Bermuda Exhibition

When I lived in Victoria, I probably couldn’t have told you exactly where Bermuda was on the map. Well, now that I live on the East coast, I can tell you that it’s actually pretty convenient to get to (by plane)! Only an hour and a half plane ride away from New York, Bermuda is just as easy for a weekend getaway as anywhere in the States, yet seems further away and more exotic because it is completely isolated. In other words, if I didn’t have a reason to go to the small country, I probably wouldn’t make it out there.

A couple months ago I was fortunate enough to play a PSA event in Bermuda, which was a lot of fun and a great opportunity. While the PSA event was a blast, I also had to focus on actually playing squash, as opposed to hanging out at the beach and sight seeing. So when Patrick (the promoter and head pro at the BSRA) emailed me at the beginning of May to invite me over for an exhibition, I jumped at the chance. A free trip to Bermuda?! Sign me up.

I arrived late Thursday night (June 7th), and left Monday afternoon (June 11th), which gave us a full three days to pack in lots of beach time and a little squash. Island life runs at such a different pace than New York City, and I welcomed it with very open arms.

Friday

Friday started around 8:30 am with some instant coffee and a veggie egg scramble, before it was time for us to make our way down to the squash club. Despite no previous scooter-driving experience, Nikki and I had rented a little two-seater (like a vespa) for the weekend.  Since she had arrived a little earlier than me on Thursday, Nikki took the driving test – which consisted of driving around in a very tight circle- with the intention of me also getting my license. The original plan was for both of us to test drive the scooter, and determine who was better and would be the designated driver. However, we ended up running a bit behind, so I put my life in her hands and hopped on the back, hoping for the best.

Although we made a couple wrong turns, we managed to arrive at the squash club successfully without any crashes. We met up with some of the other squash players, and helped organize a few things before driving to the iconic Horseshoe Bay beach. After roasting on the beach and chilling in the clear blue water, Micah took us to Pompano Beach club for lunch.

The food at Pompano was good, but the views were the absolute highlight. Micah called it the “best lunch spot in the world”! (Can you tell he’s a true Bermudian?). We hung out there for a little while before going back to the squash club to run a junior clinic around 5 pm. The courts were extremely hot and humid, I began to get worried about playing a match in those conditions the following evening. Fortunately, I was told my court was the most sauna-like of all the courts, and it wouldn’t be so bad for the exhibition.

After the clinic, the squash players and some club members went to a happy hour downtown, followed by a late dinner around 10 pm and some drinks at a club afterwards. I’ll just say that a lot of fun was had!

Saturday

Although we were pretty tired from Friday, Nikki and I got up at a reasonable hour of 9 am, as Micah had organized a boat trip for us around St. David’s, a more remote part of the island. Micah’s friend, Jeffrey, was extremely generous and took us on a 5 hour boat tour to show us reefs and secluded beaches.

Although we all chipped in money, Jeffrey went above and beyond to take us out on the “Honey Badger Express” to show us some great spots for cliff diving (which I did NOT partake in), snorkelling, and swimming. Jeffrey even surprised us with a fresh Hogfish which he BBQd right there on the boat, as well as burgers.

The boat trip was easily the highlight of my trip. I’ve never swam in water so warm and clear, and could have definitely spent another couple days on the boat exploring other parts of the island.

After having an hour or so to relax at home, Nikki, Ian (our homestay) and I headed to the club for our exhibition match. Nikki and I were the third match to be played, which meant we had a bit of time to relax and get ready. The exhibition was only a best of 3 to 11 points, so we tried to make the rallies fun and entertaining. Neither of us had really been playing since the season ended, and were surely both tired from a late night and long day, but still managed to put on a good show… I think!

All four matches were finished by 9 pm, and while most of the crew took to court 5 (the bar!), I decided to make my way home for an early night. I was exhausted and wanted to enjoy our last day in Bermuda without being too tired and hungover. I think that Princeton reunions the weekend before combined with the couple of days of fun in the sun really took it out of me!

Sunday

Sunday was the only day the weather was suspect, and we ended up getting poured on a few times. Rain showers in Bermuda can be weird, because it’ll downpour cats and dogs for 10 minutes and then almost immediately clear up. Even weirder- one part of the mile-wide island might get hit, but the other side could be completely sunny and dry.

Despite the weather, we managed to pack a lot of activities in. We hung out at Tobacco Bay (another less-touristy spot) for a few hours, got some food and ice cream, checked out the caves at the Grotto resort, hit up another beach club, and played some 2 v 2 beach soccer. The quality of the soccer was extremely questionable at best, but it was a fun (and difficult) game.

Nikki and I had a low key Sunday night at home with our billet, Ian, before grabbing ice cream (for the second time that day), doing some emails/catching up with life, and calling it an early night.

All in all, it was a fantastic experience. I got to know a few other pros I hadn’t really met before, and got to tour around Bermuda with our local squash tour guides! Big thanks to Patrick for setting up the exhibition, and Micah for his organization, especially with the social stuff. Bermuda is such a fun tiny island and I would love to go back!