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Whether it's renting a glass-bottomed kayak for a gentle paddle over the reefs, taking a motorboat for a spin, or spending an adrenaline-filled afternoon wakeboarding, getting out on the water is an essential part of the Bermuda experience.
Bermuda Waterski and Wakeboard Centre. International competitor Kent Richardson represented Bermuda at nine World Championships and has also been in the Pan Am games. He took a trick skiing bronze medal at the Latin American games, but don't be intimidated—he's also a patient teacher. His business operates at the same location as Somerset Bridge Watersports at Robinson's Marina from May to September. The choice is yours what you want to do: you can take your pick from waterskiing, wakeboarding, surfing or tubing, or mix it up with a bit of everything. Kent charges for his time and splits the total bill among however many people are on the boat. He can take up to six at a time, but three or four is usually a good number to allow a decent amount of time using the equipment. Robinson's Marina, Somerset Bridge, Sandys Parish, MA06. 441/234–3354.
Blue Hole Watersports. Blue Hole, based out of the Grotto Bay Resort, has you covered in the East End of the island. Cruise the waters and soak up some rays in a Fun Cat, a low-powered floating deck chair, for $35 per half hour or $50 for an hour. You can rent kayaks; a single costs $20 for the first hour, and a double costs $30 for the first hour, then $15 per hour. Blue Hole also offers windsurfing and sunfish sailboat rentals for around $35 per hour, and motorboats starting at $100 for two hours. There's a gorgeous sheltered beach with a small wreck sunk just off-shore for snorkelers. A snorkeling set is $8 an hour or $24 for 24 hours. Grotto Bay Beach Resort, 11 Blue Hole Hill, Bailey's Bay, Hamilton Parish, CR04. 441/293–2915 or 441/293–8333 Ext. 37. www.blueholewater.bm.
Fantasea Bermuda. You're spoiled for choice with this one-stop recreational company. There are snorkeling tours, diving, sightseeing cruises, glass-bottom boat trips, and even banana boat rides. The whale-watching tours in March and April are immensely popular, when you can get close to the majestic humpbacks as they migrate north. Take your pick of a cruise-and-kayak or boat-and-bike ecotour for a closer look at some of the prettiest spots on the island. The three-hour Catamaran Coral Reef Snorkel aboard a luxury catamaran costs $69, while a 90-minute sunset sail with complimentary Dark 'n Stormy and live music costs $50. Inshore fishing trips are also offered at $95 per person ($50 for children). Most tours depart from Dockyard, near the cruise ship terminal. Fantasea tours are booked through Island Tour Centre; their website has a detailed list of daily activities, which you can book online. 441/236–1300. www.islandtourcentre.com.
Pompano Beach Club. For a more relaxed aquatic experience, check out Pompano Beach Club. Several low-powered vessels are available including a SunCat cruiser ($60 per hour), Hobie Cat sailboat ($60 per hour), two-person glass-bottom kayak ($40 per hour), and water tricycle ($30 per hour). Rates are cheaper for hotel guests. The water-sports center is open from May to October. Snorkeling equipment is available to rent at $6 per hour; the club also offers snorkeling trips, harbor cruises, and fishing trips. 36 Pompano Beach Rd., Southampton Parish, SB03. 441/234–0222. www.pompanobeachclub.com.
Somerset Bridge Watersports. Located right next to the Somerset Bridge, this West End outfitter rents Boston Whalers (13- and 15-foot) and Pontoon boats (21-foot). Rates for the Boston Whalers start at $95 for two hours, $145 for four hours, $200 for six hours, or $260 for eight hours, plus the cost of gas. For Pontoon boats expect to pay upwards of $300 for four hours. You can also take a speed tour of the western end of the island on a Jet Ski for $125 for a single and $135 for a double. The tour will take you flying over crystal clear waters, weaving through coral reefs, and under the world's smallest draw bridge. Prices include a paid taxi ride to or from Dockyard; be aware that groups are kept small, so big parties may need to split up. Single and double kayaks are also available starting at $25 an hour. Robinson's Marina, Somerset Bridge, Sandys Parish, MA06. 441/234–0914. www.bdawatersports.com.
H20 Sports. Located at Mangrove Bay, Somerset, H20 offers just about everything there is to do on the water: sailing, boat rentals, kayaking, as well as instruction from experienced mariners. Formerly called Windjammer Watersports, it continues to rent 17-foot-long motorboats for $80 for the first hour, plus $30 for each additional hour. Adventurous explorers and independent anglers can take out a 17-foot sailboat at $80 for the first hour, and $10 for each additional; 90-minute sailing lessons are available if you need a refresher. See the island at speed with a guided Jet Ski tour for $135 or snorkel at your own pace—gear costs $20 for 24 hours. You can rent mask, snorkel, and flippers here for $20 per 24-hour period. The staff will happily explain the best snorkeling spots to visit and what marine life to look out for. Cambridge Beaches Resort, 30 Kings Point Rd., Sandys Parish, MA02. 441/234–3082. firstname.lastname@example.org. www.h2osportsbermuda.com.
Snorkel Park Beach. This family-friendly venue has all the water sports you could want in one location. It's tucked away through a limestone tunnel in the northwest corner of Dockyard, next to the National Museum of Bermuda, but it's just a stone's throw from the cruise-ship pier. Jet Ski tours are offered for $145 per hour and $270 for two hours. Kayaks can be put to good use for $25 an hour, or you can rent a paddleboat for the same price. Snorkeling equipment is available starting at $10 an hour. The kids will love the free buckets and sand toys as well as the huge waterslide. Scuba dives and power snorkel excursions can also be arranged and there's a resaturant and bar on-site to keep parents busy. The beach is closed from November through April. 7 Maritime Lane, Dockyard, Sandys Parish. 441/234–6989. www.snorkelparkbeach.com. Mon.-Sat.: $5, free for children 12 and under; Sun.: $10.
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