Sunday, 15 May 2016

Bermuda - Week One

Hi everyone,
We've had a great week in St George, Bermuda.  Tis a very pleasant place indeed - great history, extremely friendly people, very neat and tidy.  As in St Helena, Bermudians "get" sailors.  The supermarket even offers a discount to cruisers.

Masthead view of Zen Again
Masthead view of St George harbour
Usually we set to work on boat jobs on arrival, leaving exploring until after the main jobs are done.  That ensures we find any issues up front and so have time to deal with them.  Here we varied that a little since our friends on Vulcan Spirit and Superted V were only staying for a few days.  We were out and about exploring for much of the week.

On Tuesday we took the bus into Hamilton (the capital) and spent the morning at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Museum.  It has a lot of good displays and interestingly has an excellent display on America's Cup technology.

Divers old and new
America's Cup simulators and information
We had an excellent lunch at the restaurant in the museum complex.  It was very posh and we didn't meet the dress code but they let us in and their lunch prices were good.  We sat looking out over a waterway with fish around 0.5m long cruising by.  Very pleasant.

On Wednesday we went on a guided walking tour of St George.  Very interesting and it gave a good overview of Bermuda's history.  Settled over 150 years before Cook explored Australia.

St George is full of nice little parks and pretty old buildings

100 year old memorial marking 300 years!

Between the exploring and then over the last day or two we've been doing various boat work.  After the big squall we decided a really thorough inspection would be a good idea.  It was.  We found a couple of problems:

  • Lots of small worn areas on the yankee - mostly along original folds in the panels and also where it sits when deeply furled.
  • Fractured s/s mainsail slug on the headboard - all the leach tension is taken by this slug and thankfully we insisted two be fitted

The headsail needed more than a little stickyback so we took it to the local sailmaker (Ocean Sails).  He did a thorough job which basically involved large panels of stickyback over parts of the sail.  Won't be pretty!

Ocean Sails also supplied replacement slugs for the mainsail.  I've switched to the same ones we use along the boom for clew and reef clew line attachments.  Whipping them on to the headboard is easy so I did that myself.
Fractured mainsail slug
Other jobs we've done so far have included:

  • General cleanup and locker airing
  • Topped up fuel
  • Topped up water
  • Filled one empty gas cylinder (our most expensive refill ever - US$70 for 9kg)
  • Replaced our masthead tricolour/anchor/strobe light

The masthead anchor light failed half way across the Indian Ocean.  We had a replacement sent to Mauritius but only now decided to replace it since conditions at anchor here have been very quiet.  It also gave me the opportunity to do a very detailed examination of the masthead area and the rig generally.

Over the last three days the ARC Europe and ARC USA fleets have arrived - about 40 boats in total.  That's certainly made the place a lot busier.  We were invited to one of their events and met quite a few of the participants.  They depart on Tuesday, after which the place will seem very quiet!

Yesterday morning both Vulcan Spirit and Superted V departed.  They left with a nice breeze which was expected to pick up.  It certainly did and it is now overcast, windy and rainy.  This weather is expected to pass and it will be sunny again tomorrow and for the next week or so.

We plan to explore Bermuda by bus and ferry (both are cheap) over the next week.  First destination is likely to be the naval dockyard on the other side of the island.  We'll also spend a day in Hamilton and several days walking around various parts of the island.

We expect to depart at the next weather window, probably in a week or so.

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