Sarah Grace goes to sea
Chris Yerbury and Sophy White
Sat 17 Feb 2007 20:59
Jamaica: it is love at first sight and after 4 days and nights at sea it is especially good to be here.
The night silhouette of the 7,400ft Blue Mountains emerged into jungle green at dawn as palm trees and lush rainforest became visible. Our route took us through a narrow channel behind an island(more palm trees) and into the really beautiful harbour of Port Antonio where we tied alongside Jem who cooked us a knockout breakfast fry up. Steep wooded hills,backed by the mountains drop down to the sea where there are about 6 yachts and the odd open fishing boat. No commercial activity, ferries etc so very peaceful and laid back: this is going to be a long pit-stop!
The town is virtually hidden from the water by trees and came as a great suprise. It is like a caribbean Lowrie scene: bustling with people everywhere, booming music(anything from great reggae to country),colourful market stalls and quirky buildings. The latter include a georgian red brick and veranda courthouse, and a totally eccentric 4 storey building that incorporates every architectural style from mock tudour to classic dutch gables. Meanwhile the smell of ganja is inescapable- secondary smoking has never been such fun.
This is 100% vibrant West Indian Caribbean- a shot in the arm particularly after dull Curacao. Even Soph has already admitted the latter's pallor in comparison.
Tomorrow we are off to a local festival celebrating the African roots of the Jamaican people, promising drumming, dance and traditional african clothes, no doubt accompanied by jerk chicken and washed down with plenty of red stripe.
Soph says she is never going sailing again after the passage here.
Otti says: This place is really cool, it has started raining and we are due to have a barbecue this evening. No children around but should be OK. I miss home,I miss you all but not ,apparently, the 4inches of snow!!!!!!!!
Mimi says: Jamaica is cool. It is trickey to get to sleep because every night they have loud music. Mum ended up listening to it. It rains a lot in Jamaica. Miss you all, I've heard it is snowing alot in England, from Mimi.