In case you hadn't already heard, it's Cup Match weekend here in Bermuda, which means everything pretty much shuts down for four days so islanders can gather with friends and family for a long holiday weekend. There's also a widely anticipated two-day cricket match played between teams from St. George in the east and Somerset in the west. This year's game will be held in St. George—so to help any of you who might be attending the festivities this year, don't miss this article from the Bermuda Sun, which has some great tips for how to best enjoy Cup Match 2011. A few of my faves? "Try Bermuda delicacies including conch stew, mussel stew and, if you are really lucky, shark hash. Sample a dark 'n' stormy—black rum with ginger beer—but go easy in the heat." All great points, although that shark hash might be pretty hard to find, unless of course you head to the Black Horse Tavern in sleepy St. David's just a quick cab ride from the action. The über-local dish is savory, hashy and delicious. Another good suggestion: "Set aside a few dollars to play Crown & Anchor; known colloquially as 'the stock market,' it's a fast-moving, cash-only game of chance." And Cup Match is the only time of the year when legal gambling is permitted in Bermuda (check it out, that's a packed Crown & Anchor tent above). Finally, my very favorite of the bunch: "Don't be afraid to ask any locals you happen to be sitting next to for pointers on what is going on [during the cricket match]. They will happily explain who they think is the best bowler or batsman." Because of course, the game of cricket continues to baffle populations around the world, but mostly those from the States who no doubt will be scratching their heads this Cup Match season wondering, "What the eff is going on?" For you, I say have no fear! Cricket is a friendly sport with friendlier spectators and fortunately Dark 'n' Stormies will be served near the grandstands if you get bored. 'Nuff said.
Wowsa, talk about a hiatus! But clearly my 10-day absence has inspired some worthy conversation about the stunning image I posted on July 14. Writes RumShopRyan, a Caribbean rum-lover who runs the über-tropical website RumShopRyan.com, "A beautiful photo indeed. Some of the best shots I've seen do include dark storm clouds off in the distance while the sun is still shining in the foreground. Islands are beautiful, period." Agreed! Looking forward to sipping some Gosling's Old Rum with you one day soon buddy. A few days later Marc Morgan of RumandRelaxation.com wrote, "That photograph is gorgeous and truly evocative. I agree with you, even though there is no shortage of beautiful shots available in the Caribbean, that one is a gem among gems!" Here, here! No doubt the photographer himself would be glad to know that he's touched so many Bermuda Shorts readers. Replies the one and only Terence Luk, amateur photog extraordinaire: "Thanks for the mention. I live in Pembroke [Parish] but have yet to explore Southampton and Dockyard with my camera so stayed tuned for more photos." Fantastic! I can't wait to see your latest images (speaking of images, that's one I took while picnicking on the southwest shore). In the meantime, you can expect your daily dose of Bermuda Shorts right here since there's presently lots happening on the island—most notably Cup Match, a four-day weekend that revolves around a heated cricket match between teams from St. George and Somerset. It all kicks off tomorrow, so stay tuned for the latest tropical news and island updates.
It's not every day that you come across a stunning image even when you live in a place as beautiful as Bermuda. After all, you'd think on an island with so many tangerine sunsets, powder blue horizons and craggy coastlines that amateur and professional photographers alike would spend days on end snapping away. Of course, I'm sure they do. But until I found this picture posted on Flickr by a local photographer named Terence Luk, never have I been so moved by Bermuda's beauty, even with menacing skies above. Want to see more? Then check out Luk's Flikr photostream, which features some amazing island images like the view from Gibbs Hill Lighthouse and an artful portrait called Clouds, Rocks & Beach, among others. And if you're hankering for even more, don't miss these gorgeous Bermuda seascapes and aerial images from pro photographer Gavin Howarth (who's also available for weddings for all you love birds out there). In the meantime, I'll be combing the island for some memorable shots of my own—so don't get worried if I get lost for a little awhile. Until next time, my friends.
I'll admit it: I had no clue what "planking" was until I read this article in the Royal Gazette. But as it turns out, the practice of making one's body flat and lying horizontally on random objects while snapping a photo of your odd contortion is sweeping the globe and apparently, just arriving in Bermuda. "You get creativity points for planking in odd places like tree branches or escalators," reads a description on Facebook from the local group called 'Planking in Bermy.' "The more wild you get the better the picture will be." The Gazette has tons of wacky photos depicting people planking across the island—ya know, folks atop public phone booths, belly-flat in city fountains, and yes, perched over the Cabinet Building chimney—but the one above is currently my favorite. Who knew that Bermuda's own Johnny Barnes could ever carry such a heavy load?
In case you're in the market for a dreamy beach vacation—one that includes pink sand romping, golf club swinging, fresh fish eating and perhaps, adventurous pursuits like deep sea fishing and underwater diving—look no further than the Bermuda Department of Tourism's latest deal. Called the Endless Summer Offer, visitors who book a minimum of four nights at one of 14 participating hotels will get a free roundtrip flight from New York, Boston, Atlanta or Toronto or a $400 air credit good for travel from other cities. The catch? You have to book your trip through a Bermuda Tour Operator (not the end of the world, really) and travel from August 23-October 31, 2011. Available hotels range from the historic and relatively wallet-friendly Fairmont Hamilton Princess (with rooms starting at $299 a night) to the ritzy Pink Beach Club, a historic cottage colony where I recently stayed on the Fourth of July, with rooms starting at $645 a night (that's one of its private beaches above; not too shabby). Interested? Then head on over to GoToBermuda.com and book its Endless Summer Offer before October 25.
Anyone in the New York metropolitan area looking for an inexpensive luxury cruise to Bermuda? If so, then check out this latest deal from Crystal Cruises as reported on USA Today's The Cruise Log with Gene Sloan. On Wednesday the luxury line announced it was cutting fares on its October 25 sailing of the Crystal Symphony out of New York to under $3,000 per person—a hearty savings considering the ship is at sea for 12 days and hits other luxe islands including St. Maarten, Antigua, Aruba and Grand Cayman in addition to a stop in Bermuda. The sale fare includes Crystal's traditional $1,000 per couple shipboard spending credits—basically cruise line funny money, to spend on whatever it is you wish while on board—but availability of the fare is limited and subject to change. Bottom line, if you're interested in a luxury cruise at a basement bargain price, book it pronto through Crystal Cruises or your favorite travel agent.
Given Bermuda's propensity for attracting all things luxurious—like New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's private jet, which visits the island regularly—it's no surprise that the world's largest and most luxurious single masted sailboat is currently on its shores. Say hello to the Mirabella V, a 247-feet sloop large enough to hold a double-decker bus in her hull; a boat that pulled in charter fees between $250,000 and $420,000 per week prior to its sale last month; and one that's currently hanging out west of Bermuda's Spanish Point according to Bernews. Says the local news site, Mirabella V was built for an estimated $50 million and incorporates nearly every conceivable luxury. "The yacht has a full beam owner's suite, six staterooms with big windows and full size en-suite bathrooms, entertainment systems everywhere and even a hot-tub and dip pool on the sailboat's foredeck. The yacht also boasts a gymnasium and sauna...plus a dining room capable of seating up to 12 guests in comfort." All well and good but here's my favorite part: the toys. "Mirabella V also carries a small fleet of watercraft to keep passengers occupied during cruises. For motorheads, there's a 29-foot Hinckley with 400hp engine (complete with waterskiis, wakeboard, kneeboard and tube), a 21-foot Castoldi with 240hp engine, a 17-foot rigid-inflatable boat and two SeaDoos. There are also four Laser sailing dinghies, two windsurfers, a two-man kayak and a rowing skull. And for those who get their fun below the water, there's full SCUBA equipment and a compressor for unlimited diving." Wowsa. When I saw the ship sailing outside of Hamilton harbor just the other day I knew it was big, but not that big! I'd be happy to own the boat aboard the boat, thank you very much. To learn more about the Mirabella Vcheck out this video, which originally aired on the Travel Channel in 2007.
Just because I live in Bermuda doesn't mean I didn't get to celebrate the Fourth of July. After all, I am a proud American—a sun-kissed, lucky-as-clover American, but an American nonetheless. Unlike my first year on the island when I celebrated with my wife on Church Bay or last year, when apparently I wore the exact same shirt to toast the U-S-of-A's independence, I spent July 4th sipping wine and watching east end fireworks from the oceanfront balcony of my room at the Pink Beach Club, a ritzy cottage colony in Tucker's Town (yes, that was my actual view). I was there on assignment, so instead of scooping my own story I'll just tell you this: If you're looking for a high-end hotel that guarantees seclusion, solitude and a killer water view, you should seriously consider the Pink Beach Club, featuring 94 spacious rooms and suites on Bermuda's stunning south shore. I'll have more about the hotel in the near the future, but for now, know that this American had one heckuva time in Britain's oldest colony.
is a Bermuda-based travel writer and television correspondent. To read his work visit DavidLaHuta.com or to follow him on Twitter visit Twitter.com/DavidLaHuta. Visiting Bermuda? Read his story, 36 Hours in Bermuda, which appeared in the New York Times travel section in September 2009 (http://bit.ly/36HoursBermuda) and Jetsetter's The Many Faces of Bermuda, which ran in January 2011 (http://bit.ly/FacesOfBDA).