Pacing Bermuda - Southampton Parish, Friday 2005 February 11

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February 11th 2005
Published: March 3rd 2023
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Whale BayWhale BayWhale Bay

Strong wind, crashing waves
The wind thrashed all night. This morning, when I opened the curtains, the rain was slashing the grey sky. Out came the rain pants and the heavier jacket. The rain continued unabated through breakfast and the first two minutes of the taxi ride. Quite quickly we drove into sunny skies. Until well after lunch, the sky alternated between light rain, sun, no wind, and torrential downpour. Fortunately, the worst of it was during lunch, which was indoors. More anon.

Our walk started up a hill to another fortification, again hidden in the contours of the hill. The wind was about gale force (over 40 knots), so Tim led us up into the fort and into a barracks room, so he could be heard. The room was about 12’x20’ with a large hearth shared with the next room. Tim answered our question by commenting that the eighteenth century saw a decline in detailed diary-keeping, so less is known than for the previous centuries.

We made our way through wind, sun, and rain to Whale Bay . We couldn’t go down to the small beach because the waves were crashing too hard against the rocks. However, Tim spotted a Portuguese Man O’War and gingerly picked
Portuguese Man o'War, Whale Bay Portuguese Man o'War, Whale Bay Portuguese Man o'War, Whale Bay

Strange collection of cooperative organisms
it up by its back to show us. It is a set of organisms, although it looks like a primitive fish blown into a transparent balloon. The organisms specialize for the good of all. Some become tentacles that sting fish and shrink to bring the food into the bladder-like stomach-type organisms. This bladder is filled with digestive enzymes. Apparently, when there is a fish inside, you can see it dissolving. The sting is very painful to humans and lasts about three days.

From there we walked a considerable way, sometimes along more of the Railway Trail, sometimes along the road. Finally, we went over a rise into Church Bay . (Tim’s wife and children were baptized in the nearby church.) We had hoped to get onto the beach here, but a warning and a fence have recently been erected. Tim did collect a sample of sand for me, because he can take risks he can’t let us take.

We walked more Railway Trail to Tribe Road 3 in Southampton Parish . This meant a steep uphill, regardless of convenience, because it was the border between two original properties. At the top of the road, up more steps, was the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
Tim collecting sand for me Tim collecting sand for me Tim collecting sand for me

Abetting me in a traveler's hobby

We had our farewell lunch in the tea room. It was a charming attachment to the lighthouse, run by yet another cousin of Tim’s wife. Everyone is related to a lot of people in Bermuda. They served delicious lemonade with ginger and tiny blackberries in it.

After a taxi back to Surf Side, I called Terry who used to be the head of Engineering at The City of Calgary and is now Chief Engineer for Bermuda. We agreed to meet for a beer in Hamilton at 3:00. After a quick change, I took the bus. While waiting, a couple started chatting with me. They were from Winnipeg and have come to the Surf Side for eight years in a row, staying for two weeks and cooking their meals.

After Terry and I hashed over current and old times, I headed for the grocery store – to check it out and to buy some salted cod to take home. The prices are generally high, but a few things are comparable to Calgary, such as local broccoli for $1.90/pound – looked very nice. And they had salted cod for a good price – from China!

I had
Tribe Road 3 Tribe Road 3 Tribe Road 3

Up, up, up!
agreed to meet Ruth and Bev for dinner at 5:30, but Bev and I encountered each other shopping, and then Ruth five minutes later. The stores all close at 5:00, except Triminghams. So, we looked at the pretty Bermudian colours (watermelon, lime, peach, lemon, turquoise) until closing.

Dinner was at the Pickled Onions, a new local hot spot. I had an interesting pasta dish – tandoori chicken made into a sauce. Delicious!

We took the bus back, relying on the driver to tell us when to get off, almost at the foot of our drive.

View map of locations visited.

February 12 Saturday

This morning the rain was coming down in sheets and a cold wind was blowing hard. The lower parts of the hotel’s entry-way (outside) were about 2” deep in water. The manager assured us this was quite normal in February. We all agreed that we were lucky that we had arrived last Saturday, not on this day.

Additional photos below
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