Tuesday, October 6, 2009
What’s so great about living in Bermuda you ask? Beyond the completely obvious—beachy autumn weekends, yellow-breasted kiskadees, potent rum swizzles—it’s the opportunity to share my tropical home with visiting friends and family. My faithful readers will remember when I visited the Bermuda Aquarium with my nieces in July or when I explored historic St. Peter’s Church with my family priest. Originally built in 1612—then rebuilt 100 years later after it was destroyed by a hurricane—it’s the oldest continually used church in the Western Hemisphere, a fact that would’ve gone unnoticed had he and his family not dropped by. When my brothers-in-law recently paid a visit we all had a blast aboard the Ana Luna, a 44-foot catamaran chartered for a day sail around the island's east end. Thanks to them I discovered parts of my new home that I'd never seen: The fort at Castle Harbour, secluded wrecks teeming with marine life, and best of all, the stunning Bermuda coastline. So when one of my oldest friends decided to hop a flight from New York how could I protest? In town for a quick weekend, he and his girlfriend saw more of Bermuda than most people see in a whole week. Although much of that can be chalked up to his good planning—like when he arranged for a surprise excursion to go swimming with dolphins. The pre-trip conversation went something like this. Him: “Dave, do they have dolphins in Bermuda?” Me: “Umm, I’m not sure. You mean like dolphin fish? To eat?” Him: “Naaah, to swim with!” Me: “I dunno. Maybe?” Him: “Well let’s see if we can find some dolphins. Everywhere I go there are no dolphins. Did I mention that we really wanna swim with dolphins?” And that’s how we found Dolphin Quest in the Royal Naval Dockyard, by far one coolest places to spend a morning. With three programs to choose from (ranging from the expensive to the very expensive) Dolphin Quest had them in the water by 10 a.m. and swimming alongside the playful mammals by 10:15. About an hour later it was all over, but not before plenty of laughs and wide-eyed smiles. I’m not sure why, but there’s something about dolphins that just make people happy. Maybe it’s their cheerful demeanor or their amazing capacity to learn, whatever it is, I’m just glad I got to see it all with my own eyes—with a little help from my friends, of course.