St Georges, Harbour, Bermuda.
our Atlantic routing chart the island of Bermuda is a small dot about a quarter
of an inch long, the reality is not much difference. This small archipelago of
coral reefs, little more than 100 mtrs above sea level at its highest point was
strategic in the days of the Empire as a staging post and victualing station.
Bermuda was originally fortified in the middle to late 1700,s
against possible incursions from the French and Spanish. The garrison was
again re enforced by that great lady of the empire, Queen Victoria. She was
taking no chances; the fortifications on Bermuda could would have put Hitler’s
attempts at the Atlantic wall to shame. The south coast with its entrance to St
Georges Harbour and the Narrows Channel leading to Hamilton, the capital had a
concentration of defences with forts on every headland bristling with cannon
laying in wait for that invading fleet. By the mid to late 1800,s the Americans
had joined the list of potential invaders and the garrison was, strengthened to
more than two thousand officers and men. The remaining coastline has a natural
defence of coral reefs extending several miles offshore, a natural minefield
laying in wait to ensnare the unsuspecting or less that cautious
our initial contact is made via VHF with Bermuda radio, this efficient group of
operators offer a calm combination of advice and instructions as you approach
the island with that comforting knowledge that the have you plotted on their
radar and will they advise you should stray from the well buoyed if confusing
channels around sub tropical paradise.
you near the entrance to St Georges Harbour you are faced with the Town Cut
a narrow (no more 200 ft wide) channel leading into the lagoon. We
negotiated this entrance in pitch black, the first moonless night in a week
at 03:00 in the morning. We were informed that customs and immigration
would not be open until 08:00 a.m. and requested to anchor in Powder Hole on the
port side of the harbour. Sending Guy to the fore deck to let go the
anchor in 30ft of water we finally turned off the engine.
into our bunks in a blissful silence and stillness was a well earned luxury for
the crew of Libertad. Five and a half days at sea and 869 nautical mile to the
north of Tortola in conditions that initially were boisterous to say the least
and latterly frustratingly calm or on the nose' that is sailing. We, like
farmers are never satisfied with Mother Nature’s gifts.
few hours of blissful rest were disturbed by the crew keen to explore this new
destination and link up with friends on other boats to share the experience of
the past few days. We weighed anchor and motored the short distance across the
harbour to search out the customs house hiding behind an enormous cruise
ship (The Norwegian Majesty) to clear .This process was friendly, polite,
quick and free, what a change from all those morose officials we had encountered
in the Caribbean islands. I was intrigued to discover how this ship had
been shoehorned into this dock through the Town Cut. I was told she would
be departing on Thursday morning, this I have to see.
has been exploring the beaches nearby with a couple, Gi Gi and Charlie, they are
helping he owner, Tom to sail her back to Scotland. It must be a pleasant relief
to get away from us. Toms just turned up for a coffee relating tales of woe with
the repairs to his boat, Hei Matau, which Tom informs me the name is
a Maori good luck charm for” a journey across the
Guy and I hope to spend some time touring the island,
Lucien wants to stay on board to bake a cake and make Pizza for tea
for us all. We eventually found the supermarket and let Lucien loose with the
shopping trolley. Alore! Alore! He cooked crepes at sea and wanted to
flambé them in rum until I snatched the matches away, should we leave him
unsupervised or will he burn us to the water line?
the crew are keen to get on with the keel hauling or fogging of Mordecai and
other nautical fun, so until next time from all the happy crew of