I am sure most of you have tried a jet ski. Whenever I have done one, I always wished to wrestle the controls from the jet ski instructor and take over myself. Some of them are so scared to let you have the charge that you are merely just touching the handle while he is doing all the maneuvering. The imp in me would sometimes, just tell me to just push the guy off and do a round myself – I mean, he is wearing a life jacket and I can play the angel by steering the jet ski myself to rescue him. (I know, just mischevious thoughts but I would never do that to anyone 😉). Well, this trip to Mauritius fulfilled this desire of being a captain of my own cruise – but not by way of the jet ski. It was when I took charge of a seakart.
What is a Seakart?
Seakart is one of its kind activity that they say is available in Mauritius. If I were to describe it, I would say it a cross between a jet ski and a speedboat. It is a lot more stable than a jet ski and easy to ride as compared to a speedboat. The best part is that it is quite stable and they guarantee it to be unsinkable. For those who are keen on what the technical specs are –
- It has a 4 stroke engine of 110 horsepower
- It is 2m long and can seat up to 2 adults and one kid
- And well, it has a turbine propeller -which essentially translates to it being quite safe when steering.
When I saw it the first time, it looked like an inflated water bed with an engine. I was a little skeptical of how stable it would be but once I sat in it, the doubts vanished for it is anything but a light, inflated bed. Having said that, it is not that light that you would be blown away by strong winds. To some extent, it reminded me of a hovercraft.
Preparation for the first ride on a seakart
With a lot of enthusiasm, I was all ready to hop into a seakart and zoom away. Interestingly, I was not scared nor anxious about the ride but was quite excited. All outfitted in our life-jackets, we sat down for our formal briefing. The guides introduced us to a seakart and assured us that it was a safe ride. The rest of their instructions covered –
- How to start the seakart – a simple press button is all it took after inserting the key
- The seakart had only a hand accelerator for a control. You just had to let go of the same to stop of slow down.
- The seakarts were to be ridden in a V formation.
- The safety boat would be at the tip of the V and we were to look at the instructor on the boat for the various signals.
- The instructor also, familiarized us with the various hand signals – essentially to go slow or fast or to change directions
And with that my confidence rose and I was ready to be Captain Ami.
Starting Woes of a seakart
I tried not to show my over-excited self to my partner-in-crime – Nisha Jha. She did seem a little skeptical of sitting with me as I could not hide my over enthused self. However, I suppose she did co-pilot with me ;-). I don’t think she regretted the decision – or did you Nisha?
Once we sat into the seakart and started it, the initial hiccups started. I started slow and went against the waves – I realized it was not easy to keep the boat on track. Keeping to the course was as difficult as trying to walk on a rope. I kept trailing so much that the safety boat had to stop till we caught up with the rest. It was then, I figured the trick.
Pushing the throttle was the key. As I picked up the speed, I realized that I was in better control of the seakart – it was much easier to keep on the course at a higher speed.
Cruising along on a seakart
Once I hit the high, there was no looking back. It was like Jim Carrey in Mask saying “Somebody stop me!”. As you can see, the glee on my face as the wind rushed through my hair and the high when the seakart flew off the waves to land back safely – it is just indescribable. Encouraging were the whoops from Nisha and the only reason I would slow down is when my safety boat instructor literally cut off the throttle and made frantic signals to stop.
I had forgotten about the V but was following more of a straight line formation where I almost overtook the safety boat. 😉 One hour felt a little less now that I was enjoying myself so much that I did not really spend time admiring the lovely sea, except when my throttle was deliberately cut off. While waiting for the rest to catch up, I realized how beautiful and blue the lagoon really was.
Tips for a great ride on a seakart
Here are some tricks that can help you get a great ride on a seakart –
- Going slow makes it difficult to keep the seakart on track. Push the throttle to a comfortable speed and you will realize it is easy to steer
- Going against the waves is scary initially as you will feel as if you are in the air for some time. However, the seakart is made in such a way that you will land back safely.
- Keep a parallel track with the seakart ahead of you. The waves it generates is what makes your ride a little unstable
- Do not get close to any seakart. Maintain sufficient distance.
- I recommend trying to get into the driving seat at least once – the fun doubles when you are at the wheel.
Like all good things, this one too came to an end. I think my instructor was a little relieved, considering that I was constantly threatening to overtake him. After my ride was done, I asked him how fast I was going and whoopie! I was at 60 kmph. No wonder he had his heart in his mouth. He admitted that and also, complimented me on my ride. And with that, the mission that Captain Ami had – one where I wanted to ride my own jet ski or speedboat, was accomplished.
What about you? Do you think you would want to have a go at this seakart. I would definitely say – “Go for it!” – for it is one of the most unique and must do activities in Mauritius. You might not get a chance elsewhere.
- Seakart is offered by Fun Adventures in Mauritius. The place where this is offered is La Balise, Black River, near the Flic-Flac beach.
- Getting to this place will need you to either use a taxi or a bus. For the bus, you can click here for the various routes.
- Here is the official website of the operator of the Seakarts. You can book your ride through this website.
- There are various packages that you can opt for. A one hour package would cost you 5500 Mauritian Rupees for 2 adults and one kid.
- You can drive a seakart as long as you are 16 years old or over.
- Wear your swimsuits for the experience as you will be drenched with the sea mist.
- The instructor on the boat keeps taking your pictures but you will need to purchase them at the counter. If you have a waterproof camera, take the same along with you. If you have your traditional camera, you might want to carry a waterproof cover to operate the same. You don’t get completely drenched and hence, with a waterproof cover, you might want to consider taking the same. However, the same would be at your risk.
- There are lockers and hot showers available at the place.
P.S: I was a part of the media trip organized by Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority. All pictures used in this post have been clicked by the Fun Adventure team as I opted to leave mine in the safety of their lockers.