In the Los angeles airport–they only gave me an hour of free internet Bruce, so here goes.
The trip to Bermuda was amazing, and even though it is a small country, hence easy to get around on, I feel really lucky to have seen & experienced so much. Definitely more than the average Bermuda resort-goer. The two weeks spent in lab in Maine preparing to go I found were also very helpful. It was nice to go there already having the necessary information in the back of my head so that when I was there I could just be there and experience it fully, and we didn’t have to drag ourselves indoors from the beautiful island views to learn. Although if we were there for the whole month, I would have conceded to spending some time in the classroom.
Truthfully, the only downside to this trip (not the passport, I’m pretty much over that) was that evil puzzle that was falling apart! Doomed never to be finished and to torture all those who tried! A small price to pay though for everything we were able to do. Despite how densely populated Bermuda is, there are still peaceful places you can go to–like Tom Moore’s Jungle and those caves, and the postcard-worthy beaches on the South Shore. Everything feels laid back and I totally loved it.
It was also exciting to become proficient at riding a moped. On lefty roads nonetheless! There were times when I felt like a Bermudian, but then I remembered my helmet said “OLEANDER” in big letters so it was fairly obvious that I wasn’t.
I also have a soft spot in my heart for caves, and I am always wow-ed by the features that can be produced with limestone (just add water!). Swimming in a cave was also a somewhat alien experience, just because of the feeling in your gut when you look down into the deep cave pools and there is no life and it seems to continue forever. An infinite abyss. Pretty cool and slightly freaky, but I enjoyed it.
Another notable thing we did was snorkeling! Reef life will also never cease to amaze me. The amount of symbiosis and even just how much life you can see by staring at one place that isn’t always apparent upon first glance. Its such a mystical & unique place on Earth. I always kind of feel like an intruder to the life that has been created in these amazing carbonate environments…except for when our guide speared the lionfish. So beautiful so invasive so deadly! And they never really move in the water column; they float along with the current until they see prey they want to snatch. The reefs at North Rock were some of the most extensive I’ve ever seen. Some of our group kept swimming out to try to reach the drop-off, but it seemed to go on forever so I turned around. Don’t want to end up in Davy Jones’ locker! We saw a hawksbill sea turtle at this location too! Far out!
One last thing to reflect on was the Bermuda Aquarium/Zoo/Museum. What an establishment! It really had everything. It was awesome to be a VIP and see all the tanks from the other side. It was the most interesting to see how injured fish and birds were being cared for. I thought some of the fish were talking to me….but they weren’t 🙁
On the whole, this Jan-Plan trip was so special and fun. It was also a nice follow-up to last years’ Belize Jan-Plan and another chance to apply and enhance my knowledge of carbonate environments. Every day on this trip I was so happy; we did so much! Thanks Chief!