We’re happy to announce that Britican survived Hurricane Irma. Irma was a tropical storm by the time it hit Charleston so we got lucky. Very lucky. So, this hurricane Irma update is a positive one. (Note that there is a video update at the bottom of this post).
Unfortunately, so many other boaters, boats and people did not have such a positive outcome. Simon, Sienna and I are still working on how we can best help those in need, aside from giving money to various charities… We’ll soon be sailing to the Caribbean and I wonder if there will be some volunteer opportunities for us to get involved in?
It’s difficult to worry about your own situation and then see other people’s situations go from bad to worse. And all the while being confined to a house waiting and watching news updates. My father and step-mother were stuck in area where the eye went right over the top of them. It was so painful to hear their fear and not be able to do anything to help them. I’m happy to report that they’re both okay and their home suffered minimal damage.
Hopeless and helpless is how we felt.
Let me get on with my update…In the past 24 hours we’ve had hundreds of emails, FB and YouTube comments asking how Britican got on. To our horror, we learned that she dragged about 150 yards from the middle of the river to the edge of the reeds. We believe that the keel may have been stuck and Britican was leaning into the river bank.
Our information came via our friends, Ron and Mercedes, on sailing vessel Samana. Ron and Mercedes anchored next to us. After the storm passed the couple arrived at the anchoring site hours before us. When Ron called, he said something to the effect of, ‘Things are looking good. Your boat is floating but…’
I hung on tender hooks wondering what was coming next. Ron is one of the calmest guys I know. He could get blown over and he’d just stand back up, dust himself off and say quietly, ‘wow – it’s breezy out.’ Last year during Hurricane Matthew, Ron kept so calm and so peaceful… This year was the same. The guy is my peace guru.
Anyway, Ron went on to explain that Britican dragged anchor, she was against the reeds along the side of the Cooper River and looked like she was staying put. We were still at least four hours away by car. Can you imagine knowing that your boat has dragged, the tide is rising and you don’t know if the anchor has reset or not?!
Simon and I felt ill beyond belief. Ron said he’d check things out and get back to us.
Ron had to use a canoe to get to his boat to be able to collect his dinghy. It wasn’t a quick and easy trip as he had to work against the tide and the boats were quite a way out!
We patiently navigated the insane I95, the main road that connects the east coast going north and south. At one point we had a few lunatic drivers near us – all tailgating going 80 miles per hour. The traffic was start – stop…and when the flow started going fast, people went full out.
Simon got out of the way of the crazy drivers and can you believe the four main drivers that were tailgating all crashed right next to us! One of the cars seemed to blow out sideways as it was crushed from the front and back with a part of the wing mirror hitting us. No one was hurt – it was simply a fender bender that happened due to lack of space between cars. Simon and I counted our blessings because we could have so easily been caught in the crash.
After the accident we tried to find alternative routes.
Our friend, Becky, who was with us on our Sailing to Bermuda voyage called up with a variety of alternative routes to take. By the time we got into South Carolina we quickly got off the I95 and enjoyed the backroads of the Lowcountry.
Another call from Ron came through. He said, ‘I’m on the boat…I think we can get her out of the mud/reeds. Walk me through turning the engine and windless on.’ (A windless is the device that pulls up the anchor – it’s a winch).
Simon and I then had to give very precise instructions on how to prepare the boat to run. During our Hurricane Irma boat preparations we sealed off the engine exhaust, closed stopcocks, turned off batteries, taped down instruments, etc.
One thing led to another and Ron, Mercedes and a guy named Mike from a Catamaran anchored nearby, got Britican out of the mud and anchored back in the river.
And then…Mercedes bailed out our dinghy
Then the lovely couple took it to land so we’d have a way to get to our boat.
If there’s some sort of award for best sailing community members they need to win the award. And their help didn’t stop there either. They kept in touch with us as we motored down the Cooper River. Ron and Mercedes rode the high tide down the river an hour earlier than us.
When we arrived at the marina, they helped take our lines and ensure we got in safe and sound.
Mercedes & Ron – We thank you with all our hearts!
I also want to say thank you to my brother and sister-in-law for putting us up for a week, my mom and step-dad for being there for support…AND Tim Ishii & Mrs Clark for helping to find a place for us to stay (if needed). Also, thank you to Becky for offering to take Sienna and provide driving instructions. Captain Matt for offering to bring up a trawler to get us unstuck and the 100’s of emails, facebook, YouTube and twitter comments, offers for help, prayers and well wishes. Thank you!
Hurricane Irma Update #2 Video
We’ll create a proper video update for next week. We just wanted to make sure that everyone following our story knew the outcome. If you have any questions that you’d like us to address, please leave them in the comments section below.
Here’s a quick five-minute update on the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. We are all fine but we’re still uncertain as to how Britican is. We’re driving back to Charleston, South Carolina today and hope we find her in the same state we left her (and in the same place)!
Hurricane Irma Update Video
To watch how we prepared the boat for the hurricane, please visit: Hurricane Irma
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.
We also have other articles/videos from previous years hurricanes and tropical storms. Check those out here:
READER REVIEW “You can spend hours reading through various blogs, groups, posts or you can get this guide/checklist that provides everything you need to know instantly. Kim – you’ve done it again. You’ve taken something that’s an unknown for me and made it easy to quickly get up to speed. Whatever guide you write, I will buy. You are amazing. Thank you. You do a huge service to all of us that need that extra help.” S. F. Jackson
French onion soup is comforting and gratifying. The flavors of caramelized onions are deep, the soup soaked bread with melted stringy cheese is hearty and the combination of all flavors and textures makes a filling meal.
Furthermore, French onion soup is a good clear-your-plumbing remedy if you’re feeling a little backed up 🙂
When I was a younger, my mom and dad would take us to a restaurant called Sunny Banks up along the St Lawrence River outside of Cape Vincent, New York. My mom would often get the French Onion soup and so would I! It was such a treat.
As I grew up I’d order the soup from time to time at other restaurants. For some reason I have meals I cook at home and meals I order out. For example, I never cook fish unless it’s out on the grill – it stinks up the boat. And I rarely make Eggplant Parmesan because it takes ½ day to make!
French onion soup was always an order-out option.
Looking back, I made an incorrect assumption. I presumed that making the soup was difficult. My mom is an amazing cook but she never made it at home so I just followed suit!
To my delight, however, I made the soup in my solar cooker (read the 10 Benefits to of Solar Cooking here) and discovered that its probably one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever made.
If you haven’t yet purchased or made a solar cooker yet, I highly recommend the Solavore Sport Solar Cooker – it’s the one that we use on Britican.
Solar Cooking Recipe – French Onion Soup
6 – 8 onions (I’ve used all sorts – in the video they were white onions)
Beef broth (carton or use cubes to make around three cups)
Sherry to taste
Salt & pepper to taste
Toasted bread – French baguette works well
Sliced provolone, gruyere or even cheddar cheese
Roasted garlic (optional)
Slice the onions and add them to the pot. Add a tablespoon or so of butter and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Put the lid on and place in the slow cooker. Leave for at least three hours but it’s fine to leave them cooking all day.
Once you’re getting ready to eat, remove the pot and add the beef broth and sherry. Give it a good stir. Put the pot back in the solar cooker. While it’s warming up again, toast some baguette slices with sliced cheese over the top.
When you’re ready to put everything together, put a cheese covered slice of bread in a bowl and then cover it with the French onion soup.
Alternative uses for the caramelized onions
Use them as a base for a curry – caramelized onions are perfect!
Put them on top of burgers, sandwiches
If you have any suggestions, add them to the comments below…
Solar Cooked Roasted Garlic (optional)
Take a whole garlic bulb, and cut the narrow ended top off exposing the garlic cloves. Put in the solar cooker pot, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and cook for a couple hours.
Solar Cooking Recipe – French Onion Soup Video
Some books on Amazon about Solar Cooking
The first book listed below is the one I purchased before buying a solar cooker. It’s full of great information about how solar cooking works, how to build your own solar cooker, frequently asked questions and over 100 recipes.
A friend of mine is doing a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a nautically inspired pen (a great gifts for sailors idea).
If you haven’t come across Kickstarter yet, it’s an online platform that enables people/companies to get ideas off the ground. In return for people like you and I pledging an amount towards the campaign, we get a varying degree of rewards based on the amount pledged. In many cases, you’ll get the end product.
But let me back up and tell you about the pen…
Gifts for Sailors – Oceanus Bow Shackle Pen
Why? Because it’s cool. It’s really, really cool and if you’re like me, you like sailing stuff or you have friends/family that like sailing stuff.
So…my friend sent me one of the brass bow-shackle pens a few weeks ago. I’ve had the privilege of using it to write my checklists, create little notes for my daughter’s lunch box, make grocery lists, personally sign my book, ‘Changing Lifestyles’ (for those who request it – which I still find very strange that someone would want my signature!) and send out ‘thank you’ notes.
What I love most about this pen is that it’s nautical – its brass and has a shackle!
Not only do I love all things sailing related but I’m also a pen freak. One year, for Christmas, my stepfather gave me a bucket full of pens. It was the best present I ever got. My father-in-law made a pen from wood for me. And my husband has purchased a variety of interesting pens throughout our 18 years of marriage. Some are sterling silver with engravings, some have my name on them and others signify places I worked or vacations I took – Disney World, comes to mind.
Yes-I’m one of those pen thieves so keep an eye on your writing utensils when I’m near you!
I’m often found testing out how a pen writes when visiting Staples or any stationary section of a department store. I love pens!
Aside from looking awesomely nautical, the Oceanus Brass Bow-Shackle Pen writes easily and effortlessly. It’s one of those pens that glides across the page flowing from one letter and word to the next.
In addition to looking cool and writing well, the pen has a bow-shackle, meaning that I can attach it to my navigation station knowing that it’s going the be there whenever I look for it!
In the past I’ve been known to tape string to the end of a pen or tie string around a cap but it inevitably fails when someone gives a little tug and off my pen goes. In other words, my efforts to prevent other pen thieves has failed miserably…but not with my bow-shackle pen! I have it attached to my nav station book rail.
It would take a thief quite a bit of time to remove it.
Anyway, Kickstarter campaigns have set start and finish dates. This one will be ending soon.
If you like the look of the pen, or are in search of gifts for sailors, check out the campaign and determine if you’d like to pledge some money in return for getting one yourself (or for a friend). Not only will you get a pen but you’ll also be helping my friend and this awesome product get out into the world.
After enjoying St. George’s for a couple weeks we motored 2.5 hours to Bermuda’s Capital city, Hamilton. We would have sailed if the conditions were right but unfortunately the wind was on our nose. Even though we had the engine running the voyage was relaxing and full of beautiful scenery. With the Atlantic Ocean on our starboard side (right) and Bermuda on our port (left) we traveled most of the length of the country to seek a new anchorage. To enjoy our journey, watch Hamilton Bermuda by Boat.
Once we found our new anchorage we immediately settled in.
A neighboring liveaboard came over on his dingy and introduced himself. We gained knowledge about the whereabouts of the dinghy dock, the best place to get groceries and other important information.
The first night we enjoyed a lovely sunset and live music emanating from the tall ship parked next to us. We also were entertained by the creation of yet another one of our daughter, Sienna’s, ‘forts’ built from several sarongs. The latest fort was positioned on the aft deck over the double-bed sunning area.
Over the course of a week we lived life like we normally do on board. Sienna did her homeschooling every morning. Simon attempted to fix things (and often fixed them!) and I worked on my culinary solar cooking skills. Thus far, all but one solar cooking adventure has ended on a plate rather than in the sea 🙂
We also spent time ashore exploring the wonderful city of Hamilton.
Interestingly when I did a Google search for ‘Hamilton,’ every place (eg. Hamilton, Canada)/thing (eg. Hamilton, the Musical) on Earth other than Hamilton, Bermuda came up. Even on YouTube I couldn’t find many video’s about the lovely city. I can’t understand why?!
The city is absolutely stunning. The main park is gorgeous – beautiful flowers, trees and walkways. The stores are brilliant – some mainstream brands but many one-off boutiques. There are cute little book shops, cafes and even the department stores have character.
The whole city is devoid of Starbucks, McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut.
There are lovely churches, architecture, scenic views of the harbor…and the Hamilton Fort is AMAZING. My husband, Simon, and I took Sienna for a little walk and uphill climb to find the fort. A sign was posted that said something to the effect of ‘enter at your own risk.’ I thought it would be in shambles, but it was in an amazing state.
The grounds were perfectly manicured and full of gorgeous shrubs, trees and flowers.
What totally blew me away was the walk around the forts moat. I don’t normally write this but OMG (oh-my-God) it was such a cool experience. Within the moat a forest has grown and it’s like walking through a wonderland of incredible foliage. The trees all have character – twists, turns, interesting changes in their growth…Some trees had roots that were visible that twisted and turned. Others were tipped over but still growing strong. It was enchanting. I felt as if I was Alice in Wonderland…
And amazingly we were the only people at the fort. I got the feeling that Fort Hamilton wasn’t promoted. Bermuda seems to be dominated by cruise ships and I think this fort is not on the list of options – thankfully! I’m not sure why it’s not popular because out of everything I saw in Bermuda this fort was one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been.
And to top it all off, the Fort of Hamilton is free to enter 🙂
But that being said, I’m a tree freak. I love trees. Always have and always will… I didn’t enjoy the fort for the history. Interestingly, I enjoyed the fort for its uniqueness, greenery and the way it made me feel. I think that I also enjoyed it because it felt as if it was a hidden gem. Not once did anyone recommend that we visited the fort. And even in the tourist map that I had the fort wasn’t even on it!
So…if you get to Bermuda check out Fort Hamilton. Yes, it’s a hike but on a lovely sunny day a walk in the cool moat with a forest rising above you is nothing short of awesome (and I’m not using the word awesome lightly)!
Without any more commentary the best thing I can do is present my video on Hamilton, Bermuda. My aim was to present the viewer with a inside view as to what it’s like to live on a boat day-to-day AND enjoy the surrounding area. Similar to my Sailing in Bermuda – Life At Anchor video while in St. George’s, this video shows our normal life in addition to what we saw when we went to shore.
Moral of my story… Go to Bermuda because it’s lovely. And when you do, visit Hamilton Fort.
For more information on the products used in this video check out these resources:
For all my articles/videos about Bermuda, check these out:
Good Resources for Bermuda
I purchased the first two items listed below before we sailed to Bermuda. Both were fantastic and I highly recommend getting them if you’re going to visit Bermuda for any length of time.
Would you like to buy a boat and travel around the world? Learn from our experience.
Get everything we learned in real terms. It’s easy to understand, no sailor jargon…hard hitting and will give you what you need to know to hit the sea successfully:
And that’s that. If you have any comments or questions please leave them below or email me at Kim@SailingBritican.com and when I’m not sailing I’ll work hard to respond. Thanks so much for joining us on the journey 🙂
After a couple weeks of living life quietly anchored in St. George’s Bermuda, we pulled up our anchor and motored to Hamilton Bermuda by boat. Hamilton, the Capital of Bermuda, is quite a beautiful bustling city. While anchored we enjoyed the views of the city by day and night. We also took several trips to land to explore our surroundings.
But don’t let me get ahead of myself! First thing first – getting to Hamilton.
Before pulling up our anchor we called Bermuda Radio seeking guidance as to exiting St. Georges and taking the southern channel over to Hamilton. After a quick VHF call on Channel 27, Bermuda Radio said we were clear to leave noting that the only traffic to worry about where the two cruise ships using the Northern Channel.
My husband, Simon, started the engine. I pulled up the anchor and off we motored.
The breeze was strong and right on our nose so we had no choice but to motor the 2.5 hours from St. George’s to Hamilton. It was nice to see the island from the sea. We could easily spot all the beaches and landmarks we discovered by foot.
During the passage our daughter, Sienna, watched a movie. I chilled out taking in the beautiful views and Simon kept watch for channel markers and Cardinals (floating markers telling you to stay to one side to avoid obstructions). The Cardinals point to East, West, North or South and you need to ensure your boat passes them correctly.
A few sport fish boats passed us in addition to some other motoring sailboats.
Otherwise, it was a gentle motor along the island of Bermuda. We could see the amazingly blue tropical waters, a flat-ish green island dotted with white roofed homes and a couple cruise ships docked at the Naval Dockyards.
Eventually we made it to the anchoring spot and found a Tall Ship from Columbia in addition to a huge motor yacht. After circling around for a while we decided to anchor in Blue Hole near White Island. Upon anchoring we were greeted by a neighbor located on a nearby mooring buoy. Captain Mike explained our spot was a good place to anchor – great holding. He then asked the usual question we get asked, ‘Is your boat an Oyster?!’
From there on out felt a part of the community.
The Hamilton Bermuda by Boat Video showcases the sights and sounds we experienced. Hopefully the music I choose to accompany the video will provide an enjoyable viewing experience. So, sit back and enjoy our trip from St. Georges to Hamilton Bermuda…
Any questions, comments or feedback about Hamilton Bermuda by boat?! Please leave it below.
And if you’re interested in other articles and video’s about Bermuda, make sure to take a look at:
Do you have to get a gift for a lady friend, wife or husband in the not-so-distant-future? If your friend/partner likes sailing please consider getting them a nautical gift from my Sailing Britican Etsy shop. All gifts have a sailing theme, are high quality and in some cases I made them myself. So, check out the Jewelry, Sarongs, T-shirts, Spices for Sailors, Pillow Cushion Covers and more at Sailing Britican Etsy.
Or if you’re looking to sell up and sail away or just sail away consider getting my guides!
READER REVIEW “Do yourself a favor – get all of the guides on offer by Sailing Britican. Each one offers several nuggets of wisdom and many money-saving tips. I was debating on buying a few of the guides but I purchased them all. I’ve dipped in and out of most of them and ever time I find more value. Any newbie boatowner and/or sailor should read these guides. ” T. Butcher
It took us five days to sail from USA to Bermuda, St George’s Harbour. The inlet welcomed us in with beautiful calm turquoise water. After sailing to Bermuda it was fantastic to sightsee all around Bermuda – especially St George’s Island.
There was a massive reward for the unfortunate seasickness I endured on the trip over. I know that readers often question why I live through seasickness time and time again but the rewards are worth it.
The reward of seeing new lands and exploring the unknown is so exciting. I just love walking on a trail with a bend ahead and then I love turning on the bend to see the next view (and then repeat). And I absolutely love beautiful views! Views of the sea, beautiful tall majestic trees, white fluffy cloudy skies and everything in between.
During our month-long stay in Bermuda we anchored mostly in St George’s harbour. Here’s a breakdown with some practicalities for sailors, tips to help you better enjoy your stay and the seven best things to do while anchored in Bermuda St George’s.
1. Enjoy the anchorage in Bermuda St George’s
In Bermuda there’s a wide variety of anchorages but, by far, St George’s is the all-around best. The holding is good. There views are fantastic and beautiful island smells waft through the air including the smell of lavender, jasmine, passionflower and frangipani.
There’s an abundance of room to anchor – the bay is huge and can accommodate hundreds of boats. The water is clean, warm and offers a refreshing swim from the back of the boat. Aside from a fast ferry, an infrequent small cruise ship and/or small tanker, the bulk of marine traffic is from a pilot boat and other local and foreign private boat owners. A dinghy ride around the area provides hours worth of exploring, snorkeling and sightseeing by water.
Before arriving contact Bermuda Radio on Channel 27 in advance.
We called around six hours before entering St George’s harbor to notify Bermuda Radio that we were in Bermudian waters. And once we got closer to the entrance channel we radioed again seeking clearance to navigate the very narrow channel into the harbor.
While entering we raised our yellow q-flag (stands for quarantine – I think?!) on the port or left side spreader. On the right we had the Bermudian curtesy flag.
To clear Customs, all boats are required to dock at Customs & Immigration in St George’s Harbor. There’s quite a bit of space but it does get busy. We tied onto the dock and all passengers entered the Customs building, passports in hand, to do the paperwork. Aside from passports, we needed to show boat proof of ownership and boat insurance. The process is easier if using the SailClear, and online system. On this occasion we did not use it (we forgot). After clearing Customs, we anchored and jumped in for a swim!
Once on land there’s everything a sailor could ask for…
…ATM’s, free WIFI, trash receptacles, a small but well stocked food store, a variety of restaurants/bars and loads of sightseeing options. The airport is only ten minutes away by bus making this anchorage great for crew and guest drop off’s and/or pick-up’s.
There are several bus stops and bus tokens can be purchased from the Visitor’s Center, in the square, and most of the shops in the area.
Within the harbor there’s access to fuel and water at dockside. Duty Free fuel can be obtained in St Georges but it needs to be a minimum of 950 liters and is delivered to the boat by truck at the fuel station. Every vessel is granted a certificate that allows for one free Duty Free fuel purchase. Note that if you need less than 950 liters of Duty Free fuel it can be obtained at the Naval Dockyard through the fuel pump.
WIFI can be obtained from the boat when anchoring in Convicts Bay. There is a fee for the WIFI but I can verify that it was good quality. Log onto Ocean Sails WIFI (it will appear in your WIFI selection area) and a page will open up displaying the options. There’s a 1-day, 3-day and weeklong option ($35 for the week per user).
To watch read what what it’s like to be anchored on a boat rather than sightseeing, check out Sailing around Bermuda – Life At Anchor. There’s also a video too!
TIP: If you’re not in need of WIFI from Convicts Bay, I’d suggest you anchor further out into the bay. We spent a week in the middle of the bay and a week closer to land to get WIFI. While closer to land we found an increase of cockroaches landing on the deck of our boat.
2. Stroll around the streets of St Georges, Bermuda visiting museums, churches and parks
Are you a history buff?! Do you enjoy museums? Days, not hours, can be spent strolling along the narrow labyrinth styled alleys of St Georges. In 2000, the town was named an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town, and Bermuda itself, was discovered in 1609 when the English flagship, Sea Venture, got lost and blown ashore.
The ship was bound for Virginia with provisions for new settlers but was blown off course and destroyed when it hit Bermuda. The passengers survived the wreckage, settled in St Georges for several months and eventually remade two ships to provision and sail onward to America. The Deliverance was called the ship that saved America. By the time the Deliverance and the other ship made it to Jamestown the colonial inhabitants were near starving. The ships were stocked with meat, vegetables and fruit from Bermuda – surely an amazing sight to behold.
Amongst many excellent museums in the town there’s also a replica of the Deliverance that you can visit.
Some of the museums to check out include the Bermuda National Trust Museum at the Globe Hotel – you’ll find the interesting part that Bermuda played in America’s Civil War. There’s the Town Hall that has open doors when not in session. You’ll also find the Bermudian Heritage Museum, the St. George’s Historical Society Museum, Printery & Garden, the Tucker House, a replica of a prominent merchant’s home and there’s also the World Heritage Centre.
In between all the museums, you’ll find several churches. One of them being the oldest continuously operating Anglican Church in the Western Hemisphere. St Peter’s, Their Majesties Chappell, dates back to 1620! And the unfinished Church is my favorite – it looks like an old English ruin.
And the Somers Gardens are well worth a visit. Rumor has it that the British admiral charged with developing the Bermudian colony has his heart buried in the park! There’s a tomb to check out in addition to beautiful trees, shrubs and flowers.
If you want to take home the amazing bouquet of Bermudian floral smells, make sure to also stop at the Bermuda Perfumery. The perfumery still makes and bottles all its’ inland inspired scents on-site using more than 3,000 essential oils extracted from frangipani, jasmine, oleander, and passionflower. A bottle of perfume would make a fantastic gift for someone too (HINT, HINT Simon!)
3. Watch the 12:30pm public punishment sessions in the King’s Square.
During the summer months, there’s a performance put on that is highly entertaining. A woman is sentenced with nagging her husband. Her penalty is to be dunked into the water several times. Additionally, an audience member is picked from the crowd for public drunkenness and sentenced to standing at the whipping post in the hot sun. The drunk cannot leave the post until the sun is covered by cloud three times.
If you time your clearing at Customs correctly, you can book into Bermuda and watch the performance. The Customs & Immigration building, on Ordinance Island, is next to the King’s square.
4. Walk just outside the Town of St. George’s to find AMAZING SIGHTS
Within a mile’s walk, you can enjoy snorkeling at Tobacco Bay or Achilles Bay. Both provide clear water, beautiful rock formations and coral reef housing puffer fish, squid, amazingly colorful parrotfish and more. And if you’re not into snorkeling you can enjoy a relaxing swim or a nice sunbath on the beach.
In between time spent on the beaches you can visit St. Catherine’s Fort. This is the best fort on the island and the views are absolutely breathtaking. Both children and adults alike will enjoy the moat, drawbridge, tunnels, towers and ramparts.
TIP: As you’re heading out of St. George’s you have to pass the grocery store. Make sure to pick up some water and perhaps some food for lunch. There’s a small food stand with burgers and a licensed bar at Tobacco Bay. There’s also a restaurant above Achilles Bay and a tiny bar on the beach, but if you want to save some money and/or eat more healthy food, the store is your best bet. St Catherine’s Fort had a very tiny café but it wasn’t open when we paid a visit.
5. Enjoy a meal and beverage at one of the lovely St. George’s eateries
My family and I were fortunate to enjoy several meals at Wahoo’s Bistro & Patio in addition to White Horse Pub & Restaurant and one other. By far Wahoo’s was our favorite. The WIFI was good, the drinks came quickly and the food was excellent. Furthermore, I noticed that Wahoo’s was filled with tourists and locals alike.
There are also several cafés and ice cream shops worth a grabbing a snack at.
6. Take a short bus trip to nearby attractions
Within a short bus ride you’ll find the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo. It’s one of Bermuda’s premier attractions. We managed to visit the attraction on a day without cruise ship visitors so we had the place to ourselves. It’s a small attraction but we easily spent several hours taking in all the great stuff. It’s laid out extremely well and there’s so much to observe, read and watch.
The aquarium is fantastic – we learned about all the fish we later went to see when we went snorkeling. The zoo is entertaining – there’s displays of animals from around the world. We liked the open enclosure that housed the monkeys, turtles, birds and iguanas. At one point our daughter had to walk around a huge iguana right in the middle of our path.
And near the Aquarium are the Crystal Caves…not to be missed!
7. Head further afield to visit the capital city, Hamilton, and/or the Naval Dockyards
We visited Hamilton by bus on several occasions and the Naval Dockyards by bus and ferry. Eventually, we motored our boat around from St. George’s to Hamilton and dropped anchor. Whatever way you want to make the trip, it’s enjoyable. The buses drive fast down very narrow roadways. There’s a huge amount of sights to take in looking out at the sea. You’ll pass quiet inlets, busy beaches and buzzing towns.
By sea, you’ll take in Bermuda’s flat terrain picking out a few hotels, the governors’ house and estate, and white roofed properties lining the island. From St. Georges’s you can take a fast ferry directly to the Naval Dockyards. Once I publish my article, review and video’s of Hamilton and the Naval Dockyards I’ll insert the link here 🙂 So…coming soon!
Things to do in Bermuda St George’s VIDEO
Aside from the above there are several Bermudian golf courses worth trying!
Simon and I love to golf but towing our seven year old daughter around for 18 holes would be hell. When Sienna’s off to University we’ll surely return to Bermuda and give the golf courses a go. They all look amazingly maintained and super challenging. And the views…I love the views!
Furthermore, if you’re a dive buff, there are hundred’s of ship and plane wrecks. Make sure to research your options as there’s loads to choose from. Again, with Sienna, we can dive with her yet so we’ll save that for later. Regarding the visibility of the water – we were actually disappointed as we expected it to be clearer. We couldn’t see the bottom in St. George’s Harbour at all…
Upon further research we discovered that July and August have the worst visibility due to growth in the water. That being said, however, we had some great views of fish and sea life while at Tobacco and Achilles bay. Before booking a dive I’d just enquire as to where you can get the best visibility and the best dive!
Good Resources for Bermuda
I purchased the first two items listed below before we sailed to Bermuda. Both were fantastic and I highly recommend getting them if you’re going to visit Bermuda for any length of time.
Overall Tips about visiting Bermuda St George’s
If you’re sailing into Bermuda make sure to bring as much food, beverages and paper supplies as possible. Everything and I mean everything is around double what you’d normally pay. Celery is $9.00. A glass of wine is $11.00. And the average cost of an entree start around the $25.00 mark. There’s no local veg shop with affordable vegetables!
If your’e staying a while like we did, consider bus passes that are longer than the day tokens or passes. You can get a week or month pass at a discount.
Many restaurants/bars have WIFI but many do not. It’s worth asking before you enter.
Tips/gratuity is usually added to all bills so make sure you don’t tip twice.
Some grocery stores offer a discount to boaties – the one in St George’s does so it’s worth asking for the discount.
There are rip tides and Portuguese-man-of-war (they look like bags so don’t grab them!) so make sure you understand what to do if you encounter either of these things.
Everyone say’s hello and goodbye so don’t be surprised when someone gets off the bus and shouts out, ‘good bye everyone.’
Would you like to buy a boat and travel around the world? Consider this:
Two weeks have transpired since we safely arrived in Bermuda. How does it feel to be sailing around Bermuda and anchoring rather than living in a marina?
It feels outstanding…and I mean amazingly outstanding.
Our five-day sailing to Bermuda trip from Charleston, South Carolina to paradise had it moments. There was a bit of wind, no wind, sun, rain – you name it, we had it. For most of the trip I was seasick often doubting my decision to be a sailor. At one point I cried out, ‘why did we choose our first sail to be five very long days?!’ (Watch our sailing to Bermuda video)
But I had to keep reminding myself that seasickness reduces in severity over time. My body was out of practice. It wasn’t accustomed to the Atlantic swell.
With the swells behind us and the calm St George’s Harbour surrounding us in comfort, I was reminded as to the benefits of living on the hook.
Every morning I wake to a beautiful rising sun, the sent of Jasmine and Frangipani the air, soft waves lapping along the hull and a backdrop full of soft blues, oranges and yellows. A calmness pervades the boat and it remains all day!
I can see normal life in motion from the boat. The pink and blue number 11 bus heads down the road. Tourists circle the Town Square. Locals drive to their place of employment. The town’s men line up near the coffee shop to talk politics. But there’s a strong sense that I’m removed from that world. It’s a sense that I didn’t get when living in the marina.
The small amount of water between an anchored boat and the land provides enough space to see the reality I choose not to be wholly a part of. And when I do go to land I know it’s only temporary. Instead of being pulled back into the mainstream depressing media, commercialism, multi-tasking, fast-food, fast-everything, an incessant feeling of over-working and underachieving, I instead feel peaceful, do what I came to do and then head back to my island of calm.
I think I was born to live on a boat. It’s truly the only place I feel balanced.
With that being noted, my family and I have spent these first couple weeks doing a variety of ‘normal’ tasks like cooking, cleaning, searching out leaks and finding solutions to remedy them. We’ve polished the chrome deck fittings, had some repairs done to our mainsail and replaced quite a bit of teak deck calking.
Our daughter, Sienna, does her homeschooling right after breakfast. She does a bit of reading, mathematics, writing, language arts, spelling and special projects. We often save science for later in the day where we learn about the weather and log the vitals – temperature, cloud coverage, cloud type and rainfall. Or we perform some sort of chemical experiment and record our findings – combing vinegar and baking soda is always a winner.
In between our homework and chores, we enjoy at least three swims off the back of the boat each day.
The water is refreshing and enlivening. One dip provides a coolness that can revive any lull in energy.
At anchor there’s always fresh air and thus far we’ve found the Bermudian breeze to be perfect. It’s not too hot and it’s not too cold. If it wasn’t for the hurricanes this tiny little rock gets, the location would get my gold seal approval for the best summer anchorage spot ever. But alas, we faithfully check tropical storm formation off the coast of Africa every morning. It brings me great joy when my husband, Simon, yells out, ‘No tropical storms on the radar. We’re good for at least another five days.’
We’ve lived through one named storm and one Category 1 Hurricane. For me, that’s enough for a lifetime. I’ve never been more scared in my life than when Hurricane Matthew hit Charleston in 2016. But let me get back to my peaceful floating atoll…
Before leaving the States I acquired a couple solar cooking ovens.
A few months ago I never knew that cooking by sun was possible. Sure, my mom used to say, ‘it’s hot enough to cook and egg on the hood of the car!’ but I personally knew it didn’t work. Yes – I tried to cook an egg on our car when I was kid and all it did was leave a terrible mess.
While surfing Amazon for my next read their fancy system introduced a book to me called, ‘Cooking With Sunshine,’ by Anderson and Palkovic and I was immediately intrigued. I’m not sure how Amazon does it but they’ve got me pegged. A few minutes later the book was ordered and two day’s later I knew my future would be filled with sun cooked food.
Unable to test my solar cooker until we arrived in Bermuda, I was initially disappointed with the cloud cover. For our first week we had several severe thunderstorms and loads of dark looming clouds. I was about to give up but the weather broke and we’ve had over a week of beautifully sunny days.
The sun cooker I started my learning curve with is called the Solarvore Sport Sun Cooker.
It came with the cooker, temperature gage, two pots, a water purification device and an information booklet with some recipes. I thought I’d start slowly and make some vegetarian meals. The idea of having meat or fish sitting in the sun didn’t feel appealing.
You can purchase the Solarvore Sun Cooker on Amazon – click the image for more information.
Our first solar cooked meal was sweet potato and black bean tacos. I followed the recipe, threw a bunch of ingredients into the provided pot, stirred them up and put them in the cooker. Simon, Sienna and I kept watching the temperature gauge. Within ten minutes it was up to 200F. After an hour or so, we then left the boat and went for a swim at the famous snorkeling beach, Tobacco Bay.
As we swam our dinner was being baked with the power of the sun!
The solar cooking booklet highlighted that there’s a very small chance for overcooking so set the food in the cooker in the morning and leave it all day. And as long as the temperature is over 180F for the more than ½ hour in every hour, the food is cooking (rather than not cooking and potentially growing bacteria!). After a very enjoyable day at the beach, we all returned to the most amazing smells wafting off the back of Britican.
The sweet potato and bean tacos were a hit. The potato was perfectly cooked and all the ingredients infused to make a taste sensation.
After our first success, I went on to make a Moroccan Tangine, a pot of rice, baked potatoes and boiled eggs! The rice I cooked for three hours – 1 cup of rice and 1 ½ cups of water with a dab of butter. It was the best rice I’ve ever made.
So – I’m now hooked on solar cooking and I think the Solavore Sport Solar Oven is brilliant. When I try using other solar cookers I’ll be better apt to write a review on what I like/don’t like about the various options. As it stands now I’m such a newbie so I can’t really comment (so watch this space!)
And Simon and I are discussing our options for green energy.
Until our success with the solar cooker I didn’t feel that power from solar or wind would benefit us enough. We already have solar panels that help keep the batteries charged when everything is off. But my issue is that we need to run the generator to run our electric cooker, water maker and washing machine.
Currently there’s no green energy that will power such massive draws.
However, now that I have the ability to cook without our electric cooker, we’d only need to run the generator every few days (instead of ever day_ – that is…if we had green energy to keep the batteries topped up.
In other words, as it currently stands, we run the generator every day to cook, make water, do the laundry and top up the batteries. If I don’t have to use the cooker and I had something organically topping up the batteries, we’d only need the genset every few days to do laundry/make water.
So…discussions have started about generating enough amps to power our DC Panel. The main draws on that are the fridge, freezer and inverter (for our plugs – to charge our computer, Ipad, camera’s, etc.). By covering those, we won’t have to use the generator to top the batteries up…we’ll only use it for high-powered draws. So…interesting times ahead.
Tobacco Bay – where we went swimming
So, while anchored in St George’s Bay, Bermuda, life is easy for a sailor.
First of all, the anchorage has excellent holding and it’s sheltered from the Atlantic. The very narrow entrance provides quite a calm bay that feels worlds apart from the Atlantic rollers just outside the landmass.
The views in every direction of the boat are appealing. The water is often the sought-after turquoise green-blue that tells you you’re in paradise. The visibility of the bay, however, has not been very clear. After reading up on Bermuda we did however discover that the months of July and August have the worst visibility due to algae growth. But don’t get me wrong – it’s 100% better than the brown muddy polluted water of Charleston.
After a very short dinghy ride to the dedicated dinghy dock you’ll find a fantastic restroom. I’ve seen my share of disgusting public toilets… Italy is renown for them. Bermuda, however, is the exact opposite. The public restroom outside the Customs & Immigration dock is top notch. It’s a shame they didn’t install showers for sailors but at least you can get onto land and have an enjoyable, shall I say ‘movement’?! Hehehehe.
St George’s Supermarket
You’ll also find the Tourist Information office, a small supermarket with a good selection of items and ‘fast hot food’. Additionally, there’s a laundromat, pharmacy, bus station and several eateries close by. There are two mobile phone carriers on the island. SIM cards can be purchases in a handful amount of places. If, however you want a data SIM, you’ll need to get that at the main Digicel branch in Hamilton.
And the options for day trips from St George’s is plentiful.
The amount of things to do and places to go within walking distance of the anchorage are plenty. Furthermore, the buses are easy to understand and there’s even a fast ferry that takes passengers from St Georges over to the Naval Dockyards directly. And every museum, attraction, display and even public restroom is kept to the highest standard.
It didn’t take long to realize that Bermuda is a well kept, wealthy island. Unlike the poverty you see in the Caribbean and other islands around the world, Bermudians have a high standard of living.
But allow me to stop here. In future articles and video’s I’ll cover what to do and see in St George’s, Hamilton, Naval Dockyards and Beyond…and an overall review of the island (from a sailors perspective).
And if you’re interested in sailing to and around Bermuda make sure to read/watch:
Sailing to Bermuda – Article detailing the preparing, provisioning and five day sail across the Atlantic Ocean
VIDEO: Sailing Around Bermuda – Life at Anchor
What more from Sailing Britican?
Well…if you like reading about our adventures, please make sure to read my book! It covers our first three years and over 18,500 miles of traveling from the Med across the Atlantic, up the Caribbean and along the east coast of America. The book also covers the lead up to why and how we sold up to sail away.
READER REVIEW “I finished your book this week and absolutely loved it! It was great to read about your early days in many places we also sailed. I loved the way you combined your blogs/real life scenarios with advise on boat maintenance, letting go of your previous life and about your honestly throughout. I enjoy your style of writing Kim, and I loved the little Sienna quotes.” Jayne Eames-Thornton, s/v Delphinus
Sailing to Bermuda has allowed us to hit our 20,000 nautical miles mark! Woo woo! And this sailing to Bermuda video showcases our trip.
Looking back, my family, guests and I have really made quite a bit of progress on our around the world journey. Part of me always wonders if we’ll actually make the full circumnavigation. But with sailing I’ve learned to take it one day at a time (or shall I say one journey at a time?).
Anyway, to truly get a feel for what it takes to prepare for a five day sail, watch our video, ‘How to Provision and Prepare for Boat for Passage,’ as that video is the precursor to Sailing To Bermuda video below. It covers what we did to prepare the boat and meal planning. It also covers passage planning, dealing with Immigration and Customs and more.
And if you want the full scoop – and all the behind the scenes information – of what its’ like to prepare, plan and sail for five days (the good, bad and ugly), read my article entitled Sailing to Bermuda. Video is great to provide a feel for what we’re doing. But to get the full scoop, the articles will provide more in depth information.
Without any further ado, allow me to present our…
Any comments, questions or feedback on the Sailing to Bermuda video? Please leave your thoughts down below.
And if you enjoyed the video and want to read about our voyages leading up to the purchase of Britican through to our Mediterranean circumnavigation, Atlantic Ocean crossing, time in the Caribbean and voyage to America please purchase my book, ‘Trading in the Rat Race for a Sail Around The World.’
You can purchase the book in digital or hardcopy in my store by clicking on the book cover below or, you can can purchase the book on Amazon.com by clicking here: Buy on Amazon
And if you’re thinking of following in our footsteps make sure to check out the many guides we’ve created to make it safer, easier and more fulfilling to get into boating. We have guides on the boat buying process, awesome checklist to keep on board once you get the boat, templates for how to make every VHF radio call, what to do in hurricanes and more. Visit the shop now 🙂
The tide is changing in our lives. We’re soon sailing Britican to Bermuda and our long-term liveaboard neighbors, Brad and Cherie from Sailing Puffin, are moving too. Brad and Cherie, however, are hanging up their sailing caps and moving back to land. Whenever we spend a winter, hurricane season or any length of time with other boaties it’s often very difficult to say ‘good-bye.’ And saying goodbye to Sailing Puffin and her crew is no different.
This video showcases my husband and I helping Captain Brad to motor (for the last time) Puffin up the Wando River so to put her up on the hard. Sailing vessel Puffin is a 1978 62′ Jongert Steel Ketch. She’s now up for sale so if you like the look of her you can find more details and a 3D inside tour from the brokerage, Ashley Yachts, here.