Friday, October 12, 2012
This morning I took the bus in the direction of St. George’s. When I got on the bus I took a seat somewhat near the front. An older man came on so I offered him my seat so that he didn’t have to walk all the way to the back. He smiled as he said nah, he’d just sit next to me. We spoke the entire ride (probably about 45 minutes) during which time he pointed out certain buildings and bays for me; he told me the history of this and that. This new friends name is Agnel and what a neat man full of such interesting stories. My favorite story he told was as we passed the primary school he attended as a child, he told me of how they used to go swimming for an hour and a half as their gym time in school. Agnel’s face lit up telling me this, then he said for the third of fourth time, “I just don’t get why anyone on Bermuda would need a pool. That there is my pool!” pointing to the ocean. Agnel told me that his father was a black Swede who married a Spanish girl and they moved to Bermuda, which he credits for his Swedish name (his last name has a double aa and double ss in it but I’ve forgotten his full last name). He is so funny. At one point on the bus ride he was pointing out how Bermuda has tons of churches – ~123 as far as he has counted – and that he thinks there are way too many (not the first person who has said that to me since I got here). As he pointed out what used to be a horse track but is now a field and a Christian church, the man next to us got up to get off at that stop and said, “stop by the church sometime you’ll love it!” sarcastically with a smirk (I think Agnel didn’t sit too well with this man) as he walked off.
I got off at my stop for BIOS and parted ways with Agnel. BIOS is neat! To save from a long and half-informative description here, you should just check out the website: http://www.bios.edu/ Albert (one of my hosts) works with a woman whose husband Gary volunteers at BIOS. Gary gave me a private tour today because the facility usually only hosts tours for the public on Wednesdays — lucky me? I think so! I learned some really fascinating things about the island and about the scientific research being done here. I learned that the garbage on the island is all burned (that which can be burned) and the energy created in burning is used to power the facility – not very scientific information but nonetheless a cool fact. If you look at an overview shot of Bermuda you will see distinct lines of blue shading in the bays and harbors which are there thanks to the US Navy who used that coral they sliced up and pulled out to create an island chain rather then there being a chain of islands. They connected small islands and extended the surface of St. David’s island to create the airport. BIOS has some fascinating research projects going on at the moment as well. They have such intricate studies of ocean layers exploring depths further then anywhere else in the world. Since it was a sort of private tour Gary showed me some neat projects with coral reproduction studies and others. It was so great of him (and Albert to set that up), and a really informative and interesting experience. I love marine sciences.
From there I went on to St. George’s town to wander and explore the list of stops provided to me by Terri and Albert. St. Peter’s was my first stop:
Walking in the square I saw Agnel again – what a cool man, and so sweet. He told me his plans for the day. I then bumped in to Kim and Rob (from the plane) and had lunch with them at Mama Angie’s (I think that was the name). They are a super nice couple. We parted ways after lunch and I took a walk over to Tabacco Bay and Fort St. Catherine. Along the walk I saw some cool houses, the Unfinished church, and other pretty things.
Tabacco Bay is such a beautiful place for snorkeling and swimming. It was a bit overcast and rainy here today though and since I was solo I followed the number one rule so I only went in for a dip. Fort St. Catherine’s was pretty cool too. It reminded me of Leah’s grandmothers house in Dún Laoghaire, Dublin (Newark Ulysses Fort).
When I walked back toward the town square I saw Agnel again! I was waiting for the ferry to head to the Dockyard on the other end of the island (in the rain) to find that it was canceled. While waiting though I met a super friendly couple from San Diego! They convinced me even more to move out there 😉 I rode the bus back with them to Hamilton and decided to skip out on Dockyard for today. I wandered around a bit through Hamilton, bought a shirt, and headed home.
We had pizza and wine tonight with Terri, Albert, and Terri’s friend Richard. Delicious and relaxed… Lots of good conversations. I think the conversations with the people I meet along the way is probably one of my top favorite aspects of travel. So intriguing and deep and fun sometimes.
Time for bed with fingers crossed the weather clears so I can snorkel with Rusty (from Tod’s Point) and his NY/CT masters crew that’s also down for the race! Good night friends 🙂