Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Extended Stays in Bermuda

If you plan to visit Bermuda past 21 days, then you must get approval from immigration. Before your 21 days have passed, visit the Bermuda government building at 30 Parliament Street in the city of Hamilton.

Immigration is on the first floor. Please note that applications for extending a visit are only taken between the hours of 9am to noon, Monday - Friday. Applicant must appear in person with a completed application (blue form found along the office wall) and the following documentation:

  • Passport
  • Immigration form (the piece of paper you filled out upon entering Bermuda that they told you to keep with your passport)
  • Plane ticket or proof of ability to repatriate yourself by air should the need arise (such as a credit card statement showing your available credit line)
  • Proof of health insurance accepted by the local authorities
  • In writing (basically a letter) that you will not seek or take up employment in Bermuda

If you are crew on a visiting yacht, then you should also have Customs Clearance documentation (stamped) along with the crew list where your name should appear, and a letter from the vessels captain or owner certifying your outward passage on his or her vessel.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Bermuda Sea Turtles

Even Horizon, my home, is currently on a mooring on the west-end of St Georges Harbor, which is on the east end of Bermuda. Upon arrival I was intrigued by the turtle crossing signs posted along the shoreline and on nearby marks. It was days before I finally spotted one, but now, as if they have welcomed me to the neighborhood, I have had many turtles visit. Knowing many turtle species are now endangered, I went online to see if I could learn more about my neighbors.

Apparently Bermuda has a healthy, large population of sea turtles and is believed to be a sea turtle nursery for the Caribbean region. The islands that make up Bermuda are surrounded by lush sea-grass beds, healthy coral reefs, and crystal-clear, unpolluted waters which provide perfect habitat for young green turtles and hawksbills according to the Bermuda Turtle Project.

Five of the worlds seven sea turtle species are known to occur in Bermuda waters!

Since sea turtles are air-breathing reptiles, they must come to the surface to breath every few minutes. This is when, in my neighborhood, you are often rewarded with a close-up look at one of these beautiful creatures.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Bermuda - Day 20

The big bad wind finally went away - at least for a while - so for the past 5 days I have been enjoying land and people again. Upon my arrival to shore, the town was busy hanging the last of the Christmas decorations and preparing for their big annual holiday event. Along with what seemed like most of the islanders, I had the good fortune of attending this popular event, St Georges Christmas Open House.

St Georges is the oldest continually inhabited English town in the New World. And this holiday open house was the perfect opportunity to visit many of the historical town buildings, museums and private residences, all decorated for the season by local garden clubs. Plus there was musical entertainment throughout and most places served refreshments along with holiday spirits and encouraged lingering. But for me there was too much to see during the 2 hour event so I continued on, walking my way through the program. If you ever find yourself in Bermuda during early December, this event is not to be missed.