One of the highlights in the celebration of Bermuda's 400 years of permanent settlement is the arrival of tall ships - from the "Atlantic Challenge 2009" that began in Vigo, Spain. This race has a lot of port calls (or stop overs? hehehe!) and one of them is this island. This challenge will end in Belfast, Northern Ireland - a true race around the Atlantic.
The tall ships provided a different kind of excitement compared to the usual festivities and street parties. Plus, the ships docked in the city actually changed the landscape of the capital for a week. There were various events that has relevance to sea navigation and... we were allowed to get inside the ships!
One of my favorites is the HMS Bounty,
which was built in Nova Scotia for MGM Film Studio's
1962 movie, Mutiny on the Bounty which stars Marlon Brando.
Based on their flyer, it is designed as amovie prop and a sound stage. The ship has extensive decks, long hallways and eight-foot ceilings. Her first journey out of the shipyard was to Tahiti and her second was to England to promote the movie.
Some of the other ships were
interesting as well. Of course, there are endless, endless lengths of ropes all round. Well, it's for their sails, what else? Other ships that are a part of the race and the festivities include
Etoile and Belle Poule both from France,
Mircea from Romania (close favorite)
Concordia from Canada
The Bounty, Eagle, Pride of Baltimore, Fasizi, Virginia, Spirit of Carolina and Amistad from USA
Kruzenshtern from Russia
Europa, Urania and Tecla from Netherlands
Capitan Miranda from Uruguay
And even if small, Bermuda has its own tall ship called the "Spirit of Bermuda." (Shown above, second photo from the top)
With a couple of friends, we watched the unberthing of ships from Hamilton. They are now on their way to another port. It's like
another festivity. A lot of tourists witnessed the event. Canons were fired by some of the ships. One of the ship even had tis crews get up the sails... And stood there on the ropes! whew!
I hope they will have a safe and fun trip until the end of the race.
The Filipino float and dancers were one of the best.. Well, not only because I was wearing a shirt that is Philippine flag inspired. hats off to the organizers and dancers, particularly to the AFB or Association of Filipinos in Bermuda. Come to think of it, I am not a registered member! Hahaha!
I did hang out with most of my Filipino friends from our store and from the (only) hospital here.
The only day when you can drink beer/alcohol on the street, so we grabbed the opportunity and did our stuff!
Back to the event, the parade of floats and representatives of different countries were all inspiring and informative. never I thought that there were Mohawk Indian tribes somewhere in Bermuda (far up north?). Since the main streets in the city is closed, umbrellas and even gazebos are lined up on the street. It's like having a grand picnic and party!
The parade includes famous persons and organizations and of course a representation of different cultures and nationalities. Floats and costumes galore!
I loved how the Portuguese made their parade with arc similar to a flores de mayo of the Philippines. Well, our country has been 'discovered' by a Portuguese Magellan so, it is not impossible to think that our traditions, culture and language are influenced by this people. Fact is, I really get along with most Portuguese I bumped into, and might as well make friends with them as I study their language.
The Portuguese dancers:
United Colors of Bermuda:
Representing my parish
There's a lot of other nations and nationalities who joined the parade. Needless to say that during the event, I may have bumped into 20 or more people of different countries. Just bumped, while holding my beer and camera. But one thing for sure, I am so glad to have witnessed this still on-going celebration of the 400th year discovery of Bermuda.
Here's an excerpt from the government's article about the reason for the celebration:
"In 1609 the Sea Venture, flagship of the second expedition sent to America by the Virginia Company of London under the command of Admiral Sir George Somers was wrecked off Bermuda during a violent storm (providing the theme of Shakespeare’s Tempest). The subsequent rescue a year later of the Jamestown colony in Virginia by its survivors is one of the important stories of the western world. Bermuda played a crucial role in the development of the New World. Over the past four centuries, Bermuda has evolved into a diverse multi-ethnic and multi-cultural community.
--- And here's a slide show made by a friend:
... In bermuda...
Is right at Front Street.
A lot of people frequent this shop! Hmmmm... I wonder... Hahaha!