Jet skis are often thought of as short-term entertainment vehicles, but could you travel from Miami to Cuba on one? Find out below.
While someone previously rode a jet ski from Key West to Havana, nobody has gone on record journeying from Miami to Cuba. Theoretically, the journey could be made, but it would be a logistical nightmare and may end in tragedy.
Read on to learn more about this daring ocean feat, and if it can be accomplished.
In 2013, Alvaro de Marichalar was preparing to set sail. Although, his expedition wasn’t going to be on a boat or ship, but a jet ski.
His goal was to ride – in one continuous motion – from Key West, Florida, to Havana in Cuba. It’s a journey that ferries and boats do day in, day out.
Alvaro de Marichalar has since gone on to jet ski across the Atlantic Ocean. He was the first to do so and may be the only person to ever attempt it.
Usually, it takes a ferry around ten hours to complete the journey, from port to port. This equals an average speed of around 25 miles per hour.
The ten-hour journey typically begins in Miami and ends in Havana.
There are high-end jet skis that are capable of traveling at around 65 miles per hour. When you consider that they aren’t bound by shipping lanes or ports, the journey becomes much faster.
At that speed, it would take around three and a half hours to make the same journey.
However, that’s if the rider is speeding along, throttle pinned, the entire way. It also assumes that the weather is clear the whole way.
Which, around Cuba and Florida, it often isn’t.
You’d also have to consider the fuel situation. It’s almost two hundred and fifty miles from Miami to Havana, a long journey in any vehicle.
The gas tanks on most jet skis top out at around 16 gallons, and make around 10 “gallons-per-hour”. Therefore, you’d run out of gas long before you made the crossing.
So, what’s the alternative? You’d have to carry more fuel, which would weigh you down, and slow down the journey.
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Of course, it isn’t plain sailing when it comes to crossing international borders.
If you wanted to jet ski to Cuba, you’d have to either arrive via an official customs channel or seek special permission. You still need to go through the security process when entering the country.
There are strict coastguard regulations between Cuba and Florida that have existed for decades. The US and Cuban coastguards patrol relentlessly, seeking to combat drug smuggling.
This has been a prominent issue since the sixties and seventies. Cuba offered a close and near-direct line into Florida, and up into the United States.
Given that information, might it be better to seek a more regulated and official route into Cuba? There are plenty of options available, but none are as exciting as a jet ski.
As we’ve mentioned, ferries run regularly from Florida to Cuba. Although they’re a much slower – in fact, the slowest – method of travel, they’re altogether more relaxed.
Also, they’re fairly affordable. You can catch a ride on a ferry between the two countries for around three hundred dollars.
Although, it’s only since 2015 that the ability to travel in such a way has existed. At the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis in the sixties, the US Government imposed travel restrictions.
The direct knock-on impact of this was the cancellation of all ferry services between Florida and Cuba.
If you want to travel between Florida and Cuba without breaking the bank, consider flying. You can fly to the island paradise for as little as one hundred dollars.
These methods are much safer and more practical than hopping aboard a jet ski. While you can get some very lavish and high-end jet skis, none would be well-equipped enough to make the crossing.
You’d need to circumnavigate the coast guard and carry many extra provisions. You’d also need to be prepared to ride with the throttle pinned for almost four hours – an exhausting feat.
At the end of it all, you’ve then got to ride back, doubling the time, effort, and resource cost. It would certainly be an expensive venture, and potentially one not worth the expenditure.
It might be best left to thrill-seekers like Alvaro de Marichalar to accomplish.