JET SKI TOUR WITH H20 WATERSPORTS

 

So the following were my plans for our last day in Bermuda and I had really hoped that nothing went wrong because the other 2 days did not exactly go as planned and already Kendra and family was missing. Just great!

 

DAY 3

 

​Catch cab to H2O watersports at 30 Kings Point, Sandys

441-234-3082

8 minute taxi from dockyard.

 

$135 per jet ski-rent 3 two seater jet skis.

 

Boat= $80 first hour $30 every hour after and renting for 3 hours total (charged for 2 hours) =$140 for 3 hours.

 

(plus gas at $11/gallon up to 5 gallons?) (take $40 for gas)

 

 9:30 leave dockyard in taxi

10:00-11:15 jet ski tour

11:30-3:30 17’ motorboat rental around west end.

3:45 catch taxi back to dockyard

 

All aboard 5:00pm

 

We picked H20 Watersports for several reasons. First it was mentioned on here by someone on the boards that I trust their judgment and have been talking to them for many years on the St Thomas board. We seem to enjoy the same type of things and places. Another reason, they were closer to the dockyard, saving time and money in taxi fees. Next reason, I emailed this place AND Sommerset and H20 immediately got back to me and answered my questions and it took Sommerset days and days to respond to me and they did not even answer my questions appropriately. When I emailed Sommerset back, I never did get another response up until the day we left. H20 seemed to be pretty much on the ball and they also gave us a "deal" for renting both the jet skis and the motor boat....so H20 it was and they would be getting my business!!!

 

We were told that you catch the taxi's right as soon as you leave the ship area at #1. The person directing the "taxis" ask where we were going and we told him, but told him we were waiting on the rest of our party of 3 more. He said he would call as soon as we were ready.

 

Kendra, of course, was nowhere to be found. I thought for sure that we would find her outside waiting for us. We waited...and waited...and waited...and it was now 9:45am. Much later than what we had anticipated and at that point I was fed up of playing the waiting game and made the executive decision that we would just go ahead and leave for our tour. I was very disappointed and "hoped" (fingers crossed) that Kendra and family would already be waiting at H2O for us because quite honestly, this tour was not going to be the same or fun if they were not along...after all, she did come up with this idea. :(

 

Up next...will Kendra be waiting for us at H2O...what do you think?? :p

So we get in the taxi and the driver turns around to head out and he ask where we were going. When I told him H20, he had no idea who they were or where it was located. I even gave him the address and he still didn't know. He pulled back around and ask the taxi "director" who gave him the directions. (I thought that was weird because I would later ask H20 how long they were in business and they said over 20 years).

 

It was about 8-10 minutes to the place and the taxi cost $14.50 to get there....of which we were SUPPOSED to split between Kendras fam and us!

 

We pull up and I see nothing but the workers there. I guess Kendra had not decided to head there and I was so disappointed at this point.

 

I went inside to check in and told them that I was unsure of what happened to the rest of our party and we were unable to find them. I ask if they were somewhere around here just waiting to pop out and yell "surprise mom! We actually made it some place on our own without you" but that didn't happen.

 

As I was checking in and going over everything with the worker I hear the hubby outside laughing. I look outside...and there is Kendra and family pulling up. Whew...they made it AFTER jumping in the cab at 9:35 at the pier...but NOT at the #1 station and instead was waiting over at the very last station, which is over by the ferry line, and NOT knowing where she was going or what the place was called...just jumped in the cab and told them to take her to the "Jet ski renting place"...which meant that they took her to Sommerset. Once there, they had no reservation for them of course, offered them a "deal" for the day and then was nice enough to say "Just know that if you paid by cc with the other place and you don't show up, they will still charge your cc and you'll be paying twice". So, she jumped back in the cab and Sommerset told the cab to take them to H2O and see if that's where they needed to be. A $24 taxi ride and they found us. Whew.

 

NOW THE PROBLEM STARTS WITH THE RENTALS....

Then we are told this....

 

"Ok, now that you are all here, I have to let you know that we lost a few of our jet skis this morning. We normally have 5 of them and we are down to only 2."

 

Wait...how do you "lose a few jet skis?"

 

He told us that one had an issue that morning while out on the water and another person had ramped a huge wake while out and messed up the motor? or something that broke. They have ordered the parts and would be in later today, but could not assure us that it would be fixed in time. We leave Bermuda tolday, so "later today" was not in our vocabulary. He never did tell us what happened to the 3rd one...unless that was the one for the guide?

 

So, our only options were to get 2 of the 3 jet skis we had ordered....but we had 6 people. He told us that the jet skis they had held 2-3 people. We had the option of one family riding with 3 people, another with 2 people and the tour guide could take 1 of the little ones....or the tour guide could take both little ones and us just have 2 people each.

 

Well, I knew this was Sakari's first time on a jet ski and she might get a little freaked out and not know what to do. So I opted to let her ride with the tour guide, which ended up getting switched right before we went out to her just riding in the middle of us.

 

We debated back and forth what to do. Kendra was unhappy about the entire situation and even suggested that we go over to Sommerset for the "deal" they were going to give us instead. I really didn't want to go anywhere else since it was already past the time we were to start the tour and now all this.

 

Then they told us they would give us the early bird special for the trouble since it was their fault for not having enough equipment. That meant that we were going to be renting them for $115 instead of the $135. Saving a total of $40 so whatever. We were just ready to get started.

 

Now Kendra and Billy own their own jet skis, they own their own boat. We go to the lake with them a few times a year for boating, but they have tubes that they pull us in. Sakari has done that many times and loved it, but she had never actually rode on a jet ski. The hubby has drove a jet ski before, but not what I would call an "experienced driver" by any means, but did know what to do.

 

I did mention this to the tour guide and told him not to go super fast due to not knowing how this was all going to go down with us. He agreed and just said to never form a straight line and stagger each other and never get close and keep our distances...and keeping our distance would end up being the story of the day....just saying. Then he gave us the "hand signals" we had to know, started us up and away we went.

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We were keeping our distance, which meant we were last in line. Last in line is sometimes never a good thing.

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We headed out to the open ocean and it got quite bumpy out there. Being last in line meant we would also be not only fighting the waves, but fighting the other 2 jet skis wake....not good according to Sakari. She started screaming and freaking out! She was totally scared. This is the child who has never been scared of anything in the past...not swimming with sharks, not jumping off 2 story buildings into the water, not zip lining by herself, not holding a tarantula...the list goes on. But this freaked her out. Sigh...I would have never thought.

 

Our tour guide Stephan was out of site and we could barely see Kendra and the family at this point, but did remember what direction they were headed and where we seen their tiny dots last and kept going.

 

When we finally caught up and told them that Sakari was totally freaking out and screaming and we would have to go slower, plus hitting the wakes of everyone and the water being wavy, the tour guide said he would take us into the Bay instead of the open water and let her adjust to the water there. So off we went, once again watching them becoming a dot in the water. But, we were ok with this and just going at our own pace. :p

The day would continue with them (tour guide and Kendras fam) pretty much pushing the limit of the jet skis (which they said goes around 50mph) and us falling behind to assure Sakari that things were ok and just taking our time until the dots in the water became people again.

 

Stephan would stop every so often to give us a little history. This would be our first history lesson of the tour.

 

The homes that you see with the detached little building with pointed little roofs on them were built as a cooler for your meats and refrigerator items back in the day. They are called a buttery. They built them with the tall roofs, because heat rises and in would make the bottom of them cool where they could store perishable items at. I remember seeing some of these along the water when we were on the ferry from Hamilton to the dockyard and the hubby was convinced it was a secret passage from the house (which usually sat up on the hill), down to the water to get on their boat. LOL Kendra was convinced it was just a changing room for the pool since we had one at our house by the pool back when they were growing up. LOL

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He also gave us a history lesson behind the white roofs. Drinking water has always been a concern for Bermuda and scarce. These roofs were built to collect the running water for use. They are made of a white cement and compound, which sanitizes the rainwater that then runs off into a holding tank. Another benefit of the white roof is that is that it keeps the homes cooler and reduces the cost of air. (Sorry for the blurry picture...we found it a little hard to remain still with the engine running and I completely forgot to put my camera in sport mode...duh).

 

Next up would be the smallest draw bridge in the world, the Somerset Bridge.

 

This bridge is the smallest working drawbridge in the world and connects Somerset Island with the mainland of Sandy's parish. It was originally built in 1620 and rebuilt again in the mid 20th century. It is cranked open by hand and has an 18" gap. When a sail boat wants to pass under the bridge, the draw bridge would be opened and a pedestrian would hold on to the sail to help guide it through the bridge. How cool is that?

 

Now I did read somewhere that the bridge had to be opened every so often to retain it's name as the smallest "drawbridge" in the world. I ask Stephan about it and he had not heard of that so I'm not sure.

 

Also the concrete you see sticking up out of the water I believe he said use to be the structures along the water for the train? The bridge is gone but these remain.

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We did keep seeing turtles pop their heads up but they are so quick that I couldn't get my camera turned on fast enough to focus and get a picture.

 

We headed off toward the bridge.

The slowest we would go the entire day...and Sakari was finally happy. LOL

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The next history lesson pertained to the Bermuda Long Tails...the Bermuda bird. They were very elegant and beautiful. The males have the long tails and the females the short tails. Stephan told us they were no longer allowed to carve into the rocks because that is where the longtails nest. Even though they have "official" dates like we do as to when summer is officially here, the locals go by the longtail birds. When they return, THAT is when summer is officially here to them. The only time that I was able to get any pictures of them was our first day at Horseshoe Bay. So sorry, no additional pictures of the beautiful birds.

 

But here we have another turtle popping his head up out of the water....DUDE! (nemo) Or do we?? Where did it go??? I tell ya it was just there.

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The next history lesson pertained to the Bermuda Long Tails...the Bermuda bird. They were very elegant and beautiful. The males have the long tails and the females the short tails. Stephan told us they were no longer allowed to carve into the rocks because that is where the longtails nest. Even though they have "official" dates like we do as to when summer is officially here, the locals go by the longtail birds. When they return, THAT is when summer is officially here to them. The only time that I was able to get any pictures of them was our first day at Horseshoe Bay. So sorry, no additional pictures of the beautiful birds.

 

 

But here we have another turtle popping his head up out of the water....DUDE! (nemo) Or do we?? Where did it go??? I tell ya it was just there.

 

 

 

 

The one thing that I have always wanted to see out in the water (especially snorkeling) was a turtle. I have never seen one yet. I even went to Paradise Cove in Freeport (where they are known to be spotted all the time daily) just to see one and still couldn't find any. Sigh.

 

So we were just going to sit here and wait for more to pop their heads out of the water. Here's another

 

 

 

Dangit I'm just too late. But I do see the small water bubble and ring it left as it hurried back down in the water. I just couldn't win.

 

Stephan did give us a little history on the turtles...and this is MY version that I thought I heard. The sea turtles born here will hatch, grow and then head off into the sea. They are known to end up in places like (from what I remember) Grand Cayman, some place in the Virgin Islands and another place I completely forgot...maybe Jamaica? Then when it was time to lay eggs again, they make the swim back to Bermuda to lay their eggs where they originally hatched from and start the process all over with. Somehow the hubby heard the complete opposite story. They hatch in the Caribbean, swim to Bermuda and then back to the Caribbean to repeat the process. ??? No idea. But you get the idea.

 

I then ask Stephan if we were going to get to see the Vixen...yep, on our way right now.

 

The Vixen was built in 1865 as a gun boat and is just off the shore of Daniels Head. However, she was just too slow to take into open water and they decided to purposely sink her as a way to keep other attack ships out of the area. However, when they did this, they blew her to pieces and it broke apart...not as expected. The bow sits just above the water and this is a spot that a lot of people like to snorkel at along with a lot of glass-bottom boat tours coming here.

I had read prior to going that the fish in this area knew when people come and they come out in herds. At soon as we stopped...they all started swimming toward us.

It was kind of amazing to see them all head in our direction at the same time. Before long there were so many of them and Sakari was thrilled at the site.

Now I know that people always gripe about not feeding the fish, but I can tell you that every single time we have ever went somewhere, the guides will bring stuff to feed the fish and even on the beach they will give you stuff to feed them. I don't understand how locals that should know better will continue to do this. Everyone will tell you how the fish become accustomed to this, how it messes up the reef system and so on. But yet it is still done and will continue to be done for many years to come by locals, tour guides and people visiting. I don't see it ever stopping and I'm not arguing about it, confessing to it or denying it and that's all I'm saying.

 

Stephan brought "Kettle Chips"...this would be the first I have ever seen this. The fish sure did like them...and so did Sakari. Just saying... He would give her some to feed the fish, and she was caught eating them herself. LOL

I seriously don't think I have seen that many fish at the same time in 1 place. They must all live in the shipwreck. LOL

 

Then we were off again, this time trying out the open waters again and hoping for the best.

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We cruised around the outside of the land around the little islands. I had researched ahead of time knowing that there were a few small islands with sand around the same area that H20 was located. I wanted to visit them when we got our boat and ask Stephan about them. I had seen pictures online saying "Private Property" and such. Stephan informed me that ALL beaches and islands are considered public, so we wouldn't have a problem stopping at any of them. Hey, as long as I wasn't going to be shot or taken into custody, then I was good to go...and would have Stephans number on speed dial just in case.

 

Sakari finally had a smile on her face and started to enjoy the jet skis.

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Although I have to admit, I had to gripe a little at daddy telling him, what I thought was the obvious, to stay OUT of Kendra and Stephans wake and it would be a much smoother ride. We did hit one of their wakes and few up in the air a bit and the landing was less than pleasant on my insides...especially after my coughing fit I had that morning. After that is when I gave him the "lesson" on staying to the side of the wake. I always knew from previous experience that the slower you go the bumpier it is. So, when you went faster, it glided across the water and makes for a smoother ride. We just had to get past this screaming fit Sakari had and it would go a whole lot better...and it did.

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I was getting a little more comfortable with the ride itself and was able to actually let go for moments to capture some pictures as we were riding by. LOL

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There was one time we were heading back toward the bay and I yelled STOP!!! Turtle spotting. But like always dude quickly dipped below the surface but at least we were able to see quite a few more turtles and of course the only turtles we had ever seen before...was here in Bermuda. Sakari squealed with excitement each time.

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We pulled back up to the area where H2O was located and he gave us a tour from 10:30 until around 11:45ish. So we managed to get our full 1 hour 15 minutes of tour time (even though he had offered to go longer if we wanted or whatever it took to compensate us for our troubles of not having 3 jet skis) but I swear the tour seemed like it was a 1/2 day tour. It felt like it went on forever and it was so much fun that if I had to put money on it, I would have said we were out there for at least 2 1/2 hours or longer. It was that good.

 

Idling at the dock waiting for our instructions to come in and park...it was time to take a selfie with Kendra and the fam in the background.

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Once again, a turtle pops up and back down again before I could get it. But hey, at least there were other things in the picture that I could just claim like that's what I was actually taking the picture of.

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I really was upset after returning home that I did not manage to get more pictures of our time jet skiing. I really did think I had more pictures than this but I think I must have been so caught up in the moment and having fun that I must have just forgotten to take more pictures. I will know NEXT time to remember to take more of this eventful day.

Once we pull our jet skis back up to the beach area, we spotted a turtle there in the water. Stephan said that it's a (different) type of turtle and not one you would find around there and he's wondering if it might be someone's pet that got out because normally they don't like salt water. He adventured out into the water, kinda got stuck up against the wall acting like he wanted out and then disappeared.

 

We gathered all of our things they had put in baskets (now in case you were wondering, they do NOT have lockers. They give you big baskets to put your things in and then they put it on a shelf behind the counter. So, if you have any valuables or money, please take that with you.) and we were ready to rent our 17' motor boat.

 

There was a couple that had arrived right when we were pulling up and they were helping them with the directions of the boat, the map and so on. So we had to wait. I do remember writing to them asking "When we get done with the jet ski tour, will our boat be ready and we can pretty much hop of the jet skis and get on the boat and go saving precious time since we are on a big time frame limit?" Their response was yes, but this wasn't holding true of course.

 

We waited for them to finish up with the other couple and get them on their merry way. We took a break and got some cold pop (they have a refrigerator there that they sell pop from for $2.00 each) and took a bathroom break. They still had to fill the coolers with ice and they gave us some noodles for the kids if they wanted to swim with them and also threw in an extra snorkel set in case we needed it.

Next up was renting the whaler boat.

You can find that review located here....(click boat)