Hi.  Like so many other 'lucky' royal sailors, I visited Bermuda many times in my 30 year career.  Mind you, I was glad to be a regular visitor [and not stationed there] especially with the Halifax submarine squadron, Halifax being just 855 miles north. Submarines always went from A to B exercising, part on the surface and part dived,  so trying to work out how long it took us to reach this paradise is not possible. However, a diesel electric boat, were there a need to go direct on the surface, would probably maintain a speed-over-ground of 15 knots on main engines only, not using her main motors at all. That would take her fifty seven hours, two days nine hours.

I say that I was glad not to have been stationed there for it is rather like Gibraltar, nice to visit and relax, but precious little to do to keep the mind active.

By air it was just two hours as this table shows

Those of you who surf the web may have already found a magnificent site on Bermuda and its history here

Bermuda's Royal Navy base at Ireland Island from 1815 to the 1960s

and may be wondering why I am bothering to say more on the subject.

The answer that there are just a couple of things I want to say to update this well constructed and informative site with just a few things missing, to explain what happened to the old place come the end of its tenure as a naval base. I have also personalised some aspects of Bermuda which might not be clear to those who never served or visited this lovely place with equally  lovely people.

My second little picture is totally self evident.

Many interconnected islands constitute the 'Island of Bermuda' and in total it was 21 miles long and at it widest part, just 1 mile wide.  As a comparison, the next  two pictures come from my page called MALTA, and show two Islands which many of you are familiar with, more so than with Bermuda. The first is Malta and then the Isle of Wight with their respective dimensions. You can see that Bermuda by comparison is tiny. It all sounds nice, but the ships [and not just British ships] had to provide their own entertainment, and you really can get fed up of all that sun, swimming, fishing [mainly Barracuda]. Give me Malta and Hong Kong [for example] any day!

 

Like Singapore [but very unlike Hong Kong for example] it was a long way to go for a run ashore from Ireland Island, but there was a canteen some short distance away from the dockyard.  In many cases, this was as far as sailors got never venturing [by road] to such places like St George's, although the Capital was but a cheap'ish taxi ride from the naval base. The area of Somerset was a relatively short walk crossing road bridges from Ireland Island North, through Ireland Island South to Somerset Island. In the next picture, you will see those linked islands showing the bridges. Next stop after Watford Island was Somerset.

In the picture above Ireland Island North [although not an expression used for many a long year] starts in line with the breakwater of the South Basin moving on North to the head land you see.  To its left is Ireland Island South [again 'South' is not used].  South of the dockyard [above where it says South Basin] you will see a spur road leading to the West off the main thoroughfare to a sandy-coloured building. That is the Naval Cemetery, where, in the earliest of days, all who died in the area were buried.  These included the convicts shipped from the UK to help build the Royal Dockyard.  However, many years later, convicts were buried in their own patch which is on Ireland Island South.

Before we look at the real reason for this page to what I have called the "Bermuda Rectangle", have a read of these snippets taken from other parts of this web site.

where has it all gone? and THE DEMISE OF HMS MALABAR BERMUDA.pdf

Now, be prepared to receive a large jpeg [picture] file, so you are going to need your scroll bars to navigate through the picture. It shows a panoramic view over the old Bermuda Dock/Base clearly showing the North and South Basins each with its navigation light/beacon on the end of each breakwater, one RED and one GREEN.  The cruise ship you see, occupies the berth shown in the picture above depicting a small black ship on the seaward side of the North Basin harbour wall in Grassy Bay and enjoy, and make sure you also read and enjoy all other material referred to in this page.

NOTE: When the picture first opens, you may have to click on it to shift it into the panorama mode.

CLICK HERE TO OPEN THE PANORAMIC