During an afternoon visit to Sanders’ home, Brian and I were able to walk with our host and tour guide to the Gibbs’ Lighthouse. Bermuda has a well maintained Railway Trail system allowing walkers, runners, pedal bikes, and horses to traverse the island safely and scenically. Sanders accompanied us on our nearly eight mile track to and from the lighthouse, part of which we walked on the Railway Trail.
Gibbs’ Lighthouse was built in 1846. Bermuda limestone, which had been intended for the lighthouse base, was too soft to support the 20 foot tall 5,500 pound lantern purchased from England to light the tower. Instead, Alexander Gordon designed a cast iron base; 135 concentric cast iron plates in a base of 20 feet of concrete. The plates were fabricated and shipped to Bermuda where the lighthouse was pieced together.
We climbed the 185 steps to the top for a panoramic view of the island.
At the end of the day, Sanders, Brian, and I had tired legs and were happy to settle in for a tasty supper back at the house.
We’d seen about all St. George’s had to offer in about one day and were ready to stretch our explorations a bit farther. Brian and I made use of the very affordable, efficient bus system in Bermuda and hopped aboard for an excursion into the city of Hamilton. Compared to St. George’s, Hamilton was quite the city!
The intent of this trip was to combine chores with sightseeing. Our first mission was to replace the vent fan for our composting toilet. Yup, fan number three bit the dust just as we’d arrived in Bermuda and neither our noses or our solids bucket will last long without it. (The circuit boards on these 60mm computer fans are getting salted and shorting out.) Fortunately, we found an electronic store that had exactly the fan we needed; we purchased three. Then we perused the city’s hardware stores looking for a few items to be replaced that had been lost at sea during our passage. One of our reefing hooks broke off the boom, a stainless ring that we loop our snubber line through at the front of the bowsprit detached, and we wanted to add polypropylene line to our stores to use an anchor trip line in places like the Azores (our next destination). We had luck with all except new reefing hooks which we only found to be zinc plated, not stainless. Our chores gave us a good snapshot of Hamilton as we navigated the streets.
The most beautiful staircase…leading to Victoria Park.
Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity (not somewhat holy, not extremely holy…)
On the outskirts of town, we took a stroll down Lover’s Lane to find Paget Marsh.
This boardwalk is one of the last remnants of Bermuda’s natural landscape. It is home to many birds and lizards. The information signs warned us to mind the Sawgrass along our way.
We were on our way back into Hamilton to catch the bus back to St. George’s when we met our newest friend and Bermudian host, Sanders. Sanders was walking per his new daily exercise routine and took a moment to greet us, noting that we were tourists and looked a bit out of place at our current location. Sanders and his wife, Valerie, welcomed us into their home and we were tremendously appreciative of their hospitality and thankful to be in good company.
It didn’t take Brian and I long to get acquainted with St. George’s Island, Bermuda. One afternoon we took a lovely walk around the eastern coastline of the island and paused for self-guided tours of the forts along the way. We cut through the former St. George’s Golf Course to first have a peek at Tobacco Bay.
Fort St. Catherine was built by Governor Richard Moore in 1614. The fort houses exhibits, but it was closed during each of two of our attempts to visit. Thus, self-guided fort touring…
Alexandra Battery was completed in the 1860’s.
This muzzle-loading gun was fired through a Gibraltar Shield, this is actually the only intact shield remaining on Bermuda. The muzzle-loading gun could fire a 256lb shell 1,000 yards through 10 inches of iron plating. Another fun fact is that this gun weighs 4,000lbs more than Rode Trip.
Gates Fort overlooks the Town Cut entrance to St. George’s Harbour. The fort was first shown on a published map in 1626.
At the end of our fort tour we had a great view of Rode Trip among the anchored boats.