Bermuda Day was formerly known as Empire Day and was celebrated throughout all the British empire, mainly as the birthday of Queen Victoria. It was first celebrated in 1902. As the colonies became independent, this day was celebrated to mark their own national identity and heritage. For most Bermudians, the day marks the beginning of summer on the island. Bermuda Day is a big-deal, public holiday and is now also known as Heritage Day, as it showcases the island’s culture and heritage.
It’s also, supposedly, the day when men will start wearing shorts and knee socks, but we saw plenty of that yesterday.
Generally, Bermudans dress rather better than we do. It’s less casual than our holey jean, T-shirt obsessed approach to momentary fashion. Shar has embraced the mind-set by wearing a skirt for all occasions.
I can’t say any of us are very excited about the parade (except, maybe, the Gombey dancers). For one, I doubt this can compare to the New Orleans St. Patrick’s Day parade, which is the only parade, after some-teen years of Wenatchee Apple Blossom parades, that I found worth the effort. If they throw cabbages here, maybe I’ll reconsider.
Our travels are considerably limited today because the ferry out of St. George’s doesn’t run on holidays. It looks like a beach visit is on the agenda.
It’s a short walk (30 min) to and around the eastern-most end of the island. There are three forts along the way, a reminder of the invasion paranoia of the colonizing powers. The first was smallest, just two block houses and two guns and a rusted out BBQ.
Finally (humid as all get out), we reached the serious beach (and more serious fort), complete with restaurant, where we drank copiously (sorry beer and rum lovers) of bottled sparkling h2o and had lunch. Nice. I’ve yet to go swimming, but it will happen. Jason did.
Tonight was the first of two group dinners planned, one here and the other in Horta. Michelle, aboard Relish, instigated the idea and organized us all, to ensure an adequate distribution of protein, veggies, carbs and sweets. Moxie’s crew contributed fresh dorado and a Costco mac & cheese…and Bob, the fish grill-master, who fought the tropical breeze (read ‘brisk!’) to produce the best fish yet. The St. George’s Dinghy & Sports Club provided space for us at their upstairs bar, overlooking the ‘docks’.