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Old 29-11-2013, 14:22   #1
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Cruising North Coast of Jamaica

Have any of you cruised the N coast of Jamaica? I am headed that way in a few days and would appreciate tips on great places to visit and any hazards or places to avoid. I'm planning to check in at Port Antonio, and then head towards Montego Bay. I have read through the Noonsite material on Jamaica, and I have F. Virgintino's "Thinking Man's Guide ... " which has some material on Jamaica. After that the itinerary is open, maybe the Caymans.

Paul, s/v Dragon's Wing, currently on Providenciales, T&C
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Old 29-11-2013, 15:26   #2
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San Antonio is good. The bay further to the west with the bioluminescence is definitely worth a piss at night.

If you don't like getting hassled by pushy locals, it will then be time to escape the island.

Port Royal and Kingston were an experience but it is the wrong coast for you.
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Old 29-11-2013, 17:33   #3
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Re: Cruising North Coast of Jamaica

I spend a lot of time on the south coast, but relatively limited time on the North.

In Montego Bay it is mostly a commercial area, but the MB yacht club is nice, and has some decent dockage. They also are open to non-members for a pretty nominal fee, and have the best french fries on the island .

We really don't go north of Negril so I can't help you with much. But if you need any help while you are on the island let me know, I have a lot of contacts on the island and may be able to help you.
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Old 29-11-2013, 20:55   #4
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Have hit most stops from Port Antonio to Negril. Jamaica is a beautiful island, but the constant hassles/hustles get old fast. Most cruisers, including me, enjoy Port Antonio, but part of what keeps it enjoyable is the 12' security fence that keeps the locals out. To me that runs against the grain of one thing I like about cruising which is getting to know the local culture, but unfortunately that is reality on Jamaica.

By the time we got to Negril, I was happy to leave Jamaica in my wake.
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Old 29-11-2013, 23:51   #5
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Re: Cruising North Coast of Jamaica

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Have hit most stops from Port Antonio to Negril. Jamaica is a beautiful island, but the constant hassles/hustles get old fast. Most cruisers, including me, enjoy Port Antonio, but part of what keeps it enjoyable is the 12' security fence that keeps the locals out. To me that runs against the grain of one thing I like about cruising which is getting to know the local culture, but unfortunately that is reality on Jamaica.

By the time we got to Negril, I was happy to leave Jamaica in my wake.
This is why we like the south shore so much. It is a much less developed area, and a lot quieter.
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Old 30-11-2013, 01:13   #6
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Even vacationing there by land has gotten old. We quit going 3 years ago, when You say no thanks to buying drugs and they become hostile and start following you around its time to rethink your travel plans. And this was from security guards and resort employees.
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Old 30-11-2013, 03:03   #7
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Re: Cruising North Coast of Jamaica

If you go to Montego Bay, then Appletons Estate rum with coconut water is a must. Drink as much as you like and NO hangover. You do get a bit drunk though. You get your own coconut split and poured just for you. That was 10 years ago so I hope it is still the same!
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Old 30-11-2013, 07:38   #8
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Re: Cruising North Coast of Jamaica

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Even vacationing there by land has gotten old. We quit going 3 years ago, when You say no thanks to buying drugs and they become hostile and start following you around its time to rethink your travel plans. And this was from security guards and resort employees.
Yeah, last time I was there, I set a new personal speed record for someone trying to sell me drugs. I ran off the plane to the bathroom to piss, and there was a guy in the bathroom selling drugs.

If you are into recreational drugs, Jamaica has to be the vacation of a lifetime.
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Old 30-11-2013, 09:33   #9
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Re: Cruising North Coast of Jamaica

I've been to Jamaica six times over the years. The first couple of times, I got asked to buy drugs on the first couple of days I was there. The last couple of times nobody bothered to ask me. They either recognized me, or I just look a lot older now.

I will point out Jamaicans get very offended when a first world guy comes to there third world, and will not give them the time of day. If someone ask you to buy drugs, just look them in the eye and tell them you don't use drugs. It's ignoring them that pisses them of. They have a phrase down there ,"Respect" and it works both ways.

I've made some wonderful lifelong friends in Negril, and some have come to visit me more than once here in the states. I feel as safe in Negril as in any American city of the same size. However there are Jamaican cities inland off the coast that I've been warned not to ever visit without a local escort. I also have been told to never go to Kingston.

I look forward to arriving one day by boat instead of plane, and would love to hear more about cruising the southern coast.
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Old 30-11-2013, 10:05   #10
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Re: Cruising North Coast of Jamaica

My mother lives there so we visit two to three times a year, for about a week each. I have clients on the island so it is actually cheaper to go to Jamaica for a week than to go to florida for a weekend.

The two big cities (Montego Bay and Kingston) are really worth staying out of unless you just can't. The north side of the island is the leeward side so it got built up first and is the common destination for boaters, though there isn't much of a recreational marine industry.

The south side is mostly populated by small fishing villages, and a few small towns. People are friendly, there is minimal crime (except for smoking weed), and supplies are pretty cheap. Taxis are a little expensive on the entire island, and services for boats are very minimal since there aren't any marinas, but the locals are helpful and the fishing docks are plentiful.

We spend most of our time in Whitehouse (about 20 miles east of Negril), but range up and down that section of the coast, including a number of sails to Negril for the day just to get a drink. Black river is a pretty neat place, and has some services, plus they have a great tour that runs up the river into the heart of the island.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:31   #11
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Re: Cruising North Coast of Jamaica

Thanks for all of the information folks. I'll proceed to Pt. Antonio and see how we fare with the drug pushers. It sounds like a nice town. Montegro Bay is inevitable and may be our last stop in Jamaica.

Paul s/v Dragon's Wing
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