My story starts right at the front of the base with the street sign. As many of you know since the old station closed in 1993 I have been back at least every few years and have photographed the demise of the station over the past 21 years. I never thought it would get his bad.
Two years ago I made a video about the condition of the station, I have posted it below for those who wish to view it again and compare with the pictures I took today;
Bermuda has a very unforgiving environment. Over the past 2 years there hasn't been any big hurricanes but there have been the usual winter storms but nothing to cause the destruction that has happened. The majority of this has happened due to negligence of the Bermuda government and people disrespecting a beautiful piece of land. I won't get into the history of the government squabbling and indecision, that's something better over a beer.
This was the front gate to the station. In 1993 you would have been able to see the junior ranks mess straight ahead and the Canex to the right. Both of these were leveled in the late 90's.
This would have been the view if I was parked in front of the junior ranks mess on the lower station. Ahead was the senior ranks mess. As you can see all the vegetation is grown up. To the left, out of picture which I did not include, is an abandoned bike and coach along with a massive pile of garbage.
A closer view shows the mold and decay of the buildings.
The former senior ranks mess. Yup, that is a boat abandoned along with a car and front part of another car. I would guess a squatter moved into the building.
Moving up to the upper station the road is pretty messy. To the left remain the cow farm, to the right (below) is a beautiful view out over the water looking towards Cambridge Beaches Resort.
The Longtail Barracks. Badly damaged in a hurricane back in the early 2000's the roof was repaired but neglect has pretty much killed the building. From what I can see, it appears there are squatters in some of the rooms. At this point I was trespassing by jumping a gate that wasn't there 2 years ago. I didn't see anyone around so figured I'd play "dumb tourist" if challenged.
The front of the barracks.
I was trying to get a picture of the old observation tower on the hill that contained the hamshack (VP9CB). You can just see it in the center of the picture (the green building). It's in very poor shape with the roof looking pretty bad. The 9 Beaches cabana's are blocking the view and everything was fenced off, it appears the farmer is now using that piece of land for something. I should have jumped the fence but I was already trespassing on the station :-)
Speaking of 9 Beaches, their website - http://www.9beaches.com/ Claims they are currently undergoing a 55 million dollar reno and will be open by 2015 - BULLSHIT!
Leaving the barracks and heading towards HQ and Ops. But first lets go up behind HQ and look at the old supply, CE shop and Vehicle Bays.
Back of the HQ building
This was where I lost my mind. Illegal dumping! If you zoom in on my original images you can see it's nothing but garbage that someone was too lazy to drive up to the dump.
Even another boat.
Front of the HQ. All grown up and everything is in very poor condition.
The front of Ops. Need I say the obvious?
This was the new "rec" building that was built in 1992 before the announcement of the closure of the base. This is by far the newest building on site and even it is falling apart.
The backside of Ops, the fuel pumps used to be to the right. This was where I found an illegal pitbull (banned animal in Bermuda) chained to a post. He decided to scare the shit out of me. Probably protecting someones stash.
Behind the old Ops is a couple of the cabana's above the beach.
Most of these have been destroyed by either the wind, people or both.
Looking out towards the antenna platform shows the same.
However it does appear that the beach and docks are again in use. Not sure by who but they were painting the old scuba shed and overall it didn't look in too bad shape. Below is the old gym and washrooms, last time I was down there they were closed. Most of the big pine trees are gone as well.
I think this will be my last visit to Daniel's Head until I know that something has been done to the property. It's just to painful and sad to witness it go to waste. It's been 21 years since we closed the station and absolutely nothing constructive has been done to the site. 9 Beaches was short lived and a complete disaster. Government has done nothing to return this "crown land" to the people of Bermuda. The west end could use a place like this as a park. At this point it's not worth even trying to save the buildings. Bulldoze them, clear the crap away, restore the tower and mow the lawns turning this 13 acres into a prime park for all Bermudians to use. Maybe someday government here will wake up and fix this mess.
Tomorrow I will be more light hearted :-) I did take some nice pictures of the west end but didn't want them to get lost in these rather depressing images. Time to get back to blue skies, pink beaches and great Bermudian people.