Inland Harrington Sound, favored by boaters and anglers, is considered by naturalists to be biologically unique in the world, because of its necklace of underwater caves, tidal currents, submerged notches, and the abundance of marinelife found here. Calico clams, black mussels, purple urchins, harbor conches, squids, and spiny lobsters can all be seen, not to mention rays that occasionally lift out of the water like speckled Stealth Bombers before coming down in a loud splash—a heart-pumping experience for any nearby swimmer.
Measuring some three square miles, Harrington Sound is deep, extending down to 80 feet in some places, and ringed by steep cliffs and sheer shores, the highest point lying at Abbot’s Cliff in Hamilton Parish. Below these, numerous caves provide fascinating exploration for cave-divers, kayakers, and snorkelers, though the mouths of some, such as Green Bay Cave on the western shore, lie underwater. (Inside this particular cave, however, stalactites hang from the ceiling above the surface.)
Another example is Shark Hole Cave, in the emerald-hued southwest corner, which extends under the traffic of Harrington Sound Road. Swimmers can often feel patches of cool water throughout the sound, as seawater from the outer shore enters through hundreds of fissures.
Scattered around Harrington Sound are various private islands (Rabbit Island, Cockroach Island) where Bermudians keep summer cottages. Sporting events such as Zoom Around the Sound (a run/walk/cycle/inline skate event), the Round-the-Sound Swim, and the Trunk Island Swim also take advantage of the sound’s scenic loop and its mostly calm waters in the summer and fall. Flatts Bridge is a great vantage point to view most of Harrington Sound, and swimming is popular off the rocks at Shark Hole—the only soft landing is a small beach on the property of the Palmetto Gardens condominiums, at the three-way junction of North Shore, Middle, and Harrington Sound Roads.
But the high cliffs and private properties encircling much of Harrington Sound prevent easy access, unless by boat. Organized tours are rare, but select private tours can be arranged through Bermuda Bell Diving (5 North Shore Rd., Flatts, tel. 441/535-8707 or 441/292-4434, fax 441/295-7235, belldive [at] logic [dot] bm, www.helmetdive.com).
© Rosemary Jones from Moon Bermuda, 2nd Edition