According to Guinness World Records the longest recorded Jet Ski journey is 10,729 miles, accomplished by South Africans Adriaan Marais and Marinus du Plessis, who followed the west coast of North America south to the Panama Canal in 2006.
They spent an average of 10 hours a day at sea, averaging about 40 mph, enduring choppy, chilly seas, dehydration, mechanical breakdowns and makeshift lodgings, including at Fort Bragg’s harbor where a dock-leaping sea lion startled them awake at 2 a.m.
This Sunday, June 30, two Shelter Islanders plan to smash that record by finishing a longer journey than anyone, ever.
Tom Cronin and Toby Green are set to ride their Jet Skis from Shelter Island all the way down the Eastern Seaboard and then some. They’ve notified Guinness, registering that they were going for a new record, and been approved by the record-keeping company and are ready to go. They launch from Wades Beach this Sunday, June 30.
The plan is to follow an ocean route down the Atlantic coast to Key West, Florida, the Bahamas and back home. They would be in the ocean 15 to 20 miles offshore. The journey would cover over 4,000 miles.
The adventurers will be on two 2019 Yamaha FX Cruiser SVHO Jet Skis, with onboard GPS, headlights, bilge pumps, a second battery, USB charging parts, Blue Tooth music and a secondary 60-gallon fuel tank.
A couple of weeks ago, on a chilly day, the Reporter got first-person access to these lean, mean, aquatic machines, when Mr. Cronin asked if a journalist wanted a ride.
The novice was barely able to hang on as Mr. Cronin ducked and weaved, powering around Peconic Bay.
Gripping Mr. Cronin for dear life, as the Yamaha got close to its top speed of 70 mph, the Reporter confirmed that these Jet Skis are fast — really fast.
More important than the athletic feat and re-writing the record book, is the cause for which the journey hopes to raise attention and solicit donations. Mr. Cronin and Mr. Green hope to raise money and awareness for the Scleroderma Foundation. According to the Scleroderma Foundation the disease “affects about 300,000 people in the United States, about one in every thousand. The number of people affected worldwide is unknown, but the disease has been reported all across the globe.”
In particular, Mr. Cronin and Mr. Green hope to help Mr. Cronin’s great-niece, 8-year-old Julia Ceresnak, who has scleroderma.
If you’d like to donate and help 8-year-old Julia, go to scleroderma.org/goto/JetskiforJulia.
Everyone is welcome to watch the two men set off from Wades Beach at 10 a.m., on Sunday, June 30.