We spend the majority of the third day of our week-long trip to Bermuda exploring by sea via a boat rental. Prior to the trip we researched multiple boat rental companies on the island and ended up choosing a 15-foot Boston Whaler rental from Somerset Bridge Watersports. A six-hour rental seemed to be the best fit for what we wanted to do since it would allow us time to enjoy beaching the boat on an island. We were very happy with this decision and spent nearly three and a half hours relaxing on Middle Kings Point. The cost of the rental was $230 and we used almost 3 gallons of fuel which at $10 a gallon came to $29.
After arriving at the marina by taxi we were given a quick summary of the do’s and don’t’s for the rental including where to and where not to go. They say they rent boats to people without any boating experience but we would not recommend that. We are also happy that we chose the “larger” 40 hp 15-foot Boston Whaler vs a smaller 30hp 13-foot Boston Whaler. We saw a group of four adults crammed onto a tiny 13-footer and it seemed tight.
The boat rental company provided us a cooler with ice and bottles of water. I had to ask for more ice since we were doing a 6-hour rental and they only gave us a tiny amount and they quickly obliged. We were also provided with bread to feed the fish.
Once leaving the dock we set out toward the HMS Vixen shipwreck. Once at the wreck we fed the bread to the fish which were jumping out of the water and practically onto the boat. The kids really enjoyed feeding the fix and seeing the shipwreck up close. The water was a little rough so we didn’t attempt any snorkeling at the wreck but on calmer days it seems like it would be a lot of fun.
Our next stop on our adventure was to find a place to beach the boat. The rental company recommended the islands near Kings Point, northeast of the Vixen. We wouldn’t recommended someone who has never operated a boat before trying to beach it as there were a lot of rocks and sometimes it was difficult to determine what were rocks and what were seaweed. An first time boater might be better off anchoring and wading in the shore (or doing a charter with a captain to do all the work for you).
After beaching the boat on the island we unloaded our things (beach blanket, beach toys, snacks, lunch, and most importantly our adult beverages). While the kids built sand castles and splashed around we enjoyed the Bloody Mary and Screwdriver cocktails we brought with us.
Snorkeling at the island was decent and it was nice to basically have our own private island to enjoy. After lunch and about three and half hours on the island we decided to push off for our next destination. Although we have a lot of boating experience this was our first time with a pull start outboard motor instead of an electric starter. Needless to say, the engine was a bit cold after being off for so long and it took us nearly 15 minutes to finally get the engine started. This was the only negative part of the whole excursion and we were able to laugh it off afterwards. But while storm clouds were approaching and we were driving toward rocks it was a bit harrowing.
After getting the engine started we headed to the Ground Sound via heading back to Somerset Bridge since it was too windy to travel via the Watford Bridge. There were lots of sea turtles and we’d have like to shut the engine and drift a bit to not scare them off but after the difficulty getting the engine started we didn’t want to deal with that again.
Traveling under Somerset Bridge was a fun experience. It’s supposedly the shortest drawbridge in the world and the canal under it is so narrow that there’s a traffic signal to alternate the direction of one-way boat traffic. Once our direction had the green light was travel under the bridge and out into the Great Sound. We enjoyed zipping around the sound and letting the kids have their turn at driving the boat.
Eventually it was time to head back to the dock and end our six-hour rental. A great time was had by all and we’d definitely recommend a boat rental as a great way to explore Bermuda.
After getting back to our rental home we swam in the pool for a while before dinner outside on the patio. We cooked dinner for the kids and picked up some takeout Chinese food at the nearby Wok Express restaurant. Prices at Wok Express were very reasonable and the food was enjoyable. The sushi was actually better than expected and beers were only $3 each which is very good for Bermuda prices.