Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda

Our boat docked in the Naval Dockyards today with the Captain’s annoyingly pleasant voice waking us from a sound sleep, announcing that we could now get off the ship. It was 8:02. So we rolled back over and waited for a proper good morning–room service, honeymoon breakfast in bed. Strawberries crowded with real whipped cream, a mountain of danish, eggs, bacon, french toast, coffee, tea and two orange juices in fancy glasses (which would momentarily be soaking into the carpet). The comedian last night made an amusing point–after 18 hours of available meal time at seven different restaurants, how can you honestly call room service and sound convincing?

After a harrowing bus ride through Somerset (yes, worse that Somerset, NJ), we arrived at Horseshoe Bay, famous for it’s pink sand beaches. Bermuda is almost completely surrounded by Coral Reef that protects the island from hurricanes and has sent many ships to their grave. This pink coral gets washed ashore on the south beaches, giving the sand a pink hue. Further up the beacch the coral is bleached by the sun, creating a gentle transistion from pink to white, the opposite of my back, which has quite savagely transformed from white to pink.

The pristine beaches are punctuated with porous, sandstone-like rocks that create secluded grottos that begged to be explored. This time Clark took the lead, scrambling up precipices and over boulders while Lewis fumbled with his cameras.

There is a gigantic storm cloud menacing us about 30 miles off the coast. Maybe rain?

Rain. Hard, pelting rain that felt like hail on our toasted backs. It ran down warm and we wouldn’t have even cared if it weren’t for the cameras we had with us. After a long, squeak-and-slosh trek up the hill to the bus stop, we found out from some locals that a fire at the only power plant on Bermuda had caused an island-wide power outage. That would explain why the bathrooms were all locked closed at the beach.

In a way it was good for them. The Bermudians can’t dig wells because the limestone the island is made of can’t hold a water table, so they drink rainwater, literally. All the houses in Bermuda have white roofs; they paint them with a limestone based paint that acts like a filter for the rainwater, retarding algae growth and filtering out acids. The water is then channeled into large underground holding tanks where it is pumped up when needed. So the rain was a welcome end to a month long drought they had been facing; you don’t want to hit the debris on the bottom of your water tanks.

On the other hand, no power is no power. And no power means no tourism. And no tourism means no money. Enough said.

But still their indubitable courtesy kept them laughing, waving at friends, punching knuckles with chums and stopping to take a picture of tourists who could head back to the cruise ship and take a nice, long shower. That’s kindness.