Neil Burnie 2014-04-21 23:12:24
As a child in Liverpool, England, I grew up chasing dragonflies and lizards, looking for newts in local ponds, and catching sticklebacks to bring home to be kept in jam jars and fishbowls. One of my favourite trips was to accompany my dad in to the town centre and visit the bookstore of Phillip Son and Nephew, where I would pore over the amazing wildlife texts and glossy photos in the books that were way too expensive to buy. Now, fast-forward 50 years, and as a vet with 40 years studying and practicing veterinary medicine, it seems that it may fall to me to be the inspiration for a new generation of nature lover. I’m taking on a new project, the making of a 12-part series called “Ocean Vet” based in Bermuda that features the wonders that lie here beneath the surface of the ocean. From tiger sharks to turtles, from lionfish to the mighty blue marlin, I’ll be taking viewers with me on an exciting and sometimes dangerous mission to conserve the creatures that surround us in the beautiful blue waters around Bermuda. I’ll be placing satellite tags on massive tiger sharks, heading deep to the ocean floor in pursuit of the venomous, invasive lionfish and swimming over the sandy expanses of the northern Bermuda platform with the volunteers of the Bermuda Turtle Project. Then follow me into the dark caves of the outer reefs, as I go hunting for black grouper with a pole spear, to show that spear fishing can be the ultimate selective and sustainable method of harvesting this prime eating fish. I’m really excited about this new project. Keep an eye out for more details soon. to more than 1,400 works of Bermudainspired art by such famous names as Winslow Homer and Georgia O’Keeffe. Viewings are available upon request. It also hosts an Artist in Residence programme that spotlights international artists. Both the museum and Homer’s Café are open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Towards the South Road in Southampton Parish, you’ll see the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse. Opened in 1846, the 117-foot-tall structure continues to operate to this day, and its spotlight can be seen 40 miles out and 10,000 feet above by planes. The 185 stairs to the top are challenging, but the panoramic views of Bermuda are well worth the effort. In Sandys Parish, Scaur Hill Fort and Park afford visitors majestic views of Great Sound and Ely’s Harbour. The British Army built the fort from the 1860s to the 1880s to protect against feared American attacks. The park is open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In the West End, make a day trip to The Keep, the largest fort in Bermuda, at Royal Naval Dockyard. After the American Revolution, Britain was left without a naval base in the western North Atlantic. Bermuda was identified as a strategic mid-Atlantic location for a base and operating dockyard, so in 1809 land was purchased in the West End to build Royal Naval Dockyard. That dockyard now houses shops, restaurants, recreation venues, attractions and the National Museum of Bermuda, located within The Keep. The historic military buildings in the lower grounds include exhibits focused on Bermuda’s maritime heritage. Shipwreck Island: Sunken Clues to Bermuda’s Past tells the story of Bermuda’s early history through a collection of 16th- and 17th- century shipwreck artefacts. The museum is also home to Dolphin Quest, Bermuda’s unique dolphin encounter for all ages. Winter hours, November through March, are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (last admission at 3 p.m.); weekend closing time is 5 p.m. Summer hours, April through October, are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last admission 4 p.m.).
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