Mar 1, 2001 9:42 pm
Went to Bermuda last June out of Harve de Grace, MD. Great voyage. Took 5 days, planned on 8. Had winds 15 to 40 knots going over. Two days out the winds began to die and continued to die all the way in. Suggest using the cut channel and stopping at St. Georges, (Somers wharf)
It's just west of the customs house, they can point it out to you. No charge, but also no electricity or water, but very convenient.
On our way back, same thing, motored for one and a half days, then the wind began to build, a deepening low pressure developed on the NJ coast and interacted with the Bermuda high. Herb, (weather on 12 meg's SSB indicated 35 to 45 knots. He was a little off, we experienced 71 knots
for a day and a half. With only two of us aboard at the end of this we were two beat guys. The rest of the voyage was uneventful.
Bermuda customs is the greatest, friendly, and helpful. Not like US or Bahamas customs at all. The country is a delight, the people even nicer. You'll find water at the gas station near the wharf and fuel comes down by truck on Saturday mornings.
Aug 17, 2001 4:13 pm
Being the former owners of NIRVANA (#84) we usually lurk. However, the discussion of what to do in Bermuda for a week prompted us to write.
The last time we were in Bermuda (1995) another boater was selling two "unlimited usage" monthly bus passes. She told us they had cost her $20.00 each. She was selling them for half price because it was now in the second half of the month and she was leaving. We thought we would only be in Bermuda a few days to refuel and buy groceries before continuing to Ireland. But we bought the passes because it was more convenient than having exact change for buses.
We broke a solar panel and had to wait for a replacement and then, of course, there was no wind. We were in Bermuda 10 days!! I think we rode every bus on every route on the island. It was fun and certainly cheaper (and safer) than scooter rental.
Aug 17, 2001 7:28 pm
Thank you for "lurking" and letting us know you are alive and well in Horta, that Cruisers' Mecca in the middle of the North Atlantic and of the wondrous Azores.
Glad to know that, after your kind hospitality and playing the bus around Fayal, or trekking in that cavernous caldera, and the most useful upgrading guide published before you were hit by Nirvana's loss in a Puerto Rico hurricane. I could still feel your hearts bleeding...
Even with the changes brought by megacruise ships, there may still be some havens to explore in windless Bermuda, and your advice/recommendation would be welcome. I know of few Atlantic islands except Madeira and a few of the larger Azores, Canaries, Caribbean or Cap Verde, which would be worth exploring and socializing for 10 days or more... Long Island in the Bahamas is my favorite contender in that archipelago.
Dec 12, 2001 2:49 pm
Although I have not sailed to Bermuda, I lived there for four years from 1986 to 1990. I may be able to answer some questions with regard to social customs, places to visit, etc.
James M. Self, Niko (91)
Dec 12, 2001 5:57 pm
What you are doing is tremendous.
I've sailed Voyager to Bermuda three times in the last two years, and plan another trip there after the Gam this summer. This time, though, we'll cruise around and explore the place rather than using it just as a port to get diesel fuel and Dark and Stormies.
I'll keep careful notes this time and take a lot of pictures for your cruising guide.
It turns out that all of the Bermuda cruising guides are out of print! So perhaps this effort can be of some serious use.
Is anyone else headed there any time soon? Rough plans put Voyager there mid-June till late July. It would be fun to hook up with anyone else headed that way.
Jack, 057K Voyager
Dec 12, 2001 3:19 pm
Jack- I'm not sure but I think visitors to Bermuda are limited to 30 days at a time (maybe not even). Maybe James (Self) can confirm...
Bill S. k113
Dec 13, 2001 1:50 pm
Yes, I've heard that, though am told that it's easy to get a visa extension for another 30 days. The real trick is extending your bank account... it's an expensive place!
Dec 13, 2001 3:19 pm
We'll keep in touch! I'll buy you a Dark & Stormy or ten at the White Horse.
At 04:46 PM 12/12/01, you wrote:
Jack, we are headed to Bermuda in the Hans Christian the first week of June... stay a week or so... crew position open
Dec 13, 2001 1:07 pm
To prospective Bermuda visitors,
For a year and a half I lived on the north shore of the Island of St. George in a cottage about 100 yards from the shoreline. Later I moved to a house on Middle Rd. in Smith's parish, a mile or so west of the village of Flatts, and remained there for another two years.
Here is a rundown on what I can share about Bermuda.
Transportation: At the time I was there, motorized transportation was by bus, moped (scooters), and taxi. Rental cars were not available when I was there, and they probably are still not available. One can purchase bus passes of varying credits at the main station in Hamilton.
If you choose to rent a moped, they issue a temporary tourist's license which I believe lasts for 30 days. I remember that they drove on the wrong side of the road and the speed limit was 30 kmh or approximately 20 mph.
Unofficially one was generally allowed 50k (30 mph), but a fraction over that landed a person a ticket of around 100 dollars in the mid-1980's.
Addtional Tips: Watch out for distracted tourists crossing the road, as well as white zig-zag lines in the middle of the road that indicate pedestrian crossing areas. Pedestrians will take the right of way at such crossings without looking at times since they are accustomed to strict observance of crosswalks and slower travelling vehicles in their country. I reccomend that you choose a scooter with a running board since it allows you to carry more if you go shopping. I had a Honda Aero and later an Elite for my transportation when I was there. You might want to take a rain suit with you just in case. Speaking of rain, the roads there get very slick when wet since they have coral in them. The coral releases a type of oil, and the effect is at its worst when the road first gets wet.
The buses are nice since they have a high profile with large windows, providing a good view.
Miscellaneous Regs: Bermuda has outlawed all missile type weapons including slingshots and pea shooters. You also might want to leave that Bowie knife on board. Seriously, while I was there a traveling FBI agent was jailed (overnight) and sent back to the US when customs discovered that he had brought his sidearm.
People: The people were quite open and friendly in Bermuda and tend to appreciate a greeting such as good evening or good afternoon when you want to ask a question or start a conversation. The primary population consists of blacks who are descendants of slaves emancipated in the early 19th century, portguese from the Azores, whites descended from the original settlers, and British nationals.
Points of interest: I wasn't one to go to all of the touristy sites but there were a few that I liked. In the town of St. George stands the oldest Anglican church in the Bermuda Isles. On the SE end of the island of St. George is an old fort that is worth touring. The crystal caves are worth seeing as well. Harrington Sound, which lies between Hamilton and Smith Parish is a pretty site to see and the roads aroung it make for a pleasant motorbike ride. The village of Flatts is worth looking at and the aquarium there, though small was nice. Check out Spittal Pond bird sanctuary if you would like to take a nice outdoor walk. Elbow beach was my favorite for sunbathing and drifting (too lazy to swim). The smallest drawbridge in the world links two of the more western islands in Sandy's Parish. It opens 22 in. to allow the mast of a sailboat to pass through.
St. George: The Pub on the Square is a nice place for relaxing and having lunch. Just outside of it is a bulletin board on which you'll find announcements for public events as well as notices asking for sailboat crews for various cruisers. The Carriage House is a high dollar place but is worth it if you want to have a really nice dinner. There's a restaurant right on the waterfront (can't remember the name) in St. George where boats are moored but I did not like the food at the time. Mind you that a lot could have changed since I was last there.
Hamilton: Robin Hood's is a pub with great atmosphere and food. The Hogpenny was a favorite with a cozy atmosphere and a menu offering traditional English fare such as shepherd's pie and bangers and mash. I used to eat there and take the short walk to Front Street and relax on the benches beneath the looming bows of moored cruise ships.There is also a coffee and pastry shop on the Reid Street near the corner where Queen St. crosses. I liked it because it had a generous window to the street, and you could meet some interesting people there. They have a policy of table sharing when it gets crowded, (with the permission of the original settee of course). M.R. Onions was a favorite restaurant of mine on Par la ville road. A word to the wise. When I was in Bermuda, restaurants charged for each refill on a glass of tea!
Shopping: If you live where it gets cold in the winter, don't fail to buy something made from Icelandic wool. It has a beautiful texture and appearance. There were two Icelandic Woolens shops, one in St. George, and one in Hamilton. I bought a parka for my mother when I was there. Prices on other woolen items were quite reasonable when I was there, even by US standards. Prices on spirits were reasonable as well.
Well, I have about exhausted my mental resources at the moment. If I remember anything else, I'll keep you posted. To tell you the truth, I miss the place!!
James (Niko 91)
Dec 13, 2001 3:47 pm
Say Hello to Walter Paynter at the White Horse for me... usually that gets a buy back.. at $8.50 for a Dark & Stormy its worth the remembrance.
Dec 13, 2001 5:02pm
Thank you for your thoughtful comments on Bermuda. I plan to sail for St. George's from the Chesapeake on May 14, 2002. I will circulate your e-mail to the rest of the crew.
Temple Bayliss (Plainsong K32)