Saturday, April 12, 2003
Still in Port Antonio, Jamaica.
We truly like it here. This is a quiet and friendly
place, refreshingly different from Kingston. East
Harbor seems to be out of favor, except for some
fishing boats. No convenient place to land a dinghy
there. West Harbor offers good protection and its
facilities are well designed and maintained. There is
a banana terminal here, frequented about once a week
by a container ship, a cruise ship terminal, well
prepared albeit not used, two marinas fitted with bars
and an anchorage with 20 - 30 ft of water for,
perhaps, twenty boats. We counted total over twenty
boats here and locals seemed to be quite happy seeing
us. The recreational area is fenced and gates are
guarded even if the guards do not seem to stop anybody
from entering. A sign says that the gates are locked
from 11 pm till 7 am but we did not check it yet - not
much to do in the town after 11 pm. There is a
friendly and helpful Marine Police Station on the
premises. They will arrange custom and immigration
clearances for you. Everybody is relaxed and unhurried
so do not expect things to happen on time. Restrooms
are locked for your convenience, so one has to go to
the town or to a marina. The quarantine officer
insisted on checking our holding tank and assured us
that no raw wastewater goes into the harbor. Well, it
seems to be otherwise so we dinghy for swimming and
snorkeling to the barrier reef protecting the bay from
NW. All basic supplies are available here, including a
general mechanic shop as well as several garages.
Sasha, a Ukrainian traveler, spotted our Polish flag.
His spoken English was rather imperfect and he was
happy to speak Russian with us. He has spent almost a
month in Jamaica and wants to go with us to Panama. In
meantime, he happily guides us through Port Antonio
area and Kingston. He is a quite helpful and nice
On Tuesday, we saw Lukasz off to Kingston Airport. The
ride took about two hours and the scenery was very
beautiful: forty some miles along a pretty northern
shore and the same across the picturesque mountains.
Kingston is a big city, mostly unpleasant. We did not
see any marinas, boats on anchor, a marine store nor a
sail maker there, but we did not seek them to hard.
Otherwise, everything seemed to be available. Sales
people are aggressive and you may be called a racist
for not buying peanuts. Not a place to relax.
Port Royal and the fortress were very peaceful, almost
deserted, and did not impress us much although we
appreciated their colorful history.
Lori, a pretty Peace Corps volunteer, talked us into
going to a Folk Festival in the neighboring Mooretown
on Sunday, so we think about leaving for Panama on
Monday, April 14.
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