The Watercraft Journal started chatting with former Nashville, TN local Evan Lemons recently who let us know about a trip he and a group of friends just took from Miami, FL to the Bimini Islands, which is one of most common “bucket list” rides for many hardcore PWC enthusiasts. He explained:
“I moved to Navarre, FL in 2016 and wanted more than anything to make a trip to the Bahamas. We spoke about it a bunch when I founded the Nashville PWC club years before. I could never get the timing or the commitment from my fellow riders. Once I moved to Florida’s Gulf Coast I joined a group called Panhandle PWC where I met some good friends and riders. After spending a few months asking around on who has or would be willing to make a trip to the Bahamas, I met a guy on a river ride in early summer of 2017 who invited me on there trip. We started planning right away on an adventure of a lifetime.
“Going through the fall and winter months I was buying gear, getting passports for my wife and I, prepping the skis and making reservations. We decided that April 26th was our crossing date. We drove down to Miami on the morning of April 25th, 2018. We launched from Crandon Park out of Miami headed towards Bimini. We made the 60-mile crossing while the girls flew on Tropic Ocean airways. We arrived with good weather and and big smiles. We spent roughly 7 days and 8 nights in Bimini at the Resorts World where all the 20-something jet ski riders and family rented individual condos.
“We played on the water and rode 20 miles offshore to Great Isaac Cay for the 152-foot abandoned lighthouse where we explored, free dove and had lunch. Another day we went over to Gun Cay where Honeymoon Harbor is to feed to stingrays and lemon sharks. We went to the SS Sapona, a WW1 concrete ship that’s ran aground and is a popular spot for boaters and skis alike to visit and snorkel. The rest of the week we road around and cruised the pristine blue waters of the Bahamas and found plane wrecks and mangroves to zip through. We checked out the famous Shark Lab that was featured on Discovery Channel’s Shark Week where we got to learn about their research.
“After several days of conch fritters, salt water and sunburns, we decided it was time to make our way home. Weather was calling for 3-5 foot seas. Once we reached the gulf stream we were in 3-to-5 footers, but that didn’t last long. It turned rough really quick where the waves become 14-to-18 foot seas and we took the beating of our life. Our wives were coming right behind us on the sea plane from Tropic Ocean Airways. Little did they know that half our GPS equipment was out and we were having a hard ride home. It took us being 8 miles off of the Miami Coast to see land. I submarined my ski so many times I thought I water logged it.
“Once I crept up to the boat ramp we are able to relax. After pulling our skis out, the other groups rolled in behind us; they had it just as bad. I called out to Customs Office to check in when we arrived back to the States and they told us we were crazy for running that trip today let alone in jet skis. We headed off to the sea plane base to grab the wives and headed home. It was the longest 11 hour drive ever. But with lasting memories and some of the coolest people I could’ve asked to spend my vacation with, I couldn’t have been happier. I guess you may ask would I cross the Gulf Stream again with those waves to see paradise again ? Without hesitation. I have a huge thanks to the people who allowed us to join them on there annual trip where I made lasting friendships.”