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Bermuda: a journey to the heart of a triangle… Amazing!

Published on 22 march 2017 at 0h00

With the Americas Cup as a backdrop, Bermuda has in a few weeks, become a dream destination for all the world’s sailors. It’s a different place to visit, but one which is particularly practical for those who sail around the Atlantic!  

LOG BOOK 

Until recently, Bermuda was only really thought of as the ideal stopover when returning from the Caribbean to the States or to Europe. It is in fact an ideal spot to stop on both of these routes: it’s why the archipelago sees around a thousand yachts every year, and that’s despite the fact that Jimmy Cornell in his “World Cruising Handbook”, considers that Bermuda “has little to offer cruisers”…  And yet Bermuda is an interesting archipelago, made up of over 180 islands and islets, the largest of which are connected by roads and bridges. The islands are bathed in the waters of the Gulf Stream, which explains the presence of the Atlantic’s most northerly coral reefs.

These reefs are also potentially linked to the notorious Bermuda Triangle’s terrible reputation… The triangle stretches from Florida to Puerto Rico and then up to Bermuda. This zone has seen the unexplained disappearance of many planes and ships. Is there a force at work here which makes these 1.5 million km² more dangerous than anywhere else?  Don’t worry, in reality, there is no more risk here than elsewhere, and the stats prove it. The proof: your insurer will not add any supplements if you tell them that you will be sailing in this zone! 

There is one reality to take on board though: a large coral barrier surrounds these islands, and it stretches several miles out into the ocean. There are many areas where you need to be careful and which are not well mapped. Boats regularly get caught out. This is part of the explanation, (and a more rational one than aliens and supernatural forces) why most of the sailors who are passing by, tend to stay in St. George’s in the far north east of the islands, with the crews preferring to get around by road…  

This explains why there are very few charter companies in the islands, and those that are present, prefer to organize day trips with a skipper, to find the best spots, rather than go sailing head first into the coral reefs! 

Despite this, the world’s greatest sailors have decided to come and play in Bermuda, on board the fastest catamarans ever imagined (read our test of the Groupama AC 45 in Multihulls World 152). The objective is to come away with a silver jug (The Americas Cup), the oldest sporting trophy that is still being fought over! There will therefore be organized cruises so that you can follow the racing and discover the region…  

USEFUL INFO

 

  • Getting there: 
    There are several direct flights from the big American cities, which makes Bermuda accessible from anywhere in the world. New York is less than two hours flying time, and Miami and Atlanta are three hours. Air Canada, American Airlines, British Airways and Delta all fly to Bermuda…  
  • Weather:
    The Bermudan climate is clement, and it is good for sailing all year round. The sea temperature is around 20°C at its coldest in winter, and is close to 30°C in summer. Summer is also when most of the rain falls. It’s worth noting that Bermuda is exposed to hurricanes, and the archipelago has been affected several times in the past few years. The hurricane season runs from June until the end of November. 
  • Formalities:
    Visas are not required to enter Bermuda, and a valid passport with 6 months validity after your departure is usually enough for most European or American travelers. Watch out though if you are travelling through the States to get there. You will need to fill in an online ESTA authorization.  
  • Official Language
    English is Bermuda’s official language. 
  • Currency:
    The local currency is the Bermudan dollar (BMD) which has the same value as the American dollar (USD). US dollars are accepted everywhere and have parity with the Bermudan dollar. 
  • Don’t miss:
    The America’s Cup village and the racing itself with the most outrageous boats ever built. The wild beauty of the reef, snorkeling and the world’s smallest drawbridge (Somerset Bridge).  
  • Charter Companies in-situ
    The Moorings during the America's Cup. Otherwise, Sail Bermuda, Bermuda Yachts, Thinking of Bermuda, Restless Native Catamaran…

 

ITINERAIRE TYPE 

As the official supplier of the 35th Americas Cup, The Moorings are offering a complete service for those who want to follow the event, which takes place between the 26th May and 27th June 2017. These cruises will take place on board six Leopard cats, all with a crew and a top of the range service so that you can be at the heart of the action with special access to the closest spectator zone for the racing, and the Americas Cup Village. It’s a great way to follow a truly world event close up, and to see the incredible potential of these AC50 catamarans with the best crews in the world, in the flesh.  

Yet it would be a shame to go all the way to Bermuda and not see some of the wonders that this archipelago has to offer:  

 

Day 1

Horseshoe Bay

You can’t come sailing in Bermuda and not visit Horseshoe Bay. This bay lies just a few miles from South Shore Park, and is easily accessible. With its calm, clear waters, perfect for snorkeling, swimming and sunbathing, it’s easy to understand why this crescent-shaped pink sand beach has been cited as one of the Caribbean’s best by USA Today.   It’s picture postcard stuff, and in this little corner of paradise you’ll find everything you need to make the most of your day. It’s a must see!  

Day 2

Elbow Beach

This beach takes its name from the arc which it forms. Elbow beach is a splendid beach which stretches for almost 2 km along the southern Bermudan coast. With turquoise waters and well-preserved coral reefs, it’s ideal for snorkeling, and whatever your age you will be spoilt for choice for things to do on land. There is a spa and several great beach bars where you can relax with your Bermudan cocktail.  

Day 3

Somerset Long Bay

In the western part of the island, you can discover a lost little corner of paradise, crisscrossed by lovely walking trails around Somerset Long Bay. This carefully preserved public park is a perfect place for your quiet family picnic. There is even a kid’s play area. There are lots of birds to see, and several fresh water lakes close by.   

Day 4

Tobacco Bay Beach

With its eponymous bar and restaurant, Tobacco Beach Bay is an unmissable visit during your trip to Bermuda. This major tourist destination has everything that you might need to enjoy yourselves. Relax on Tobacco Bay beach whilst studying the curious rock formations that seem to encircle you.  

Day 5

Gibbs Hill Lighthouse

For a breathtaking view of Bermuda, head for the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse. It only costs $2.50 per person (free for under 5s) to climb up the 185 steps up to the summit of this pretty lighthouse built in 1846.  

And there’s more…

Bermuda is an internationally renowned scuba diving and especially snorkeling destination. The best places to discover the marine life and the unbelievable colors of the coral, are  Hamilton, the Royal Naval Dockyard and St George

NEWS FROM THE CHARTER COMPANIES

Discover Columbia on a cat. 

Columbia is opening up to nautical tourism, and some charter companies are starting to offer this original and very likeable destination. Cartagena, the “Pearl of the Caribbean” is the ideal base for setting off to discover the Islas del Rosario, famous for its sandy beaches and marine life.   

To find out more: www.voile-evasion.ch

 

Corsica with a Crew. 

Corsica is still one of the most beautiful destinations in the Med or even the world to visit on the water. What more could we ask than navigating around the “Ile de Beauté” with a crew? Vent Portant has just taken possession of a brand new Lagoon 450, which will be offered from Porto Vecchio, with crew only, from the start of the season. 

For more info: www.ventportant.com

 

ACM in the Caribbean.

Renowned for the rigor of its training courses, ACM is continuing to develop and can now offer new destinations and activities with ACM Caraibes. Tailor-made management and chartering, school and training center, partnering of projects and rental or cruises with crews in the West Indies are now available. 

Get more info here: acm-caraibes.com

 

Sailing in Puerto Rico 

It wasn’t that long ago (Multihulls World 151) that we put the spotlight on Puerto Rico. This magical destination is now being offered by Dream Yacht Charter, allowing you to sail and discover the island’s many marvelous sites. Ideal for those who want to discover new destinations. 

Find out more:  www.dreamyachtcharter.com

 

Learn to Sail.  

Whether you are looking at a family holiday in the West Indies or setting out around the Atlantic, Jim is offering training courses just off the English coast on board a 12m Privilege. He’s been doing this for 22 years, so he really knows his subject, and especially catamarans. 

For more info: www.multihull.tv

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