We entered port of St. Georges on the north side of the island of Bermuda on the 7th of April. It was an overcast and windy day and it promised to continue like that for the duration of our time there, or so we thought.
Day one ended up being more like a half of the day thanks to arrival day classes that continued up to 3pm. From then on, we had shore leave until 12pm, an extended curfew! For most of the crew those hours comprised of stuffing our faces with “food of land” and catching up with loved ones back home at Bullies Burgers, in the capital, Hamilton. A quick little pit-stop at Kentucky Fried Chicken to pick up $50 worth of fried diabetes and then some time on the wharf before we caught a taxi back to the boat.
The following day, to our surprise, was the bluest of blue and sunniest of sunny. While we laboured through our usual morning chores of muster and cleaning stations, we planned our only whole day on the island. Most of the student body planned to explore the island, like all the restaurants Tia mentioned or maybe even the world-famous lighthouse. We ended up, as usual, with no plan and just started to wander forth from the boat with no idea of what we would be doing. We took an over-priced taxi to Hamilton to see if there would be anything for us to do and after a long cringe-worthy argument which included the taxi driver, we decided to go to Horseshoe Bay.
The beach was a sight to behold. White sand with a pink hue to it, created a stunning backdrop to dozens of mini sand tornadoes, being whipped up by the 35 knot winds. As we started to walk along the beach, wishing we had our head scarves from Morocco, we turned around a bend to find a cute little protected lagoon. Ripping our cloths off, we ran to the waterhole which was surrounded by carved up limestone cliffs. With only one toe in the water we became very subdued thanks to a more frigid temperature than was believed. Cliff scaling became our priority and after a quick climb we were rewarded with an impressive view.
On our return walk we encountered a familiar local, Tia! Tia directed us to a local favorite pub called Swizzle Inn. We went our separate ways and 10 minutes later we were hit by torrential rains and began searching desperately for any type of refuge. A pink bus appeared and we clambered on board only to realize that it was a Fairmont Hotel bus. After a very awkward talk with a lobby boy who did not seem too impressed with us, as we were a sight to behold, we managed to get hold of a taxi to the Swizzle Inn. After a very hearty meal, we lumbered back to the boat, soaked and tired to the bone. Our beds never seemed to be more comfortable.
Day 3, April 9th, was supposed to be departure day for us but we were very pleasantly surprised to find out that our replacement cook had still not arrived so we were having a night departure! As if it couldn’t get any better, it was amazingly warm and sunny. After the jam-packed adventure from the previous day, we moved sluggishly and did not have any temptations to move more than required. The morning to early afternoon consisted of buying loads of groceries for the impeding crossing and going to and fro from the ship for anchor watch.
Towards mid-afternoon we had an unquenchable thirst to go swimming one last time while on land. We barged back onto the boat grabbed our swimming trunks, GoPros and a group of four and headed to two pillars we saw beside the wharf previously. We built ourselves a considerable appetite from all the jumping and enjoying the last rays of sun shine and warm waters of our trip. With this appetite ever present in our stomach, we headed into St. Georges to have one last proper meal before the renown crossing. After some searching we came across a quaint little seaside pub with a very expensive but also very appealing menu. We sat and ate a tantalizing meal of seafood and burgers. Time for on last walk along the jetty with the amazing landscape highlighted by the Bermudian sunset.
We left that night dreaming of the little piece of (expensive) paradise called Bermuda.
Written by: Class Afloat Student, Daniel Goettke