Location: St George's Town, Bermuda

Is it cold? Colm wanted to know.
Nah…. I wheezed, struggling to catch my breath.
The blue of St Georges Harbour had beckoned us at first light, and the easiest way to rouse the crowds at seven oclock was to entice them to enjoy the wondrous colors beyond the companionway.
Colm was the only taker.

Maxs chocolate pancakes were a rocking start and were followed by Shonas rocking navigation class. As someone said, If you cant navigate, you cant operate. It might have been Drej. Both groups learned how to ascertain the course needed to steer to arrive at their intended destination on a chart, accounting for the effects of current and wind. Anticipation is rising as the course nears its pinnacle. With exams in the near distant future, our budding navigators will soon be able to confidently set their own courses.

After lunch, we packed off into St Georges Town, headed for the Saint Catherines Fort on a marine biology mission. (So its not quite spelled the same, but Katies full name is Kathrine, so the fort was naturally her’s in sainthood). The limestone fort is placed on a corner of the coast with high walls, an empty moat surrounding the landward (Woah!), and enormous 10inch guns trained on the empty bay before it. The fort was unfortunately closed up for renovations, but we clambered over its buttresses and scrambled along the lower walls. With Adelaide, we wanted to explore the rock pools and found some marvelous things amongst the limestone rock formations at the water’s edge. A Portuguese man-of-war was trapped on a sea tree, and chitons crowded the nooks and crannies. Bubbly green algae looked like bunches of green grapes, and even a giant abandoned cannon (not naturally occurring) lay with marine growth covering its black steel surface.

The final order of the day was a scramble back to the frozen yogurt store before our rendezvous with the dingy. Our cravings for sugar had us all caught out by the pay-by-weight policy, stacking our cups high with every flavor and every topping. My personal favorite was pumpkin pie flavor with chocolate rocks piled beyond the rim of the cup. Too good…

Tonight, Vela lies at anchor, absolutely motionless in these still inland waters. We sailors relish the small things, like ice cream or simply sitting upright on the heads, that come with respite from the perpetual rolling. A small part of each of us, though, even those new to the wind and waves, lingers on the siren of the magnificent and wide ocean.

1. An impressive limestone pillar formation before the sparkling blue.
2. A pine-lined avenue en route
3. Katie’s fort
4. Katie’s Fort’s Moat’s open end
5. preserved centipedes in a bottle in a dusty window in an abandoned storefront.
6. The Procession (note the cold weather attire)
7. Sonnet blowing wishes
8. Bennitt sporting VELA
9.the sea wall of Katie’s Fort
10. a wispy piece of sea tree which I think my mum ought to paint
11. Adelaide and Max scouring the pools for critters
12. a Portuguese man-of-war trapped in a sea tree
13.Grass (in short supply on Vela) and the famously Unfinished Church (churches also in short supply on Vela)
14. Me trying to tell the time by blowing fairies
15. green algae (salty green grapes)