Time for some school in Bermuda
In the morning we worked on school. We had a lot to catch up since we hadn’t worked since the storm. The day wasn’t very eventful. After three in the afternoon we walked over to a golf course at the coast. Here Joost had sympathy exercises for us. We had to look each other in the eyes and think of what the other person has been feeling. After two rounds Joost decided we weren’t in the mood for this so instead we went climbing on the rocks by the ocean and played some soccer. Haike and I returned to the ship to finish the cookies we had started baking before we left. We made snicker doodles and they turned out surprisingly well! In the evening we started making signs for Elskarien because she is returning!!
The Spirit of Bermuda
Today it was my brother’s birthday so as soon as I got the chance I called home. It is really weird to be missing events like this that are happening at home. The day started off with a big clean-up which was really necessary. Jeltje, Andrea, and I cleaned up the egg powder which had fallen over in the teachers sleeping hut. A couple of days ago Jeltje and I had cleaned up the worst mess, but now we went down to the detail. The smell however, was horrific. Egg powder has a really strong scent. Anyway, after cleaning we worked on school till 3. At three we went to Hamilton and at Hamilton we took a ferry towards Dockyard. The ferry was really cool, it went quite fast! Dockyard is at the other end of the island. There we went to visit the Bermuda Spirit which is also a tall ship. The Spirit usually takes children for about two weeks on sailing trip, just like our captain normally does. After the tour we played soccer with the crew and then had a barbeque with the crew of the Spirit. There we ate hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken wings, corn, and salads. It was delicious and we were definitely happy finally to not have to make our own food. The Bermudan hospitality is unbelievable. We barely knew any of them, yet they were very open and took great care of us. To make the night even better Elskarien also returned!
At around 11 in the night we had to return to the Regina Maris since we would otherwise miss the last bus. The head of the Spirit told us an inspiring quote “don’t pay it back, pay it forward”. Our captain invited them to our ship the next evening.
A Tour through St. Georges
Since we got home quite late the last evening we got to sleep in a bit. After which we got a tour through St. Georges. Here we were told about the history and showed around to different houses which had a historical value. Bermuda was discovered in the early 1600s by a ship which got in a storm and then landed in Bermuda. Before this Bermuda was called Devil’s Island since there are many shipwrecks here due to the coral riffs. However, this ship stranded on a riff and stayed standing. All of this was quite interesting.
In the afternoon we had school and in the evening a party for return of Elskarien. We had an endless amount of food, again. French-fries, our own made kroketjes (a Dutch type of fast food), chicken wings, salad, cakes, and more. After this we preformed a dance for Els, just for fun. Haike, Andrea, and I had danced it during our watch and thought it would be funny to teach everyone this and perform it for Els. After this everybody started dancing and we had quite some fun. That evening the clock was also put an hour forward, which meant an hour less sleep!
The one hour less sleep didn’t matter much because it was Sunday today which meant that we got to sleep in. At 8.30 breakfast was ready during which Haike, Steffie, Jeltje, and I ate an apple and went into St. Georges. We didn’t want to wait till the bread was ready so together with Steffie I bought a croissant and muffins as breakfast. Not really healthy, but definitely a treat. In front of the church we got onto the free internet and then we left since everyone went on internet there and we went on internet on a little grass field. Here I Skyped with a couple of people, it was amazing to talk with home again and actually see people from home. When we returned to the ship we had lunch and heard which new rooms we were in.
I am in a room with Marleen, Tess, and Lian which is really fun and luckily they are all quite organized so our room is really neat. Nothing on the floor, it is very accessible. During the trip I realized that I am amazingly cleaned-up and quite an organizational freak when it comes down to keeping the room clean.
Two School Days
The day started out with yes, school. I worked on comparative government, which in class I find quite interesting but learning from a book is really not that exciting. Anyway, in the afternoon we had a sport day. First we played life Stratego a while. Of course, as usual I got a bloody nose. So together with Till, Stijn, and Douwe I went back to the boat to get tissues and they went to get some stuff. We could actually stop playing sports after an hour but I decided to continue. When I returned we played some other games which are hard to explain but I did have quite a few laugh attacks.
Back on the boat we ate pizza and in the evening we got a cake from the parents because we had survived the storm. They had organized from Holland that we would get a cake in Bermuda. Really sweet! Thanks to all the mums and dads!
This morning we enjoyed having school again. My concentration when we are laying still is really good though. I don’t remember when but I also did a math test on Bermuda, which I believe went quite well. Learning on a moving ship is not quite ideal… But it is doable and definitely an experience.
In the afternoon we had an activity organized by Elskarien. The point of the game was that in each team three people were blindfolded and one other person of the team would tell them how they had to go through an obstacle course. The rest of us had to stay quiet and I was told to take pictures. It was really hilarious. The blindfolded had to do things such as putting on boots, going certain directions, and going through people who are walking back and forth. Really, at certain points I was basically rolling on the floor of laughter. There were four teams and the fastest time was about 20 minutes. I believe we got third or something. Well, it wasn’t really important how fast you were, but more that the people listened and that the person who directed the people was clear and calm. Els had chosen people who needed to work on the skills listening and leadership. It was really good to see that all of them handled it quiet good. After the game we got a cup full of own popped popcorn and chips.
Back at the boat we played pull the rope (or however you call it). First we had random groups but then we played boys against girls. We are with 19 and the guys are with 14 but since they are mostly taller, stronger, and thus heavier it was quite fair. You would never guess who won. Yeahhhhhhh, buddy, we did! Not only once, but twice! And as they had promised they will jump in the water if they lose. Promises are promises so all them went swimming in their clothes and it wasn’t exactly very warm. Just about 10 degrees colder than the temperature we are used to. Of course they are sore losers so they came completely dripping cold water and started hugging all of us who stayed dry.
Today was a cool day.
We got up early to go to Dockyard with the bus. First we went to the National Maritime Museum. It was quite an interesting a museum filled with a lot of different things. I wasn’t only about nautical things but also about slavery in Bermuda, the relationship between the Bermuda and the Azores (there are a lot of Portuguese immigrants in Bermuda), the history and defense of Bermuda, and a lot more. After that we were ‘let loose’ in Dockyard. I lead Douwe, Andrea, and Till to Haägen Dazs. I knew where this was since we always went to Dockyard one day during sailing camp. Andrea and I shared an ice cream. Cookies and cream, it was delicious! After enjoying our ice cream we looked around. Then we saw Steffie, Haike, and Merwin. Together with them and Andrea I went looking around some more. We also bought postcards and stamps. Sending post is actually really amusing, I think I might do it more often.
Now came the cool part of the day.
Marit, one of teachers, knows someone on Bermuda who works at a dolphin center and does research on dolphins. Because of this we got to go to a show for free. At the show there were really cute kids around the ages 4-5. All of them in school uniform and completely amazed by the dolphins. We had of course seen dolphins in the wild but never from such a close distance. The dolphins live in a sort of closed off section from the sea, so it is a quite natural habitat. For 20 dollars you could get closer to the dolphins and play with them. After a lot of pondering I decided to do it as well and I am very glad I did. It was really cool! We got to pet them, I did one of the tricks with the dolphin in which it came and put its head on my hands, and I fed it fish. The skin was really weird, super smooth! Later Marit’s friend told us the research they are doing here and the projects they are working on. Also she told us how they train dolphins. I first thought it was kind of sad for the dolphins, but they seemed truly happy and definitely didn’t look able to live in another environment. In addition, these dolphins weren’t caught but they were born in captivity so they didn’t know better. Anyway, it was definitely an amazing experience.