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Old    lukedogg            07-18-2005, 7:29 PM Reply   
On Friday I ripped my rudder clean off and destroyed the prop/shaft. (my 4 blade prop is now a 2 blade prop) There was also some gelcoat damage. The boat was almost a total loss since I had no rudder or prop and was at the mercy of the wind and current. Luckily there were a few brave souls on my boat - and with some clever maneuvering and a 100 foot anchor rope we were able to beach the boat.

When I told the lake patrol about it they told me that I was stupid for not driving in the middle of the lake (I was 80+ yards away from the shore) and that they have a "no hazard marking policy" because water levels are constantly changing. They said it was my fault since they had signs up around the lake that told boaters to watch out for obstacles. (doesn't help when the obstacles are under water and completely invisible from above) Mine was one of 3 boats that day alone that hit something in the water and had substantial damage. This is a regular occurrence there, and the people that are supposed to be helping ensure boating safety are doing nothing about it. (and pretend the problem doesn't exist when confronted)

Anyway - if you're going to Lake Isabella, be very very careful. Ask some locals where the sand bars and islands are. And stay as far away from the shore as you can when you're near French Gulch.

On a positive note, prior to the accident we had amazing conditions and one of the best days of the year landing new tricks, etc
Old    needca            07-19-2005, 12:35 AM Reply   
Luke,

I had planned on rolling up there this weekend. Thanks for the heads up, i'll have to think twice about rolling up there. So you were 80+ yards from shore and you still hit something?
Old    lukedogg            07-19-2005, 8:40 AM Reply   
Matt - Yup - at least 80 yards off shore when it happened. Apparently there are a few spots that are full of islands. Normally the islands are 10-15 feet above water so you can avoid them no problem. With the high water level this year they are mostly submerged, but some of them are just a couple feet under.

The lake is pretty nice and it's completely empty during the week. We had awesome water from 8am - 2pm, then the winds pick up fast. If you go, stop into the visitor information center by the main dam. (on highway 155) They have a map that shows where all the obstacles are. A quick look at it should give you enough info to stay far away from the bad areas.
Old    Shawn Wilson (wakestar8878)      Join Date: Oct 2003       07-19-2005, 9:07 AM Reply   
Been there once. I stayed in this camp ground called "Paradise," it was anything but. Isabella is by far one the worst lakes I have ever visited, I won't go back.
Old    Wakeboardin (wakeboardin)      Join Date: Apr 2001       07-19-2005, 10:08 AM Reply   
I agree with shawn Lake Ickabella is what we call it I was there two years ago for the fourth and there were fires and they shut off the water to the campsite we were at. Not only that but the lake was solid green with slime all over the surface. I was extreemly worried about hitting an underwater object. It also got real windy in the mid day. I will never return nor will any friends that were there.

P.S. Sorry for your loss and I hope the insurance covers it all.
Old    lukedogg            07-19-2005, 10:59 AM Reply   
Thanks Wakeboardin - insurance will cover most of it. (I was more upset about losing a couple weeks of boarding) Luckily nobody was hurt - it could have been much much worse.

You're right about the wind and the slime. The whole middle of the lake is full of thick algae. And by 2pm the wind is so bad that you can barely drive a 21' boat over the 3 foot swells.

I will never go back either.

I do have to say that the locals down there are really nice. A few of them helped me out and I really appreciate it.
Old    LP (peterslc)      Join Date: Sep 2002       07-19-2005, 1:23 PM Reply   
One trip to Isabella a few yrs back, and it was definitely my last. The wind was so bad for 3 straight days, damn near capsized trying to go on a pleasure cruise, at 10am! Nothing beats 6am chop either. It's a jetskier's paradise though, haha.

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