Until that time we hadn’t realised that the place is not just one single sea girt shore; it actually consists of three long thin isles, tacked onto each other in a row, plus several dozen islets and hundreds of smaller rocky bits which lie scattered over a huge reef.
The flag of Bermuda features a big red monster attacking a ship…or, at least, that’s what it seems to show at first glance.Admiral Somers was in command of a brand-new ship called which was on its way from Olde Englande to Ye New Worlde, with supplies of men, women, and food for the equally brand-new colony of Jamestown, Virginia.Alas, whilst traversing the ocean (at a rather odd latitude, one might remark, for an east-west crossing) the ship was caught up in a hurricane.If it hadn’t been for our cruising companion, Paul Johnson, we would probably never have got round to visiting Bermuda this time either – and yet, funnily enough, he was the one who wanted to give it a miss.
“Yes, it’s outrageous.” Johnson confirmed the rumour. I know I won’t ever go there again; the place is utterly ruined.” But every time he put the place down, the old sea-dog would then tell us nostalgic tales; tales such as the one of how, forty-odd years ago, he and his mates built their yachts – to Johnson’s adaption of a Colin Archer design – in an old, near-derelict shed in the disused naval dockyard in Bermuda. So it was that that Bermuda came to appear on ‘s Whistle Stop Tour itinerary.
As for the cliffs, towering above the hapless vessel… Isn’t that just typical of the chain-of-communication problem which exists in all big organisations?
“How about a picture of the ship rocking up on the isle,” said the governor in his despatch home.
“I s’pose it’s something to do with the Bermuda triangle,” said I to myself. P’raps there’s a legend about a sea monster.” The last time we crossed from the Caribbean to Europe we passed within fifty miles of Bermuda.
Near enough to excite such interest that we dug out the chart.
Then, for an encore, he had the men salvage all that they could of the old vessel and construct two smaller craft, which were named.