Bermuda – Bella Donna

Objectified

For a small island nation (population 64,237 according to a 2010 census), there are a number of objects that have been attributed to Bermuda. Let’s take a look at some of these items:

Bermuda Shorts

These coverings were introduced to the world by the British Army and were worn by soldiers in tropical and desert settings. In fact, the British Navy still wear them. Today, Bermuda Shorts are worn in their country of creation as business attire by men, when combined with knee high socks, dress shirt, tie and blazer. Sounds a little goofy to me, but whateves. Bermudans probably think what I wear to work is just as ridiculous.

meanwhile in bermuda

Bermuda Kite

Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest height… I hope that song is now stuck in the heads of all you little sippers! The Bermuda Kite may vary in shape, but is typically hexagonal. The kites are mostly only flown at Easter in Bermuda and have taken on more of an art form role in the country. They are meant to symbolize Jesus Christ’s resurrection. Bermuda Kites have been used for world record attempts in the highest and longest flight categories.

Bermuda Grass

Other names for Bermuda Grass (or Cynodon Dactylon – it’s scientific title) include dog’s tooth grass, devil’s grass, and couch grass. The green stuff originates from the Middle East, but is found in abundance in Bermuda. While the grass is able to grow in salt-damaged soil, apparently, a version of this deadly weed-like lawn can produce cyanide in certain environments, accidentally killing livestock.

Bermuda Onion

A member of the Sweet Onion family, the Bermuda Onion was introduced to the country in 1616 and grew to be one of Bermuda’s greatest exports. As a result, Bermuda’s citizens were once known as ‘Onions,’ while Bermuda itself was known as ‘The Onion Patch.’ This industry saw a sharp decline after World War I, when similar onions began being farmed in other countries, namely the United States. Mark Twain once described the crop as “The pride and joy of Bermuda.”

grumpy-love-onions

Nautical Terms

Being an island, Bermuda has long had an association with watercrafts. Therefore, a number of seafaring objects and techniques have been given the Bermuda prefix. These include the Bermuda Fitted Dinghy, Bermuda Rig, and Bermuda Sloop. The Fitted Dinghy is a sail boat meant for racing using a design that dates back to the 17th century. The Rig and Sloop are different styles of rigging meant for sail boats, both developed around the same time as the Fitted Dinghy.

Animals

Among fauna unique to the country are the Bermuda Land Snail, the Bermuda Petrel, and the Bermuda Rock Skink. The Land Snail is thought to have existed for over 300,000 years. They were thought to be extinct at one point, thanks in some part to the introduction of edible snails, but a collection of them were found by a zoo intern in 2002 and efforts to repopulate the animal have since occurred.

snail-drunk

The Petrel is commonly called a cahow and is a nocturnal seabird. Early Spanish settlers avoided the island fearing that it was inhabited by devils, but it was actually the cries of the Petrel. When the English arrived on the island, the introduction of animals such as rats, cats, and dogs, resulted in the death of numerous birds, nearly wiping out the species. Today, the Petrel has recovered, thanks to being protected by law.

The Rock Skink, known as a rock lizard, these little guys only grow to about 8cm long, feeding on crickets, beetles, and small crustaceans. The Rock Skink is also protected under the law due to being endangered. I can’t have a ton of respect for the lizard, though, as they apparently can get stuck inside discarded bottles and cans and are unable to climb out… kind of like an alcoholic!

Bermuda: Bella Donna

Bella Donna Cocktail

It should be noted that there is also the Bermuda Triangle, which we looked at earlier this week. Although only one of the tips of the Devil’s Triangle touches Bermuda, the entire death trap has been given the Bermudan namesake. Perhaps Bermuda was the last to pass the blame on and got stuck with the moniker.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Nothing against this drink, but I wasn’t a fan of how the Amaretto and Sour Mix came together. It didn’t taste bad, but it had its own unique flavour that took some getting used to. The cocktail was kind of booze heavy, but in the end I would give it my recommendation.

Bermuda – Dark & Stormy

Get Lost

The Sip Advisor would like to think that he’s of at least average intelligence… that said, when I began to research what to cover during our visit to the island nation of Bermuda, I was at a loss. Then, as if a miracle occurred, I finally realized that the Bermuda Triangle (something I’ve been fascinated by for years) was in fact a Bermudan topic that could be written about. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the fabled area, but don’t get too close… I wouldn’t want to lose any of you little sippers!

Also known as the Devil’s Triangle, the Bermuda Triangle’s boundaries were originally set as being between Miami, Florida; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Bermuda, although these locations vary depending on who is covering the area. Among the theories attached to the phenomenon are compass issues; rough ocean currents; human error; pirates; inclement weather, including hurricanes and cyclones; masses of methane hydrate gas, which could cause a ship to lose buoyancy and sink rapidly; and even supernatural events, involving UFOs, aliens, and the lost city of Atlantis.

Bermuda Triangle Productivity

Despite all the hullabaloo, the Bermuda Triangle zone is sailed regularly, including by cruise ships. Mrs. Sip and I love our cruises – the perfect blend of relaxation and activity – but I feel I would be a little apprehensive going through the Devil’s Triangle. Then again, the Sip Advisor has always been open to a dance with the devil!

The very first recorded incident of trouble with the Bermuda Triangle occurred in 1918 when the USS Cyclops was lost on a trip from Barbados to Baltimore, Maryland. All 309 crew and passengers perished in the event. Following the Cyclops, five other vessels experienced the same fate.

The first airplane incident to occur in the Bermuda Triangle happened in 1945 when an assembly of five TBF Avenger bombers all went missing. The mission, known as Flight 19 included 14 airmen. Even more tragic, the group sent out to search for the Flight 19 group also disappeared, this time with 13 casualties. Since then, four other aircraft have vanished, totaling 17 crew and 75 passengers lost at sea. Steven Spielberg used the Flight 19 incident in his movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, speculating that the troupe met its end thanks to an alien abduction.

Chuck Norris Bermuda Triangle

Mysterious happenings relating to the triangle have also occurred on land. In 1969, two lighthouse keepers at the Great Isaac Lighthouse in Bimini, Bahamas, went missing and were never located. My theory is that they went for a long romantic walk on the beach and they are still walking to this day… that or some kind of murder-suicide plot.

Fleetwood Mac and Barry Manilow have both released songs based on the Bermuda Triangle, while there have been a number of movies and even a mini-series based on the location. For thrill seekers not willing to actually enter the Devil’s Triangle, perhaps the theme park ride Bermuda Triangle at Sea World in Gold Coast, Australia may have been more up your alley. The popular attraction, which included rupturing volcanoes, spaceships and aliens, and a watery plunge (seemingly covering every possible explanation for the phenomenon) was unfortunately closed in 2010 and replaced in 2013.

Bermuda: Dark & Stormy

Dark & Stormy Cocktail

With my curiosity now satiated, it’s time to sit back with a nice drink and toast all the souls that lost their lives in the Bermuda Triangle. Join me, won’t you!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I had once vowed to never make this cocktail… or use Gosling’s Black Seal Rum for that matter, as the company holds a copyright on the recipe that goes against the unwritten bartender’s code of being able to share formulas without issue. Forgive and forget, I always drunkenly say! Usually when I see Ginger Beer among the ingredients of a cocktail, I automatically sub in Ginger Ale, but this time I used the legitimate version and even managed to locate an alcoholic orange-flavoured version of the product. All in all, the drink was quite tasty and I also enjoyed the Ginger Beer on its own.