Description & main attractions
- Part of the Greater Antilles, Jamaica is one of the largest islands in the Caribbean. Lying south of Cuba, this mountainous and scenic island is known worldwide as the birthplace of reggae music. It is stunningly beautiful, and with hundreds of miles of coastline and an abundance of natural harbours, it has all the ingredients for a perfect cruising destination.
- The south of Jamaica is the most unspoilt part of the island, and less touched by the tourist boom so obvious elsewhere. The north coast is more exposed and only has sheltered anchorages at its western end, at Montego and Negril.
- Otherwise there are a number of small ports, among which colourful Ocho Rios may be of interest to Caribbean music lovers because the most famous Jamaican, Bob Marley, was born and grew up in the nearby village of Nine Mile.
- The name ‘Jamaica’ comes from the Arawak word Xaymaka, meaning land of wood and water. Arawaks were the original inhabitants, but did not survive long after the first Spanish settlement in the fifteenth century. In 1525 Santiago de la Vega, now Spanish Town, was founded and was for a long time Jamaica’s capital. The seventeenth century saw England stake its claim and capture the island from Spain.
- Jamaica declared independence in 1962. The population is 2.8 million, of which the majority are of African descent, but there are also minorities of East Indian, Chinese, Lebanese and European origin. English is spoken and also a local patois. Kingston is the capital.
- Jamaica has a tropical climate with high temperatures and humidity, and little seasonal variation. The wettest months are May and October. The hurricane season is between June and November. The daily high temperatures are tempered by the trade wind – known locally as the ‘doctor breeze’ – while the off shore breeze that occurs at night is known by the less appealing words ‘undertaker breeze’. Cold northerly winds occasionally occur in winter, causing drastic drops in temperature
Host marina / Port information
Montego Bay is one of the largest cities in Jamaica and a popular tourist destination. Air connections are good to the rest of the world from Sangster International Airport.
Montego Bay Yacht Club is located on the Freeport Peninsula, with berthing in the protected basin that forms the Montego Bay Harbour. There is a good range of repair services as well as haulout facilities. As the host of the annual Pineapple Cup Race, the Montego Bay Yacht Club is used to dealing with visiting yachts.
Location on the map
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