After months of talking and planing, our jet ski trip to Freeport Bahamas finally happened.
I am going to go over some of the details and show some pictures, I will also attach a couple short videos of us running or trolling on the jet skis.
Todd of Gloucester Virginia and I of Poquoson departed my house towing my two rigged Yamaha FXHO's and his FXHO cruiser after work on Thursday the 13th. We pulled an all nighter getting to Jacksonville Florida early AM where we got a great tour and met some ingenious engineers at Sea Stinger spear pole factory. We also purchased a couple more spear poles for our trip.
After that we drove further south into West Palm where we had a 1530 appointment with U.S. Customs. We had applied on-line for the Small Vessel Reporting System which would enable us to maybe not have to physically check in with Customs upon our return. This worked flawlessly allowing us to just call in when we got back into port.
After that we dropped off the skis at a Hampton Inn and then picked up our third crossing partner Dean who flew in from Seattle Washington. We went out dinner and then we all retired early.
Saturday morning greeted us with heavy rain early on and it took us a while to get what seemed like an endless amount of safety, diving and fishing gear on the jet skis at the Boynton Beach boat ramp.
We headed out in to the Atlantic around 0830, forecast was ENE at 15 knots. We knew it would be a slow trip across with head seas at 4-5 feet so we just took our time and tried not to get beat up.
Unfortunately the sled that Todd was towing with his ski was not up to the task and the hitch connection broke. He tried several times to re-secure and then tow with a rope to no avail. After several stops we all decided the sled was too much of a deficit to us making the crossing in a timely manner. We divided its contents between us and continued on happily leaving it to become a Mahi magnet.
Finally after over 6 hours we arrived at the West End of Bahamas where we checked in with Bahamian Customs and Immigration and topped off our tanks.Our entry fee was $150 which also allowed us to fish. My ski holds a total of thirty gallons with the extra tanks I have plumbed in. I burned 17 gallons on what was over 70 miles in poor conditions.
We then ran another 28 miles down the coast on the lee side at 40 mph to the Island Seas Resort where Todd had arranged a great condo on the water for a killer price.
Our wives Cindy and Sue had the sense to fly there from Richmond Va. and were waiting for us impatiently on the beach when we arrived.
I carried a Spot GPS tracker which enabled them to watch our track as we crossed the Atlantic. That night we all went out to dinner and slept well.
Over the next 6 days we fished, snorkeled, and free dived/spear fished. I burned a lot of $5.75 a gallon Bahama gasoline but was lucky to get it all back and then some at the Islands only casino.
Twice we ran the cut through to the other side of the island. It was fun at fifty miles an hour on flat inside water.
Most nights we cooked what we caught at the condo but we ventured out on the town for a couple of ice cream desserts. The local cats made out like bandits hanging around us.
I caught a lot of barracuda and bottom fish, letting everything go except what we would eat that night.
Todd and Dean had good success spearing some Hog Fish and Grouper. Dean had a nice 45 lb Wahoo and I topped that with a 50 pounder trolling Ballyhoo. We packed the Wahoo good on ice and brought the fillets home.
Saturday morning the 22nd we got a late start going back due to thunderstorms. Finally getting under way from the West End at 1200 hrs. It was blowing over twenty when we left and we drove in blinding rain for an hour but still managed 20-25 mph. Luckily the seas were to our port which were no problem even at 6-7 ft.
The last twenty miles were pretty nice. The return trip was about done in three hours even with a couple short stops. I burned 14 gallons going back to Florida.
Todd and I drove to Daytona that night after dropping Dean off, and then the rest of the trip back to Virginia on Sunday. The smart wives flew and beat us back of course.
This was a great trip with good friends! The long drives were worth it once we got to the clear blue waters.
Here are some of the pictures from our trip. The last ones are videos, click on them to view.
Click on these last three pictures they are short videos