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About Bermuda

Bermuda is an isolated island in the Atlantic located some 650 miles off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. It is about an hour and a half flight from New York and just under 3 hrs. from Miami. Sitting atop a dormant under-water volcano, it enjoys beauty both on land and sea. As your aircraft approaches the island, one cannot help but be awed by the various colors of the water below. Hues of emerald, turquoise, and blue all serve to appetize the senses to the beauty still to come. Located in the heart of the Gulf Stream, Bermuda enjoys a moderate sub-tropical climate. Since it is also located at the northern most latitude where coral reefs are found, a variety of colorful reef fish abound. On land, senses are further delighted with a colorful array of flora and fauna like those typically found in tropical climates. A visitor to the island once commented that, “driving through Bermuda was like driving through a garden”!

 

Bermuda is surrounded by many reefs, which made navigation especially dangerous for the ships of old. Some managed to steer clear of the reefs but others were driven onto them. Our history includes many reports of ships damaged or wrecked off our shores. Of particular note are:

 

  • 1505- Juan De Bermudez, a Spanish captain, sighted the uninhabited island but had no particular interest and so sailed on, but the island still bears his name. He was one who managed to steer clear of the reefs.
  • 1543- A Portuguese vessel, is thought to have ship wrecked near Smith’s Parish. A Rock in ‘Spittal Pond’ was found with the inscription: ‘RP 1543’. RP is thought to mean Rex Portugaliae (King of Portugal).
  • 1603- Diego Ramirez, another Spanish ship, struck a reef and sustained damage. It was repaired in about three weeks. They camped in an area known today as Spanish Point.
  • 1609- ‘The Sea Venture’, an English vessel captained by Sir George Somers, while en route to Virginia, fell victim to the Bermuda reefs. Later, in 1612, 60 colonists were left to populate and claim the island for England. The island was renamed Somers Isles, but that name did not stick.

Bermuda remains the oldest self-governing colony of Great Britain. However, its proximity to the United States has a significant impact on its culture and life style. Still, certain English customs, such as tea drinking and ceremonies with pomp and circumstance continue to thrive.

 

The island is 21 square miles with a population of approximately 60,000. The majority of Bermuda’s population are of African descent. Europeans, especially Portuguese and English, are the other nationalities that make up its population. However, in more recent times, the population of the Asian community has increased.

 

July 12- 15, 2020 | Kingston, Jamaica