While we were in Bermuda we took the ferry to St. George. This island is a quaint quiet place that holds great history for me and my family.
The forty-five minute ride over was enjoyable on this ferry that will accommodate 250 passengers. We were surprised to see it come into the dock with a Rhode-Island Ferry sign on the side. It seems the Bermudan government leases this ferry for a million dollars for three months of every summer to accommodate the flux of tourism. One local fellow thought they should just buy the ferry and not lease it. I'll have to agree with him.
The water was relatively calm. Fort St. Catherine was in sight as we rounded this bend. It is the largest fort in all of Bermuda. It was constructed in 1614 and it had numerous upgrades in the nineteenth century. It now houses a museum of Bermudan history. St. Catherine Fort was the landing place of the 1609 crew and passengers of the Sea Venture. ♥
The ferry begins to approach St. George.
St. George is a World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO. St. George is named after the legendary dragon slayer and patron saint of England. This is the place that Bermuda began. The Sea Venture shipwrecked here in 1609 during a horrible storm and possibly a hurricane. All on board survived the wreck. One hundred fifty souls! All but two of these passengers continued with their original purpose to reinforce the settlement at Jamestown, Virginia.
We stepped off the ferry to see beautiful St George. The houses are so colorful and happy looking. The roof line of most homes is quite interesting. Bermuda has no fresh water lakes or rivers so the islanders have to save their precious water in a collection cistern. This is an example of how the rain water trickles down these steps and then into a cistern.
|Bermudan Flag and the flag of Great Britain|
There were flowers everywhere, even at the gas station. Which by the way sold gas at 1.98 a liter! Bermuda is a very expensive island to live on. Most of the locals use the ferries or some other form of public transportation. One young lady told us she has a motor bike that she uses as it was too expensive to operate her vehicle.
Across from Town Hall we walked the bridge to Ordnance Island where a modern replica of the seventeenth century ship Deliverance sits.
After the Sea Venture crew made it ashore they wanted to continue on to Jamestown by building two vessels with the cedar from the island and the wreckage of the Sea Venture. The Patience was the second vessel that was built. My ancestor continued the journey to Jamestown, Virginia on the Patience. I cannot tell you the emotion I felt on this island touring a tiny vessel that sailed many more miles to the New World! We were reminded that this replica of the Deliverance is a much more substantial vessel than the original one was. There are plans to build the Patience replica and I would be honored to go back to visit it one day. The Bermuda built ships arrived in Jamestown in May 1610, their supplies helped to save the surviving settlers. As a result of their efforts the first English settlement in the New World was made. We were so happy to board the replica and see how it was for these brave souls.
I wondered as we walked around what my ancestor must think of his descendant traveling on a large cruise ship to an island he wanted to leave! I was walking where he walked. I was full of emotion.
The Admiral of the Sea Venture fleet was Sir George Somers. There is a bronze statue of him on Ordnance Island .
Walking around St. George we were greeted with beauty and joy.
I love these umbrellas made from Palm fronds. They provide the much needed shade on this very warm day. Take note of the stockades. This was the colonial beginning of Bermuda and has a feel of any colonial town along with the good and the not so good. There was even a ducking stool for all the women who gossiped. If you want to see a reenactment that takes place in St. George you can go HERE
As the afternoon wore on we decided it was time to take the ferry back to the Royal Naval Dockyard. If you ever get a chance to go to Bermuda, don't miss St. George.
As we were riding the ferry we spotted St. David's Lighthouse. It was built in 1879 to keep mariners from getting too close to the hidden reefs that surround this area. When we visited Bermuda many years ago, we visited this light up close and personal. My sister loved lighthouses and that was a must for her.
Our memories of this trip will stay with us for a lifetime.
On Tuesday evening as we were leaving Bermuda, Grayden and I were having dinner at a table that faced this gorgeous sight that I love. The pilot boat was guiding the ship into the channel and we reflected on all that we had seen. St. David's light came into view as well as the houses on St. George. I couldn't help but think of my ancestor as this was near the spot they suffered the terrible storm and tried to stay alive. I cannot imagine what they were feeling. The human spirit is so strong and so amazing! Our grandson is named for this brave soul. He went on to Virginia and became a member of the House of Burgesses. He survived the Indian Massacre and saved many lives.
Yes, this was a very meaningful trip.