Late one afternoon in Ventura, Bryce called to me, upset. I was below deck. He was on the dock. He had dropped Trent’s Penny Board, an old-school skateboard into the water adjacent to our neighbor’s boat. Trent recently bought it from a friend and really liked it. Bryce knew the cost to replace the board would be about $100, money he didn’t want to spend. Head in hands, fighting back tears, Bryce was lamenting his circumstance. I suggested he dive for it. I made up a weighted line to sound the depth; fifteen feet we determined and Bryce rushed to get his wetsuit. Together we deployed Kandu’s stern anchor and chain over the spot he remembered splashing the board. The sun was low on the horizon. It was warm above surface and below wasn’t terribly cold. We knew he wouldn’t see much and would have to rely on touch. Passer-bys encouraged Bryce to give it try, warning how difficult the task would be. It took a couple of dives before Bryce got his rhythm and technique down. Soon after, Bryce pulled up his brother’s skateboard. Many of the other live-aboards were amazed at Bryce’s success. He was very pleased with himself. I told him to wash the board off in fresh water and spray it with WD-40, which did immediately. The board survived with little damage until a couple of weeks when one of the wheel’s bearings froze. Trent’s Uncle Nick bought and replaced all of Trent’s bearings. Trent was satisfied with the repair.
A week after the salvaged skateboard episode, Uncle Nick bought for Bryce’s birthday a new Penny Board with a stars and stipes motif, just as Bryce had dreamed.