We got up for an 8:30 breakfast on the Lido deck and after collecting cameras, etc. from our rooms, went out to the street to meet our tour guide, Anthony Gorham. He was right on time at 10:00 and ready to give us a good tour. We weren’t disappointed! Note: The starting point on the map shows ‘Flanagan’s Outback Sports Bar’, which was across the street from the cruise ship dock….we weren’t waiting in the bar that early for Anthony!
It was nice to get off the ship and off Front St. in favour of a scenic, educational drive around Bermuda’s more rural roads. Bermuda is shaped like a fish hook and we were headed for the Royal Naval Dockyard and the Commissioner’s House , at the tip of the hook. This is where the big ships dock – Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Breakaway and Celbrity’s Summit were at the dock. Both of those hold a few thousand passengers compared to the Veendam, which carries 1,350. But that’s not what we came to see.
We were there to see the Bermuda Maritime Museum on the grounds of the Commissioner’s House. Anthony parked the car and I called yet another good friend of Cory’s, Andrew, the Maintenance Manager for the Museum. He met us at the entrance and after introductions, he lead us up to the attic of Commissioner’s House. He explained that a hurricane a couple of years ago had done considerable damage to the house, tearing off several sections of the roof. After 2 years and considerable expense, the facility just reopened to the public 2 years ago. The engineering and extent of repairs was beyond me, but it sure looks like the roof will now withstand anything that Mother Nature might throw at it.
Back on the main floor, Andrew took us into the main room in the House, with a huge dining table (20’ + long), a very impressive art collection of old ship paintings. We went out on the balcony, which offered a great view of the ocean, the entire dockyard, the museum and the old prison. We got photos of the view, the buildings and our group. Next stop, the dolphins aquarium and then the Maritime Museum, which showed the history of the islands and maritime archeology artifacts. It was very well done and very interesting.
Given a choice of an Italian or pub lunch, we opted for ‘The Frog and Onion’ pub. The drinks were cold and the food was hot. Cory had told us that, if we came back and told her that we hadn’t eaten the Bermuda Fish Chowder with hot Sherry sauce, she wouldn’t speak to us again. We didn’t want to disappoint and the chowder was excellent! So was the hot sauce, in fact I bought a bottle to take home. Our friends Warren and Bernie Frankland like hot sauce, so they’ll like this!
Back to the car and on to Fort Scaur, with a magnificent view of the islands. We spent a half hour or so wandering around checking out the nooks and crannies of this very well maintain park.
By now, it was around 3:00 PM and Anthony had a couple more stops planned for us. The first was at the island’s historic lighthouse, Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse. While Anthony and I climbed the 115 or so steps to the lighthouse’s observation deck, the other 3 wandered around the grounds. I spotted Bonnie from the top and yelled down to her that I’d throw the camera down so that she could get a shot of me at the top. After I got some panoramic shots, down we went.
The last stop was at the Coral Beach & Tennis Club, where Anthony is a member. He had 2 reasons for stopping here: so that Bonnie and Nancy could see one of Bermuda’s pink sand beaches and 4:00 PM tea. Anthony lead me to a good spot for a few photos and took the others to another entrance to the beach. I found a private stairway down to the beach, got a few shots there and then noticed the others wandering down the beach. We headed back to the clubhouse and joined Anthony for tea.
Anthony drove us back to the ship, just in time for happy hour on the balcony, which stretched on for a while. We had missed our dinner sitting so we went to the open seating dining room for a good dinner, much better than the first night’s dinner.
That was it for the day. We were all dragging, so headed back to our rooms.
Tomorrow we sail at 12:30.