A Blast on the Beach

I’m not much of a beach person. Sure, I beach bummed it a bit in San Diego before moving to Colorado, but I was never passionate about the beach. But Bermuda was different. Instead of just lounging around we had a lot of fun exploring the island in some creative and fun ways.

When we first arrived, we got right in the water… sort of. Rather, we got right on the water with some jetskis. This is what led to being in the water for some of us. Our guide took us out beyond the harbor and we toodled around getting used to the power of the jetski. The speed, the turns, the splashes. It’s probably best described in the video I made:


Next stop: bikes. They called it mountain biking. To be fair, it was on mountain bikes, but there are no mountains in Bermuda. Instead, we rode along one of the old railroad grades from the days of Bermuda being a strategic military operation for its location in the Pacific. There was a pretty substantial US Air Force base as well as Naval operations. And, because of the bathymetry around Bermuda, bigger ships couldn’t get into the bay, Great Sound, to unload their cargo. So they offloaded at the northwest point of the island and the tracks carried the goods to the rest of the island. Now we get to ride this stretch. Again, better told in video form:

The bikes brought us to what was the most fun activity for me and the thing I could have done my whole time here. In fact, flyboarding, as it’s known, is probably the one activity that would occupy me for days on end if I was hinging out in a beach town. Ok, aside from sailing, but these are very different. Basically, flyboarding is the process of taking a wide firehose and attaching one end to the output of a jetski and attaching the other end to a pair of boots. The boots direct the forced water downward and with the right body positioning you rise up out of the water and into the air. In most cases, like here, the person on the jet ski to which you’re tethered controls the throttle to determine how high up you go. As the flyboarder, you have to keep the jets of water thrusting out of the underside of your boots pointed in the right direction. Mostly that’s down, but as one of our coaches demoed for us, there are all kinds of tricks that can be done. Ok, enough talk, here’s the video:

From there we had lunch as it’s a rather calorie heavy activity and then went sailing. That might not be the best combo for some, but I think most of our crew did fine. We sailed from that northwest point, the Royal Navy Dockyards, to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC) in Hamilton. After all this motorized water activity, it was great to be back at my roots under sail. The wind was pretty firm that day and fortunately it was mostly a nice easy broad reach across Great Sound. The waves weren’t too bad and I got a chance to get on the helm for a bit. They even let me steer right into the harbor as our boat guide, captain if you will, helped moved the boom and mainsail back and forth as we stayed under sail all the way in. It’s always a bit tricky to manage the wind and dodge other boats and such while coming in. It reminded me of the time I single handed Elizabeth into Lincoln Harbor on the Hudson after Shawn had to bail to get to work on time… in the winter. Nevertheless, here’s the video:

The next day we rented mopeds and went SUP’ing and I never ended up cutting a video for that. Mopeds are certainly an exciting and very interactive way to see the island. For Americans and others who drive on the right, it’s always a trip to drive on the left in British influenced countries like Bermuda (I got my first taste as a driver of this living in Australia). We rode the mopeds to the completely opposite side of the island from where we were biking, flyboarding and sailing, to St. Georges all the way to the East. We then jumped on a little boat to ferry over to Paget Island where we got to play on a high ropes course. I mostly helped belay to get some of our crew who hadn’t done much of this sort of thing. They all did great conquering their fear of heights by climbing up and jumping off of telephone types of poles or walking across similar poles suspended high in the air. In the end we wrapped up with a zip line ride and then SUP’ed back to town. A pretty good wind picked up and a number of SUP’ers had to be rescued by the motor boat ferry.

Again, a calorie intensive activity calls for a solid lunch and only a massive fish sandwich will do when in St. Georges.

About the author

Adventure Correspondent Cameron L. Martindell is a freelance adventure travel and expedition writer, photographer and filmmaker who founded Offyonder.com in 2000. He has contributed to Elevation Outdoors Magazine, The Gear Junkie, National Geographic, The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Outside, Backpacker, Wired, Australian Geographic, Mountainzone.com and others. He has been to all seven continents and lived on five of them, including a four-month stint at the South Pole. Cameron has more than 10 years of mountain search and rescue experience, is an Eagle Scout, has been an Australian bush firefighter, competes in sailing regattas, plans national and international youth programs, guides Oregon rafting trips and Australian bush backpacking trips.

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