The Smoking Gun Never Fired
While traveling in Bermuda we found the history of the British presence on the island fascinating. Bermuda had always been largely ignored by the giant Colonial powers of Britain, Holland, Spain and Portugal due to the treacherous reefs which surrounded the island. The first inhabitants were in fact survivors of the wreck of the Sea Venture, a supply ship heading to Jamestown in the American Colonies. They spent 10 months on the island, eating whatever they could find (sea birds, turtles etc.) and built 2 new ships to continue the voyage, the Deliverance and the Patience. When they finally completed their journey to Jamestown they saved the colony from starvation, so they call the Deliverance "The Ship that Saved America!". 2 survivors and a dog stayed behind and Bermuda has been inhabited ever since. The American Revolution and Civil Wars really led to the build up of a Royal Navy presence on the island because the British could no longer rely on their ports along the east coast of the US and were not really sure what would happen with the fledgling government of their former colony. They built up massive fortifications and never once needed to use any of them! We went to visit the forts at the Royal Naval Dockyards, Fort Hamilton and Fort St Catherine at St. Georges, site of the wreck of the Sea Venture.
By Liz Galpin
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