Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ambo's Girls hit the Lake for the first time!

Today we took the Jetski's to the lake by ourselves for the first time. I have a lot to learn. You see, I want to keep the jetski thing going, Jim loved his jetskis and so does Emily. In fact, I plan on getting good on the stand up - just for Jim. He would have loved that. But first things first, I decided to start with the Ultra 150 (we have an Ultra 150 and a stand up). I got it out of the shop a couple weeks ago. Two days ago, I decided it was time to learn how to do this on my own. I wish I had paid more attention to all of this when Jim was alive. He just took such good care of me/us. Anyway, I decided I would first start the Jetski, so I put a charger on it. That in itself was an accomplishment, since I have never done that. After a few hours of charging and a couple tries at starting and discovering the choke, I was able to start it in the back yard. Cool. Step 2 - now I will hook it up to the truck hitch by myself. Thirty minutes later and much sweat, the task was done. I don't know where the roll up thingy is so I just had to pick up the trailer to sit it on the hitch. Good thing I have a strong back. Next, I pulled it out of the back yard and backed it into the garage. Done.

Today, when Emily got out of school, I backed the truck up and heaved the trailer on the hitch. It went on the first time. WOW! I then figured that I need to hook up brakes, etc. and pulled it out of the garage. Done. Emily and I drive to Oolagah, 15 minutes to the ramp. We stopped at the store first to get gas, I am assuming it needed gas. When we pulled up, I told Emily, I don't think I know where the gas tank is. She said she thought she remembered it being under the top. Sure enough, I found how to open it and there it was - a gas tank and and oil tank. I am assuming we want premium gas at a whopping $3.84 a gallon. Oh my gosh! I opened the oil tank but no oil stick to check it so once again, I am assuming it is full. It only took about 5 gallons of gas so we could have bypassed this step. Oh well, I now can ask someone how to check the oil.

We get to the lake and a truck pulls in behind us with 2 jetskis on the back. I am somewhat relieved because I have someone to ask for help if needed. I have been fighting the boat cover but finally resolved to the fact that you must have to put it in the water, get it off the trailer, then remove it. However, when I was side by side with the other jetski owners, I decided to ask. I just didn't remember Jim having to leave the cover on to get gas, back the trailer down, etc. Sure enough, the guy came right over and showed me how it came off. That helps! We now have our life jackets on, the jetski unsecured from its rope stays (or whatever they are called) and backing the down boat. The other guy has his girl friend or wife guiding him. It took them about 15 minutes to back it down. One thing I do know is how to back up a boat. I stood there thinking about the specifics of how I would manage backing the boat, keeping Emily safe and reparking the truck. I remembered seeing the jetski tie down in the front flip up where the gas tank was so we decided we would back it off the trailer, drive it to the ramp, tie it up and then take care of the truck and trailer. Everything worked out pretty good. After figuring out a couple of missed steps, we started the jetski and parked it, put the truck/trailer up and headed out to sea. We were both yelling 'woohoo'. However, after clearing the buoys, the ski would not go over 9 miles per hour. Something was wrong. Despite Emily wanting me to keep going and to go on the other side of the lake, I decided to play it safe. Good thing, as I was going back to get the ski to drive it on the trailer, the other couple seemed to be having problems too. I told them I couldn't get any power. The guy said they were taking on water and remembered that they didn't put in the drain plugs. I asked, 'There are drain plugs?'. Sure enough, when I pulled the boat up, there was water running out of the jetski through the drain plugs. I think I will make a check list. Anyway, I still feel like it was a success although I still need to call the mechanic to be sure I did not hurt anything and ask how to check the oil. We plan on going back Memorial Day.