Aug
25
Filed Under (Boating Destinations) by Debbie on 25-08-2008

Lake Shasta is still a big lake but its water level is really low.  There are mountains showing that I haven’t seen in over a decade, many boat ramps are closed and it’s a long way down the Sacramento to get past the no ski zone.  Still I am sad that our summer time on Shasta is over.

Shasta Lake low water

We met several groups of new people and caught up with some past buddies.  We also gave hours and hours of hydro-foil lessons and quite a few people managed to get up.  Many of whom were kind enough to donate to the gas tank for our efforts…thank you all!

Our last trip had a few ‘little’ mishaps.  We caught the wakeboard with the tow rope and didn’t see it until we ripped the board off the tower, we cut part of the older vinyl but thankfully the board’s fin missed my head.  The best boo-boo was with me on the hydro-foil.

My hubby gave me a hard time for wearing my helmet but I wore it anyways and we took off from the inlet our buddies on ‘Fire Escape’ were set up in.  We waved good bye for the night and off we went.  I jumped a few times as we were leaving the inlet but once out on the lake decided to just ride behind the boat as the wind had whipped up the water quite a bit.

So there I am flying along behind the boat, having a great time and suddenly I felt the foil hit rock!  I gasped…felt the foil dig further into the ground…squeaked…had the tow rope pulled from my hands and crashed down.  The nose of the ski hit the bottom as did my helmet covered head.  I did a quick assessment of body damage while I waited to surface, no broken bones.  Still waiting to surface I decided I must be stuck too far below and started to unbuckle myself when finally my head popped up.  It was a bit longer than normal to surface and once up I realized I was in less than two feet of water.

I could hear my daughter screaming for my hubby to bring the boat around, I guess it looked like I hit a volcano.  Our daughter said the mud and rocks flew up out of the water a good two feet.  I gave them the divers sign for ‘ok’ which my hubby knew so they wouldn’t worry but my daughter didn’t understand, which means there was some tension on the boat.  I got out of the foil but couldn’t get it out of the ground and I’m yelling not to bring the boat over to me.  At which point the third boo-boo happened as my hubby didn’t listen and brought the boat over and promptly hit the the ground with the prop.  He went back out to deeper water and they tossed me a line.

I had to have them tow me off the low spot.  Our daughter held the rope as they towed me, I had no idea she was doing that until later…boy did her arms hurt the next day!  My poor hydro-foil scraped and scrapped along the muddy, rocky bottom for quite a ways before it finally floated once again in deep water.  They hauled me back to the boat and my hubby checked the foil for me.

They wanted me to get back in the boat!  I wanted to be sure my hydro-foil was ok…I rode back in (I grew up on a ranch…you get thrown off, you get back up!).  My foil flew fine and aside from a bit of damage that will be fix this winter, all is well with my toy.  I even got the best air of the summer on the last tiny bit of my ride.  I hit the wake just right and launched smoothly up to about 15 feet and landed softly on the other side of the boat’s wake.  A joyous moment in the air that pulled a squeal of delight from me tht danced along the water and bounced off the mountain sides.

The last boo-boo of the day was with the boat trailer.  The lock for the ‘D’ ring didn’t latch and sprung open part way up the ramp.  Thankfully my hubby always stops part way up to check things and hook up the winch strap.  When he found the had lock open and the boat had slid several inches away from the lock he tried to winch it back into place, where upon the winch strap broke.  Hummm….seems like I’ve read on the Internet somewhere about trailer maintenance.
The next day out we brought an empty milk jug, length of rope and a big rock.  Then we went back to the low spot and marked it for other boaters.  You have to be aware that not everything is marked although they sure try.  The lake is still big and there’s lots of play room, our boo-boo was in driving over an area we didn’t sound first.

Tunnel at Railroad Bridge

If you’ve never seen Lake Shasta this low (150 feet down) then I hope you’ll enjoy the few pictures I took (click to enlarge) I’ve rarely seen the tunnel by the railroad bridge on the Sacramento River.  Let’s pray for rain and snow for that area as many of the local resorts and businesses are hurting.  They’ll need the lake to get close to full for next year ’cause if it doesn’t fill up?  Then Lake Shasta will be a puddle by the end of next summer.

Update:  Spring 2009  The lake as of the end of March is 70 feet down and they are expecting an additional 30 feet of water from the snow run off.  Looking good for this summer at Lake Shasta!



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