John Smith’s Bay
The lifeguard station posted at crescent-shaped John Smith’s Bay attests to its popularity, particularly among families with children. Nestled between two promontories, the beach—named for pioneer Captain John Smith of the Virginia Company, which administered early Bermuda—is usually fairly protected from high waves and winds.
Hurricane Fabian was an exception, however, throwing towering waves over the beach as far as South Shore Road and eating away huge portions of the limestone cove, coastal vegetation, and beach sand. Today, only vestiges of this destruction remain…a rockier beach than before, and updated landscaping in the small park.
Ample parking, toilets, and a friendly daily lunch wagon that doles out drinks, burgers, fish cakes, and fries to hungry swimmers make John Smith’s a top beach choice for locals, and anyone who wants a change from the beach crowds of Warwick and Southampton.
Coconut palms and baygrapes frame John Smith’s Bay, where jutting rocks have created convenient mini-coves that provide a measure of privacy even when the beach gets busy. Tucker’s Town’s sweep of surf along the private Windsor and Mid Ocean Beaches can be seen in the distance. On Sunday mornings, John Smith’s Bay attracts a group of recreational swimmers who meet for spiritual gatherings at dawn throughout the year. Easter Sunday also sees a special beachside service.
© Rosemary Jones from Moon Bermuda, 2nd Edition