It’s good to be back in Bermuda. Just a few months ago we were here conducting research in the Sargasso with an alliance of researchers led by BAMZ, the loudly acronymed Bermuda Aquarium, Museum, and Zoo, before we headed north to the Great Lakes for a summer of fresh water. Now we’re back again, and it’s interesting to see the changes in both the island and the weather. In May, we were witness to the first bloomings of summer, the Bermuda Day parade (unofficially the first day of swimming for most Bermudians for the year), the weather slowly warming over the course of our research cruises. This time we’re seeing the same phenomenon in reverse, the air is colder, the gorgeous sunny days are fewer, the rain is heavier.
The air and water are colder, yes, but only by the standards of the summer – the water is still 75, the air not much cooler, and the winter coats are coming out. As Sea Dragon waits for Hurricane season to end before sailing south for more adventures, we’ve been exploring on our own, taking advantage of this brief off season, a respite from the hordes of tourists that swarmed the beaches and streets in the spring. We’ve been diving and snorkeling, emerging from the ocean to gorgeous beaches all our own, swimming through caves and tunnels in Bermuda’s crystal clear water just off shore.
We took an excursion to Bermuda’s Crystal Cave, the upper chamber of a mile long series of limestone caves that eventually connect to the ocean, marveling at the stone formations and stared, wondering, into the darkness under an overhang that connects to the cave system, allowing divers to enter here and emerge hours later, after walking and swimming through the dark, in Harrington Sound.
At Blue Hole National Park, we wandered through a seemingly abandoned forest, catching tantalizing glimpses of limpid blue water through the trees as the trail forked and wove through tall grass past caves and mangrove swamps. In two hours of wandering the trails we saw not a single person, just a few fish, the only sign of man’s presence a long abandoned restroom building. Away from the bustle of Hamilton, from the rush and crush of cruise ship people, Bermuda takes on a more sedate air, an exhaled breath after the crush of the summer.