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snorkeling equipment

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snorkeling equipment

My husband and I will be visiting Bermuda in June for the first time -- We love to snorkel and I was wondering if it would be helpful if we brought our own equipment with us. Can you advise approximately how much it is to rent equipment in Bermuda and how much use we will get out of it -- we do not plan on taking any boat trips (my husband gets seasick). We just wanted to find beaches to stop along the way and go snorkeling. I didn't know how much good snorkeling there was in Bermuda without going on a boat trip so I was unsure how much use we would get out of lugging the equipment with us. Thanks for the input.

USA
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1. Re: snorkeling equipment

If you already have your own gear then you should go to the trouble to pack and bring it along with you. This will give you more flexibility and freedom to go where and when you want. We usually bring our own and I can't really remember the daily rates that I saw last year at the Horseshoe Bay rental concession (which wouold be about average fror most rental concessions on Bermuda (Warwick Long Bay, Tobacco Bay, etc). I'm pretty sure that the last time I bothered to look I was surprised that the daily date was $20 or more.

If you also have bouyancy compensation vests, these are always good to pack and bring along (even if you plan to rent gear locally) for snorkeling in the ocean---to conserve energy. None of the snorkel rental places rent Bouyancy compensators that I'm aware of.

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2. Re: snorkeling equipment

kdksail--thanks for the info -- could you advise what some of the best snorkeling sites are in Bermuda (without a boat)? I also want to let you know that I have gotten so much information from your posts about Bermuda by reading other forums -- It sounds like you love it there! We are certainly looking forward to our first trip in 13 days. Thanks again!

USA
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3. Re: snorkeling equipment

Perhaps the best spot to snorkel from the beach on Bermuda is CHURCH BAY, out along the south shore, just past the Wyndham and Reefs hotels. The shoreline along this stretch of rocky beach was beat-up pretty well by Huricane Fabian a couple of years ago and the beach was technically shut down to stabilize some of the rocks and shore. But though it is technically colesed (or at least was through last season) you can still get down to it and snorkel (just don't put your towel down under any over-hanging rock ledges and take a nap). There is also good snorkeling out around the big rock off of WARWICK LONG BAY (but this is not a spot for weak or inexperienced swimmers). There is also good snorkelling around the west end of HORSESHOE BAY (to your right as you face the ocean) but on days when there are cruise gets 'carpeted over' with cruise line beach towels.

There are good spots out at Bermuda's far east-end at TOBACCO BAY (rental concessions) and ACHILLES BAY but when there are cruise ships docked in Saint George's during the week, these beaches tend to get a bit crowded and 'carpeted over' with cruise line beach towels.

IF you are strong swimmers and experiences snorkellers, the stretch along the cliff/shoreline of the north shore in the area of Ardiralty House Park/Clarence Bay/Deep Bay is good. Because of the broad outliying barrier reef, the water along Bermuda's north and western shores will be mostly flat/calm, with no surf. The down side to this is that along this stretch there are few places to come ashore to rest and the shoreline is either sheer cliff or very rocky. And though there's no surf, wakes from ships transiting the north channel can drive/wash you onto the rocks if you're not careful. There are some small, natural caves along this stretch but avoid the temptation to explore them---because of the possible 'wash' of ship wakes. It get flater an easier swimming out at the Spanish Point end of this stretch.

There's also a relatively new attraction out at DOCKYARD, the SNORKEL PARK (acessed trhough a gate in the stone wall, behind the '..Victalling Yard..') . They've set up '..trails..' thorough the water which they've '..seeded..' with cannon, anchors, etc for interest. There are swim floats positioned along the trails to pull up on and rest The water is flat/calm out here though. There is NO charge to swim/snorkel from the beach with your own equipment but they do rent snorkelling gear and various 'water-toys' (including an electric snorkel 'scooter' which would be sorta' 'Thunderball'-cool to try).

In years past, we've rented small outboard skiffs and sailing dinghies from Mangrove Bay and Dockyard (Windjammer Watersports and snorkled off of the west-shore, nosing into small beaches along the way to swim and snorkel from--and snorkelled off of Daniel's Island and over the Vixen wreck.

USA
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4. Re: snorkeling equipment

There is another great place to snorkel...but I'm not sure it's '..public..'. It's out around GIBBETS ISLAND and GIBBON'S BAY, at the north shore outlet of Flatt's Inlet along the North Shore Road. I think that this may be a private beach owned by the Police Benevolent Association. It wasn't until after the second time we snorkelled out there that we were talking to a Bermudian acquaintance of ours who referred to it as '..the cops beach..' that we knew anything about this connection. On both occasions that we stopped there, the people hanging out there (mostly families) were friendly and polite (one woman with a couple of small children offered us watermelon slices and lemonade. No one said anything about our not being allowed there...and it was pretty clear that we were tourists.

Maryland
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5. Re: snorkeling equipment

Two quick questions:

(1) Is Grape Bay Beach a good place for snorkeling?

(2) What other forums about Bermuda besides this one would readers recommend?

Many thanks.

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6. Re: snorkeling equipment

KDKSAIL -- Thanks again for the great info -- How many times have you been to Bermuda??? This will be our first trip since we love to vacation in Hawaii, but I have heard nothing but wonderful things about Bermuda and it is so close to us. We are spending 5 nights and we can hardly wait to see the pink sand beaches -- Any must do's while we are there? We want to get the local flavor in food as well as things to do, but without the motorbikes -- my husband is all for it, but I've read too many bad things about them -- think we should stick to the buses! What do you think?

USA
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7. Re: snorkeling equipment

>>> How many times have you been to Bermuda??? Any must do's while we are there? We want to get the local flavor in food as well as things to do, but without the motorbikes -- my husband is all for it, but I've read too many bad things about them -- think we should stick to the buses!<<

I'd have to dig out expired passports to count but it's in the 20-or so over 30-odd years. We seldom visit more than 3 years in a row...we never, ever wnated to simply take Bermuda '..for granted..', as it were. Unlike many island vacation destinations, Bermuda has pretty much had a relatively urbane and sophisticated culture. It used to be said that Bermudians tended to be more '..British..' than the British...and managed to do it in short pants. There never was an indigenous '..native..' population. Everyone came or was brought as slaves, from somewhere else. These days about the closest you come to '..native/ethnic..' food on Bermuda will be DENNIS'S HIDEAWAY, almost hidden away out on Saint David's Island at Bermuda's east-end. The follwoing site provides an overview of the restaurant, which has become one of Bermuda's best kept secrerts and a genuine one-of-a-kind Bermudian '..institution..'-

waitrose.com/food_drink/…9808090.asp

Though I'm personally not a big fan of it, many of our friends who are believe that Bermuda's fish chowder, with a hearty dash of Outerbridge's sherry peppers is like no other. One of the other peculiar taste differences on Bermuda is (of all mundane things) Coka Cola. It is constituted and bottled locally by Barrittt's, with local water and uses a cane sugar-based sweetener instaed of the usual corn syrup-based sweetener.

We are big fans of rental mopeds/ motorscooters (always have been and personally believe that they are the very best way to goet around and enjoy Bermuda, at your own pace, on your own schedule and along your own route) but we recognize that they are not so for every one. So if you do not feel comfortable with the idea then the next best thing will be Bermuda's excellent--relatively convenient and inexpensive with a multi-day transportation pass--public bus and ferry system. If you don't feel comfortable with scooters or don't feel up to taking the time and trouble it definitely takes to learn to handle them safely ('..If you can ride a bicycle; you can ride a scooter..' advice is more than a little overly-simplified), then you shouldn't ride them.

If your snorkelling will be pretty much limited to one of the snorkelling excursion boats then you can probably leave you own equipment at home--unless you are someone like my wife, who for some peculiar reason, has difficulty finding a mask that fits her face both comfortably and securely. In that case, bring your own gear. We've a friend with a vision problem who has a mask with optically-corrected lens. Otherwise the usualy run-of-the-mill rental equipment usually suffices.

There is really nothing that you '..must do..' on Bermuda....except perhaps for her beautiful beaches and enjoy her natural beauty. There are no blockbuster, Travel Channel Top 10's on Bermuda to stand in line for and pay admission to. As an example, as pleasant as some 'private' hotel beaches are, Bermuda's very best beaches are still her public beaches. Just try to kick back, relax and enjoy it.

Louisiana
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8. Re: snorkeling equipment

Although my husband and I are fairly new to snorkeling, we enjoyed Jobson's Cove. The water is calm and and it was not crowded like Horseshoe Bay. Between the rocks that open up the cove into the ocean, we saw some beautiful fish. Some friends of ours took a kayaking & snorkeling excursion and were disappointed. They were more impressed with Jobson's Cove than the guided snorkeling tour.

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9. Re: snorkeling equipment

Thanks for the info -- did you rent snorkeling equipment in Bermuda or bring your own? If you rented, how much was it and was it available at Jobson's Cove? We are thinking of renting a small boat instead of doing one of the snorkeling tours.

USA
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10. Re: snorkeling equipment

>>>If you rented, how much was it and was it available at Jobson's Cove? We are thinking of renting a small boat instead of doing one of the snorkeling tours<<<

There is a concessionaire at Warwcik Long Bay that rents chairs, umbrellas and basic snorkelling equipment. Sorry, I can't recall how much the rate was but I seem to recall $18-20 for 8 hours.

We've rented outboard skiffs (15' & 17' skiffs--the largest outboard that a tourist can operate is 25-30 hp) and sailing dinghies (Sunfish, Lasers and an old but serviceable O'Day 'Daysailer' with a JY15-rig to fit under bridges) on several occasions from WINDJAMMER WATERSPORTS--

bermuda4u.com/Activities/bermuda_activities_…

from it's location at the end of Cambridge Road, on Mangrove Bay. Windjammer's main location is at the Dockyard complex. They also rent basic snorkeling equipment which usually goes for approx. $10 per person with a boat rental. (We also rented from Robinson's Marina at Somerset Bridge once and got an old 17' ski-boat wth a 25 hp outboard (better suited for a 75-150 hp---and could barely move this 'lead sled' past its own bow wave).

You'll find goo snorkeling at numerous spots out along Bermuda's western-shore, from Mangrove Bay to Somerset Bridge. Right at the openning to Mangrove bay are a couple of small private islands that you can nose your boat up onto the small beaches there and swim and snorkel from. Just remember to leave nothing behind when you leave but footprints in the sand. There's good snorkeling out around Daniel's Island, but the island is a nature preserve and you can't land there...so make sure that when you rent, the anchor (usually light-weight Danforth-type) has enough rode to anchor with.