well! Keeping my feet and hands warm in the process. I really digged on that PFD, so much so, I need to get me one. Is it overkill for the CC racer, possibly. Is it overkill for an offshore endurance racer……. I would bet my life on it! If returning safely to your vehicle matters to you. Invest the money. Althought I didn’t want to see how it would float me in the water, I was instructed it would be face up, and stearnum would be out of the water! Great for those that ride in the big blue, with not much boat traffic!
Don’t ride in the big blue… but are drag racing, hitting speeds of 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, OR MORE.. What type of PFD are you wearing? Slippery? What are they rated to? Have you ever considered the stearnum injury you would sustain if your ski suddenly hit the breaks on you at 80MPH? Force 6 PFD have a HEAVY front padding. Sure its still gonna hurt, but not as much as it would if your wearing the flimsy market PFD's I've seen! Will I look like a swat team guy with my black PFD and OTB recon boots… Sure… Do I feel safer. HELL YEAH!
02-10-2009, 12:08 PM #3
Groovy, that was loads of painful fun!
Yeah the Force6 holds tight, keeps the rib cage intact that is for sure!
Lets go tag it again, throw down one more for the Hahn!
I'm off to ride with RXTUSMC again today at Pendleton, and Bushong is coming onboard, we'll all be riding the 15-Fs today!!
Tomorrow will be truth or dare..oh the agony...That boat is a fly swat adventure..HAH
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