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Bermuda Day 5 – Regatta Results

I just had the last day of a really hard regatta with over 60 boats on the starting line. I did moderately well with 33 over 62 boats. I felt really bad about this, but my coach said,”You have bigger things to do well in, like team trials – this is just more training.” That made me feel better and made me do well today with all top 25’s. I think I could have done better that.

On the 2nd day (first day was canceled because of hurricane) the wind had died down to ten knots, so me being a light sailor that should have been paradise. In that wind I should have rocked, but the start became a battle field- from the black flag (dsq) to evil people taking my air, leaving me to wither and die. Luckily I got out of that and even on my worst starts I did okay.

Then we came back into the harbor battered and hungry, awards were going to be at 5:00. I de-rigged my boat super fast so I could get to those nice warm clothes. “Ah it feels so good to dry again”, I said while I was putting on a super big shirt. After that I went to see how many places I had advanced. One place, that’s is how much I moved up from misery, one place behind the person I wanted to beat most. I could have screamed at my score pleading it to change to what I thought I did. Awards, sitting next to some Canadian friends, were hard to bear, and I didn’t get anything which really sucked. I watched all these happy faces as they went up there to collect trophies, then I thought of my friend who had missed being the Bermuda National Champion by 3 points, that must’ve really sucked.

Not the best regatta I’ve had, but I will do better next time.


Bermuda Day 4 – Maritime History

Today I visited the Bermuda Maritime Museum. It is one of the oldest structures on the island. It has been in use up to the end of WWII, then it became a museum. When you first walk in you will see a courtyard with a replica of the head of the ship that discovered Bermuda, it is a statue of Neptune. The shipwreck is on the Bermudan flag.

Then we walked up to the sheep gardens and there were sheep up there and tons of stuff they left behind. I never got to pet them I would have liked to. Then we went to visit a 100 year old yacht named Dainty. It won the Bermuda cup but then was sunk in Hurricane Emily. The owners couldn’t pay to fix it so they donated it to the museum and the museum fixed but put on display and didn’t sail it ever again. I think they should take it out and restore its pride.

Next we went to part of the jail. There were a couple cells in there but the most odd thing was that there was a narrow hall way, so narrow I could barely get through, that didn’t lead any where. I guess that it was to safely look in at what prisoners were doing.

Then we went to look at the ominous cannons that stood perched on a wall ready fire at anything. Those cannons must have shot the death ball because it must have shot a ball twice the size of my head at 100 mph at a wooden ship, don’t you think that would have killed it?

Next we went into where all the meetings were held by the Navy. On the first floor there were artifacts from WWII, machine guns, cannons, medals, and much more. On the second floor there were things about slaves and my favorite room about the Bermuda race. That room is where they had things from the race, trophies, badges, and pictures. Pictures of the first boat finishing, some of the ones that didn’t make it, some that told the history of the race.

On the next floor there were all the meeting rooms with china cabinets in them (some of that china I found on the beach). I was amazed at how long the tables were, I wonder if my Grandfather sat at one of those chairs. There was a room that I discovered, a room filled with rare Navy books – that was my 2nd favorite room in that building. I wonder who had used those books before.

We again sped off into the wilderness of Bermuda (like there is one :))

Bermuda Storm Day 3

As always, to make a trip to an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean you have to have a Hurricane to complete the trip. My team and I were supposed to sail in the storm today but things got messy. But we did however have to take our boats out of the shipping container they were in. My mom suffered badly from this.

That same container as we were taking boats out a surprise shift of 60 mph caught the door my mom was holding and smacked her straight into the curb. 20 minutes later the ambulance came and took my mom away to a hospital  that gave her 5 stitches. She was basically unable to move around after that. Not fun on a vacation huh?

Later we had dinner with the family that had taken care of my mother before she was went to the doctors. Sailing was canceled that day.

The next night: My mother and I had random power outages every 20 minutes the longest lasting hours, the house would be shining and then “zzzt” and the power was out again. This kept happening over and again and I started to feel like the ghosts were trying to get in. I clung to my mom and we went back in time to when they had no electricity and we carried candles everywhere. We enjoyed a movie because there was no light to read with and the computer had a full battery charge. I bet they, the Bermudians,  are used to it.

Bermuda Day 2 – Visit to Hamilton

Today we visited Hamilton, the capital of Bermuda. Buzzing away on our scooter past houses an beaches I finally set eyes on Hamilton. It is a beautiful town, tall buildings on one side of the road and beaches with yacht clubs on the other. One of the yacht clubs my friend sails out of.

We parked our scooter in a “designated scooter zone” and left it there with our helmets. We first went into a a small bookstore called Bermuda Books. It had all my favorite series  and new books that haven’t come out yet in the U.S.A. and more types like guide books, atlases, and others that I did not checkout.

Then we went into the Irish linen shop which my mom went to when she was here almost 30 years ago. It had little house decorations and paper weights all around the shop. Upstairs there was kids section but all the stuff was for kids younger than me. I wonder what this place was like when my grandparents lived here.

Next we went to the English Sports Shop to look for some Bermuda shorts. They didn’t have the shorts, but they did have the traditional long socks men wear, I got a pair just for the fun of it. The only things they had for kids were school uniforms, that’s what kids wear most of the time. They had hats and sweaters and other things downstairs. That’s what I got my mom and uncle. I wonder if it was here back then.

We went to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club where the Queen comes to visit. It’s true one of my friends’ dad met the Queen and was Commodore of the yacht club. It’s the best yacht club that I have ever been to. It had a Prince Albert room to the left of the walkway where all the famous Bermudan trophies are held. That room was my favorite in the entire yacht club. It had the bar and docks spanned out on the other side of the yacht club. My coach used to work there. I want to win one of those trophies one day.

Then we picked up our scooter and went on to view the place/island my grand parents used to live on. I love Hamilton.

Arriving in Bermuda

“Ding , you are free to get up”, the stewardess said on the intercom. I didn’t even notice that she was speaking because I was so absorbed in the view outside my window. Turquoise water on one side Buildings with white stone roofs, and houses of all sorts of bright colors. The roofs here are white stone because they need to withstand hurricanes and storms, white so that the sun doesn’t hurt it.

Things were moving and I had to detach myself from one of the best views I have ever seen.”Bye thank you for flying with us”, the stewardess said right before I stepped out into the brilliant sunshine ( it was a clear day ). This airport even though it is international was really small. Instead of having a “walkway” come out to the plane door we had go down a staircase then walk on the tarmac into the airport, which is totally awesome.

Customs took a million years to get through. There were two people working for some 500 people who had all come in at the same time, our plane at the end. There were people of all sorts there; sailors, business men, Bermudians in their special outfits, and tourists there for the sunshine. When we got to the front of the line I saw that there was  picture of Queen Elizabeth on the left side and a picture of Bermuda in front of me. It was magical.

At the door there was a taxi driver who a sign with my mom’s name on it. We followed him out to the cab. There was a sea of taxis out there and they all look the same. An S.U.V. with seats facing each other, almost flat front and a black guy sitting in the drivers seat. We climbed in and started rolling forward. The ride was amazing, colors, people, and cities went by. A lot of people on scooters whizzing past us. Beaches on either side, it was paradise.

The Green Carpet of the Wetmore House

The Green Carpet of the Wetmore House

The green carpet from the living room of the Wetmore house, like the house itself, has a unique history.  It was originally designed for the Wade Opera House in San Francisco.
It was Dr. Wade Thomas`s idea to build the finest opera house in the United States in the city of San Francisco.  The construction started on Mission Street in 1873 and continued on and off until completion due to some large gaps in funding.  Finally, the opera house opened in January 17,1876 with Madame Inez Fabbri starring in Snow Flake! And The Seven Pigmies.  The pigmies names were Blick, Pick, Dick, Klick, Knick, Slick, and Strick.
For the opera house,  an art gallery was built over the entrance.  The central corridor ended in a large vestibule with a crystal fountain spouting cologne water.  Later , the opera house`s name was changed to The Grand Opera House. It could seat 2,400 people, but was rumoured to have occupied more than 4,000. The opera house was still running in 1884, but later burned down.
Wade ordered the green carpet for the opera house from France.  When it was completed it was prepared for its long sea voyage around the tip of South America to San Francisco. But when the carpet arrived, the opera house had already burned to the ground. Wade`s wife did not want to see it being wasted, so she used it in the family’s house.
Thomas Wade died on April 8, 1886.  A few months later on September 23 two of his children died.  When his wife died in 1910 she passed it to their daughter Lizzie Wade Mathews. She put the carpet in her double parlor. Her house is where the Oakland Public Library is today.
When Lizzie died in 1940 she passed it to her sister Lettie Wade Holland.  She never used the carpet.  When Lettie died in 1952 she passed it to her daughter Loie Erskine .  She never used the carpet either and none in her family was that interested in it,  so Loie and her husband Hubert, gave it to Alice Erskine.  For many years it sat in a basement until she found someone who could piece it all together and now it sits in the living room of the Wetmore house.

Wrightspeed X1 – Electric Car Wins Over Ferrari

My friend Matthew Wright’s dad, Ian Wright used to work for Tesla Motors.  He quit Tesla to make his own car the X1.  The X1 is a high performance battery powered car.  If it used gasoline, it would get over 170 miles per gallon.  But this car is also really really fast.  It will go from 0-60 miles per hour in 3.07 seconds!  It beat a Ferrari and a Porche on a racetrack.  Watch the video and see for yourself.

It’s secret is its drivesystem technology which Mr. Wright has developed.  His company’s name is Wrightspeed.  If you want to read all about the X1 go to his website. I have seen the X1 in it’s garage, its awesome.  Here are some up close pictures.

IMG_0406Here is Matthew, Flossie and Mr. Wright with me in the garage.  Next time  I visit, I get to ride in the X1.IMG_0404

I am going to see Matthew this weekend, we are both sailing in the Bays 5 Regatta.  I will write about the regatta next week.