Bermuda is an island made up of coral and surrounded by coral reefs. It is probably
one of the most dangerous places to navigate a ship in the world. In order to dock
a ship in Hamilton Harbor, one must follow a carefully charted path through the reef.
The yellow track shown on this map begins as the Empress of the Seas approaches the
eastern end of the island near St. George's. Here
we pick up the local pilot who advises the captain of the Empress along the way in. As
we make our way into Hamilton, reefs and rocks are clearly visible all along the way, in
some cases, only a few feet from the ship as we pass through the channels.
The yellow track was recorded from 9:41 AM until 11:52 AM local time on May 28, 2007,
using a Garmin GPS V.
As we left Hamilton 3 days later, we followed the exact same path back out through the reef.
Note: The Google map data for Bermuda has been updated to include very rough photographic
tiles for the default zoom level of this map. You may zoom in to see more detail.
UPDATE: Radio, of Cruise Critic fame, was kind enough to provide me with his recorded
track of Grandeur of the Seas entering the Dockyard through the north channel. This track,
shown in white, marks a second channel into Bermuda, which is deeper and has easier turns.
If you drag the map around to show the whole path, you will see where they converge back
together near St. George's. This north channel track was recorded with a Garmin eTrex
Legend C on July 10, 2007. The time of the recording is about one hour and 25 minutes.