Whether you’re visiting Florida on holiday, or simply a resident with a keen interest in adventure, there’s one question you may just have considered whilst gazing into the Caribbean Sea…”Could I make it to The Bahamas on a jet ski, I wonder?”
This is a question many Floridians have pondered before, and I’m happy to tell you that, yes – it is entirely possible. In fact, it is a route well-traveled amongst a number of jet ski enthusiasts in the area.
Just how is such a journey possible? What are the potential difficulties? And what do you need to know before setting off?
If these questions have spiked your interest; keep reading, and I’ll tell you exactly how you can make it to The Bahamas on the back of your favorite jet ski.
Of course, traveling across the sea via jet ski is not always going to be plain sailing. There are some potential hazards that need to be considered for a journey of this nature.
Firstly, making this voyage is only possible in calm weather. Whilst some modern jet skis can handle rougher waters, it is of paramount importance that you don’t travel during a storm. Not only would that be dangerous, but it also sounds very uncomfortable.
To avoid the risk of getting lost, jet skiers should also travel with an onboard GPS or navigation system.
It is also important to travel with a few other people. Traveling in a group minimizes the risk of getting stranded out at sea; should your jet ski break down or run out of fuel.
In relation to the latter point, fill up the tank on your jet ski! Even take some extra fuel with you. Anything to reduce the risk of getting stuck in the Caribbean, which does not sound fun (at all).
How do you make the journey?
According to jetskiadvice.com, there are three main routes that are generally considered the best when traveling to The Bahamas on a jet ski.
The first (and quickest) of these, is a route that takes you from Miami to Bimini. This should only take around 1.5 hours and will land you in the closest part of The Bahamas to mainland United States.
Another possible route is from Fort Lauderdale to Freeport. This is the longest route of the three and will take you to a favored destination amongst divers and snorkelers.
The third route takes you from Fort Lauderdale to Bimini and is thought to be the most popular of the three.
Things to know before setting off
Okay, so you’ve got your jet ski, and you’re now seriously considering floating off into the Mediterranean. But there are a couple of bases you need to have covered before you set off.
One thing you definitely need to pack is your passport.
Without it, border control will simply turn you back around as soon as you arrive in The Bahamas. You may then have some explaining to do once back on American soil, too.
Remember to pack plenty of water, as well as something that’s going to provide you with much-needed shade (like a hat). The ride across the sea is likely going to be hot, and there’s nowhere to take shelter on the open waves.
If you are a jet ski owner, you should already have your PWC license and safety certification. If you are renting, you may want to check if you are covered for the journey.
Whilst The Bahamas do not require jet ski riders to have a license or to be of a certain age, there is some legislation you should be aware of.
As is the case in Florida, buoyancy aids must be worn at all times. Whilst wake and wave jumping on a jet ski is prohibited in The Bahamas.
Upon arriving in The Bahamas; riding straight onto the beach ‘James Bond-style’ is not allowed either.
You will actually have to stay at least 200ft from the shore, and 100ft away from any divers-down flag. Boarding and disembarking your craft ashore must only occur in designated areas.
Whether you are seriously considering making the trip, or not, now you know that you can jet ski to The Bahamas. Not only is it possible, but it is also very doable, and if the steps in this article are followed – you should be sunning yourself in The Bahamas in no time.