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Old 14-11-2009, 14:20   #16
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Nice Cruising

I have been going to Bermuda for 50 years, either by boat or by plane. The first time that I sailed there was around 1964. Similar to others, I was "passing through" on a race or a hop from or to Europe.

I have always wanted to try Cruising the Island(s). We did so this fall; we spent about four weeks there from September 23rd to October 20th. We arrived from Nova Scotia and went on to the BVI.

Bermuda is a fun cruising ground. Go out to the West End and poke into Ely's Harbor. Go out on the reef and do some diving. Stop in the "Dockyard" and get a tourist fix and brush up on the history of Bermuda. It is definitely worth some time. My kids think that riding on motorscooters is a blast.

In my view, there are two reasons why Bermuda doesn't get more cruisers (as opposed to people passing through). First, while the cruising is fun, it isn't spectacular. There are lots of places to go, but it won't keep you interested for months like some other areas. The water is beautiful, but not super clear. Second, it is very expensive.

That said, I love the folks in Bermuda. They are wonderful people, water oriented and very welcoming. Definitely worth the trip.
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Old 14-11-2009, 14:48   #17
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There are many climbers who go to the Alps or Tetons and make a guided climb...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bene505 View Post
Why not join the Bermuda Cruising Rally. That way you can go in goosd company, with some parties at either end, experienced weather and gulf stream planning, help finding extra experienced crew members, and sat phones to boot.

I sailed with Daniel Goldberg to Martha's Vinyard last July. He organizes the trip. Good guy.
of Grand Teton and then tell the story. I'm glad they are happy, but that doesn't make them climbers. It makes them tourists with money and some basic fitness. They have climbed the mountain without real risk and with too much hand-holding. The art of climbing comes from training, practicing, equipping you self with what is necessary, planning, and then doing, responsible for your actions. Most of the "tragedies" we read of with climbers, and stories of climbers leaving someone for dead are such tourists.

While a rally would be fun perhaps, and easy, it would not bring the same rewards as having done it with your own resources. It would not be like guided climbing; I'm sure it is more a test of sailing ability than that, by far, and I do not mean to compare the 2 exercises directly. They are different. Still, I'm glad you enjoyed it, but I know I wouldn't find it very rewarding. I know myself. I would rather do something smaller, on my abilities alone.

Do I take too many chances? Perhaps. I have done some scary climbs in the mountains; the Black Ice Couoir on Grand Teton was probably my favorite. But my preparation was always methiculous, spanning as many years as needed to gain the skills and to approach each new challenge by inches rather than leaps.

When I am ready, I will go, and go safely. Not yet. I know I am not yet ready, though perhaps I am as ready as most. I don't feel I have sailed my new boat in enough bad weather. I will be sure when I go, and I will be self-sufficient.
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Old 22-11-2009, 03:49   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon701 View Post
I have been going to Bermuda for 50 years, either by boat or by plane ... I have always wanted to try Cruising the Island(s). We did so this fall ... Bermuda is a fun cruising ground. Go out to the West End and poke into Ely's Harbor. Go out on the reef and do some diving. Stop in the "Dockyard" and get a tourist fix and brush up on the history of Bermuda. It is definitely worth some time ... there are two reasons why Bermuda doesn't get more cruisers ... First, while the cruising is fun, it isn't spectacular ... it won't keep you interested for months ... Second, it is very expensive ... I love the folks in Bermuda. They are wonderful people, water oriented and very welcoming. Definitely worth the trip.
If I had to summarize my "relationship" with the Bermuda islands, it would sound very much like the above. My experiences go back some 40 or so years and include 3 single-handed trips on my own boat, 2 Marion Races, one multihull race, and many visits by plane. It seems I cannot get enough. Like "Dragon" I have been fortunate enough to cruise into just about every harbor available and have poked my nose into places that most folks don't have the time to visit. I have never encountered any but friendly and helpful residents and officials. I have however encountered $60 hamburgers.

For those who no longer lust after the wandering life but still go offshore from time to time, Bermuda is just about ideal.
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Old 03-01-2010, 22:17   #19
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Not sure if you're still following this thread, but Bermuda is a great destination all on its own. Very friendly, very safe and very clean. St. George's is a beautiful harbor, and it offers a lot for the mariner. Picturesque and safe anchorage, and plenty of places to tie up if you prefer that. Great restaurants, fun nightlife, awesome snorkeling/diving/fishing, good sightseeing. Bermuda is an all-around great spot. Plus, it gives you some offshore experience that's challenging, yet not over the top. You can manage a trip like this, essentially, in a two-week vacation if you are inclined (that would be a little aggressive, but doable).

The only real negative is that life on the islands is expensive, relatively speaking.

By the way, in terms of timing, June really is the best time to go.

In the interests of full disclosure, I run a cruising rally with Tania Aebi each June that goes from Greenport, NY to Bermuda. If you want more info on sailing to Bermuda, or just some contacts of people to call if/when you go, PM or email me (dan @bermudacruisingrally.com).

Don't mean this to be a commercial post, but because the inquiry specifically is about Bermuda (and it appears Bene505 mentioned our rally already anyway) I figured it would be OK to give the OP the benefit of my thoughts. If not, apologies.
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Old 03-01-2010, 22:55   #20
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When you are in an expensive place, you downsize--you can still get a cheap dinner in the deli at the supermarket, and eat it on the benches outside those $$$ restaurants.

Best to wait till June to go to Bermuda--we came through mid-May last year on the way north, and the gales were still hitting every 3-4 days.

Don't assume a cruising rally is like a guided climb. The rally organizers are not on your boat, and they can't fix things or deliver parts or supplies. All they can offer is advice over the radio. I have listened to the radio check-in net on the Caribbean 1500, and the reality sets in round about the Bermuda Triangle.
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Old 03-01-2010, 23:11   #21
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of Grand Teton and then tell the story. I'm glad they are happy, but that doesn't make them climbers. It makes them tourists with money and some basic fitness. They have climbed the mountain without real risk and with too much hand-holding. The art of climbing comes from training, practicing, equipping you self with what is necessary, planning, and then doing, responsible for your actions. Most of the "tragedies" we read of with climbers, and stories of climbers leaving someone for dead are such tourists.

While a rally would be fun perhaps, and easy, it would not bring the same rewards as having done it with your own resources. It would not be like guided climbing; I'm sure it is more a test of sailing ability than that, by far, and I do not mean to compare the 2 exercises directly. They are different. Still, I'm glad you enjoyed it, but I know I wouldn't find it very rewarding. I know myself. I would rather do something smaller, on my abilities alone.

Do I take too many chances? Perhaps. I have done some scary climbs in the mountains; the Black Ice Couoir on Grand Teton was probably my favorite. But my preparation was always methiculous, spanning as many years as needed to gain the skills and to approach each new challenge by inches rather than leaps.

When I am ready, I will go, and go safely. Not yet. I know I am not yet ready, though perhaps I am as ready as most. I don't feel I have sailed my new boat in enough bad weather. I will be sure when I go, and I will be self-sufficient.
I went on a Bermuda Rally about 15 years ago, as a first time offshore voyage. You're right about it being a lot of fun, but once you leave port you're completely on your own. After the first 6-8 hours I didn't see another rally boat, until arriving at St. George. The idea that we are all followng the leader, like circus elephants, is not so. I found it very enjoyable, and the guidlines for the preparation, was well worth the fee.
Marc
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