“I will never do this again,” Tom Cronin announced as he climbed off his jet ski at Wades Beach shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday. He was talking about his record-breaking trip from Shelter Island to the Bahamas and back.
Mr. Cronin arrived home to a heroes welcome when he hit the beach, where some 50 family and friends were gathered to offer congratulations, hugs and even a song of welcome from his son, Nathan, accompanied by Katie Springer on a portable keyboard.
He and Toby Green left Wades Beach June 30, but after reaching Key West, Mr. Green had developed an infection and was advised not to re-enter salt water, so he had to abandon the trip. His jet ski is in storage in Key West, and he’ll either hire Jernick Moving or go down himself to retrieve it.
The exact mileage Mr. Cronin traveled isn’t yet available, but Mr. Green said it definitely broke the Guinness World Record.
The men had set out to break that record for the longest recorded jet ski journey that was then at 1,900 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.
The two Islanders had notified Guinness, registering that they were going for a new record, and been approved by the record-keeping company.
Mr. Green said there were storms from here to Key West, making the trip more difficult than the pair had anticipated.
“It was very challenging,” Mr. Green said.
The take-away from the trip was “how incredibly kind people were along the way,” he said.
There were “a lot of surprises,” Mr. Cronin said, standing among the crowd at the beach yesterday as he briefly talked about the journey. He has promised to provide more details about his experiences after he had a chance to get some well-earned rest.
Plans had called for Mr. Cronin and Mr. Green to ride the Atlantic Ocean waves about 10 hours a day, going out 15 to 20 miles offshore before coming in and camping along the route.
The adventurers rode 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.
Mr. Green agreed with Mr. Cronin’s comments about never repeating such a trip, but noted that his reference was only to this particular challenge.
“It was an experience, but there’s no reason to go again,” he said.
On the other hand, he said he’ll be looking at other challenges in the future.
A complete story and more photos will appear in next week’s Reporter.