Renting a Boston whaler from Somerset Bridge Watersports was the perfect active adventure on our recent romantic getaway to Bermuda.
When I travel, I prefer to get away from busy tourist attractions and experience a destination in a more personal way. I cannot imagine a better way to see Bermuda than by renting a motorboat from Somerset Bridge Watersports and exploring the many islands and harbors that make up this beautiful country.
Somerset Bridge Watersports rents jet skis, self-driven motorboats (Boston whalers), and kayaks to the adventurous who are ready to explore Bermuda on their own. We chose a Boston whaler because we dreamed of picnicking on our own private beach and dropping anchor to go snorkeling wherever we wanted.
I have to admit that before I went, I had visions of Gilligan's Island and deserted white-sand beaches with palm trees. While it was not quite a remote as that, I was delighted to find private beaches we could explore. We waved to many other boats but enjoyed the serenity of being alone.
If you rent a Boston whaler from Somerset Bridge Watersports, here is what you can expect.
My husband is an experienced boat driver, but I felt so comfortable in our Boston whaler that I was willing to take the helm. Somerset Bridge Watersports gave us a thorough orientation and training on how to handle this unsinkable boat. We had a full gas tank and one to spare, two detailed maps with clear instructions on places we might like to stop, and a cell phone to call them in case of emerency. After a thorough orientation, I felt completely comfortable with our ability to navigate the islands.
2. Wonderful tour of Somerset Island
After our orientation, we pulled into Elys Harbour, which was filled with sailboats and yachts. We headed north and stayed near the coast to see the homes, resorts, and beaches along the way.
As we approached the top of Somerset island, we came to the wreck of the Vixen. This wreck is a snorkler's delight because part of the ship is still above the water so it is easy to explore the wreck from above. The fish love to feed around the wreck, and as our boat approached they swarmed our boat looking for bread. Luckily, Somerset Bridge Watersports sent me with several rolls that I could feed the fish. Hundreds of fish followed our boat as we explored the wreck.
Next we passed Daniel's Head and the deserted Nine Beaches. We stopped on one of those nine beaches for a quiet picnic lunch. Later we stopped at Middle Island and snorkeled all around three beautiful, uninhabited islands.
We were feeling adventurous so we crossed the Great Sound and motored around the islands in the sound. These islands are privately owned so there was not a good place to stop and get out, but it was fun to see them. The wind was picking up as left, and it was a bumpy ride across the waves in the harbor. I was glad for my husband's boating skills in the Great Sound.
We finished our tour around the island by crossing under Somerset Bridge, which boasts the smallest drawbridge in the world.
3. Excellent snorkeling
You could pay a snorkeling outfitter to take you to Middle Island to snorkel, or you can take yourself in a Boston whaler. We anchored our boat on the island and jumped in the water to explore. Visibility was good and the minute we put our face in the water we were surrounded by fish. We loved the flexibility of snorkeling on our own timetable and then relaxing on the warm sand to dry off.
Tips for boating with Somerset Bridge Watersports
- Bring a lunch or buy snacks at the gas station next door before you leave. We borrowed a cooler with ice from Somerset Bridge Watersports to keep our drinks and sandwiches cold.
- Bring a waterproof camera. I pulled my iphone out for a few pictures, but I was most comfortable taking pictures with my waterproof camera.
- Navigate carefully. The day was relaxing, except for navigating the corals as we pulled into the beaches. The water is clear enough to easily see the hazards, but in the shallow waters it was a little difficult to navigate all the reefs as we approached the shore. Slow down and keep your eyes open and you will be fine.
- Plan on about four hours. I wasn't sure how long to reserve the boat for, and I didn't want to feel rushed so I opted for six hours. We took our time and were gone for five hours, but we could have easily enjoyed our tour in four hours. If you plan to do a lot of snorkeling or want to fish, you would want to reserve six or eight hours, but otherwise four hours will be sufficient.
- Start early. We loved our early start because we got to snorkel before many of the tourist snorkeling boats were out. We also got first-dibs on secluded beaches when we wanted to stop and get out of the boat.
- Learn how to use the anchor. The only tricky part of the boat for me was figuring out how to set the anchor. You don't want to be stranded on an island (although there are plenty of boats you could signal for help), so make sure you know how to secure the anchor before you depart.
- You can rent snorkel gear from Somerset Bridge Watersports.
When we were trying to decide where to go on vacation, this outing with Somerset Bridge Watersports was what convinced us to visit Bermuda. We loved the idea of exploring and being alone on vacation. Our day on the Boston whaler was one of the highlights of our trip to Bermuda.
Looking for accomodations or other things to do in Bermuda? Check out our Bermuda page here.
Disclosure: I received a reduced rate on my rental from Somerset Bridge Watersports for the purpose of reviewing it for you. As always, all opinions expressed here are my own.