Sheep, Sonnets and Ships

I can't believe Winter Work is more than halfway done.  I've been keeping busy with my job.  Currently I'm just finishing up documenting exhibits and artifacts using AutoCAD.  This week I will hopefully join a team that will begin to reconstruct and document a local Bermudian sailing craft. 

In addition to my duties in the office, I've taken on a extra duty in the field - feeding the museum sheep. At first I was worried I might forget to feed them, but they don't let that happen.  Each morning they wait impatiently at the gate to where I'm living and will remind me vocally if I wait too long!

Tweedledum (l) and Tweedledee, as I refer to them, awaiting their daily meal outside my door.

I've also had lots of fun activities keeping me busy outside my work duties. I attended my first poetry reading on Thursday with my coworkers.  It was the launch of This Poem-Worthy Place: Bermuda Anthology of Poetry Vol. II and held at the National Gallery.  Live music accompanied the featured authors (including one of my coworkers) as they read their work.

Recently my supervisor set up a tour of the Spirit of Bermuda for me.  The vessel is used as an ocean classroom for young Bermudians, taking them on local and even international adventures. I met the boat in Hamilton right next to the ferry dock as she was dropping off local schoolboys who had just been on for a week-long trip.  As we were about to depart, the captain put me at the helm and, to my surprise, let me take her from back to Dockyard!

On-board the Spirit of Bermuda.

Bermuda: The Friendliest Place on Earth?

Well, maybe's it's not quite Disney, but Bermuda does have a reputation as a land of very friendly people and my experiences have yet to prove otherwise.  Since arriving, my coworkers have been welcoming - inviting me out to dinner, lectures and other local events.

The sheep enjoy the weekend's great weather in front of Commissioner's House.

Last Monday I went to a lecture with my coworker Zoe (who is one year older than me) on the role narrative and counter-narrative have played on influencing Bermuda's history .  On Friday I traveled with my boss and Zoe first to an art gallery opening (with an abundance of sushi and other hors d'oeuvres) and then to a balcony on Front St. in Hamilton to watch the Front St. Mile (part of Bermuda race week).  I wonder what after-work events I will encounter this week!

The Front St. Mile.

The Bermuda Regiment ends the Front St. Mile activities.

A Night at the Museum

Hello!  I’m writing from the candlelight glow of the Frog and Onion Pub, Dockyard, Bermuda.  The museum is currently without power as BELCO swaps transformers.  My initial days on the Island have been anything but dull.  Since arriving, I’ve yet to establish any sort of “pattern” to my life because of daily surprises.  I spent the first few days cleaning because of the common Bermuda bugs inhabiting my home – from spiders to ants to cockroaches.  But, slowly, I’ve been settling into work at the Maritime Museum (now part of the National Museum of Bermuda) and my space in the hostel.  

To provide a bit of background: the Bermuda Maritime Museum (BMM) is located at the tip of the Island’s “hook” and the area known as Dockyard.  I’ve learned from the museum exhibits and publications that although many forts were built in the 1600s at the Western end of the Island when the British settled, it wasn’t until after the American Revolutionary War the Dockyard was built.  The British, who had now lost the colonies, didn’t have a naval base between Canada and the West Indies and thus the Dockyard was born.  

Entrance to BMM
The Commissioner's House at BMM
A King Charles I cannon in front of Commissioner's House

 During the summer, the Dockyard is a popular tourist destination (mostly because the cruise ships dock here).  Right now, the Dockyard isn’t very busy because it’s off season.  Because BMM isn’t bursting with tourists, the staff is able to tackle projects previously pushed-off and gear up for the coming months.  And the resident inhabitants of BMM also keep the staff company –  dolphins live in the Keep’s pond and fourteen sheep (at last count) peruse and mow the upper level of the fort.  

I look forward to sharing my experiences in the following weeks.  Hopefully the hostel’s internet will soon allow me access.  No one seems to know the authentication password…

Note: Because of the lack of Wifi at the Frog and Onion, I could not upload last night.  In the meantime, the power has resumed AND I reset the wireless so I finally have internet access on my computer!