We made it to Jamaica, mon!
Peace, Love, Unity, Respect
We pulled away from Santa Marta, Colombia on 3/26 at 6 a.m. and headed for Jamaica. We sailed for three days and three nights, 80 hours altogether, over a rolling sea with steep waves on our starboard beam as expected. We tried to plan for the current's set and drift, but even with our best effort to sail a course as high as possible, the current wind and waves from the east managed to set us 20 miles west of the eastern end of Jamaica.
Once near shore, we tacked a 10-mile course back east to reach Port Morant where we ducked in and dropped our anchor for the night. Shortly afterward we were boarded by the Jamaican Defense Force who asked questions, checked passports and paperwork, casually searched below deck, wished us a good sail around the island to Port Antonio and offered a couple restaurant suggestions. Piggy's Jerk Centre was their top recommendation and we would soon concur.
On 3/30 we sailed and motor sailed around the island to Port Antonio. We arrived to Errol Flynn Marina in the afternoon and at 4:20 p.m. we sat down with Customs to officially enter Jamaica.
We have now been in Port Antonio for three days. We've enjoyed our brief Jamaica stay. We have been told by locals that the town of Port Antonio, unlike places such as Montego Bay, is authentic Jamaican, and it feels that way. The Jamaican style of speaking is an enjoyable and pleasant version of English. The accent is great and "ya mon" has such a friendly feel to it. We've dabbled in local cuisine such as jerk chicken, oxtail and curried goat. Music is everywhere from morning into late evening. And it's been enjoyable to meet welcoming Jamaicans who present a Bob Marley-esque vibe. John, a local self-appointed tour guide, taught us a four-move Jamaican fist-bump during which each recites, "Peace, love unity, respect." A common departure salutation is simply, "Respect."
This afternoon we plan to pull away from Port Antonio en route to Great Inagua Island in The Bahamas. This will be a 270-mile run that angles northeast through the windward passage between the eastern shore of Cuba and the western shores of Haiti. Since the windward passage tends to present wind from the northeast, we are hoping to slide through during what appears to be a couple days of very light wind. We hope it plays out that way in order to avoid a long upwind passage.
We are looking forward to Great Inagua, an island that features three national parks and is home to over 80,000 flamingos and 140 species of native and migratory birds. Anticipate more bird photos soon!
Meanwhile, as always, thank you for following us!