Jet Ski To Catalina - Long Beach MarinaI visited Catalina Island many times, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I would make the trip on a Jet Ski. 

And that is what my Wife and I just accomplished in August 2023 – And what an amazing adventure it was.

This was our second ride on Jet Skis, so we were not very experienced. The first one was in Florida, near Fort Walton Beach. You can read about that adventure here.

The waters of Santa Rosa Sound – which separates Ft Walton Beach from Okaloosa Island – were calm and warm. It starkly contrasts the ocean waters between Long Beach and Catalina Island. 

But on this adventure, we encountered rough seas with choppy waves, so our ride wasn’t smooth or easy, but we enjoyed the thrill of speeding above the waves. We enjoyed even more the rest stops at several points along the way.

Jet Ski To Catalina - Long Beach MarinaThis adventure started at Hotel Maya, Long Beach, where we met our guides in a small marina. 

The excursion was led by Jetski2Catalina and was very well-planned and organized. 

Our guides handed us our wetsuits and life jackets and explained important safety rules and hand signals. 

The most essential rule to follow is to “Spread Out”! When speeding on our Jet Skis, ensure enough room between the riders. Imagine what could happen if someone fell off and another Jet Ski was right on his tail. It's not a pretty picture. 

Talking about falling off, I did fall once. I was going too fast, and my hands slid off the handles. Luckily, I was not injured, but getting back on the horse wasn’t that easy. I did get help from one of the guides and took off again towards the island. 

The trip had many memorable moments, but the best was when the Dolphins joined our group and swam around us. We stopped for a while to admire those playful creatures and, of course, to take pictures. 

When we approached Catalina, a group of us decided to swim through a cave. I really wanted to do it but dreaded climbing back up on the Jet Ski, so I declined. 

We finally pulled into the small town of Two Harbors and spent a couple of hours relaxing and having lunch.

Jet Ski To Catalina - Cave Swim When I planned this adventure, I reserved a pair of chaise longue chairs with umbrellas on the beach. We headed straight to our reserved spot, relaxed on the reclined chairs, and ordered lunch. 

The food came from the nearby Harbor Reef Restaurant & Bar, but we avoided the long lines by ordering from the comfort of our chairs on the beach. 

We ordered BBQ Nachos and the Harbor Reef Burgers with fries. They were all very delicious, and there was plenty of food. After the grueling workout we just endured, nothing was left for the birds. 

The return trip was thrilling and exhausting, and we were relieved when we reached the marina in Long Beach. 

And that brings me to an important warning. This is not a leisurely trip on calm waters. This is an adventure that requires stamina and good health. 

We were sore in many places and ready for a long rest when we returned home. 

Jet Ski To Catalina - Long Beach MarinaJetski2Catalina website and the instructions they send you when you book have a lot of useful information to help you prepare for this adventure. 

But it is worth repeating the following tips:

  • Buy/bring long swim pants and long sleeve swim shirt
  • Buy/bring tinted goggles to protect from the spray and the sun glare
  • Buy/bring sunscreen
  • Buy/bring a waterproof phone sleeve with a lanyard
  • Buy/bring water shoes or sandals
  • If you need to wear a hat, ensure you can tie it down. Mine flew away the first ten minutes
  • Bring a lot of water
  • Bring lunch and/or snacks if you don’t plan to buy it on the island
  • You are allowed two bags on each Jet Ski
  • There is a small waterproof compartment on the Jet Ski you can use for your phone or your wallet.