Having left the British Virgin Islands in good time, we have had a good opportunity to explore the wonderful island of Bermuda. After conducting our Customs and Immigration obligations, the day after arrival we headed around the north of the island to Hamilton, where we berthed at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. From there, we hired scooters and had a most enjoyable couple of days exploring. It brought back memories for me, as I had stayed with a friend here for a couple of weeks back in the early nineties.
The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, which charges $4 / foot to dock, is easily the most expensive marina I have ever berthed in. That said, the facilities are smart and excellent, we were made to feel really welcome, and the Club is full of yachting memorabilia and history. We split the costs and it made a great base.
A properly royal club…
…which was hosting a top level international keel boat regatta during our stay
There was a good set of royal yacht club burgees, including that of my own
There were sumptuous surroundings in which to relax…
…and when in Bermuda, wear Bermudan shorts when talking to the members!
The first day we headed over to Dockyard, where there is an old British Naval base which features traditionally robust Nelsonian-era architecture. It has been somewhat marred by the proximity of the cruise ship terminal, but there was an excellent museum in the Commissioner’s House, which occupied us for a couple of hours as we learned about the history of Bermuda from the earliest settlers – who were shipwrecked – to the present day. Bermuda’s geographical isolation has in so many ways influenced its history.
The Commissioner’s House
Naval ramparts, looking north
Bermuda hosted the America’s Cup in 2017 – the US entry, Oracle Team left their yacht on display
We visited a cemetery en route to the Dockyard, with the graves of several dozen Royal Naval personnel from World War Two
View of Bermuda , looking towards Hamilton from the lighthouse
Welcomed back to Hamilton by the statue of Johnny Barnes, a resident who stood and waved at traffic every day between 1986 and 2015
The second day we re-visited Saint George’s by land, enjoying some great beaches on the way.
Church Bay beach
The team on their scooters – note the state-of the art helmets!
Saint George’s. Bermudan business attire is fairly widespread still – shorts, long socks and sometimes topped with a blazer
Danish sail training tall ship in Saint George’s
View from Ordnance Island, Saint George’s
Another beautiful American yacht. I liked this one as the skipper has his or her own cabin, companionway entrance and private stern deck to enjoy, while the crew sail the yacht
Bermudan roofs – universally whitewashed, and with a unique rain-catching gutter which funnels all the rainwater into storage
View of the Town Square, Saint George’s
We headed back to Hamilton and the next morning said goodbye to François. Neil and I then sailed back to Saint George’s, where I had negotiated a mooring. It was a good passage, and we almost managed to enter the Town Cut and go into the harbour under sail.
Sailing through the Town Cut
We enjoyed Bermuda immensely. Spellbinder is now based here awaiting her next crew to take her to the Azores, with a departure planned for towards the end of the month. There are quite a few yachts gathering here, including the ARC return leg, and several fellow members of the Ocean Cruising Club are inbound. It should be a sociable time.