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As I watch, the waves from the shore look fun and almost innocent as they crest and then crash over one another. I can taste the salt in the air and watch little rainbows glisten through the prisms of the ocean’s spray. The warm ocean water toward the shore is covered with foam and bubbles from the rumbling waves. As children and their families play in the gritty tan colored sand, I think to myself, “This is perfect.” I make the final preparations on my jet ski. All of the fluid levels check full and there is a faint smell of gasoline mixed with the aromas of salt and fish in the air. I am now ready to brave and jump the mighty ocean waves of South Padre Island! Before the truck backs the trailer into the warm waters at the dock and lowers the Jet Ski into the blue-green abyss, I crank the engine for a final systems check. It roars powerfully, drowning out the sound of the birds circling overhead, as thick black and gray smoke initially pours from the exhaust and then slowly drifts away on the wind’s light breeze. I turn the impressive machine off to finish my final preparations. As I put on the lifejacket and tighten the thick blue straps, I remind myself to stay calm and not to make stupid or impulsive decisions during my journey into the ocean. It is easy to push yourself to the limits and lose track of reality. I must remember to respect Mother Nature at all times and keep in mind that I am not invincible, though at times I act as if I am. I climb aboard the Jet Ski and grab hold of the handlebars, warm from the bright sun. Now the truck begins to back up, gently lowering me, on this powerful machine, into the calm waters of the docking area. As I drift from the trailer, I take a moment to look around and enjoy the peaceful serenity of the smooth, almost glass-like, water. I push the start button, the Jet Ski roars to life and the power vibrates my seat at first and then settles into a soft rumble. I navigate my way through the docks until I...
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