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Old 07-26-2018, 07:29 PM   #1
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Fort Lauderdale to Jamaica

Ok, just a little daydreaming at work. Thinking of retirement someday, still 10 years down the road, but what the hay. My significant other has dual citizenship, US/Jamaican. One thought is to purchase a boat, large enough for two to live on for half the year, (min size 48') that I could pick up in Florida, or other Gulf state, and be able to get to Jamaica. Looked at a couple routes via Google Earth and certainly looks do-able with the right boat, (I do like the DeFever 48's). It appears that you can island hop then a long passage around Cuba.
Anyone have experience cruising to JA? Is this reasonable?

Just something to think about while we're cruising around Puget Sound this weekend in 80+ degrees!
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Old 07-26-2018, 10:27 PM   #2
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Wifey B: Hubby use to visit Kingston regularly on business and developed a huge respect and love for the Jamaican people. The one of our best stops ever was Easter in Port Antonio, at Errol Flynn Marina. Two ways to get there. You can go Cancun, Grand Cayman, Jamaica or you can go the Eastern Caribbean and cut through from the DR or PR to the Western Caribbean. Much depends on where else you want to go.

Most people go to Jamaica as tourists and focus on Montego Bay, but we fell in love with Port Antonio.
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Old 07-26-2018, 10:41 PM   #3
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B, I do agree, Port Antonio is quite nice. Spent some days at Trident, swam in the Blue Lagoon and Jerk Chicken at Boston's. Stopped by Errol Flynn marina and looked around. Kinda how the seed got planted.
Thinking Eastern Caribbean as SO has much family scattered throughout.
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Old 07-27-2018, 05:06 AM   #4
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My wife and I have spent some time in Port Antonio as well, it is a nice place off the typical tourist beaten path. We used to stay in one of the houses on the road to Blue Hole, where the Tom Cruise movie Cocktails was filmed. Dragon Bay on the other side of Blue Hole is fascinating to watch when the seas are up, its easy to see how it got its name. Rofftop in town for nightlife, horseback riding on the old golf course at Frenchmans Cove. Probably all has changed by now, but a beautiful place for sure.

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Old 07-27-2018, 08:03 AM   #5
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My wife and I have spent some time in Port Antonio as well, it is a nice place off the typical tourist beaten path. We used to stay in one of the houses on the road to Blue Hole, where the Tom Cruise movie Cocktails was filmed. Dragon Bay on the other side of Blue Hole is fascinating to watch when the seas are up, its easy to see how it got its name. Rofftop in town for nightlife, horseback riding on the old golf course at Frenchmans Cove. Probably all has changed by now, but a beautiful place for sure.

Wifey B: We still found it incredible in 2015 and omfg the people there sure know how to party for Easter. I love that combo of words, "party for Easter" as it really made me think of the stark contrast of their view of Easter to that of so many who see it in a more somber view. You see the celebratory spirit of people who on the whole are living in relatively poor conditions. We didn't just enjoy as tourists but we celebrated with the locals too. We stayed one day longer than planned as we were just having too much fun. We left there filled with joy. Look forward to returning. Maybe we need to make plans for Spring 2019.
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Old 07-27-2018, 09:44 AM   #6
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Half the adventure in going to Port Antonio by plane for us is the ride from Kingston. Amazing views on the coast road as you round the island, sheer drop offs, people congregating in the road at bus stops as you come around a blind turn, goats and chickens jumping put of the way, driving on the left side of the road is all by itself is an adventure,
And then you round the bend and see this
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Old 09-03-2018, 04:59 PM   #7
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We will be staying in Pt Antonio in early December for some R&R. Puddle jumper flight for us in a C-130! Countdown to back on the water has begun.
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Old 09-04-2018, 06:38 PM   #8
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Just stumbled across this and can help a little.

Bess and I have been to Jamaica several dozen times and have seen nearly every corner of that amazing island. Even done some boating there. Obviously, we love it there.

BUT... would I boat there full-time? Probably not. The island doesnít really have the infrastructure for boating. There are only three or four marina on the entire island and practically zero boating related stores... in fact, I canít name a single one. Boat repairs there are bodged together shade-tree fixes that may or may not last. Moreover, you will have to fly to Miami to get parts and smuggle them into the country. If customs nabs you, the duties are steep!

Now, if I had to pick a town, Port Antonio has, what we think, is the islandís only travel lift. And as you can imagine, it isnít in very good shape. But itís there and that is something. Port Antonio isnít what it used to be. What used to be the playground for the rich is now so far out of the way that few tourists (and their money) just donít get there very often. An option would be the Montego Bay Yacht Club... itís showing its age since it was fixed up for the Pineapple Cup, but a few rich Jamaican have their sport fish boats there and there are even a few live aboards.

Something else to consider is the island, for lack of a better way to put it, is kinda turned the wrong way. It runs east-west, and with the trades and current, is always a choppy trip. That may or may not be tooooo applicable to powerboats, but it is worth noting. Catch the right window and you would have a beautiful day.

Now, could you live there for six months and then back to the states, yea sure. But you need to make sure you are mechanically sound before you get there.

I would encourage you to go there and look around and talk to any boaters you find before you set sail. Things move pretty slow there. But that is a plus sometimes
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Old 09-04-2018, 08:08 PM   #9
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Should be easy...not sure about the long passage around Cuba.

In 10 years, my guess is you will be able to hop around the island, not bypass it. You might be able to do it now.
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Old 05-19-2021, 11:35 AM   #10
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Hi all, I am a native of Port Antonio born and raised a stone's throw away from the Errol Flynn Marina. I came across this forum and discussion by chance and find it very interesting and informative; plus it is nice to read the nice things visitors to my paradise town are saying about it and it's people.
My wife and I own a restaurant in Port Antonio and are looking to go into the fishing business, but we know absolutely nothing about boats so we are doing a lot of looking around on the internet. We were just thinking about how we would even get the boat to Port Antonio and how long it would take. I just googled that and was led to this forum and this discussion. If anyone would be willing to provide us with some information that would be helpful to us we would truly appreciate it- whether here or through any other medium.
Thanks in advance
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Old 05-19-2021, 11:51 AM   #11
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard.
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Old 05-19-2021, 11:58 AM   #12
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Thank you!
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Old 05-19-2021, 05:28 PM   #13
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Hi all, I am a native of Port Antonio born and raised a stone's throw away from the Errol Flynn Marina. I came across this forum and discussion by chance and find it very interesting and informative; plus it is nice to read the nice things visitors to my paradise town are saying about it and it's people.
My wife and I own a restaurant in Port Antonio and are looking to go into the fishing business, but we know absolutely nothing about boats so we are doing a lot of looking around on the internet. We were just thinking about how we would even get the boat to Port Antonio and how long it would take. I just googled that and was led to this forum and this discussion. If anyone would be willing to provide us with some information that would be helpful to us we would truly appreciate it- whether here or through any other medium.
Thanks in advance
Wifey B: One of my fave all time stops. Hubby had traveled to Jamaica on business years ago but always Kingston. You think of vacationing there but all one thinks of is Montego Bay. We chose Port Antonio and arrived early morning April 4, 2015 at Errol Flynn Marina. We weren't even really aware of our timing but April 5 was Easter, and you haven't done Easter until you've done it in Port Antonio. It's Carnival and rivals anything anywhere. The partying on the beach on Saturday was just warm up. Sunday there was a sunrise service and then food and celebration. However, Monday was truly party day. Never have I spent a day surrounded by so many people celebrating. Celebrating their religion but life in general and you realize they're not wealthy, not people who have a lot, but they're happy. And so friendly as hubby had told me Jamaicans were. We did work Reach Falls and the Blue Lagoon in and more. 4 of the most incredible days. It's hilarious that on that trip we hit Carnival in Panama City, Panama in February and then Port Antonio for Easter Carnival all completely unplanned. However, in Panama we were more observers and Jamaica was immersion. Anxious to return to Port Antonio. If not this winter, maybe next. A great reminder that when you cruise the best days of your life may surprisingly present themselves. Just take advantage. It may be a local arts and craft festival where you meet an artist you want to see more of. It may be a small town parade over who knows what but you meet a nice local who teaches you it's meaning. It may just be the waitress at breakfast you can tell has been crying and you findout why and years later you're still in touch and she's now happy and a nurse. But Port Antonio holds such a marvelous place in my heart.

As to getting a boat there, we have a captain friend who delivers in areas of the Caribbean. From the US, it's typically adding drums of fuel and going around Cuba either east through Bahamas, Turk and Caicos, and DR or west via Cancun and Cayman Islands. Depending on range you may shortcut.
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Old 05-19-2021, 05:49 PM   #14
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You really can't appreciate Port Antonio until you have seen it right? I remember telling people I am not from Jamaica I am from Paradise (as Port Antonio is just so different) they thought I was just being biased because I was born there. Then when they started visiting they started sharing things and places with me I didn't know or have never been to; they were all overawed!
I would be very interested in your captains particulars for when we do get a boat and ready to get it to Port Antonio.
Thank you so very much and be well and stay safe!
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Old 05-19-2021, 06:29 PM   #15
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I have never been to Port Antonio but worked in Discovery bay for several months.. I agree that the local population are some of the most happy people I have ever met. Not wealthy by US standards but very wealthy in love for family ,friends and everyday existence. Subsistance growing, trading and social interaction was enlightening. Great people! Especially the Animal rescue folks..
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Old 05-19-2021, 06:56 PM   #16
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The Panama Posse route covers Florida to Jamaica and has The Royal Jamaican Yacht Club as a sponsor. You may want to look into that...

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Old 05-19-2021, 10:30 PM   #17
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Old 05-20-2021, 01:43 AM   #18
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Port Antonio
Or Negril. This thread just brought back a flood of memories from the late seventies when I was sent there from Miami to scout out business partners in schemes that were so popular in the day. Tom B is so correct about time moving slow there. After two weeks I felt like I had been there two months. I was ready to go back to Miami and get a job where I had to get up early and wear more than a bathing suit all day. Thankfully that idea went away when I got back, but I totally abandoned the business endeavor there. I met beautiful German fashion models, I met a older woman who owned a compound named Catch a Falling Star on the western tip of the island next to Ricks. Beautiful place, but I never understood how the locals could power such giant speakers with just a tiny turntable to blast music til sunrise. The only other place I’ve experienced such noise was in Brazil. I could party with the best of them, but dayum, I can only handle so much nonstop fuzzy reggae music. At least in Brazil one hears all kinds of music, with better fidelity. Oh yeah, almost bought a Yacht Club in Negril for only $10k, but ‘not even for free’. Beautiful country but noisy,
Went back in 02. Still beautiful.
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