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Arguably one of Bermuda’s most breathtaking sights, the Great Sound is Bermuda’s largest semi-contained body of water, and in December 2014 was selected as the battleground for the the world’s most prestigious sailing event: the 35th America’s Cup (AC35).Located in the island’s west end, the Great Sound is surrounded by land to the south, west and east, while its north side opens up into the Atlantic ocean. It is home to many smaller islands, a diverse range of marine life, and perhaps most importantly to the America’s Cup sailors, near-perfect wind conditions for competitive sailing. The land surrounding the Great Sound offers ideal viewing conditions for America’s Cup racing, as Bermuda’s topography and fishhook shape lend to the west end acting as a sort of “amphitheatre” to the massive body of water. There are several ways to experience the exquisite beauty of the Great Sound. Locals and visitors alike can explore by ferry, sailboat, charter boat or simply a relaxing swim. If you want to view it from the land, your best bets are Spanish Point (Pembroke), Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse (Southampton) and Fort Scaur (Somerset), as all three offer gorgeous vantage points from which to appreciate its full beauty.

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The North Atlantic Island of Bermuda has no fresh water springs, rivers or lakes. The colorful pastel limestone houses are equipped with white roofs in order to harvest rain. They also have small steps on them, which slows down the heavy rainfall, which helps the gutters collect the water and store it in tanks below the house. As there are no permanent steams and the lakes are brackish, the system was forced on the early settlers. It later became enforced in house-building regulations, for each square foot of roof space; all houses must have eight gallons of tank space.This design has many benefits. Being made of limestone means it is heavier and not easily shifted by hurricane as well as having anti-bacterial properties.

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One of the greatest attractions for tourists and divers in Bermuda are the wide range of colorful coral reefs that can be seen surrounding the island. Corals are marine invertebrates that feed on plankton, small fish, and mostly algae. Bermuda has some of the northern most reefs in the North Atlantic and many being quite large in size. Corals require temperatures between 76-85F to survive and fortunately the nearby Gulf Stream keeps the water around Bermuda warm and clean which is why the reefs in Bermuda continue to thrive.Coral secretes a chemical called Calcium Carbonate, which then takes the form of limestone forming the coral reefs. Over time when millions of corals keep adding to the limestone rocks, it forms size and shape of a massive coral reef, but the process takes many years.There are three types of Coral Reefs in Bermuda, Lagoon Reefs, Rim Reefs and Terrace Reefs. Lagoon Reefs are found in the water that immediately surrounds the island and also form in the inshore water areas. The waves are low here and the water is relatively calm. The reefs here have depths ranging from 10 – 20 meters. Due to the silt, the bottom of the ocean floor here in sandy leading to lower visibility. Corals in the Lagoon Reef area include soft corals like Sea Rods, Sea Fans and branching corals.Rim Reefs form a rim around the boundary of the lagoon water area, hence the name. They have an average depth of 2 – 10 meters and they are massive in size and usually consist of hard corals like Brain and Star corals. They have a high visibility compared to Lagoon Reefs. The North Rock, the largest reef of Bermuda is part of the Rim Reefs.Terrace Reefs, the outermost reef system and comprise mainly Brain and Star corals have extremely clear visibility.Coral Reefs are seen as an advantage for the island. They act as a barrier and protect the island against heavy wave actions and the reefs are a hot spot for various marine creatures and fish, many of which have commercial value.

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