monday, june 16, 2014
it's underwater day in bermuda. with over 500 years of maritime mishaps, the shores of bermuda offer more than 400 shipwrecks. the popular sites rest at about 35-50 feet closest to the shore. its most contemporary acclaimed one, the constellation, was the basis for peter benchley's the deep novel and movie. who can forget the dark bodies of jacqueline bisset and nick nolte in these blue waters.
len dived with blue water divers again. he explored the mary celeste wreck - 60 feet, which was a blockade-runner that provided weapons to the confederate forces during the civil war. it sank near church bay on the south shore in 1864. then, onto southwest breakers, where he tunneled through reefs, caves and coral formations. len's diving partners - richard nakada and the dive guide josh - explored separately from the students who at the end of this dive, became certified divers. captain chris entertained me while i remained onboard - so yes, passengers are welcome.
see len dive: yellow and black fins with yellow weight belt. video by robert nakada.
heading back toward home base, we did a little beach-hopping along south road. since it was a holiday, the green grassy areas were filled with families and bbq grills. sunbathers covered the beaches, but unless you were at horseshoe bay, there was plenty of open beach to be found. west whale bay, church bay, chaplain bay, elbow beach - they are all fabulous and much more charismatic than horse shoe bay.
tuesday, june 17, 2014
scaur hill fort
built in the late 1860s to defend the dockyard from american attacks, fort scaur is the highest hill in somerset. on these 22 acres which are surrounded by stone walls, there are gardens and amazing views of the great sound and ely's harbour. don't forget to sign the guest book in many historical locations.
the heydon trust chapel
built in 1616, this chapel is located on the heydon trust overlooking the great sound. the site is open during the day and you will see the original pews and altar.
touring the island
there's as many tours on the island as specs of pink in the sand. some are good; some are not. all are pricey. one we selected was the famous homes and hideaways boat tour. the two hour cruise leaves from dockyard and sweeps onlookers through the sound and into hamilton harbor pointing out homes, most that can only be seen from the water. we enjoyed the afternoon with captain jamie, bartender matise and tour guide mark as they entertained as well as enlightened us on the notables who call bermuda home. john lennon, mark twain, dr. james martin, charlie chaplin, eugene o'neill, and michael douglas have roots in bermuda. well worth the $50 per person cost.
the home of william denslow, illustrator for the wizard of oz. he produced his works from the circular 'tower'. the story goes that he built a spiral staircase as access just wide enough so that he could get to the top. his wife was a large woman, unable to climb the stairs thus ensuring his solitude.
it's been a long couple of days, spending much on the south end of the island. tonight, we end at spanish point, just outside of hamilton. with a view of dockyard across the sound and the north shore to our right, it is the perfect goodnight watching the sunset over the dockyards and the cruise ships in port.