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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 mid-April to October. It's $190 for the hour, $100 per half hour. 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. The price is for the time, which is split 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 Sun 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 $90 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 $65, 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. Most tours depart from Dockyard, near the cruise ship terminal. Fantasea will even book golf tee times and spa treatments for you. Go the Web site for a list of daily activities; you can book online. 5 Point Pleasant Rd., Albuoy's Point, Hamilton, HM11. 441/236-1300. www.fantasea.bm.
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 also available to rent at $6 per hour. 36 Pompano Beach Rd., Southampton Parish, SB03. 441/234-0222. www.pompanobeachclub.com.
Somerset Bridge Watersports. This West End outfitter rents 13- and 15-foot Boston Whalers and is right next to Somerset Bridge. Rates are $75 for two hours, $120 for four hours, $165 for six hours, or $200 for eight hours, plus the cost of gas.You can also take a speed tour of the western end of the island on a Jet Ski for $105 for a single and $125 for a double. The tour takes you through Ely's Harbour, Mangrove Bay, above the Sea Gardens coral formations and to the Vixen shipwreck site. Groups are kept small—no more than six Jet Skiers per guide. Single and double kayaks are also available starting at $15 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. Mariners can take out a 17-foot sailboat at $80 for the first hour, and $10 for each additional. 90-minute sailing lessons are also available. See the island at speed with a guided Jet Ski tour for $135. Snorkeling gear costs $20 for 24 hours. Cambridge Beaches Resort, 30 Kings Point Rd., Sandys Parish, MA02. 441/234-3082. firstname.lastname@example.org. www.h2osportsbermuda.com.
Snorkel Park Beach. This new 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 $85 per half hour and $145 for an hour. Kayaks can be put to good use for $20 an hour, or you can rent a paddleboat for the same price. Snorkeling equipment is $10 an hour. The kids will love it as they get free buckets and sand toys and there's a huge waterslide for them. Scuba dives can also be arranged. There's a bar and resaturant on-site, but there's also a $5 daytime admission. The beach is closed from November through April. 7 Maritime Lane, Dockyard, Sandys Parish. 441/234-6989. www.snorkelparkbeach.com. $5.
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