With summer ending in two weeks, we decided to conclude our summer adventures by going jet skiing together.
When I was a teenager, I lived on a lake with my family. It was actually my favorite place to live during my childhood. While sitting in that house with the cool second story attachment on stilts completely made of bay windows, I would often look into Lake Hendry as if our souls were one, just me and the lake. I have always been one with the water. When my parents first introduced me to the exciting act of jet skiing, I became obsessed. Every single day I would beg just to go out for one ride. I even remember going out on the lake one very cold winter morning. Finally I was introduced into some of the sports associated with jet skiing such as kneeboarding and surfing. I was never allowed to use the surfboard but I really took off with the kneeboarding. I thought I was so cool when I was 13 years old because I could pull myself up and glide by myself. I remember going out in that mucky lake water and not even letting fear overcome me since the water wasn’t clear and there were definitely alligators lurking about. It was nostalgia and something I loved so dearly, which in turn created sentimental memories.
My husband had never been and I had never been in the saltwater of the ocean via jet ski so it was perfect. When we ventured out, just as any other Florida adventure we’ve pursued, we thought the rain would deter our eager hearts and minds. Alas, also just like any other adventure, we didn’t get rained out and it only started raining as we were leaving. After multitudes of researching the best place of rental equipment, we decided on a place with the nicest people we’ve ever met. They were such nice human beings that we may even just stop by anytime we’re nearby the marina to say hi and converse with, and definitely be repeat customers.
Although we both had to take a three-hour course about boating and safety in order to drive the jet ski, neither of us really wanted to pursue the big open water by ourselves. A guide would’ve accompanied us to assist in fuzziness of wake speeds, directions, and rules of the waters in general. I think the testing was worth it because we both learned a lot about boats. Although most of the material was not even for PWC (personal water crafts such as jet skis) but oh well, we officially have a license for life and it cost us nothing out of pocket.
The first thing we did was load our licenses and certificates into a small waterproof box and then get fitted for our safety vests. We then received our safety briefing and exiting protocol. That’s when we loaded and waited for the other jet ski participants to load themselves. We actually all had a nice conversation with each other talking about adventures and whatnot. (That’s my favorite.) We then left the floating platform and floated for a good five minutes before we were safely out of the “no wake” zone in the marina. My husband did most of the driving. The jet ski operation is so much different than that of a car and takes a little bit to gain control and get used to. Once he did, I stopped fearing for my life. 😉 The only reason I was in the first place anyway was because he was rocking it back and forth and almost slung me off quite a few times. The direction of the ski is heavily weighted on the balance of those riding on it. He’s smart though and I trusted him so it was all a bunch of fun.
We finally maneuvered out of the main channels and into the open area of the bay. We were not yet to our destination before stopping. We stopped a few times only to show our guide we could turn properly and another to make sure we knew what we were doing. The third time we stopped however I wasn’t quite sure why we stopped. That was until I saw the graceful, sleek, gray body of a beautiful bottlenose dolphin. I kid you not, this dolphin was so close to us I could jump in the water and hug him. I just watched excitedly and tapped on my husband’s shoulder every time he flipped out of the water. I’m sure over the jets and the hum of the motor, everyone heard me shrieking like a little girl. I don’t know what it is about the ocean and dolphins but I get so happy. After we watched him just as much as we could, we ventured out past the two islands of Honeymoon and Caladesi. We were all the way out in Dunedin at this point. We just glided through the water laughing and truly enjoying ourselves every mile of water we went through. Heavy waves had us bouncing and I even came a foot off the seat at one point. I know that any reader who has been keeping up with my posts knows that my love for the ocean is so great that my heart is of the nautical nature so it will come as no surprise what I will say next. The saltwater on my lips, the spray in my hair, and my hands clenching the back of my husband’s safety vest with all of my trust and love in him truly felt like paradise; in other words my happy place was real.
We were able to do some free riding once reaching the gulf. A huge open space to go 50 MPH and to do whatever crazy maneuver we could think of. That’s also when we decided to switch driving and experiment with my driving. My husband got up the some of the highest speeds the jet ski was capable of and I managed to hit some of the largest waves I could. I almost sent us both flying a few times and he almost threw us both off by tipping it too far over but we just went wild with smiles on our faces. After we were done playing with each other and trying to throw the other off, we heard the whistle that it was time to go. Although we could’ve spent the whole day out on the water, we had enough fun to last a while. On the way back, we saw a baby dolphin. He was flipping with his mother and it was the most adorable thing I had ever seen. In all, I think we saw at least eight dolphins.
After we finished, I never saw a bigger smile. My husband had so much fun driving and accelerating through ocean spray at crazy speeds. It was a bonding and trust experience between the two of us, our guide was a lot of fun and actually took interest in us, and we experienced another memory together. We had a blast and put as simply as that, we have another memory to hang on to. Surprisingly we didn’t lose anything either. We had to leave loose articles of clothing and our shoes at the dock so we didn’t really have much. My glasses kept fogging with the spray of the ocean and my husband almost lost his bandanna but like a ninja, I caught it and he didn’t have to kiss it goodbye to mother ocean.