KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Visitors to the Florida Keys can now pretend to be and actually fly like “James Bond” with a new watersport providing levitation-like flight.
Jetpack Adventures is based in Key West at the Galleon Resort & Marina and a similar experience is set to be offered by Sundance Watersports beginning in July at Hawk’s Cay Resort & Marina near Marathon.
The Florida Keys is the first region in the U.S. to offer the experience to travelers, Jetpack manager Erik Adams said.
Participants strap on a JetLev R200 flight pack that looks like the one actor Sean Connery wore in “Thunderball.” But a 30-foot hose tethers the apparatus to a tiny boat with a pump that uses seawater as propellant. Flight controls allow individuals to take off, make soft turns, hover and land as the boat is dragged behind.
During training, thrillseekers receive a safety briefing, are fitted with a helmet and personal flotation device and are harnessed to the jet pack.
Once on the water, participants first experience three-dimensional flying with a certified instructor operating the vehicle via remote control. As the student becomes more proficient, he gains more flight control.
“It’s been my dream, since I was a kid, to fly,” said Angie McGregor of Mount Dora, Fla. “I feel like a spy woman out of a ‘James Bond’ film.”
Dave Tuxbury of Traverse City, Mich., is an instructor at the attraction.
“You always dream of flying and what it would be like to be that bird up there,” Tuxbury said.
Cost for the 1 1/2-hour experience in Key West is $249 and includes a half-hour of flight time.
For more information in Key West, visit www.jetpackadventures.com or call 305-294-2000.
For more details about flying over water in the Middle Keys, call 305-743-0145 or visit http://experience.hawkscay.com/sundance-watersports.