Lilli Mae in Montego Bay - Discovering Family and Jamaica

Lilli Mae
Sat 22 Apr 2023 21:41
Hi Everyone,

Hope you are all well? It been a while since we last talked. In the last six weeks or so since a lot has happened; we have done a lot to understand our family and to meet those that we have been able to find! It has been amazing! More on this later. 

We are now planning our departure from Mo’Bay Jamaica on 27th April and our route to Long Island Sound in the US. The plan is for Lilli Mae to spend her summer in Stratford, Connecticut where we will undertake maintenance and repair jobs until around September-October when we will head back to the Caribbean for next season. 

Our rough plan is to sail north for just over 2,000nm heading for Stratford, Connecticut with some stopovers in Grand Cayman, Havana, Bahamas, Florida, Virginia. Our initial thought was not to stop in Cuba but it seems like an opportunity that should not be missed! We are expecting to arrive in Connecticut at the end of May.

When we spoke to you last we were still struggling with getting Lilli Mae’s engine to start. After a lot of dismantling, head scratching and part sourcing we managed to get it to start and run. Fuel lines have been cleared out, fuel lift pump replaced, fuel filter replaced, “stop" solenoid replaced and engine circuitry tested. It has not been easy getting parts so we have had to order things like the “stop solenoid” from the UK and have it shipped to Jamaica. On Michael’s trip home he was able to source a few other key components we were not able to get in Jamaica. We have a few more engine jobs to do but hopefully the main tasks are complete and we should be good for a mid-morning departure on Thursday 27th.

Given that we are approaching the eve of our departure from Jamaica we are reflecting on the incredible “journey of family discovery” we have had over the past weeks. We have got to know so many wonderful people who have happened to be members of our family. We have had to do a lot of travelling around the island. There is too much to tell in one email; in fact our journey has made discoveries that could be the subject of a book.

A couple of highlights though we would like to share. We visited Caledonia, Westmoreland which is where Lillian and Mae Findlay were born (It so happens to be the birthplace of our Mother). We met Freddie Linton in Kingston. Our last visit was on his 90th birthday! He was a ship's Captain and Pilot. You can imagine the excitement when we told him about our sailing adventure when we met.  We visited Constant Spring Golf Club where Lillian and Mae’s father (John Findlay) was the club Captain and a founding member of the Jamaican Golf Association. We visited Dovecot cemetery in St. Catherine which is the final resting place for Lillian and Mae. And so much more. It has been amazing! 

In addition to all of the family stuff it has been amazing discovering Jamaica. Of course most of us know or will have at least heard about the famous vacation spots; Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Negril to name a few. However we (I, Howard) have fallen in love with the “country”. The mountain views and views of the plains in the parishes of Westmoreland and St Elizabeth are stunning! We will not leave it so long before we are back! We still have some unfinished family discovery work in the parish of Trelawny and some sites to see in what is considered beautiful countryside in the parish of Portland.

We are travelling from Mandeville tomorrow (April 23rd) to Mo’Bay. We will meet our friend Rick at Montego Bay airport tomorrow. Rick, Michael and Howard will be the main crew on the journey to Long Island. Joan may join along the way. We will be sad to leave Jamaica but we are looking forward to more Lilli Mae adventures and the stop-overs and adventures in cool places. We have quite a few jobs to do before we leave so we are going to be busy in Mo’Bay.

So we will be in contact.
In the meantime take care where ever you are. Look after your families! They are very precious!

All the best.
Crew on Lilli Mae

email: illi_mae {CHANGE TO AT} mailasail {DOT} com