Our Sail Bermuda guide will demonstrate how we prepared our sailboat for a long journey, what the five-day passage was like, what life is like when you finally reach a destination, tours of St George’s and Hamilton in addition to special activities to do while in Bermuda. The real corker, however, was our trip back from Bermuda to North Carolina. It was bad. Very bad. Perhaps it’s worth you watching our video so you know just how bad it can get so you make sure to pick a good weather window!
Get a feel for sailing to Bermuda before you go there yourself.
Within each of our Sailing Guide areas on the website, we provide information that will give you a feel for our passage to and throughout the area. The information includes our passage plan and route, a diary-style article about what we got up to and videos showcasing the surrounding area and/or some sort of extra about how to be a bluewater cruiser.
In this series, you’ll start off with learning about how to prepare the boat for a long passage and you’ll end with what it’s like to sail the Atlantic Ocean in heavy seas.
Each article and post has been created so that you can get an idea as to the various areas, what some of the highlights are, whether we think they’re a hit or miss and some of the difficulties we ran into. Our hope is that these sailing destination series will prepare you a bit more for not only the sailing cruiser life but show you want to expect before you arrive.
Let’s get started on Sail Bermuda…
This article is an overview of our trip to and from Bermuda from South Carolina, USA. If you want more information and/or to watch the accompanying videos click-through or scan the menu on the top right to see if anything piques your interest.
Our journey from South Carolina to Bermuda didn’t happen without a substantial amount of preparation beforehand. Before any long passage we sort out our storage, clean the boat, go up the mast and check all the rigging (fix anything that needs to be fixed), provision (as groceries are almost always more expensive outside of American), pre-make meals and freeze them, research our final destination and watch the wind and weather minute by minute to determine the best time for departure.
To find out how we prepared for our five day passage from Charleston, South Carolina to Bermuda, watch the video How To Provision & Prepare Your Sailboat For A Long Passage.
For us, leaving Charleston was a big step.
We’d sailed the Mediterranean, crossed the Atlantic and sailed the Caribbean however our stopover in Charleston lasted for over a year. Yep – we lived on our boat in a marina and didn’t sail much at all.
Find out why we got ‘stuck’ in Charleston and discover why we had to eventually leave US waters FAST. Get the inside scoop as to how we felt about leaving – were we excited, scared, both?
Read my article, Sailing To Bermuda
As a counterpart to my Sailing To Bermuda article, I made a video that showcased our five day trip. Highlights include catching and eating a tuna, enjoying the company of Sienna’s First Grade Teacher, Becky Royal, clear skies and squally skies, and wondering if we had enough fuel to make it the full way under motor (wind died!). Discover also what we did to keep ourselves occupied, our first contact with Bermuda Radio, our first sight of St George’s, booking in and exploring a new area. Watch our Sailing To Bermuda Video.
With the swells behind us and the calm St George’s Harbour surrounding us in comfort, I was reminded as to the benefits of living on the hook.
Every morning I woke to a beautiful rising sun, the scent of Jasmine and Frangipani the air, soft waves lapping along the hull and a backdrop full of soft blues, oranges and yellows. A calmness pervaded the boat and it remained all day!
My family and I have spent the first couple weeks doing a variety of ‘normal’ tasks like cooking, cleaning, searching out leaks and finding solutions to remedy them. We polished the chrome deck fittings, had some repairs done to our mainsail and replaced quite a bit of teak deck calking.
In between our homework and chores, we enjoy at least three swims off the back of the boat each day. The water was refreshing and enlivening. One dip provided a coolness that can revive any lull in energy.
And the options for day trips from St George’s were plentiful.
The number of things to do and places to go within walking distance of the anchorage is plenty. Furthermore, the buses are easy to understand and there’s even a fast ferry that takes passengers from St Georges over to the Naval Dockyards directly. And every museum, attraction, display and even public restroom is kept to the highest standard.
Watch our video about our time spent Sailing Around Bermuda – Life At Anchor. You’ll see some of the jobs we did after we arrived, what our daughter got up to for homeschooling and play, some awesome meals we had cooked by the sun, and some local spots to investigate that will blow you away.
Eventually, I put together a Sail Bermuda article and video of seven things to do while anchored in St Georges. They include:
1. Enjoy the anchorage in Bermuda St George’s
2. Stroll around the streets of St Georges, Bermuda visiting museums, churches and parks
3. Watch the 12:30 pm public punishment sessions in the King’s Square.
4. Walk just outside the Town of St. George’s to find AMAZING SIGHTS
5. Enjoy a meal and beverage at one of the lovely St. George’s eateries
6. Take a short bus trip to nearby attractions
7. Head further afield to visit the capital city, Hamilton, and/or the Naval Dockyards – Sail Bermuda!
The video has a load of sights and scenes that will definitely excite you about Bermuda. It’s such a beautiful country.
Read the article and watch the video Bermuda St George’s
- Some overall Tips about visiting Bermuda St George’s
- If you’re sailing into Bermuda make sure to bring as much food, beverages, and paper supplies as possible. Everything and I mean everything is around double what you’d normally pay. Celery is $9.00. A glass of wine is $11.00. And the average cost of an entree starts around the $25.00 mark. There’s no local veg shop with affordable vegetables!
- If you’re staying a while as we did, consider bus passes that are longer than the day tokens or passes. You can get a week or month pass at a discount.
- Many restaurants/bars have WIFI but many do not. It’s worth asking before you enter.
- Tips/gratuity is usually added to all bills so make sure you don’t tip twice.
Some grocery stores offer a discount to boaties. The one in St George’s does so it’s worth asking for the discount.
- There are rip tides and Portuguese-man-of-war (they look like bags so don’t grab them). Make sure you understand what to do if you encounter either of these things.
- Everyone says hello and goodbye so do not be surprised when someone gets off the bus and shouts out, ‘goodbye everyone.’
After a couple of weeks of living life quietly anchored in St. George’s Bermuda, we pulled up our anchor and motored to Hamilton Bermuda by boat. Hamilton, the capital of Bermuda, is quite a beautiful bustling city. While anchored we enjoyed the views of the city by day and night. We also took several trips to land to explore our surroundings.
The Hamilton Bermuda by Boat Video showcases the sights and sounds we experienced.
Hopefully, the music I choose to accompany the video will provide an enjoyable viewing experience while we sail Bermuda. So, sit back and enjoy our trip from St. Georges to Hamilton Bermuda…
Once we found our new anchorage we immediately settled in.
A neighboring liveaboard came over on his dingy and introduced himself. We gained knowledge about the whereabouts of the dinghy dock, the best place to get groceries and other important information.
Interestingly when I did a Google search for ‘Hamilton,’ every place (eg. Hamilton, Canada)/thing (eg. Hamilton, the Musical) on Earth other than Hamilton, Bermuda came up. Even on YouTube, I couldn’t find any videos about the lovely city. I can’t understand why?!
Without any more commentary, the best thing I can do is present my video on Hamilton, Bermuda. My aim was to present you with an inside view as to what it’s like to live on a boat day-to-day AND enjoy the surrounding area: Life at anchor in Hamilton, Bermuda,
Similar to my Sailing in Bermuda – Life At Anchor video, while in St. George’s, this video shows our normal life in addition to what we saw when we went to shore. So check out some of the jobs Simon did. Find out what I got up to and how our daughter spent her time.
Our sailing voyage back from Bermuda to Charleston, South Carolina was hell.
With the weather against us, we experienced 16 squalls in four days. Sailing in rough seas isn’t fun. It’s uncomfortable, scary and induces seasickness in most people! Within hours of leaving Bermuda, I was already ready to get off.
My body tightened into a ball even though I was still upright. The saloon was tossed dramatically over to the left. With a couple of red night-lights painting the scene I witnessed latched doors open, previously secured items fly through the air and buckets of water hit the top and sides of the boat. Was it rain or was it sea? Probably both. When the lightning lit up the skies I could see the tops of massive whitecaps being blown horizontal in the wind.
As I listened to our crew member, Ryan, yell from the cockpit, “48…52…55…59 knots of wind… and coming from the northwest,” I quickly deduced that he was assisting Simon with the local on-the-spot weather report. Unfortunately, our local weather wasn’t anything like the forecast.
In the Sailing in Rough Seas video, you’ll get a glimpse of day two through five of our journey from Bermuda to Charleston. We had mostly sunny conditions with several squalls, or small storms, thrown in several times a day. And we had to divert to Wilmington, North Carolina. Can you believe that the last day we almost ran out of fuel (and I wanted to get off the boat!).
It was the worst voyage we’ve ever been on. If you want to see how bad The Atlantic can get, watch this video: Sailing In Rough Seas Video
Simon, Sienna and I recovered from the very bumpy ride back from Sail Bermuda.
After a three day stay at the wonderful Port City Marina, we had a weather window allowing us to motor 21 hours south to Charleston. I told Simon that I preferred a voyage in flat waters – even if we had to use fuel. I was fed up with the Atlantic Ocean and just wanted to get back to Charleston without feeling fearful.
Over the course of the following week, we set out to repair leaks. We also fixed damages done during the rough sailing conditions the week before AND enjoy seeing all our friends again. Furthermore, we had a solar eclipse to experience so it was busy, busy, busy.
We also got back into our lives in the Charleston Harbor Marina. We fixed things, Sienna went back to school and life went on.
But we wouldn’t be staying in Charleston for too long.
Our next move was to head south as soon as the hurricane season ended. Check out our Sailing SE USA articles and videos to learn more about our passage south.
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|THE BRITICAN EXPERIENCE - A WEEK-LONG BLUEWATER CRUISING EXPERIENCE|
|"Sailing Britican was more than a vacation on the beach. For a week we tasted a new way of life we didn’t know possible. We couldn’t say it better than Margaret, our four-year-old “being on a boat is the life for me! Wind in my hair, not a care!”
With the constant sound of crashing waves, a rocking boat, the sunsets, and translucent waters glistening it’s a challenge to pinpoint our favorite moments.
Every moment of every day seemed to gel together helping us to forget our worries on land. Thank you to Kim and Simon for sharing their sailing expertise, introduced us to other sailing families, and a pace of life full of fresh and salty air! Their home is truly a dream, their sailing stories an unforgettable experience!
They are generous people who want to share this life with all who dare to seek it. What a phenomenal experience for our family of five. Even our littlest member turned one on Britican, a memory we will cherish forever." Dorothy, Roger, Isla, Margaret & Patrick
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