Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Fish or Ski?

I always thought that living in the coast meant never going hungry. I see people fishing from bridges, from boats, from the beach, from rocks, once I even saw someone fishing in the aquarium at the bass pro shop (I think he was selling a fishing lure however). Therefore, with the fishing a plenty I really have been looking forward to throwing in the old pole and hookin’ up with some fresh catch and filleting that baby up right.

Well, I didn't have an old pole. But remember that trip to the bass pro shop (pole acquired). With pole in hand and a few interesting articles to be used as bait; I am fishing. For me however, each fishing trip is nothing more than a casting practice. I must say at this point I am probably one of the best fishing pole casters on the water. I can cast the line and make the line stop and drop in a spot so tight the fish should just strap themselves to my line and surrender without hesitation. My fishing gear and casting techniques have gotten so refined that last weekend on a boat with friends a buddy was convinced that I could catch fish.

With that said, I have caught no fish. And while fishing on my friend’s boat I made him stay out on the water too long and the boat almost sank. We had to call Sea Tow ($149 per year for unlimited tows)(Awesome). Finally after trying for weeks, I had my first HUGE fish fry. We must have had about 15-20 "nice" sized fish filets grilling at once! Thank goodness they were on sale at the grocery store on the corner. There’s just no fishing here for me. I did drop some chicken necks off in a cage for 48 hours and hauled in about 30 blue crab, but they are too small and it is too early in the year.

With fishing a hopeless cause, I have made the decision to become actively involved in aggressive water sports. Since the boat barely works and uses a lot of gas, I decided to buy a jet ski. The only catch (no I didn’t catch a fish) is I don't have a jet ski budget. Well remember the "red paperclip" story. That was the plan. I searched the internet for three months. I finally found a non-working jet ski for $150. The dude selling said it ran GREAT!.... 5 years ago. It had been camped out in the back yard of his parents’ house since then. You know, a person leaves home, goes off to college, and suddenly they'll sell their soul for $150! or in this case their Jet Ski.

I was convinced that I could just take the old bear home, clean her up, maybe charge the batteries, and talk nice to her and get her engine running. This always worked before I got married so it should certainly work now (yes it is true; I once had a jet ski before I got married). So, once home, batteries charged, I put on my safety glasses and hit the green start button. "kachunk!" everytime I hit the button. Nothing but a clicking “kachunk!” noise. The motor was completely locked up. Well, I figure I have to do something about this. First, I took the spark plugs out and sprayed some engine fogger in the spark plug holes as well as the carberator. The fogger is what you spray in the motor BEFORE letting the motor sit for 5 years. It prevents the motor from locking up. After spraying some in I rapidly hit the starter button a few times hoping to jar the motor loose. I just got a "kachunk!""kachunk!""kachunk!""kachunk!" every time nothing. Then I pulled off the impellar plate and tried to turn the drive shaft by hand. It would not budge. It was completely seized. BUT THEN...

The heavens were watching that cool Saturday afternoon. While just a week earlier I was sinking on a friends boat with the long reach of the "Sea Tow" racing to get the boat to land I now, merely a week later, am in the good hands once again from a higher power ensuring success on whatever daily activities I choose to sporadically incur. So like a sparkling pile of GOLD at the end of a rainbow I noticed that the impeller had a place on it to put a wrench. With eagerness and excitement I took a really big crescent wrench and positioned it so that I could push on it with all my weight. No luck. Wouldn't budge. That motor was LOCKED UP TIGHT. With nothing to lose at this point, I got some leverage and kicked it pretty hard and even hit it with a hammer a few times. Suddenly, the wrench moved. With disbelief in the almighty power of WD-40 and duct-tape I was sure that the wrench must have just fallen off. But it did not my friends for the truth be the truth and that is why you CAN get it your way right away because you just have to choose your drive throughs diligently and once you have found your mojo you can, once again, put on those safety glasses and hit that green start button and sit back in shock, in complete amazement, in utter disbelief when your $150 jet ski starts up like the old Delorian in Back to the Future III with smoke and backfiring and everything that indicates that you are having a successful day of glory and productivity... but I digress.


LoveLladro said...

that is quite a story but i think a picture of this working jet ski is a must! congrats on the determination though... i would have given up at searching the internet!

Danielle said...

Carrie. You are my hero. Dang girl- way to work an engine!! I can't even change the oil in my car!
Oh, and I'm feeling some jealousy.. we're still fighting wind storms and snow flurries up here. (yes, in April).
We miss you!

Anonymous said...

great story i tried it aafter reading your story and it worked for me as well, have fun on the ski.

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