Ratha (papertygre) wrote,

Oddly fascinating blog


This post for example: Cheap Is Expensive: A Marine Disaster. Excerpt:
When we finally got the boat launched and started going through the harbor, everything seemed like it was going pretty well. The anchor was rested in the front of the boat and we had to travel very slowly because the front end of the boat was practically in the water. Within about five minutes I was feeling very good about everything but then saw a boat screaming towards me with lights flashing. Since I had never captained a boat before in my life I could not imagine what was going on. I thought I might be about ready to go to prison due to the mooring sitting on the front of the boat.

Hillario, my helper, looked terrified. “Inmigracion!!” he told me with a terrified look in his eyes. It was the Harbor Patrol and they pulled us over and made us go to the side of the harbor. They asked me if I had flares, a whistle, life jackets, and all sorts of stuff you apparently are required to have in order to take a boat into the ocean. Incredibly, they said nothing about the giant mooring sitting in the boat. I had none of these things and they wrote me several tickets and told me I needed to take my boat over to a local store and purchase this stuff before I could venture into the ocean legally. I explained to Hillario in Spanish that he was not being deported and he was incredibly relieved. Thankfully the Harbor Master had not pursued it when I explained to him that Hillario had no identification. After spending a couple of hundred dollars on life jackets and other required supplies, we headed over the to Harbor Patrol office to show them what we had purchased and they were kind enough to cancel all the tickets. This whole episode must have taken us over two hours; however, we were now prepared to venture out into the Pacific Ocean towards Malibu.

We were soon out in the sea and the boat was handling very well. Despite the massive mooring, she was amazingly agile and picking up speed. I looked at Hillario and we could feel the wind in our face and the entire event was very nice and enjoyable. A couple of minutes into the journey I saw another boat rushing towards us. This boat was larger and looked very official. As it got closer, I realized it was the Coast Guard.

“Hi, we’ve already been pulled over and we’re all set!” I told the man who boarded our boat. This guy was serious. He had a gun and I thought Hillario was about ready to get deported for sure.

“That was the Harbor Master who is from the County of Ventura,” he told me. “I’m with the United States Coast Guard and we have jurisdiction over the ocean.”

“Oh, I’m sorry …”

“What the hell are you doing with that giant mooring in your boat? It is so big we saw it from over a half mile away.”

I had no idea what to say. If I told him I was about to launch an illegal mooring off the coast of Malibu, I was sure he would not like this. Actually, the more I thought about where I was planning on putting my mooring, the more I realized that it was probably an international shipping lane. Cruise ships, freighters, and all sorts of stuff went by daily. I wondered what they would make of my little jet boat if I ever made it out there. I hoped they would not run it over.

I had to think quickly on my feet. I started thinking about the past few minutes.

“This is a jet boat,” I told the man from the Coast Guard. As I was speaking, I realized I could see myself and Hillario perfectly in his sunglasses since they reflected directly toward me like mirrors. “This boat is incredibly fast and these waves are incredibly big. With this giant anchor here, I prevent the boat from flipping over in the waves. I am trying to be safe. You should see how fast this thing is.”

“That’s so cool dude!” the guy from the Coast Guard said. “I totally understand. These jet boats are so kick ass! I so much want to get one but my wife would kill me!” I could not believe what I was witnessing. I thought the guy must be the biggest idiot I had ever encountered. Just like that he let us continue and gave me some sort of “hang loose” type surfer sign as we motored away.
Hard to guess if these stories are true, as they are almost equally convincing and farfetched. But they are entertaining and often sort of inspiring also.

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