Alabaster man riding WaveRunner 2,200 miles
Published 10:38 am Monday, March 7, 2016
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
ALABASTER – As Alabaster resident Scott Housey began planning out his more than 2,200-mile journey from central Alabama to the southernmost point in the United States and back, he had a decision to make.
“I thought about looking at different boats, but a big boat just goes too slow for that kind of trip,” Housey said during a March 4 interview. “I needed it to go fast to keep the trip from taking too long.”
After weighing his options, 42-year-old Housey settled on a popular recreational vehicle: A Yamaha WaveRunner.
“It’s very much like riding a motorcycle, because you can really feel everything,” Housey said. “It’s exhilarating to ride anywhere on a WaveRunner, and I don’t know of anyone who has ridden one on this particular route.”
On March 21, Housey will set off from the Black Warrior River between Birmingham and Tuscaloosa on his lengthy journey to the Florida Keys.
After traveling from the Black Warrior River to Mobile, Housey will cross open water in the Gulf of Mexico south of Tallahassee, Fla. He will then travel down the west coast of Florida before again crossing open water to Key West, Fla.
Once reaching Key West, Housey will rest for a few days before completing the entire trip in reverse.
“I think the trip will take just over two weeks. A lot of that depends on the weather,” Housey said, noting he will average about 45 miles per hour for most of the trip.
He has already mapped out his entire route and plotted it to his GPS device, and has made hotel reservations for each night.
“I’m not going to rough it,” Housey said with a laugh. “I’ve already contacted the hotels and made reservations. I told them the dates may change depending on the weather, and they’ve all been understanding.”
While Housey will be solo on the water for the entire journey, his wife and son will meet him in Carrabelle, Fla., just south of Tallahassee and will meet up with him during each nightly stop from there on.
“They are excited about going down there,” Housey said. “(My wife) is nervous, but she understands that I like to get out and explore.”
Housey has put in plenty of time at Lay Lake and other waterways getting a feel for the WaveRunner, and will be carrying a plethora of safety equipment with him on the watercraft.
The longest distance he will travel between marinas will be about 130 miles, and Housey said he usually is able to get about 150 miles out of a tank of gas.
“I’ve always been a water person,” Housey said. “With this trip, I didn’t want to do the same thing that everyone else does.”
During the journey, Housey will be posting regular updates to a Facebook page he set up to document the trip at Facebook.com/albinohummingbird.