The Thrill of a R.I.B.
I’ll try almost anything once, and twice if I like it. Well, I’d do Adventure R.I.B. Rides over and over again. The R.I.B. is an authentic Navy SEAL Rigid Inflatable Boat (R.I.B.) and it is just plain F.U.N.
I’ve spent a lot of time on the water, but the speed, stability and the jet-ski-like flexibility of a R.I.B is unlike any other watercraft I’ve ever experienced. First of all, it’s fast. Really fast! Second, it’s very stable. These boats travel up to 50 mph on top of the waves, which minimizes the motion of the boat. In fact, these boats are so stable, Adventure R.I.B. Rides guarantees that passengers won’t get seasick.
Adventure R.I.B. Rides is known for whale- and dolphin-watching excursions. I teased Captain Ken Manzoni that other vessels would have “whale-boat envy” because his craft can jet in and out and get to dolphin/whale sightings fast and easy. The boat can literally turn on a dime to get guests close to the marine life, and has brought passengers into the midst of mega-herds of dolphins. However, the excursion isn’t just about the marine life. The gorgeous sights in and around San Diego Bay are amazing.
It was a real treat taking a R.I.B. ride at the end of the day, because we got to watch a fantastic sunset. (It gets COLD at that time, but Captain Ken provided insulated dry suits – super-fashionable – check us out in the video).
We even spotted Navy SEALS going through some of their training exercises – a whole different kind of marine-life-spotting. A fun note is that the boat was recently hired by the makers of Pirates of the Caribbean IV as a safety vessel and to transport crew and talent.
All of the tours offered by Adventure R.I.B. Rides are led by highly qualified U.S. Coast Guard captains who know San Diego Bay. I felt very safe. Charters are limited to only six passengers, which makes the tour feel like a private experience.
Adventure R.I.B. Rides wants all of its guests to feel safe, but everyone on board during our tour is comfortable on the water, so Captain Ken showed us what the boat can do, including 360-degree spins.
For those who prefer a gentler ride, he will happily accommodate them. This is a great trip for kids. I could just imagine my nephews (ages 6 and 9) squealing with delight in their dry suits as they spotted dolphins and whales. There are whales and dolphins year-round in the San Diego area, and passengers on Adventure R.I.B. Rides have spotted gray, fin, and humpback whales, and Pacific white-sided, bottlenose, Risso’s, and common dolphins.
Click here for our full San Diego photo gallery
Adventure R.I.B Rides
Excursion times: 9 – noon and 1-4
$85 for adults; $70 for children (minimum age 5 for charters, no minimum on a private charter)