Changing seasons and exploring forts

Bermuda is definitely back to normal post Hurricane Nicole. In fact, by the very next day most of Bermuda was up and running again.  One thing that I didn’t really expect over the days following however was that a lot of the leaves on trees would turn brown due to the salt content in the rain that came with the storm. As a lot of the moisture in a storm is sucked out of the ocean, this makes total sense to me now.

Hurricane Nicole seemed to clear the air and the days following had the humidity stripped which was a welcome relief.  And now, while we’ve had a few humid days, it definitely feels like we’ve transitioned into autumn/fall. Or maybe it just feels like a New Zealand summer now (just a bit warmer overnight though!). Temperatures are still sitting around mid 20s (celcius) and only dropping a few degrees to about 22 degrees celcius at night.  It’s actually rather pleasant!

Making the most of the slightly ‘cooler’ weather, we’ve been out exploring different parks on the island. In particular, some of Bermuda’s forts which form an integral part of Bermuda’s history. Many of the dozen or so forts on the island were built so British Troops (Bermuda being a British colony) could use the island’s close proximity to America to its strategic advantage during the American Revolution and 1812 war.  After this, Bermuda also became the Royal Navy’s Western Atlantic headquarters and served as an important naval base during World Wars 1 and 2.

Royal Naval Dockyard
Work began in the area in the 1790s by the British Army to construct a naval base to protect against invasion by the Americans. It was the home base of many war ships, including the British fleet with 5000 troops that launched their attack on Washington during the 1812 war. In the 1900s, and as America became an ally to Britain, there was little need for the base to continue its operations and in 1951, the Dockyard area was opened to the public.

Today the area serves as a very popular tourist spot (in part due to the proximity of visiting cruise ships) with a maritime museum, gift shops, cafes and restaurants, craft market, mini golf and much more.  It is even home to the local prison! And will host the America’s Cup 2017.

Fort Scaur
Nestled in the crest on top of the highest hill in Sommerset, the outlook is just spectacular with views out to the south west as well as over to the Great Sound. Fort Scaur was completed in the late 1800s and was built as part of a ring of forts, and in particular was to protect the rear of the Dockyard from any enemy force advancing by land from the Southampton Beaches. You can still walk down the stairs into the underground areas, though watch out for all the mould! It’s also a great spot for a picnic.

Whale Bay Battery Park and Fort
At Whale Bay a small semi-circular fort was built between 1625 and 1783.  In its day, Whale Bay Fort had several cannons guarding the beach landing and nearby channel. Only its foundations remain today. It’s also situated on the edge of Port Royal Golf Course offering amazing views out to the south west.

Fort St Catherine
Situated in St George’s, Fort St Catherine was first built in the 1600s and since has been rebuilt several times over the centuries. In the mid 1900s, the fort was developed into a museum.

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St Catherine is one of the more popular forts in Bermuda for tourists and as it is now a museum visitors need to pay a small fee to go inside. That being said, you can also get a good perspective from outside – viewing some of the concrete firing positions that used to hold a unique 18 tonne guns. By taking the ferry from Dockyard to St Georges, you can also admire it from the water. Positioned at the north western tip of the island, it’s easy to see why this fort was located where it is.

 

Kiwi in Bermuda

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One thought on “Changing seasons and exploring forts

  1. Bermuda certainly has an interesting history, it’s great to explore and go out and about on a fact finding mission.
    I thought you would have seen all of Bermuda by now, but evidently there is more to explore.

    Like

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