Key West is a complete reminder of Hawaii: The turquoise, clear water, the laid back island lifestyle, and of course, the various water activities to be done there. Without question, we had to experience something off its shores. There’s no better company to venture into the blues of Key West than Fury.
After a quick fruit breakfast, we headed to the docks – a fifteen-minute drive from our hotel, The Gates. Upon arrival, we checked in, signing forms, studied and took a jet-ski test: an easy, multiple choice, open book quiz that costs $3. It must be completed if you want to captain your own water sled. You can do an online version, prior to your tour but that can take up to 3 hours. However, I suggest doing the test during check-in since it’s faster and easier (others may be willing to help you study). The Jet-ski event is tandem making only one person take the test; whoever is driving needs to take the jet-ski test. Once passed, it’s good for an entire year in Florida waters. Worse case scenario of not completing the test before you board, you can finish taking it up to the point of you boarding the ski-doo, but we recommend finishing it as soon as you check-in! (Arrive a bit earlier than planned).
Also, upon checking in, you are given numbers as to which group you will be apart of the rest of the day. For each hour, a crew member will announce what group is doing which event (example: “group 7 will be first to parasail”). Pay attention to your number.
Although we ate before arriving, you don’t have to worry about an empty stomach for a full day of activity. The boat offers breakfast and while munching on some delicious muffins, the mandatory watercraft safety briefings occur along with what groups you are with and what events will be happening. For those unfinished with the jet-ski test, this is a perfect time to finish it. From check-in to embarking, it all occurs very fast: be attentive of any demonstrations and mindful of what is being said, it’s easy to miss instructions.
Each group is split into 6-8 people and loaded up onto their designated activity. The first event for our group was Parasailing! For some reason, if fear takes over you and you decide that being hundreds of feet in the air over the Gulf of Mexico isn’t your thing, you can forgo it if you so choose, after all, you are the customer, what you say goes! Keep in mind, the crew for each event is there to make you feel as safe as possible, and the chances of anything ill happening is slim to null.
TIP: You will be with the same group through-out the day. Being able to get along with your group will make things smoother. Although we didn’t experience any negative interactions, we’ve heard of other groups not getting along with one another. Keep an open mind and silent tongue, for the most part. Everyone is out there to have fun without opinions or beliefs being shoved down each other’s throat. Save the debates for another time.
In between activites, a mid ocean-waterpark is open for play. These infaltable climbers are just as fun to do while waiting for your next event. If you aren’t a capable swimmer, there are flotation devices but being able to swim on your own will help you relish the time better.
Slide, jump, climb!
If you aren’t Michael Phelps and fear swimming, kayaks are available for use as well. In our opinion, however, swimming is a better exercise and more pleasurable.
As stated before, one thing to prepare for is that the day is fast-paced. Fellow customers want the same amount of time to do an activity you just did. Make the best out of your time for each one. My most anticipated event was jet-skiing and, although I highly enjoyed our time out there, it wasn’t long enough, not because of Fury Adventures or their crew. Like many places we have jet-skied at, there are boundaries and rules set up for your safety and the safety of others, and this was no different. The course was a giant circle.
For those that want to rip open the jet-ski, you can pass other people, slower folk, on the inside circle. A little bittersweet learning that after we came in. We went around once due to other fearful users too scared to rev up.
TIP: Go around these people but be safe while doing so, obviously. Understand that it is okay to pass others (we didn’t know this). Better yet, head off to a dedicated jet-ski day trip, via another Fury Adventures package (the link to book your adventure can be found at the bottom of this article).
We eventually did reach (close to) top speeds because we held still for an extra 15 seconds for each rounding turn, allowing space between other riders. If handled correctly, you can go around at least 3 times (the circle is huge, don’t worry) before your time is up.
OFF TO THE GULF OF MEXICO TO SNORKEL!
Parasailing – check. Jet-skiing – check. Open ocean ‘waterpark’ – check. It was time for our final activity of the day. After making sure all passengers were back on board the mothership, lunch (sandwiches) was served. Fruits and chicken wraps were also available. Also, did we mention the open bar? Speaking of bar, you could start drinking as soon as you board for the day, but keep in mind you will not be allowed to pilot a jet-ski if you choose to drink early. It’s best ot start drinking after the first set of activities (parasailing & jet-skiing).
We snorkeled on the third largest barrier reef in the world – The Florida Reef. Just like home, the reef was teeming with aquatic life. We saw dolphins heading to the snorkel spot followed by stingrays and colorful snappers scattered throughout the location underwater. There was no let down of excitement and all with excellent underwater visibility of around 10-20 meters – Great for a choppy ocean.
TIP: The free snorkels handed out are of the cheapest quality. Some tips include purchasing a new one at a local shop before checking in. It is not necessary if you know what you are doing. The reason for making a new purchase is that people had a hard time breathing because of the waves (water going down into their snorkel – air intake).
The tip is to spit your mouthpiece out when you are looking up, don’t depend on it for fresh oxygen when you aren’t submerged. Being from Hawaii, this is a given, but unsuspecting tourist believed that these snorkels must be in the mouth at all times upon entering the water – false. It is not a scuba! (you’d be surprised at how many people try to breathe underwater with a snorkel and goggles).
Also, I went with the wide, one frame goggles – I believe this was the smarter choice than the new split version (the one Mary is wearing): the latter can end up hurting your cheek and nose structure hours after your dive.
Apart from a short jet-ski experience, this day was without a doubt, our favorite of the trip. It was action-packed and fulfilling, in the sense of actually experiencing nature, albeit human-made creations. A very fun day to be had whether you’re a couple, a family or rowdy college students. The excitement was non-stop, and each event is up to you to participate.
As for our favorite: Being able to reach speeds of 30 mph across the water was my favorite. Mary’s, on the other hand, was dangling up 300 feet in the air via parasailing.
Fury Water Adventures
241 Front St.
Key West, FL 33040