Saturday, June 10, 2006

Water Adventures

For those of you not on's a blog I'm just now posting for you. Sorry!

There's one thing you have to understand about the Chapmans - you haven't truly had an adventure unless someone has some kind of "accident." They can be accidents to your physical person (rare) or to your vehicle (more common). Some are near death, while others are only bruisers (or require minor vehicle repair).

My first accident of the off-road season came Saturday afternoon. It was a multiple bruiser. And it wasn't so much off-road as it was on the water. My brother owns a SeaDoo and over the last year, it's become one of my favorite Michigan outdoor activities.

The Chapman thought-process goes something like this: safety as an afterthought, you will ultimately have more fun the faster and more out-of-control you do things. And since in my mind the accident-versus-injury ratio of the jet ski is lower than the same ratio behind the wheel of a 4-wheel-drive Jeep speeding over a mountain of sand, I feel a little safer getting a bit crazier on the jet ski. Now, if you could multiply that thought-process by 10, you would get my brother's take on jet skiing.

I'm a bit more cautious when I have a rider with me on a jet ski. My brother Jason is only that way when it's NOT a Chapman sitting behind him. Well, since I am a Chapman, he held nothing back on our last ride out (after our individual rides) Saturday afternoon.

When you ride with the waves, you can really get some speed and open it up. Easy enough to hang on. When you run against the waves, you get some height. Also, easy enough to hang on - just pay more attention so you know when to brace yourself and plant your feet. There were a few moments that Jason forgot I was shorter than him, so when he caught big air, I caught even more.

After a time of racing around, Jason decided it was time to try a stunt. The particular stunt he was going to try involves doing a quick 180-degree turn, letting off the gas so the waves you were running pull you in the direction you were going before jamming on the gas to continue plowing forward. Forgetting to warn me, he pulled the stunt successfully but I wasn't hanging on for dear life. When he jammed on the gas to go forward, I was still going backward. (Keep in mind that it's the end of May and the water of Lake Michigan doesn't warm up until July or August; they said the water was only up to about 45-50 degrees this past weekend.)

My parents were sitting on the beach watching and said that my flip off the jet ski was like nothing they'd ever seen before. And the ice water of Lake Michigan in which I found myself was like nothing I ever felt before. The shock of that cold water sent my body and brain into almost immediate shock. I could barely catch my breath or move the water was so cold. Justice came in the fact that my ejection from the jet ski caused my brother to turn and he flipped off as well. All I could think about was getting out of that water and fast! Thank God for life jackets because I couldn't move for the cold but I had to swim. I got to the jet ski and climbed on probably quicker than I ever have before, and Jason wasn't far behind me. We got to shore and my parents threw towels at me and a sweatshirt at my brother (he had a wet suit on). I get cold pretty easily but not like was ridiculous.

I'm still finding bruises that I think are related to that flip or other rides on the SeaDoo. Fortunately, we had better luck on Sunday afternoon. Jason warned me before the stunts, so I held on tight. No flips.

Not to scare anyone off, but you really should come have an adventure with the Chapmans.

1 comment:

  1. No. Way.

    I'm glad you're ok...

    Aaron must be rubbing off on you - that sounds like something he would do.