Harshing a Jet Skier's Mellow
So there I was -- onboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) as the Submarine Liaison Officer on the Admiral's staff, standing watch in TFCC (Tactical Flag Communications Center) as Flag Watch Officer. We were doing our deployment workups with the rest of our Battle Group and the Bonhomme Richard ARG off the coast of San Diego in late 1999. I got an instant message from the Bonhomme Richard that went something like this:
"Our lookout just reported that a jet-sky came up alongside us, and the rider asked the lookout if he knew which direction San Clemente Island was. The lookout said he pointed towards what he thought was the west; the jetskier said "thanks" and took off. We're heading off to go pick the guy up; it's about 30 miles from here to San Clemente, and there's no way he'll make it."
Later, we get a report of "the rest of the story". They pick the guy up, and find out that he had rented a couple of jet skis with a buddy, and they decided to head out to San Clemente Island because they'd never been there. The buddy's jet ski had conked out about 10 miles back, so his plan was to make it the rest of the way to the island, then send for help. How he planned to do this without enough fuel, a chart, compass, or any method of telling where he was except for asking passing warships, was beyond us.
The Bonhomme Richard CO described the jet skier during the Admiral's nighttime "fireside chat" that night as a "hippy".