Ever since I started dating my husband, he has wanted to rent jet skis. He’s a bit of an adrenaline junkie, and a jet ski is basically the motorcycle of the sea (he has a motorcycle). When we visit the beach in North Carolina with my family, there never seems to be enough time. When we were on our honeymoon, we couldn’t find a good jet ski rental place around the areas of Puerto Rico where we were staying. It just hasn’t worked out.
So when I knew we were going on the cruise, I gave him a tiny Lego jet ski for his birthday in late October to symbolize the jet ski I was going to rent for him when we went to Cozumel over thanksgiving.
We arrived at Cozumel early Saturday morning to a beautiful day with pleasantly warm weather. Perfect for jet skiing! So we took a cab to the private beach club where I had made the jet ski reservation.
A very friendly staff member handed us life jackets, and took us to our magical jet ski. He basically said, “You see that boat? And that boat? Don’t go past those boats. You see that blue line in the water? Don’t go past that – it’s for scuba diving.”
The area he pointed out for us to jet ski in was fairly gigantic. There were basically no other instructions, and my husband beamed.
Now, let me say that a key part of this jet ski plan was for me to ride on the back of the jet ski while Tim drove. Since I have a slight tendency to be a worry wort, I had told myself, “Now Lauren, don’t ruin his birthday present by yelling at him to go slower and get upset. This will be totally fine! Just hang on and don’t cause a fuss.”
So I got on behind him, and held onto his life jacket.
Tim hit the gas, and the jet ski skipped across the water about 3/4 of the way to the “blue line” we shouldn’t cross. Then Tim turned it left, and headed towards one of the boats at full speed. Since this is the ocean, there were waves. We caught air more than once. I thought, “Oh my god. This is fairly terrifying. I’m going to be quiet though.”
We turned a little, and the jet ski suddenly seemed a lot less stable than when we were going straight. Immediately after that turn, he hit the gas again and we were flying.
“Wow. This is officially terrifying. As soon as he slows down enough to hear me, I’m going to ask him to drop me off at the shore so I can watch him tear around at full speed. I sure would rather be going much slo…”
And that’s when we both flew about ten feet off the jet ski.
Now, I can swim just fine. Add a life jacket, and I am not at all concerned about drowning. Tim looked back at me, to which I said “It’s fine. No big deal,” and we both started swimming back to the jet ski.
Back to the jet ski that was going out to sea since you know, current.
Tim made it there first, and I just swam over to him. That’s when I looked down where I was swimming. See, Cozumel has crystal clear blue water. That’s why it’s so great for scuba and snorkel, because you can see the wildlife.
Wildlife like the barracuda fish I saw on the dock leaving the boat. Wildlife like the jellyfish that stung two tourists back by the beach where we rented the jet ski. I remembered these things as I looked down to see large white rocks and coral underneath me. My brain immediately flipped to every single Blue Planet documentary I had ever watched, which is basically one long “Let me tell you about all the things in the ocean that can kill you!”
I panicked a little, and started swimming really fast to the jet ski.
So I get there, and want to get out of the murderous ocean as soon as possible. It’s probably full of Mako sharks. Most definitely.
Tim gets on the jet ski with a decent amount of struggle, and then I realized problem number two. I couldn’t get on the damn thing.
Now this is not easy for me to admit, because I honestly felt like a giant fat whale trying to beach itself unsuccessfully… but I would struggle to get about halfway on and then I would feel the jet ski start to tip again… and I’d panic and slide back into the water. I’d also like to blame the fact that I still had a fairly bad cold at this point, but honestly I’m just out of shape and struggled. Several times I tried to get on, and each time that I was unsuccessful I grew more and more upset.
Just when I was about to tell Tim just to leave me to become a creature of the sea, the guy who tows the banana boat shows up to rescue me.
Except the banana boat guy is telling me to just “Put my leg over the side of the boat” which is about 2.5′ out of the water and basically the great wall of China.
I finally got on the boat, but it wasn’t pretty. I may or may not have broken my lady parts in the process.
So banana boat man takes me back to shore, and Tim follows slowly behind in the jet ski. I’m half panting, and half pleading with him to “finish riding and enjoy your present!” but he said he didn’t want to jet ski without me.
I felt so bad that I cut the birthday jet ski ride short. We were probably only on the thing for five minutes. Also, I was super embarrassed. All of this happened before a crowded beach of tourists.
We floated in the (shallow) part of the beach for a bit while my nerves calmed down, and Tim convinced me that I didn’t ruin his trip and I shouldn’t be upset (I was).
Then we walked around Cozumel a bit, which is pretty charming.
I also found a pretty strong Margarita, which helped.
Essentially, I’m never getting on a jet ski again.