Today we went to St. George’s Island.
Town of St. George
To get to St. George Island we rode the ferry to Dockyard and then took the ferry from there to St. George’s Island. On the way there, a tour guide introduced herself to the people on the ferry saying that she offered tours of the Town of St. George. We decided to join her tour.
About St. George
The Island of St. George is located at the end of the main island, if you recall my description of Bermuda from yesterday as a fishhook, it would be at the fishing line knot. The Town of St. George, founded about 1600, is one of the oldest towns in the New World. It was founded by people headed towards Jamestown who shipwrecked on the island. The town has a population of only about 2000, so it is a very small town.
Our guide, Penelope, took us to a spot where we were able to view the entire Town of St. George. One interesting thing about it is that nearly every roof is made out of white limestone shingles. Not only does the limestone reflect the sunlight, but it also helps to purify the rainwater. Rainwater is stored in underground tanks and is used for almost everything except drinking (although our guide said that in some houses the rainwater is pure enough to drink).
From the overview point, we walked down a small walkway to a narrow street. The tour guide took the ladies into a perfume shop but I, along with most of the men, stayed outside. We then went to a beautiful Anglican church. The church was founded in the very early 1600s (as in like 1609 or something). Inside some of the original structure was on display. There was a communion table that was a gift from a king of somewhere from 1612. To give a bit of context, it would be 9 more years before the pilgrims sailed to the New World.
We continued walking through the town to the Unfinished Church which is exactly what it says it is: an unfinished church. It looked like some of the European churches that were destroyed by bombs in WWII. It was very beautiful. Our guide said that it is often used for weddings.
We also walked past the house that the first emancipated slave in Bermuda built. His descendants still live in that house.
We went a few other places as well, but they were not as memorable to me.
Random info doesn’t really fit into the narrative:
- As we were walking through the town, nearly everyone who drove or rode by in their cars or scooters knew her and stopped to say hi.
- The price of gas is about $8 per gallon. (Bermudan Dollars are pegged to the USD so there’s a 1:1 ratio.)
- The speed limit throughout the entire island is 32 km/hr (20 MPH). Literally nobody obeys it (if they did, the bus would take much longer than it does).
- The speed limit through the Town of St. George is 24 km/hr (15 MPH). Literally nobody obeys it (if they did, we wouldn't have nearly gotten run over multiple times).
- We asked what the price of a house is on the island. She said that the cheapest house is $1,000,000 (yes, one million dollars).
- Someone asked about unemployment: she said "I'm not supposed to say anything about it, but there’s plenty of unemployed people."
- Someone asked about crime: she said "I'm not supposed to say anything about it, but there’s plenty of crime. People smuggle guns into the island in pieces and assemble them here."
- Someone asked about race relations: she said "I'm not supported to say anything about it, but there's plenty of problems with race relations."
- (I did a bit of paraphrasing on the last three for effect.)
After the tour, there was a demonstration in the town square of what a dunking-torture would have looked like in the 1600s. I'll try to post a video of it, it was very realistic. I felt bad for the poor lady.
After receiving recommendations for our guide and from the tourist information center, we decided to go to Tobacco Bay, a popular beach. We ate lunch at little cafe then we walked to the beach. We heard that the snorkeling was good so we rented gear and went around the rocks. We saw some really large fish and some neat coral. We saw three or four large blue fish. They were almost 0.6m (2 ft) long! The water was extremely cold, but we had a fun.
Read the previous few posts and you’ll know what our dinner was like.
We tried to go outside to the Harbor Night festivities but it was raining pretty hard so we came back inside after about two minutes. At this point it was about time for the 20:00 (8:00 pm) show to start so we went down to watch it. The performer was a juggler-comedian. His act was called Comedy in Motion and it was very funny. The guy was also a Christian, he mentioned that it took a long time for the Lord to bring he and his waffle together. His juggling was also very impressive.
After the show, I went up to the Lido deck and played ping-pong with Mike. We played two set of games to 21, best out of three. I swept the first series and won the second series on the third game. I was fairly happy because he’d beaten me a few days ago. Then we played a game of chess on the big chess board.
Indonesian Crew Show
By this time, it was about 23:00 (11:00 pm) so we went down to the showroom for the Indonesian Crew Show. Essentially it was a show produced by the crew of the ship. They practice in their free time (which isn't much) and it was very neat. It was definitely not a professional production, but it was good to support the hardworking crew.