A Different Path leads me to Rent a Jet Ski in the Florida Keys

Jet Ski Rental at Holiday Isle in the Florida Keys

to rent or not to rent?

At first, I was shocked at the price; seventy-five dollars for half an hour seemed steep. I was offered fifty-five (on the phone) at the shop by Snappers (mm94) earlier in the week, but no one was at the dock when I arrived. It’s the Keys.

At times, I thought I just wasn’t meant to get on the water, and to be honest I almost didn’t pay for it out of (foolish) pride, but this was my chance and I dropped my credit card.

For weeks the rough seas and whitecaps eliminated fishing or boating excursions. No trips to the flats for bonefish, no small craft ventures for grouper or hogfish, and no chance for a repeat afternoon at Nest Key (like the prior year).  I just could not get on the water.

a bonefish trip, maybe next year for me

For a month, I watched sunsets, ate meals with amazing vistas or just sipped a cocktail overlooking the water. No complaints really, but the water invited, almost teased. I just couldn’t find a way until I took a different path. I considered going solo and I considered the Jet Ski.

This was my chance. The choppy sea that hindered now helped as the rough seas created an adventurous ride.

I raced up and down the shoreline by Holiday Isle (mm 84) and took advantage of the whitecaps. Heading straight at the waves I went airborne more than a handful of times. Total Air. Insane (for me). I reached speeds of 40 mph in the high seas and almost 50 mph in the flat channel. I even almost lost control, but I never lost my smile.

on a jetski in the Florida Keys

on the water... finally

I couldn’t help but smile. It was pure joy. It seems I picked the perfect day to rediscover the fun of taking a spin on a Jet Ski and I was finally out on the water. Yes, I made it out. Different than expected, but I was enjoying the water as I desired. Mission accomplished.

on a jet ski in the Florida Keys

Tip: Stretch before you take a Jet Ski on rough seas. The consistent bouncing put a strain on my quads and I felt it for a few days. I never thought motorized equipment could strain muscles, but it can and does.

Stay adventurous, Craig

relaxing with a margarita

this tasted better after I've been on the water

Adventure Travel Mindset tip:

As I mentioned, persistence does pay off and in this case, I stayed with my dream to get on the water, and I finally did just that.

There is a Japanese proverb: “There are many paths up the mountain to get the same view of the moon.”  When I decided on a different path, I realized my goal. The decision made a difference and also allowed for a rediscovery of fun too.

So in the end, I finally enjoyed my view of the moon and spent some time on the beautiful blue waters of the Florida Keys as planned. So yes, it makes sense sometimes to take a different path.

This post is part of the Autumn of Adventure and the Adventure Travel Mindset series.

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  • http://www.maggiemistal.com/ Maggie Mistal

    Love that you always make time for adventure in your life Craig – thanks for always inspiring!

  • Emjay

    You have such a rough life, Craig! lol Your muscles were sore cause your okole was holding on for dear life! Our love to the family… all of it! :)

    • http://www.stayadventurous.com Craig Zabransky

      Just trying to offer some advice. I seriously wish I thought about a simple stretch before my ride. Next time. But, truthfully no complaints. Life is sweet indeed when one…. stay(s) adventurous, Craig

  • http://www.traveldesigned.com TravelDesigned

    Craig, you wild man, why am I not surprised you would enjoy jet skiing so much! My only concern about jet skis, well I do have more than one but I wont go there, is the damage done to coral reef,our precious ecosystems’ Sometimes jet ski enthusiasts not familiar with the area accidentally run on them or stir up sediment which kills the reefs. I hope those considering taking up this exciting water sport when traveling will ask the rental agents about areas to avoid or consider waiting to try this this sport at a lake.

    • http://www.stayadventurous.com Craig Zabransky

      Very good point. Actually, one of my surfer friends used to argue this point often with another friend who owned a jet ski.

      Yes, coral reef ecosystems are very fragile. And Jet Skis need to be careful and steer clear, but so do all water sports; swim, snorkel, dive, and pleasure boat, etc..

      I took instruction of where the water was deep and safe to ride, but perhaps everyone doesn’t. Hopefully more will after reading these comments.

      stay adventurous, Craig

  • Larry Elias

    Nice article Craig! I miss the keys…it’s been too long for me.

    • http://www.stayadventurous.com Craig Zabransky

      Larry, you must get back there… a change in latitude is definitely a change in attitude.
      stay adventurous, Craig

  • Maryann

    Your pictures remind me how beautiful it is in the Keys. Looking forward to another trip there soon.

    • http://www.stayadventurous.com Craig Zabransky

      It really can be picture perfect in the keys… i am looking forward to my next trip too.
      stay adventurous, Craig