MITSUGIRLYS DAWN TO BERMUDA NOVEL (or review and pictorial as some may call it)
Day 6: Renting jet skis and a boat and exploring
So here we go. DAY 5 of the cruise and DAY 3 in Bermuda.
Today is the day that I believe I came down with my "sickness", well at least showed signs of symptoms. I woke up at 4:30 this morning with a terrible cough. I could not stop. I could not clear my throat no matter how hard I coughed. I had a bit of a wheeze and the sound of that alone was keeping me from falling back to sleep. I was afraid of waking up the family with my hacking that I decided to get dressed and go out for some fresh air.
I headed out to the pool deck to just "sit" for awhile. To my surprise there were about 5 guys out in the hot tub, just standing in it, beer in hand, yelling at people walking by "Hey there, how ya doing?" they'd say. :rolleyes: I stayed out there coughing over and over trying my best to shake this frog in my throat to clear it and get the wheeze gone. Then I headed back to the room and laid back down around 6am only to wake up again at 7:30 when my alarm went off for the day.
All this talk about being the "planner" I did let Kendra take the reins and participate in the planning of this day. I had all of our plans figured out months prior and every time she ask about this last day (you know, so that she could make up her last folder and put the money in it for that day), I had no answer.
It was getting really close to the time we were to leave and she said "I would really like to go jet skiing!!!" So she started researching places there and sending me the links. I would research, look at the reviews, email them with questions and then we would finally pick one. I remember reading several post on "renting a boston whaler" and I had absolutely no clue what that was but did see that they carried them at all the jet ski rental places. So that was my next research.
We had finally figured it out!!! We were renting jet skis for part of the day and a "boat" for the next part and only a few days to spare before we left on the cruise. :p
We headed over to the buffet for breakfast, after dropping one of my batteries off at the photo shop first thing in the morning...and yes, it was finally returned AND we were actually walking through the area and THEY stopped me and said "Do you still need your camera charged? It's returned now." I was shocked after the attitude they had given me all week. We then called Kendra at 8:15 and told her that we NEEDED to be off the ship and grabbing a cab AT 9:30am the latest. Not...heading to our rooms to grab our beach bags at 9:30, not heading off the ship at 9:30, not walking along the pier at 9:30....getting IN the cab around 9:30. This would give us time to get there, sign in, get our "instructions/review on how-to", sign the papers and be off on our jet skis at 10am.
At 9am, I called Kendra's room. Chrissy said "they left for breakfast". When went back over to the buffet and did not find them. We circled. We came back and called again. Chrissy said "nope they never came back and they took their bags with them." Hmm. So that meant they had no intention of coming back to the room and that meant I was going to go ahead and get off the ship hoping that they would be out there waiting on us.
We took our obligatory picture for the day:
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!
Catch cab to H2O watersports at 30 Kings Point, Sandys
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....
So we are finally all here at H20. The moment we have been waiting for and what we thought would probably be one of the best days in Bermuda.
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.
We were keeping our distance, which meant we were last in line. Last in line is sometimes never a good thing.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
They gave us a map...which is the same map that you will receive when you get off the ship or the map they will send you on the Bermuda site if you request a packet. They will circle where they are located at and the area that you are allowed to take the boats. It does not go all the way toward the Southshore beaches. It's mainly around the Somerset area, circling into the bay and down around the ship and back around the other side going past the snorkel park area.
I knew I wanted to hit up sea glass beach as a stop and circle all the way around and head toward the ships for some pictures. Then continue into the bay until we got to the bridge by Somerset, passing H20, head back to the Vixen and then finish it off with a trip to a private island I had found on google earth.
Those were my plans...would it happen? Would ANYTHING go right for me as planned on this trip?
This is the map they gave us with the markings as to where we could go.
They started at the H2O location, under the Watford Bridge in the bay under the Somerset Bridge circle around toward the Vixen and back. Well, this is what we just did on the jet skis so we really didn't want to do that again.
I told them I wanted to head toward sea glass beach and circle around the ships and then back so he gave me that drawing...which of course is obvious what to do without a drawing or a map. Just saying...
From the markings he made on the map it looks like you can go all the way over to Pembroke Parish in the City of Hamilton if you'd like, but I'm not sure what is there and since I didn't research it, it wasn't something I was interested in doing. I see several little parks and islands listed on the map.
In the opposite direction you could go just past Sandy's Parish area all the way to the start of Southampton Parish. I remember reading about a pretty beach there, but I don't recall the actual name. Oh well, next time around we'll adventure out a little more now knowing where all you can actually go and having a map, I can plan a little better.
So like I said, my goal was to hit up sea glass beach. I did print off walking instructions just in case this was something we decided to do on one of the evenings...but I was talked out of that by our wonderful people here on cc saying it was too dangerous to do along the roads. So, plan 2 was to take the bus to the military cematary and be dropped off to walk down to the beach. Plan 3 I thought sounded so much funner...take our own private boat there instead!!! woo hoo
Here are my directions I printed prior to going:
The above was done by another cc member, I just copied it onto a word page and added things. So credit does NOT go to me.
We headed out and since I do such heavy planning and research, I knew what to look for when it came to Black Bay Beach. I immediately spotted it and knew that Sea Glass Beach had to be next to it...and it was very easy to spot.
We pulled up, but this area is VERY rocky. Not really a beach you would swim at and definitely not a beach/water area I would recommend just jumping in the water without water shoes on.
We pulled up and anchored, jumped out and headed for the beach.
The will be the very first time that I have ever seen what this "sea glass" stuff is. I hear (read) people talking about collecting this stuff for years now and never knew what it was. So here I am.
And here it is... Tons of glass everywhere.
So what is sea glass? It's basically "trash" that people have thrown into the ocean such as glass bottles, pottery, jars and so on. With the waves of the ocean and churning over and over, for many years, the glass becomes rounded and the entire piece feels smooth. Then the waves takes it to shore. I'm really not sure what determines how all this glass ends up particularly on THIS beach (and down on Alexandra's Battery Park) and I guess that would be something neat to look up. Maybe just the way the tide and waves come in. I don't know. I'm not an ocean expert, but I find it kinda neat.
This beach mostly had browns, greens, tans, white, off white and a few milky frosted looking light blue. I remember reading that red and blues are highly sought after and are very rare. I mean when I think about it, how often do you ever see any bottles that are red or blue these days? I remember some of my moms and grandma's knick knacks, but that's it.
The only other people that we seen there that day were 2 ladies. I will say that they had BAGS FULL of sea glass. At least 2 bags per lady and they weren't little bags either. I don't know if they were locals or from the ships.
Now I know I had read in the past that they have started posting signs that say that you are NOT allowed to remove any of the sea glass from THIS beach. However, you are allowed to take a few pieces from the sea glass beach over in St George. My question is How the heck would anyone know WHICH beach you took it from? Seriously? It's all the same. So, it seems like there have been reports of some of the sea glass being confiscated upon entry to the ship at times with no questions asked as to where you obtained them.
Oh well, I guess it's worth a shot and I will not admit nor deny anything that we did. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I also did not see any such sign saying you are not allowed to remove it...I came from the ocean, not the road. I plead the 5th, just saying. I did read someone say they had some in their hubbys shorts because it's not like it's detected in an xray machine, however I would think if you are thinking about taking more than a few pieces, then jingling will give you away...just saying.
Ladies in the background taking their MORE than fair share of goodies.
Some of the areas had it stacked pretty deep, others are just spread out on top of each other in places. I guess it would all depend on the tide that day.
We spent a good 1/2 hour there and then noticed this....our boat had floated up toward the shore. Oh just great! We knew this was going to be an adventure trying to get it back out because we were now going to have to hand push it out because we couldn't start the engine in the water there with all the rocks.
I adventured over to where they have these cheesy looking concrete walls that people have made and put designs in them with the sea glass.
Lots of various creations, I assume by the locals...
On the other side of this was even more of the sea glass along that beach as well.
There was plenty of it under the water not washed up on shore as well...(my attempt of an underwater shot)
Kendra was busy making her own little creation:
Then it was time for us to head out. We all started pushing the boat out and "trying" to get in the boat. I have to say this...it's NOT easy at all. They do provide you with a ladder that you hook to the side of the boat. It can only be hooked in 1 particular place and it attached there. Whenever I would try to get in, the entire boat ladder would kind of go under the boat (if that's not a sign to lose weight, I don't know what it is) and it would kind of throw me back. The other problem was that there's nothing to grab on to on the boat itself. The only thing around there are the strings/ropes/whatever you call it that holds up the little "sunroof awning" which isn't going to hold you. So, you are forced to have all the guys "trying" to hold your hand and pull you up. It took us all forever to get in the boat.
By the time we made it up there, we had drifted too far over toward the big rocks in the area. That was not a good sign. Kendra and I quickly jumped on the front of the boat and put our legs out to keep the boat from hitting it...the last thing we needed was any damage to occur to a boat that's not ours, and the guys once again had to jump off the boat and pull us back out then attempt to get back on in deeper water. Ugh.
WE MADE IT FINALLY>>>>WOO HOO
We were finally out deep enough that we could safely start our engines and get out of there.
We were off and headed on down toward the ships.
The water was just so beautiful and it seemed to be a much nicer ride in the boat than what the jet skis were earlier. Not as bumpy. However, you could tell that Billy was trying to get us wet on purpose and I caught one of his "splashes" in the following shot.
The kids were absolutely enjoying it. It was even neater when Sakari yells...there's our ship!!!
I'm really glad we decided to go down to Snorkel Park that first night and look around. Otherwise, I would have never really had a feeling for where we were at. In this following picture, I knew from the looks of it that this was the putt putt place within snorkel park.
And of course snorkel park...from a different perspective than what we had the other night. If you haven't noticed...we didn't have Billys sister or her daughter with us today for the simple fact that 1) she couldn't afford to rent the jet skis with us (and thank goodness because there wouldn't have been one to rent since most were broken down) and 2) the 17' motor boat is only allowed to have up to 6 people on it and we were already 6 people. So, her plans for the day was to go to Snorkel Park with her daughter and hang out. However, we would later find out that the daughter didn't want to go and had a bit of a sunburn, so they just hung out on the ship that day in the shade.
We came around the corner and we could see the ships. The kids got excited and to tell you the truth, I did too.
Everyone knows that I was on turtle hunt the entire time I was in Bermuda. I was determined to get a shot of one. I would yell STOP!!!! several times and it almost became like a game with Billy to see just how fast he could stop the boat when I yelled. Although it was always too late for me to get a picture, but they would at least see the turtle before it dove under again and they knew I wasn't lying.
We are headed toward the ships and I yell again
STOP!!!!! OMG STOP!!!!!
Now I have to tell you a little story first. Before we left on our boat trip I was talking to Stephan about getting out and snorkeling and fish and barracuda and everything else. He assured me that "You will not find anything in these waters that will hurt you" I had to laugh at the statement and he said to prove to him someone that had been attacked by a barracuda or any fish or anything in the waters like that. They are just curious and intimidating because they don't run from you like most other fish. He also said that you usually don't see sharks. I know I have read about barracudas attacking, maybe not in Bermuda, but I have read it before. I know that shiny jewelry and stuff will peak their curiosity and I usually don't stay around long enough to find out how curious they'll get.
With that being said....here we go.....again STOP THE BOAT RIGHT NOW!!!
Here's my find for the day:
Yep, a Portuguese Man-of-War. Tell me there's nothing in these waters again. Yep, you bet I told him when I returned about my find. He said "no way!" I said "Way and I have the pictures to prove it". I just wish I could get the pictures to him. LOL Maybe I'll email H2O and tell them to show him. LOL
It was weird to watch this thing. It would kinda curl up weird and then inflate. I'm not sure if that's the way they swim or that meant they just caught their pray in their tentacles. I do know that I had read that these are sometimes found around the Horseshoe Bay and Elbow Beach areas and I do recall seeing a sign over by Horseshoe. But this was no where near there. This was right over by the ship area.
Sorry this picture is a little blurred
Ok, that was no turtle, but I guess it will have to do.
We headed on around to the ships:
Does anyone know if there's a certain "stay away from the ships" rule? Like how far away you have to be? H2O did not mention it to us and I know they said you could go over by the ships, but it just seemed weird that they would let you close to them. We didn't have any police chasing us or anyone telling us to leave the area, but I kept telling Billy not to go too close for fear that we might be breaking a rule or something. Just wondering if anyone knows the laws about this.
After a few pics, we let a ferry go by and somehow ended up behind a wall that you can't get out of. LOL So we had to turn around to head back out and around the wall.
Down the bay we went checking out all the homes in the areas.
I just love all the bright colored homes in Bermuda. I hated that this particular picture came out so blurry because it was just loaded with the colors. You win some you lose some I guess.
We were coming to the bridge that I had calculated to be the Watford Bridge that we would need to go under and head to the other side.
As we approached we could see a guy standing up on the bridge right in the middle of the bridge in the highest section. We didn't notice until it was too late that the guy was fishing and his lines had moved toward the entrance of us going under the bridge and it caught our boat. Yes, he acted a little perturbed with us but my question is "why are you fishing right in the middle where it's the tallest place for boats to go under and we are not the only one passing under this area?"
Billy cut the engine on the boat and we tried to figure out where it was tangled at. The guy ended up just taking a knife out and cutting his line. Meanwhile...our boat didn't want to start up. Oh great did this line just mess our engine up? When it would start and you would give it gas, it would stall. We tried it over and over.
We seen another boat coming toward us. It was definitely bigger than us and one we would not want to play chicken with. I believe it was either a glass bottom boat or just a sight seeing tour. We could get our boat to start and go in reverse, but forward would just kill it. Finally Billy decided to rev the engine up and just go and it worked. I did mention this to Stephan when we returned and he said "Oh yea, I forgot to tell you that you can't ease into it in forward, you kinda have to gun it" LOL Well, that's what we did and he was right it worked. It just would have been nice to know prior to this happening.
We made it under the bridge with the other boat right beside us. I guess there's no courtesy rules in Bermuda and anything goes?
STOP!!!! STOP THE BOAT NOW!!!
Ok, I'm getting my picture of a turtle dammit! We are going to practice this stopping on a dime technique until you get it right Billy.
He stopped, I got my picture...although not a very clear picture, I still got one.
Hey Dude...you are gnarly.
We headed back past H2O and toward the small islands that I had researched on google earth that looked interesting. I also noticed that the big boat with tourist that almost plowed us over was heading that way too. I had REALLY hoped that they weren't heading to MY island I had planned. Please o please o please don't let it go there.
The other boat kept going and we immediately claimed our private oasis. It was beautiful and secluded.
We docked our boat a little ways out and Kendra and I didn't waste any time jumping in the water and snorkeling. We left the kids and the boys to fend for themselves. Us water girls don't waste any time I tell ya. I really didn't think there would be much to see around here since it looked like it was mostly a sandy bottom beach area, but I was wrong. There was lots of coral to see and really pretty.
The fish immediately came running to the boat as soon as we pulled up.
The kids had fun looking around in the water up and down the beach.
The color of the coral in this area was just gorgeous!
Then I spotted a sea cucumber. I love these little no brain animals. Yes, they have no true brain and instead have a nerve "ring". They don't have eyes but have a mouth. One fact I bet you all always wanted to know is that it breathes by drawing water into their anus and expelling it. That's all I really remember knowing about them when I looked it up once I found my very first sea cucumber at Little French Key in Roatan a few years ago. LOL But I guess those are the only facts one really needs to know about these things right?
Notice how nicely my scar is healing up on my arm? I knew the salt water would do it some good and my only concern was how much it was going to sting...but it didn't, at all.
I took it over for the kids to see because Sakari is just like me and has great interest in everything salt water. She has held them before, she knows not to keep it up out of the water and to gently release it back to the ocean floor. She knows that if it gets flipped over by mistake that it can and will flip itself back over on it's own.
I still can't believe this child trust me to continue to put things from the ocean in her hands after our last adventure of me putting a bearded fire worm in her hand that gave her multiple stings that would last for a good hour of solid crying. Yep, this girl still trust me after that with no hesitation. Just saying...
These sea cucumbers were everywhere. I think I must have seen at least 8-10 of them all in one section there.
More sea fans, soft and hard coral. Not as big as what we had seen the day before over at St George, but not small like we have seen in the Caribbean either. I just wish the pictures could show the true sizes of these things. They are just gorgeous!
Now I'm not sure about this coral, but the way that it looks, it reminds me of fire coral. Anyone? If so, I believe it's the only fire coral that I came across while here this trip...and Stephan said nothing will hurt you in the waters. Just saying...
I found this shell for Sakari. The sides were still attached to each other. All the others we have found were always apart. She brought this home with her. Kendra found some too, but still had creatures in them so I made her put them back and not open them.
Now I become very disgusted with my pictures after this. I decided to get out and explore the little area of the island. AND I HAD MAD WATER SPOTS. GRRRRR!!!! Man way to ruin a picture. I have been getting so good lately of checking for the water spots on the camera before taking a picture and I guess I just didn't do it this time and they all ended up with spots. I'm sorry. Sigh
As you could see, here comes that boat that almost ran us over and I took that as a "we're about to get crowded on this small island oasis and it's time to move on" hint. The fam was already either in our boat or getting in at that time and I headed back down the steps and back into the water.
Of course I didn't want to leave this island oasis until I at least got a good selfie before heading back to the boat. I believe we were probably here about 45 minutes to an hour. I know it was so beautiful and we were having such a good time that I didn't even bother to look at my watch because I could have cared less at that point. hee hee
Oh I did want to mention that I also came face to face with a barracuda while there snorkeling and I didn't stick around to see how nosy he wanted to be with me.
Now I will say that I discovered this time getting in the boat was a little easier and now I know why...so take note people. Everyone was over trying to help pull me up since there's nothing to grab onto, such as a handrail, on the boat. Once again, the ladder would kinda tip and instead of being verticle it would start to go horizontal and kinda under the boat. Finally I was like "everyone is on this side of the boat and weighing it down...go to the opposite side of the boat!" Once they did that, the ladder no longer went under the boat and up I climbed. Easy peasy. I'll know better next time. LOL
We headed out and around the 3 little islands there and I said I wanted to head back over to the vixen.
Some cute little cottages on the water. I bet those would be fun to stay at for a week. "Hey honey, I'm going to play in the front yard for a bit"...drop, kerplunk, and snorkel.
We made it to the Vixen and the fish come swimming like they were under attack mode. I had originally wanted to go back to kinda stick my camera under water and see if I could get any pictures of the ship itself, but there were people snorkeling in the area (a couple) and we kinda stayed back some.
Wow, I just noticed that it really doesn't look very deep right here??? I see some soft coral. Hmmm That's weird.
I really didn't realize it was this shallow. Is this ship sunk in a very shallow area? Is the ship not that big? I know that Stephan said that it was "blown up" unexpectedly and didn't remain whole, but I guess I thought there was almost a whole ship in the area and the water was deep. Am I wrong? I'll have to read up more on this.
I really can not believe the amount of fish at this location. It just amazes me. I know I have read many reviews talking about coming here to feed the fish alone and I just never imagined the AMOUNT of fish there are. More than I have ever seen any other place.
We cut the engine and kinda floated there admiring the fish and me taking pictures. We were all caught up in the moment that we hadn't realized that we had floated toward the ships bow and the snorkelers were trying to get out of our path. Oh my! I'm so embarrassed and now we are risking running into the Vixen! Just our luck. Kendra assumed the position of putting her legs out again. I couldn't help since I was all the way in the back at the moment. I guess it's a good thing that Kendra is used to this and they have owned several boats and go boating every weekend. This must happen a lot with them. LOL It's like natural instinct to stick your legs out to her.
Once again, Billy had problems starting the engine and getting it to go forward. He's like "hold on" and gunned the motor and away it went, right before we ever made contact with the Vixen...or should I say before Kendra had to make contact with it. Whew!
We apologized over and over to the snorkelers who had decided to swim back to their boat. I guess they had had enough of us at that point. I really did feel so bad. Geesh. I hope they're not reading this and learn my true identity.
A small little video of the fish coming to us...from far away:
We decided to head out after our little scare of getting too close to the Vixen and the hubby decided he wanted to drive the boat. I seen this as a good thing since I knew he would go a little slower for me to take pictures.
I know it's a little too dark and maybe hard to see, but would you look at that face. LOL
Along the way back toward H2O, I know there was a time I got to yell STOP!!! with the hubs driving the boat. I did spot another turtle but can not find the picture that I tried to get of the turtle. I'm really not sure what happened to it because the rest of the pictures all looked as if I was just taking pictures of the land around us. Hmmm But, he did stop quicker than Billy does...but then again, he was driving a lot slower too.
We passed the glass bottom boat and I'm pretty sure that's what this boat was. I remember seeing it docked somewhere (maybe at the dockyard on the day we took the ferry to St George) and it said glassbottom boat on is somewhere. I honestly took the picture because I really liked the pretty mural that was painted along the side of it, but with it being such a bright day and the blue water reflecting onto it and it being blue to begin with, it turned out a little darker than what I had hoped. Oh well.
We pulled back into H2O I think around 3:30pm-ish.
It was agreed by all that we had the most awesome day ever and this would definitely be something we will do again. I think we were out in the boat for about 3 hours and 30 minutes. The guys at H2O were awesome and treated us so well with the situation of having the jet skis break down and they were more than compensating. Like I have always said, I make the most of any situation I possibly can, even with these little bumps in the road, it was an awesome day!!!
We were to rent the boat for either 3 hours total and get a free hour making it 4 hours. We told them before we headed out that there's no way that we would be able to be out that long with our ship pulling out at 5:30 that day. I knew that I wanted to be done by 3:30 so that we would have time to catch a cab back to the dockyard and at least do some shopping and looking around before having to be back on the ship by 5pm.
They told us that we could have the boat for 2 hours and the 3rd hour would be free. For 2 hours at $80 for the first hour and $30 for the 2nd hour, that would have been $110 for the day PLUS gas, which I believe their website said $11 a gallon. Now the boat comes with 2 tanks on it. The first time that we couldn't get the boat to start, we thought that it might be possible that we used up all of the gas in the first tank (although later we figured that wasn't it). So we unhooked it and used the 2nd tank. So I really have no idea out of the 2 tanks how much gas we used total...but our final price they charged us was only $100 for the boat. $100!!! They wrote on the paper $80 for the boat and $20 for gas and that's it. Tell me these people aren't awesome and accommodating.
So that was a total of only $330 for the rental of jet skis and a boat for a day full of fun from 10am until 3:30pm. You can't beat that!!! Plus, we split that between me and Kendra...so now you are only talking about $165 for the day.
I swore that I would return to Bermuda and when I do, I would be using H2O again. Bloopers in the day are not always a bad day and when a company can still have those issues and make it a good day, you know they are a great company!!! I highly recommend them and I highly recommend Stefan. (Sorry I just realized that I think I have been spelling his name wrong and I just seen where he wrote his name on my receipt) He was just awesome during the entire experience.
We ask him to call us a cab and he did. The cab showed up within 10 minutes and he was dressed like a true Bermudian. He was extremely nice and we ask him if he would drop us off at the Clocktower instead of the dock because we wanted to do some shopping. Now I'm not sure when this guy actually started his trip meter, but he drove us a shorter distance than the taxi that started all the way down at the pier and this guys fare said $15.85 when we got out. LOL Oh well, it didn't matter we were going to give him the same amount anyhow and we all pitched in for the ride and tip.
I ask for a picture with him and he told Sakari to "jump in here with me". Now after talking about the cover ups and how it's disrespectful...I really feel bad now looking at this picture because Sakari only had her tee shirt on, she didn't put her shorts back on and she had no shoes on. Eeekkkk. But this guy was a true gentleman and so very nice. I believe that Stefan called him "Jones".
Just a few more pictures to share that I just discovered under the WRONG FOLDER in my not-so-fool-proof sorting system I have on my computer. I discovered these pictures when uploading them to my "social media" site...yes, believe it or not, you guys get to see the pictures before I post them for friends and family to see. LOL I had some of them in the wrong folder and I just knew when I was doing my review that there were some missing...especially around the dockyard and the ships.
So...here you go...my out-of-place pictures from our wonderful boating time.
She's smiling at us knowing that she brought us here for this very special day.
Oh wait, you have to get one of us with the ship in the background!!!
Ok, that's it. hehe
We headed into Clocktower to start our running shopping spree. The only souvenirs that I ever buy are a tee shirt with the name of where I'm at and Sakari collects a refrigerator magnet from each place (sometimes 2).
We didn't have a lot of time so we were off like horses at the races.
I did stop to admire a lot of the "prettys" along the way. Did these pieces come from sea glass beach? The mall was kinda cool
Sakari said "This place is neat, it tells you what side the boys shop on and what side the girls shop on."
So is this the "creature-legend" that someone mentioned earlier in my review? From the sign I read, it sounds like it, but this is a troll.
It mentions "what is with the trolls?" I have to say that this is the only troll that I seen while in Bermuda. It makes it sound like they are all over the place. Did I miss them? (Other than the green Hulk Troll foot prints on the sidewalk).
I had to get a pink Bermuda shorts magnet and that wasn't "fancy" enough for Sakari so she picked out a real sea horse inside of this globe magnet complete with sea shells.
I found a cute Bermuda tee shirt and I was done with my shopping in a good 20 minutes flat and had covered down one side of the mall, around the corner and all the way to the end. Yes, mission accomplished!!
However, I KNEW from other reviews I had read that an awesome place to go to is the glass blowing shop. I knew I at least wanted to go and browse and hopefully catch a short viewing of how they made them so that Sakari could see. (I was fortunate enough to see this as a young kid and I knew she would be amazed to see it).
I also knew that this was NOT the type of place you bring my grandson into unless you planned on buying the building because that's exactly what would be needed to be done if he was anywhere near it. Just saying...
So we "creeped out da building" and made a run for it. Kendra was still standing in line to pay for her items and I'm pretty sure she was oblivious as to her surroundings and that we no longer existed in the Clocktower. Mission accomplished! We felt like escapees and had to double check to see if we were wearing black and white stripes. Nope, we were good.
We found the glass blowing store and in we went. WOW, it was beautiful is all I could say.
The magnificent colors in this building just blew my mind with excitement...like the colors of the rainbow.
However, once I seen some of the prices on these beautiful pieces I immediately froze and was afraid to even have Sakari in there. I found myself repeating "Don't touch anything, don't breathe on that, step away, watch the corner, back up, omg I'm going to have a heart attack" I loved how everything was color coordinated. It really made things stand out.
The granddaddy of them all down to the newborn on the bottom shelf. I guess there's a price range for everyone...except for me. After looking at a few pieces I decided it was probably just best I didn't peak and anymore.
This piece was sitting on the floor in a box like structure. It was huge. The picture does not do it any justice. They need to hang this up or something. Unless someone purchased it? This stuff reminds me of Chihuly, which I adore!
No matter which way you turned, it was just bursting with color.
See this lady in the picture? She just kept creeping into my "frame". I tried waiting on her to move. I walked away. She walked away. I went back in for the picture, she creeped back around the corner to get in it. She had nothing in her hand when she came and she walked out with nothing. I tell ya it was a conspiracy.
We looked over where they blow the glass and they were not doing a demonstration. Darnit! I was really disappointed and so were a lot of the other parents that had brought their kids in for a show.
I guess this just meant that we would be heading back to the dock early.
Along the way, here's that darn haunted warehouse.
I got a video of it...listen to the creepy sounds (and I'm not referring to my family). Are these birds making these sounds? Or are you going to tell me that my hubs is right and it's ghost in there?
Oh my gosh!!! We are in Bermuda and the only place I have seen the Moongate so far is here at the dockyard. I thought they were everywhere. Where else can they be found other than the dockyard? I think that's my next mission when I return...to find more moongates.
The rumor is that if you walk through the moongate, it brings you good luck. We kissed under it, so what does that bring us? According to Sakari, it brings babies so we need to cut that stuff out!
I was totally bummed that I had completely forgotten about getting our picture under this and now that I had remembered we were all a hot mess from being on and in the water all day. Oh my. Oh well, maybe my luck will be to bring me back to this beautiful place again soon for a re-do!
It's too bad they don't have one of these over on the other side so we could get a picture of the Dawn behind us. Bummer.
NO...THANK YOU FOR LETTING US VISIT BERMUDA!
This would be the last time we passed these cute little pink buildings on this voyage.
Like always, NCL was having a "Welcome Back" party along the dock with the red carpet, ice cold wet rags, watered down punch drinks, music, and plenty of dancing. We came back at 4:30pm and according to the many other cruises I have been on with NCL, it seems that the party always starts about 1 hour before it's time to be back on the ship. So, I made sure we didn't miss it this time by showing up 1/2 hour before the last call so we wouldn't be fashionably late. I'll leave that up to Kendra and family. I like to watch the pier runners, not be one.
We dinged in as present on the ship, no bags were checked, no jiggles were heard and we were off to catch the elevator up to the 12th floor. I think I've had enough exercise for the day between holding on to dear life jet skiing, hitting many abdominal twisting wakes, snorkeling, pushing a boat out to sea, attempting to climb on a boat that insisted on me staying in the water, to sprinting down the Clocktower mall and making my glass blowing getaway. Yep, I had covered enough calories burned for the day...the elevator it was for us!
We headed straight to the buffet for replenishment of calories lost for the day. Mission accomplished. It was a GREAT cruise!
What do we do now you might ask? What would make our day complete after such a fun filled day in the water? MORE WATER OF COURSE!
They say you want to drown your sorrows, I don't think this is what they meant, but Sakari seemed to think it was the best way to drown her sorrows that we were leaving Bermuda and headed back home. So off she went...
Immediately she joined in a game that a dad was throwing in 3 quarters with the kids eyes closed and then he'd say "GO" and they'd jump in to see who could find the quarters. You see who's first in the pool right?
Daddy just hanging out...in the shade. Too much sun for us today.
Wee, I just can't get enough water fun. Seriously, I have to drag this kid out of the water. It's non-stop with her. But just look at that face. How can you deny such a happy water face?
We hadn't heard or seen Kendra since we got back on the ship. I did hear them call a few names right before we left and none of them were Kendra so I guess I can rest easy that she made her way back to the ship ok. I mean it is kinda hard to miss after all.
They started releasing the ropes and I just wanted to tear up.
Stop working so hard...I'm not ready to leave.
It was actually happening. They were really going to leave this place. Anyone know of a reef somewhere nearby that could tie us over for another day? Anyone?