A red tide has been plaguing Ocean Shores (and much of the state) for several days and of late, big gloppy purple sea jellies have started coming into shore, scarfing down all this ickyness only to die and fall apart in the shorebreak. Luckily no one's gotten hurt, as the worst this species will do to humans is adhere to your skin, but something's gotta give!! The foursome are going stir-crazy and kids all over town are on edge; even Mackenzie had her first brush with the law.
Meanwhile, Lou's family had taken Rod and Scott on their boat to a beach cabin on Catalina Island offshore, well away from the red tide for a long, quiet weekend of diving, fishing, and back-to-nature. Rod learns about the dire situation back home when he texts Otto about some routine matter, and Lee and Leslie get an idea.
Raymundo gets a phone call at the Shore Shack: Lee mentions that he has lost a valuable fishing rod and reel in the waters adjacent to their campsite, and the boys have been searching for it but to no avail so far. The foursome overhear thi
s and volunteer to help; anything to get them out of Ocean Shores for the present.
So, the kids ship out that afternoon on the next passenger ferry to Catalina and meet the Crumpackers at their cabin. After dinner, Sam draws a map and lays out a strategy to divide the cove into zones, each defined by unique landmarks and limited by maximum depth, to be examined by one pair of buddies.
In the morning, the group gets in the Crumpackers' boat and gears up to dive: Lou and Rod are let off into one zone, Otto and Twister into another, Sam and Scott another, etc.
Underwater, amid the beautiful plants and cool fishes, it's discovered that quite a few people have lost fishing tackle in this area. When the divers surface and return to the boat with their finds (Rod commenting that most of the equipment they found could be refurbished), Lee confesses that his report of a loss was a ruse, but the foursome taking the ruse in good nature say it was okay and they really welcomed the change of pace. Twister suggests they all have lunch, go get their aqualungs refilled, and then go look for something else. All giggle.
Freshly returned to Ocean Shores, the foursome and Rod learn they're on their way to a camp in the North Woods that features and tutors skateboarding, BMX, paintball, as well as other fun activities, and even has access to a nearby mountain that has snow 365 days a year! Lou and Scott can't come because they have other commitments, but they've been up there before and promise the kids that they'll have a marvelous time.
When they arrive with the other campers, there's a pleasant surprise. An old friend of Twister's has also come for the term. Selena, a young girl from Mexico, has already been there for a week, and she's been getting very good at just about all extreme activities. The crew enjoys having her tag along, but a friendly rivalry between Selena and Reggie begins to take on an edginess.
The group gets dropped off to do a snowboarding run, the first time this one particular section of the mountain has been opened for use. Skillwise they're all up to it, but their briefing includes a warning to avoid an attractive but treacherous feature called the Devil's Nose.
The black diamond course leads them to a vantage point overlooking the Nose, a promising but very sketchy parabolic ramp positioned to launch a rider into a 20m free fall onto a >50% slope full of virgin powder. Sam comments that "the whole geometry of the thing just looks a bit creepy." Otto and Twister frown at each other with furrowed brow and Rod steps in between them, saying "When we're bigger, ok?" to which they reply "Yeah!"
- This page is a work in progress.