It was one of those idyllic summer weekends– good food on the grill, time with the family and fun on the water. David and I took turns pulling each other on the jet ski, attempting to skim along the water on our bare feet. I hadn’t gone barefooting in years, but I tried getting up on the board and planting my feet in the water. I couldn’t do it. David tried a couple of times, both on the board and on the ski. He was pretty determined to try over and over. I liked the fire that I saw in his eyes as he attempted the new skill.
The kids wakeboarded behind the Sea Doo and then we did some tubing the next day with another deaf family.
Yesterday, the sky was grey and a storm had passed through. The sun lightened up the clouds and David decided to pull Steven on the wakeboard behind the Sea Doo. Steven did a dock start on the wakeboard and went halfway around the lake before he fell and the two of them headed back for another round. As David tossed out the rope, the Sea Doo was still circling.
The rope went right up the intake. With the intake piston revolving over 1,000 RPMs, it wasn’t long before the rope got stuck.
I was in the house when I heard the news. Let’s just say that I wouldn’t win any Mommy-of-the-Year awards with my response. I’m sure the neighbor’s eyes popped watching my animated signing. “What-were-you-thinking-this-was-totally-avoidable-how-could-you-not-watch-the-freaking-rope…”
I’ll spare you the rest.
David and Joe went under the lift to assess the damage. “It’s wound up so tight, totally impossible to get this off,” Joe said. “I think we need to bring it to the marine place and have them take it apart.”
“Try to get it off,” I growled at them.
After a half an hour of hacking at it and cutting loose some of the rope, the guys weren’t getting very far. I finally jumped in the water to take a look.
It wasn’t pretty.
The rope was wound so tight and it had been shoved deep into the shaft. My first instinct was to agree with Joe– this was a job for someone else to do. I took another look.
Hmmm, if I could just loosen one end, we might be able to get it out.
“Can you get me a long screwdriver and a needle-nose pliers?”
Little by little, we each took turns under the lift and loosening the rope bit by bit. David had a big grin on his face when he pulled out the last of the rope from the shaft. He had relieved grin on his face when I started up the Sea Doo and took off with it. It worked fine.
So what did we learn from this? For starters, David learned how powerful the intake was on a jet ski– I’m betting that he’ll never make this mistake again. I also was reminded of the time that I ran over a ski rope myself around the same age–my Dad had to take the prop off the boat to get all of the rope out. I do remember him hollering at me to be more careful after that.
But the biggest lesson of all was this: Something that at first looks impossible can be accomplished by working at it little by little and not giving up.