For our 20th wedding anniversary, Linda and I set sail (aboard the Norwegian Dawn) for a week of R&R - rum and relaxation - in Bermuda. For this trip, I decided on just one medium format camera and one stock of film. The Plaubel-Makina 670 and Kodak Portra 400. We had the kids tag along, but to give them a little added freedom, my son brought his best friend and my daughter brought her cousin. We gave them complete freedom on the cruise and island, only requiring that they dine with us each night. Other than that, they were on their own, and more importantly, so were we.
We boarded the Dawn early on a Friday morning (as pale skin folk) and departed that afternoon. Leaving Boston Harbor is a beautiful experience, seeing countless islands drift by until it gives way to the open ocean. As the city melted into the horizon, we all went our own ways to explore the boat, grab some food and unpack.
We had three rooms: one for the boys, one for us and one for the girls. We placed ourselves in the middle so we could monitor noise levels at night. But the days were so packed with activities that as night came, everyone just crashed. The kids spent time tanning, shopping, reading, hot tubing, eating, gambling, video games, eating, stage shows, eating, hitting the gym and eating.
Linda and I found endless relaxation reading our Kindles in various nooks and crannies on the ship. Sometimes on the upper decks in the sun, sometimes in large cushioned window seats on the lower decks and more often than not, in the wonderful coffee shop while sipping massive volumes of cappuccino (I believe half my spending on this trip was in that shop!) We took in a couple of shows and usually caught this great duo singing classic songs in the Java Cafe.
But one of the most relaxing things to do on board was to simply watch the water. It is amazing how the colors change as you move away from the brown waters of Boston into the slap-you-in-the-face blues of Bermuda. Somewhere out in the mid-Atlantic are my favorite deep blues. We were out there many hours, watching the waves roll and break, giving an array of stunning shades of blue (and trying not to think about the bottom being 5,000 meters below us.)
Sailing down to Bermuda was 44 hours on fairly calm seas. We all spent the time exploring the boat - especially the restaurants. We love food, so we opted for the upgraded dining package which opened up all the high-end restaurants on the boat each night. We feasted like kings at our favorite spots: Cagney's Steakhouse, Moderno's Brazilian Cuisine, Teppanyaki's Japanese Hibachi, La Cucina Italian and so much more.
That Sunday morning, I woke around sunrise to see Bermuda looming on the horizon. The boat swung in by St David's Island, then up around St George's and made it's way around to dock in the Royal Naval Dockyard on Ireland Island. Quite the military history of that dockyard, so I suggest following that link if you are into it.
The boys took off exploring while I went out with the girls for their scheduled swimming with the dolphins (and boy did they love that!) The dockyard had so much beauty that I was worried I was going to burn through my 30 rolls of film on the first day. Here are some photos from around this portion of the Island.
Royal Dockyard, Ireland Island, Bermuda
Sunset Rum Cruise
Linda and I escaped for a bit for a rum cruise hosted by Goslings Rum. I did't take a whole lot of photos on this, but boy, I did drink a whole lot of rum! We sampled everything from Gold Seal to the classic Dark Seal mixed with Ginger Beer (aka, the Dark and Stormy) and the wonderful Family Reserve Old Rum. I was pretty much in heaven. With my wife in the tropics, on a boat, drinking rum.
St George, Bermuda
We also spent a good amount of time on St George, which quickly became my favorite spot. The homes, the people, the views - all so gorgeous. A nice lady from the Island lived here and gave a handful of us a tour of her town. Here are some of the wonderful views and colors of St George.
St. David's Lighthouse, Bermuda
We spent a little time on the island of St David to see the gorgeous 55 foot 1879 lighthouse, a Bermuda landmark. Interesting enough, this lighthouse was built to stop the practice of pirating. Locals (before the lighthouse) would lure boats into the shallow reefs with false lights, causing them to wreck. They would then row out to the wreckage to loot all the goods.
The lighthouse is open to the public, and climbing the 85 steps gives way to some amazing views of the island.
Now, when most people think Bermuda, they think of the pink sand beaches. So, of course, I had to spend some time on these. We took the crazy-ass pink bus from the Dockyard to Elbow Beach, then to Horseshoe Bay. I am not a beach person, but the beaches here are just incredible. Smooth sands, crazy clear water and scenery that makes you want to get slapped to prove it's real.