Sunday, January 05, 2014

More Jamaican impressions: Ocho Rios and Discovery Bay


Dear Friends,

First of all, a magnificent 2014, in good health and peace of mind!

We stayed in Ocho Rios also mainly because of a charter that we (thought) was booked…. And so we spend time, effort and money to get this Sunset Charter well organized, as usual.  Dora had prepared a fantastic menu (including lobster, fish and what have you..). We got the green light from the Cruise Ship Terminal Manager, to use a small dock for boarding etc. So all was great. Then a day before the charter the client cancelled the charter for an, in our opinion, very lame reason… Anyway, not to worry, these kind of people do exist and roam this planet…

We were (are) getting rather irritated by the whole Jamaican “scene”.. let me explain: Looking past the initial spontaneous greetings by the locals… (Respect Mon, welcome to Jamaican mon…) we get the distinct feeling that they regard us as potential source of  US$: Hey mon, where are you from?.. Ah Brazil… great… soccer team… yeah mon, Pele… So, do you need a taxi? You want to buy some ganja? You want a tour around the city? You have to see my shop. I show you the farmers market, my uncle has a fruit stand. Let me sell you typical Jamaican neckless. Give me some money mon, no, no 5Us$ is nothing mon, cant buy a beer for that mon, give 10Us$…. Anyway, you guys get the idea… And as well educated people.. we just dont brush them off and even throw in the:… Need more time mon… need more time…, they dont realy get the hint and keep on pushing…


So, we did see the local farmers market in Ocho Rios. Exotic place, the market in Salvador (Brazil), Sao Joaquim, looks like a walk in the park compared to this… a rather mix and no match maze of fruit and vegies stands, clothes, and yes even a small garbage dump in the middle of this… Great experience but even for us a little too funky.


On new years day, we wanted to stroll along the small beach at Ocho Rios, and interestingly enough, it doesnt have free access, in fact one has to pay to be on the beach… (that by itself already doesnt feel good…) so, trying to get past the gate we found a very sturdy uniformed lady in our path…: in what hotel do you stay? Huh, you stay on boat? She looked puzzled, as the last cruise ship just had left…On what boat?.. Just wait here, I have to talk to the manager (??).. Another sturdy, serious looking man talked to us through the wired fence…On what boat are you? What do you want? Where is the boat from?  By that time our patience level is pushed to the limit… In the end we just push ourselves through and leave the guy wondering…


So, we decided that we had more than enough of this place. But before we headed for Montego Bay, we wanted to check the so much acclaimed Dunn Waterfalls…( so we sailed to this location and anchored right in front of it… Tourist hot spot again… We beached the dingy and soon it was made clear to us, by a rather irritated looking official, that we had to pay Us$ 20 per person, to be able to climb up the falls… We thought that to be rather high priced (allthough it is a park, and ok a fee was to be expected, but twenty bucks… hmm no…) and as Dora put it.. Money doesnt grow like grass, we decided to just stay on the beach for a while and check out the surroundings…. Ha, no ofcourse not… if you stay on the beach… also Us$ 20 per person was going to be charged…. (and all of this is conveyed to you in very stern, almost aggressive like language…). by then we had enough… Just before a nervous looking park guy wanted to get his money, managed to squeese this picture in, and we were on our way…


We first tried to anchor in St Ann’s bay, there wasnt realy any protection from wind and swell, so we sailed on to Discovery Bay, and despite the Bauxiet loading terminal, a very nice location to anchor.. protected from the NE winds and swell, nice clean water so that was great.


Now, on our way to Montego Bay, we pretend to stay a couple of days here, gear up and prepare for our two day voyage to Cienfuegos in Cuba.

Yeah Mon, Respect Mon…