Photo: Alvaro de Marichalar
Spanish adventurer Alvaro de Marichalar is back on his jet ski attempting to emulate the voyage on which Juan Ponce de Leon discovered Florida 500 years ago, after briefly running aground on an island east of the Bahamas.
He told of his misadventure Friday on his social network accounts, on which he keeps followers up to date on his trip retracing the Spanish explorer’s voyage five centuries ago from Puerto Rico to Florida.
“Fortunately all OK, setting out again. Thanks to all for your support,” the adventurer said on his Twitter account, without providing further details about what made him temporarily interrupt his crossing.
The satellite signal he emits periodically positioned the Numancia, the name of his jet ski, at 2100 GMT between the string of islands southeast of the Bahamas, north of Cuba and northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Marichalar began his trip on March 20 from the dock at San Juan’s Club Nautico en route to St. Augustine, Florida, where he plans to arrive on April 3 after sailing 1,624 nautical miles across the sea.
“Juan Ponce de Leon arrived at the (site of the future) city of St. Augustine, in Florida, on April 3, and I intend to arrive right on the same date 500 years later, and at least try to carry the flag of Spain to that town,” Marichalar told Efe minutes before setting out.
His next stop will be in Nassau and from there he will head north to St. Augustine, from where he will ride his jet ski down the Florida coast to Cape Canaveral and Miami.
Juan Ponce de Leon arrived at St. Augustine on the feast of “Pascua Florida” (Easter Sunday), 1513, the reason he gave that name to this southeastern U.S. state.
Marichalar was in San Juan for about two weeks looking fruitlessly for a support vessel and sponsors, but his lack of success on these tasks did not change his mind about undertaking the jet ski voyage since he trusts in his extensive ocean experience to make the trip successfully.
Starting in 1982, Marichalar has made 38 ocean expeditions - logging some 30,000 miles on board his jet ski - and set 11 world records.