‘Ol Blue and PWC Riding the California River Delta

Sunday, October 30, 2016 – 1:15 PM

‘Ol blue as she is affectionately now known has until recently sat quietly with a blown engine since our last ride up to the California River Delta.  And now in her old age she can easily be compared to an old rescued pound dog, as she has found the shelter of a three car garage; compared to her old life of a cement car port slab, albeit about a five-minute drive from an ocean launch ramp.  In her PWC world she outlasted one single and one double brand new Zieman trailers; both dying an agonizing constant battle with salt water metal fatique before succumbing to the scrap heap.  Ol Blues Seadoo Icatch trailer now supports an eight year old hull that is timeless.  This same boat hull has pounded some of the roughest seas the San Pedro channel from Ventura county to LA County down to San Diego can dish out.

Fortunately or unfortunately as you may now see it our small group of West Coast PWC club riders tempted fate the day her rotax engine blew by taking a run way out past the San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge and returning on an ebbing tide.  Two of my bucket list PWC rides in one; riding out the Golden Gate and California River Delta.

Yes folks, with winter and snow skiers now starting to look upwards at the mountains and slopes; we are proudly the snow boarder equivalents of the boating world.

And this weeks West Coast clubs upcoming Delta Wussie Ride is now just the perfect opportunity to put Ol Blue back in the water, starting at Ouray with the cold California river delta that eventually turns brackish as we head north towards Sacramento and the cold unforgiving Pacific ocean.

Simply put the last time we rode this way, on the second day of riding Ol Blues rotax engine ingested some bad fuel mixed in with maybe a little saltwater that subsequently steamed up; blowing out an exhaust valve that finally seized the Seadoo rotax.  With her hull at nearly 300 hours of running time and her engine modified and rebuilt several times in her career, she is the $$ equivalent of a small Mercedes.

Thank you Ol Blue for going out when you did and in style.  Thank goodness we were fairly close to the start of our run from Ouray, California to Sacramento when you died.  As fate would have it, a welcome short tow back (forever humbly grateful to Lewis) and loaner Kawasaki 300 Ultra from David is the difference between a great ride and an ordeal.  Fast forward to the first week in November 2016; and returning to California delta waters.

Thanking you in advance Jim Walker for a most excellent rebuild.  For those not already familiar Ol Blue is a 2008 Seadoo GTX LTD purchased new from the LA boat show the same year at a cost with trailer for 15k.  Sort of my learner ski that continues to take a beating and still keeps on ticking.  She has outlasted two Ultras; one sold for parts.  Ol Blue is a real veteran of the PWC world.  She has made at least fifty runs to, from and around Catalina island; including the inaugural first and multiple trips from Los Angeles to San Diego and back, plus riding to far away places like Lake Mead.  Ol Blue was loaned out at least once to compete in Northern California and at least once in a S. Cal race; she is a twice Mark Hahn 300 mile endurance race veteran in Lake Havasu, NV, once in the stock class where she trophied.  In the race modified class she did not fare as good; she has also competed in the Long Beach to Catalina Island race, Dana Point to Oceanside and Dana Point to Avalon.

“There are other things that I could do but, there is really nothing I love doing as much as I love riding ‘Ol Blue”.