Friday, 30 May 2014

After almost 9 days at sea we made it to Bermuda last Saturday. We didn't move very fast (we averaged under a 100 nm a day), but it was one of the most comfortable offshore passages we've yet had.

We instinctively liked Bermuda. It reminds me of a mixture between my rocky home island in Denmark, Bornholm, and Lymington, though added an exotic flavour.

There are small beautiful beaches all around the island, cosy little towns, narrow roads with stone hedges, and colourful houses in all the colours of the world.

Two days after we arrived, Bermuda celebrated Bermuda Day. Bermuda Day marks the beginning of the summer, and they celebrate it with a big parade in Hamilton, which is the main city on the island (by the locals just called The City). We rented a scooter and drove to Hamilton to experience the parade that represented everything from Miss Bermuda to Christian organisations that were singing and dancing behind a truck with huge speakers.

Everything was very festive, though Henrik’s patience and fascination for the show didn't last as long as mine!

St. George is the only town where cruisers can clear in and out, so most of the boats stay in St. George instead of sailing to Hamilton. Everyone is waiting for the right weather window to go to either Europe or the States, and since there are relatively few sailors staying in Bermuda, people are quickly getting to know each other. The other day a young Scottish couple left for the Azores, and half of the anchorage was on deck waving goodbye and honking horns. I think that’s a good start on a long offshore passage!

To get to the States we need to cross the notorious Gulf Stream. The cruiser’s weather guru Chris Parker has recommended us to stay in Bermuda, because strong North and Northeasterly winds are staying in an around the Gulf Stream, and apparently that’s the last thing we want.

Yesterday a boat came in who had already left Bermuda a week ago, but they found themselves with the current and wind against them in the Gulf Stream and couldn't get out of it. After five days at sea they gave up and returned to Bermuda. There’s no reason for us to try that, and besides we don’t mind waiting in Bermuda.

We have tied Capibara to the dock in St. Georges Harbour, rented a scooter for a week, and joined the local gym. Besides, we know several other sailors, who are also waiting for the same weather window, and the locals are so friendly and helpful that after only a week, we almost feel like locals ourselves! Even though the weather isn't as good as in the Caribbean, Bermuda is still one of the best experiences we've had.

“Tell the world you like Bermuda!”, a young guy said to me at a gas station, when I went to pay for fuel – consider it done!

Signe Storr Freelance journalist and friend of Boatshed.