Dawn prompted a flurry of activity to prepare for our arrival. The mast top burgee had to be hoisted before we could deploy our RVYC defaced red ensign. The Bermuda courtesy flag and the yellow ‘Q’ flag had to be flown at the starboard and port crosstrees and the ARC people like their flag to be on display. We were amongst a ‘bevvy’ of yachts converging on St. George’s Town Cut and after exchanges with the affable and efficient Bermuda Radio officials, we were given permission to enter the harbour and instructions to go to Ordinance Island and moor at the Customs Clearance Dock to complete the entry formalities.
The officials were a refreshing contrast to our usual experiences in the Caribbean with only one officer dealing with the many forms. The ARC had even negotiated a waiver on the usual taxes!
We moored stern to the outside of the dock which needed a very long gang plank as the chops coming across the harbour (in the increased wind) made for a bit of movement. We attended the evening ‘Pirates Party’ which meant that we could catch up with the other crews. Not surprisingly, the whole fleet logged similar engine hours so the finishing positions will be pretty irrelevant.
We were grateful to be called early to move to the main town dock where we took on duty free diesel and filled the special bladder, kindly loaned by Barry which takes 80 litres and that we have lashed to the foredeck.
Invoking the shallow draft argument, we managed to berth on the inside of the tiny Dinghy Club harbour on our return. We are just inside the entrance and alongside the wall return so we can now step on and off without ‘walking the plank’ which has pleased Barry. We almost completely block the entrance but, far from being put out, the yachts inside are almost grateful because now, they are unlikely to be asked to vacate to allow others inside to take on water and power, there being insufficient berths for the whole fleet and some are at anchor.