Newly freed, Equinox set out and threaded her way out Castle Roads past the outer reefs along Bermuda’s south shore. Having gone through it dozens of time with Eclipse to go out diving still isn't the same as taking one's deep draft boat through. We had plenty of water and Ron had no problems bringing us out through the reefs and around to Town Cut and into St. George's Harbour. We tied up at Ordnance Island to clear out with Customs, which went very smoothly... and quickly! We retrieved our flares and pole-spears, and locked everything back up aboard before we received our precious Form 5. With that in hand, we proceeded to Dowling’s to await the Shell fuel truck bringing our load of duty-free diesel. At .70/liter, it was considerably less than the $1.48/liter that gasoline cost, and worth the arrangements.
The highlight of the afternoon was a private tour of Bermuda Harbour Radio, located at Fort George on the highest point on St. George’s Island. Our friend, Scott Simmons, is the Chief Radio Officer for BHR and arranged to meet us to show us the inner workings of the lookout station. It was really pretty cool to climb the (very) steep hill to find a 3-centuries-old fort, then cross its deep, three-story moat to enter a high-tech radar and radio installation!
Scott showed us their radar tracking station and the variety of computers and radio workstations that they use to communicate wtih all the ships inbound and outbound. We were introduced to Tom, Nick and Peter, the technicians on duty, all of whom we've heard or spoken to over the VHF when we were first making landfall in Bermuda. The courtesy and dedication of the radio technicians is very impressive and seeing them in action was a real treat! As any sailor or cruiser who enters Bermuda by ship for the first time can attest, there is nothing better than hearing the calm, courteous and welcoming voice of Bermuda Harbour Radio (callsign VBR) after days at sea!!