Friday, May 23, 2008

Spirit of Bermuda

This past weekend, a historic sloop replica, the Spirit of Bermuda, sailed into Grand Turk for the Windward Passage Symposium. We spent the weekend attending ceremonies and parties and lectures. I presented a lecture on Saturday on the transfer of architectural styles into Grand Turk.

On Saturday, we also hosted the 22 students on the Spirit of Bermuda at the museum. The students on board the ship are on a semester at sea for five weeks. They work as the crew. Each student takes a four hour watch on deck, 24 hours a day. On the trip from Bermuda to Grand Turk the ship came through a large storm with 54 knot winds and 30 foot waves. For two days the kids threw up all over the ship. They were so sick that they could not clean up the vomit from below decks. At the end of the second day, they had to clean the whole ship from top to bottom.

On Saturday night, we attended the Governor's reception on board. Two US Coast Guard ships were at dock as well. The officers joined us at the reception. The picture below is me with the Governor, the ships captain, and the past Premier of the TCI.

At the last minute, we kept Dr. Michael Jarvis as a house guest for three days. Dr. Jarvis is a professor at Rochester University and is a preeminent scholar on Bermudian history. This worked out very well.

Here is a picture of Lucas, Myself, and Dr. Jarvis.

On Monday, Davis and I sailed to Salt Cay on the Spirit. We went to Salt Cay to rake salt like the Bermudians did in the seventeenth century. And in fact four bags were raked. This was the first time I have seen the sea salt crystallized in the salt ponds. Can someone say gift shop? Salt Cay was unbelievably hot. Not any shade. Both Davis and I got sunburned. But not as bad as our visitors.

The Spirit is a three masted sloop. We sailed under full sail. The ship sailed at about a 30 degree list. I asked when people got nervous. One of the mates said that when they were in the storm the rail was under water. At one point they had to cut a sail loose. This was very cool. I guess my first sail on a replica sloop.

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