Tags: Bermuda, food, Hamilton, Royal Naval Dockyard, sailing, St. George

Date: November 8, 2017

The crossing from Chesapeake Bay to St George in Bermuda took five days. Here is the sunrise on the third day:

Not much happened but Bjarne caught a fish, a nice mahi mahi with enough meat for four meals:

The port of entry in Bermuda is St. George, the oldest town on Bermuda founded in 1612 shortly after the ship Sea Venture was shipwrecked in 1609 on its way from England to the early settlement of Jamestown in Virginia. The survivors of used the timber from the wreck and local Bermudean wood to build two new ships called Deliverance and Patience. With these ships the survivors traveled on to Virginia in 1610 and found the Jamestown settlement there decimated due to starvation. They then decided to go back to Bermuda and settle there instead. Thus the survivors from the Sea Venture wreckage became the first settlers of Bermuda - not just the first European settlers but the real first settlers. The town has many 18th century houses preserved and was awarded official status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.

This is the ruin of an unfinished Gothic church which was founded in 1874 to replace the old St Peter's church but in 1899 just before the church would have been completed, the congregation decided that it would rather keep and renovate the old church and so the Gothic church was abandoned. It was damaged in a hurricane in 1926 and has now lost the whole roof but it is still a rather impressive ruin:

St George's town hall with cannons in front:

Tobacco Bay beach just outside town. Here we went snorkeling for the first time since May. Afterwards we hung out in the beach bar with super friendly staff and fast internet:

A street in St. George:

Bermuda is a quite small place. It consists of twelve large islands and many smaller ones. Six of the large islands are connected into one by bridges. About 65,000 people live in Bermuda and to prevent traffic from getting too crazy each household can only own one car. The specific rule is that you can own a car for each building with a kitchen you own. For this reason some people circumvent the one household - one car rule by building a small apartment with a kitchen on their land in addition to the house they live in. Many of these apartments are now being rented to tourists via the internet (typically at Airbnb). This is a win-win situation for the owners as well as for the tourists but maybe not for the traffic situation. Most people do resort to the husband-mobile (scooter) instead. Here is another picture of a St. George street with cars:

This is the St. Peter's Church (built in 1612, the same year the town was founded) that the congregation chose to keep rather than use the newly built Gothic church:

Houses showing the typical clinker roofs (click on the picture to enlarge) designed to catch rain water.

The island has no natural fresh water reservoirs and all houses in Bermuda - old as well as newly built ones - are required to be able to catch a certain percentage of rain water relative to the size of the house. The water is then stored in an under ground tank to provide water even when it is not raining. We spent some time with a Bermudean family (family of some Danish friends) while we were on the islands and they told us how the underground tank has to be able to hold enough water to supply them with all their household water all year round. The only treatment it needs before drinking is to run it through a charcoal filter. This year they had had a drought but there was still plenty of water in the tank.

We visited Hamilton, the capital of Bermuda. Actually St. George was the capital until 1815 but it was then decided to move the capital to Hamilton instead partly due to its placement in the middle of Bermuda. St. George is a the very east end of Bermuda.

Here is Félicie in front of the WWI and WWII memorial. The memorial was raised by Britain thanking Bermuda for their contribution in the two world wars. The flags are the flags of the British Armed Forces:

Behind the war memorial is the cabinet building where ministers and top officials have meetings every Wednesday:

A church in Hamilton. Note how only the bottom two thirds of the church is painted:

View form the City Hall in Hamilton towards the major shopping mall in town:

Despite its modest size, Bermuda has an impressive number of historically interesting buildings. There is historic St. George at the far eastern end of the country and The Royal Navy Dockyards and the western most end of Bermuda. It is a huge fortification built by the British to protect its mid-Atlantic port that was useful for connecting Halifax in the north with the West Indies in the south after Britain had lost control with the American ports after the American War of Independence. In fact it was Britain's largest naval base outside the UK. Today it harbors the National Museum of Bermuda but the buildings also house a shopping mall, several cafés and restaurants as well as a pub with its own microbrewery, a crafts market, art galleries and much more. Some of the Dockyard buildings were even used as Bermuda maximum-security prison from 1963 to 1994 where the conditions in the old building were deemed inhumane and a new prison was built. Here is the entrance to one of the art galleries:

View from the museum part of the Dockyard towards the more commercial part:

This is the view from inside the Commissioner's house with the cruise ship Celebrity Eclipse docked just outside the Dockyard:

Cannons in the Dockyard keep:

More cannons and the cruise ship:

Fortunately we made it to the museum before people disembarked from the cruise ship so we had the museum completely to ourselves.

Beautiful, sleek ship with all the sails up:

Back in St George we had afternoon tea at the Bermuda Perfumery. In addition to making perfumes only for sale in Bermuda they also serve traditional afternoon tea with sandwiches and cakes in their lovely garden:

On our second last day in Bermuda, Cheglia, another Boréal boat showed up. We had met Cheglia and her owners Martin and Lydia before in September 2016 in Tréguier when Cheglia was baptized (see the "Tréguier - again" post from September 2016). Since they had done much the same circuit as us, i.e. crossing the Atlantic late 2016, sailing through the Caribbean, sailing up the US East coast all the way to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland during the summer and then back down to Chesapeake Bay to cross to Bermuda but this was the first time we met since Tréguier! Amazing taken into consideration that we were in Newfoundland during the same period along with maybe only half a dozen other sailboats. We celebrated with drinks and dinner in one of the nice restaurants in St. George. Here is Amanda and Cheglia photographed together: