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PEPPERCORN
CEREMONY

One of Bermuda's quaintest British traditions is the ancient Peppercorn Ceremony, complete with costumes, pomp, and a parade through the town of St. George. Since 1816, it has marked the yearly collection of the rent for the Old State House, one peppercorn, which is just enough to bind a contract under English common law.

The grand finale is the rendering of the peppercorn, which is presented on a velvet cushion and a silver platter.

 

 

 

 

 

EXPERIENCE BERMUDA

Managed editorial for Bermuda's 2009/10 in-room destination guide and web site, 60,000 words, as a senior editor at HCP/Aboard Publishing (Miami Herald Media). Wrote 42,000 words of the 2010/11 issue as a freelance contributor. Only Bermuda residents get bylines. Writing samples are shown below.

 


 

EXPERIENCE BERMUDA WEB SITE

The web version of Experience Bermuda contains both current and archived stories. Edited the 2009/10 text. Wrote most of the 2010/11 text. Click for the live site.

 


 

BEACHES AND SIGHTSEEING SAMPLES

La Vie en Rose

Life is always rosy on a Bermuda beach,
where pink sands play with turquoise waters
.

Vacation destinations make big claims about their beaches — sugary white, pearly white, alabaster white — and some really are. But few can claim pink, and only one spot in the world can offer Bermuda’s powdery pink beaches against its radiant turquoise shallows with deep ocean blues in the distance, all under a golden winter sun.

How did these beaches get to be so pink? Besides the pulverized remains of calcium carbonate shells and coral skeletons — found in beach sand anywhere — the beaches here contain two secret ingredients to give them their sparkle and hue.

Download a PDF file of the complete story, Experience Bermuda 2010/11, Beaches section, main text.

Sea-to-Sea Sights

On these wondrous little islands,
densely packed with old haunts,
visitors find more sights to see.

Go ahead, tempt the Bermuda Triangle. Although tourists do occasionally go missing around Royal Naval Dockyard, they always reappear — often laden with shopping bags.

Inspect the forts built over four centuries, see artefacts from the shipwreck that founded the colony, or climb the cast-iron lighthouse that still blazes a trail. Listen for blithe spirits in countless old houses, courts, and churches.

Download a PDF file of the complete story, Experience Bermuda 2010/11, Sightseeing section, sidebar.

Bermuda wants her queen back in the pink

Tied with palm trees and sandy beaches, conch shells are the very icons of tropical vacation spots, and the beautiful pink queen conch, pronounced “konk,” was abundant in Bermuda until about 1970.

Conch meat has been used as food, sometimes cooked in fritters, chowders, curries, gumbos and burgers; sometimes served raw in salads or seviches. Conch shells have been used as souvenirs by tourists and as decorations, building materials and wind instruments by islanders.

Download a PDF file of the complete story, Experience Bermuda 2010/11, Sightseeing section, sidebar.

 


 

DINING SAMPLES

Swimming in Seafood

Restaurants offer cuisines of the world,
but local fish make you shout, “Wahoo!”

In Bermuda, “wahoo” is more than just a fun interjection to express exuberance. Wahoo is an athletic game fish, a vigorous mackerel, silvery blue in color with a sweet taste like albacore. Esteemed both as sport and as dinner, it attracts fishermen to Bermuda and diners to its restaurants.

Download a PDF file of the complete story, Experience Bermuda 2010/11, Dining section, main text.

Follow the chefs and eat well!

Why do so many acclaimed chefs come from around the world to practise their culinary arts here in Bermuda?

Because they can! They get to work in The Fairmont Southampton, Coco Reef Resort and other such renowned hostelries. It means that today, Bermuda’s chefs are better trained and more professional than ever, treating diners to the world’s best.

Download a PDF file of the complete story, Experience Bermuda 2010/11, Dining section, sidebar.

British traditions infuse Bermuda

Four centuries after King James VI of Scotland and I of England authorised the founding of Virginia — and by extension, Bermuda — his descendant Queen Elizabeth II came to pay her respects. “Just as Admiral Somers would have struggled to predict the future in 1609, so it would be unwise to predict where Bermuda’s natural beauty, friendliness, courtesy and common sense will lead it next,” she said.

Although closer to the Americas than to the UK, many cherished British traditions continue to infuse the culture here, from food to ceremony to language.

Download a PDF file of the complete story, Experience Bermuda 2010/11, Dining section, sidebar.

 


 

SPORTS SAMPLES

Such good sports

Wet or dry, big-ticket or practically free,
activities in Bermuda get the heart racing
.

Why do so many good sports come to Bermuda?

Some like to get wet, maybe snorkel or dive amongst the shipwrecks and marvel at the corals. Some come to swim with the dolphins. Some prefer to catch fish, which can weigh up to hundreds of pounds. They test themselves on a quest for billfish. Some just like to stroll the sea bottom wearing a helmet. Some come for the boating — paddle, sail, motor — or at least the riding. Some come to race; others to cheer. Some just enjoy a bit of waterskiing on a tranquil sound.

On the other hand, many visitors prefer to stay dry. They come to whack golf balls on courses played by the greats. Or they want to join the parties that swirl around cricket games. Or they come to jog or bike through parks and preserves, along beaches and ponds, around forts and lighthouses. Or they play football, uh, soccer, um, whatever you call it; or at least to cheer. Or they come for the tennis — day or night, summer or winter. They even come for the rugby; where better to play outside in November?

Download a PDF file of the complete story, Experience Bermuda 2010/11, Sports section, main text.

Witness the wondrous world underwater

The waters of Bermuda have been luring ships to their untimely demise since the colony's founding in 1609 with the wreck of the Sea Venture at Gates Bay. Although bad for sailors, shipwrecks turn out to be great for divers. At least 300 known wrecks surround Bermuda.

The 171-foot dredger King George, scuttled in the 1930s, remains intact at 60 feet, teeming with fish and soft corals. The Hermes may be the islands' most popular dive, at 80 feet with great visibility.

Download a PDF file of the complete story, Experience Bermuda 2010/11, Sports section, sidebar.

Newport Bermuda Race makes waves in 2010

A true ocean crossing with no sight of land for most of its 635 nautical miles, the biennial Newport Bermuda Race pits small boats against large and amateur crews against pros in what may be the most coveted sailing title of the North Atlantic. The 2010 event launches from Newport, R.I., on June 18, arriving at Bermuda three to five days later, with prizes awarded on June 26 (bermudarace.com).

Although a straight line from Newport to Hamilton would be about 162° magnetic, the winds and currents change constantly, requiring sophisticated tactics. Early in the course, warm, swift currents of the Gulf Stream can either speed a boat along or throw up obstacles. They also generate violent squalls and choppy seas, which challenge crews to plan well and react quickly.

Download a PDF file of the complete story, Experience Bermuda 2010/11, Sports section, sidebar.

 


 

HISTORY SAMPLES

First 400 years

Bermuda completes a yearlong bash
celebrating its impromptu founding
.

Suppose you were a restless subject of the new United Kingdom, looking for adventure at the dawn of the 17th century, when harrowing transatlantic travel meant weeks in leaky steerage, not merely a few hours in economy class.

Scotland and England had recently united, Anglicans and Puritans remained at odds, the colony of Virginia was newly founded — but dying out fast — and the first Bermudians would eventually save it for England.

Download a PDF file of the complete story, Experience Bermuda 2010/11, History section, main text.

Beloved Mark Twain made Bermuda famous

Samuel Langhorne Clemens — who rebranded himself as Mark Twain after piloting steamboats on the Mississippi River — did much to make Bermuda what it is today. The celebrated writer with the unruly red hair, droopy moustache, distinctive gait and Southern accent made several trips here between 1867 and 1910, and he advised his many readers to do the same.

Download a PDF file of the complete story, Experience Bermuda 2010/11, History section, sidebar.

 

 


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Banner illustration by Jeff Borg