Bermuda and St. George’s

Date: 12th of March 2024
Position: Saint George’s, Bermuda
Etmal: 0 nm
Total: 8585 nm
Ship: Regina Maris

For the past four days we have spent here in Bermuda, we got to visit the Island and even show it to you while we had our phones during free shore leave. However, what most of you probably don’t know yet is how this settlement was created and why it even had quite a big impact on the history of the modern world.

Students reading a historic text on a building.

It all started in 1609

It all started in 1609 when a ship full of British settlers, heading towards the newly acquired land in the southern part of the USA, ran aground on one of the many reefs surrounding the Island and wrecked.

Luckily all 150 passengers made it safely to shore off the island now known as St. George. During the next few weeks, enough ship parts were salvaged from the wreck to enable the settlers to build two smaller ships over the next two years and continue their journey towards the new land.

The settlers left two men behind to secure the island in the name of the crown and promised to come back soon with supplies and settlers.

Buildings in St. George's and the ocean in the background

1 1/2 years later

1 1/2 years later the settlers came back with weapons and, most importantly for the two men left behind, women. Over the next few years, the settlement bloomed and the town of St. George was born.

St. Peter’s church was built in 1630 and it still stands proudly in the center of the town. Over the centuries, the people expanded and developed further settlements across the other islands, which are nowadays connected by bridges.

Eine rosa Farben Kirche in St. Georges.

The American Civil War

During the American Civil War, Bermuda played a key role in delivering weapons and ammunition to the southern states. The Confederate states would send large bales of cotton, worth around £500 back then, to Bermuda where the ships would unload the cotton and instead load guns and ammunition.

This is also the time on record where white and black people were paid the same for the same work (unloading the cotton bales). This would earn you around two pounds a day, which was a lot of money at the time.

The Yellow Fever outbreak

This was earning the Bermudians a lot of money until all of a sudden yellow fever broke out and the British traders decided to leave Bermuda and instead move their trading post to Halifax in southeastern Canada.

After the yellow fever outbreak Bermuda, once more, became an important port for ships, crossing the Atlantic and heading towards America. Although the British military constantly feared an invasion of Bermuda, it never happened and after the First World War there were only two coastal defence guns left on the island and then decommissioned around 25 years later.

Schüler*innen laufen am Town Hall von St. Georges vorbei.

The Second World War

During the Second World War, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill made a deal with American President Franklin Roosevelt known as the 50 destroyer deal, where Churchill allowed the Americans to build an Airforce base and a Naval base on the island in exchange for 50 destroyers and the permission to let the civilians use the Airforce runway as an airport.

Now Bermuda is under NATO protection and is still dependent on Great Britain. It has its own government and gets to decide upon its happenings itself.

Today’s events

Today we had free shore leave all day and most of us went to visit Hamilton, the largest city on the island, while others stayed near St. George and went to one of the many beautiful beaches.

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