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O'VIVE PACIFIC CROSSING
A family travels from Florida to New Zealand aboard their St Francis 50 catamaran
Port Antonio, a Safe Heaven in Jamaica
Nathalie
02/02/2008, Jamaica

We were going to sail directly from Georgetown to Great Inagua (the southern island of the Bahamas) then to Panama but we actually did not stop at Great Inagua, the wind was just too good, in the right direction for once, so we continued to ride this beautiful north-east wind. We had a thrilling night sail across the Windward Passage, reefed at the lowest point, without the jib, still going at 7 knots and surfing at 9 knots! We could not let more sail out because some huge north swells came from behind the boat and made us surf at 14-15 knots, it is a lot of fun during the day but a little too much for us at night. We were happy of our progress and decided to stop in Jamaica. The closest port of entry coming from this direction is Port Antonio. I was of course a little apprehensive thinking of the bad reputation Jamaica has but everything seems to have proved the contrary. Indeed, our interaction with the officials (immigration, quarantine, customs was quick and although there is a lot of paperwork to fill out - get 4 copies of the crew list-) was a very nice experience, everyone was extremely courteous and nice! We did check in the Errol Flynn marina which is a little jewel in itself! The manager, Dale Westin and the dock master, George Munro made us feel so comfortable and were extremely helpful. The marina has beautiful grounds, tropical plants and flowers, huge trees (Jamaican apple trees, breadfruit trees, and ackee trees), a delicious restaurant, clean and big showers and laundry facilities, and free Wi-Fi!!! The marina is gated and the small town of Port Antonio does have a very low crime rate. I went to the open market and wandered in town, I never felt unsafe. People are nice and eager to speak about their country, I learned how to cook "Cake and salt fish" the national Jamaican dish, just by asking a question about a strange looking fruit-vegetable I had never seen before. We tried it the next night for dinner (actually this dish is mostly eaten for breakfast, but we cannot eat fish for breakfast yet!), it was delicious! David got into the local scene and bargained a good price on a beautiful wood carved mask representing a women with her eyes closed, quiet original, and Alban, the artist carved his name on the back...
We are just having a wonderful time in Port Antonio, it was just going to be a quick stop, but it will be now a destination for us, we will be back!!!!


Arrived in Jamaica!!!!
Nathalie
01/30/2008, Port Antonio (Jamaica)

We just reached a landfall in Jamaica after 3 days/2 night's passage and it feels good! It was actually a pretty nice passage all in all and we ended up in this cute little town called Port Antonio. It is a dream anchorage: dead calm water surrounded by little hills and just a few sailboats, we arrived yesterday at 2:45pm and had a good night of sleep. We can't wait to explore Jamaica and first of all Port Antonio. More later...
Arrive en Jamaique!!!!
Nous venons juste de poser l'ancre après un passage de 3 jours et 2 nuits et nous sommes tres heureux ! Quel joli petit port (Port Antonio). Jamaique nous a acueillie hier avec ses hautes montagnes brumeuses et une legere pluie. Cette petite ville semble idyllique, les gens sont adorables, le cadre splendide , juste quelques voiliers et une marina absolument incroyable. Meme les formalites se sont tres bien passees donc nous sommes bien contents de ne pas avoir ecoutes tous ces guides qui donnent une mauvaise reputation a la Jamaique (insecurite, formalite tres difficiles avec des gens desagreables, tout cela est faux , tout du moins a Port Antonio!). Nous allons explorer la ville aujourd'hui après l'ecole .A tres bientot...


02/02/2008 | matthieu
chers tous c'est avec un grand plaisir et une grande émotion que je surf sur votre blog. je connais toutes vos photos par coeur. voir ces photos me donne envie d'etre avec vous mais hélas c'est tout simplement impossible(sauf si nous nous donnons rendez vous quelque part).je vous fais de gros bisoux et espere vraiment vous voir bientot!! a lot of kisses !!!!!! matthieu.
02/05/2008 | Nancy
Everbody(&that means Emilie & Alec too!) is doing a great job! I really enjoy your descriptions & all the photos areWonderful!! Keep up the good job! Love, Nancy
02/12/2008 | Carol Luse
David, Nathalie, Emilie, and Alec,
Michelle Sciarrone sent me your blog and it is so wonderful. Would you mind putting me on your email list so I can partake of your adventure. The organization and logistics of your trip are incredible. What fun!! We took a 5 month RV trip out west this summer and that was awesome. Keep in touch. Carol Luse
02/12/2008 | Reece Jahn
Hi Guys,
We sure miss you! We walk by your house everyday but you're still not home yet! Sorry Emma but I got my hair cut. Write us soon so we know where you are.
Love and lots of hugs, Reece
En route to Jamaica
Dave
01/29/2008, Just passing Great Inagua Bahamas

Left George Town at 7:20am Monday the 28th. Did 190 miles this 24 hour period. Weather is good, cold front has been helpful with the north wind.

A known harbor in a new Light!
Nathalie
01/24/2008, Georgetown (Bahamas)

We dropped our anchor in Georgetown, the main town in the south Exumas. We have been here many times over the years when we cruise in summer but what a change; there might be about a hundred sailboats or more! We usually see about 12 to 15 boats! So it was a nice surprise to see people from all over the world, Lots of Canadians, Netherlanders, and Americans. David and Emilie stayed in GT over the week-end while Alec and I flew back to Miami to attend the AYSO soccer tournament in Palm Beach. We promised Alec as a Christmas present that, if at all possible, we would do our best to fly him back so he could play with his team the "Blue Devils" and indeed it was a success, they went all the way to the semi-finals!!! It was so exciting and we had a great time, it was the first time his team got so far in this tournament. We are back and after a good night of sleep (we slept right through a wavy night, 28 knots of wind with this cold front just coming through) we are getting back in the cruising mode and homeschooling. The kids just took off with two Canadians kids who are speaking both English and French; hopefully they will practice their French a little. I hope that will get them excited about making new friends, they have not been making contact very much yet, I guess it is only 2 weeks, but time will come when they will be looking out for those kid's boats.
Un port connu sous une nouvelle lumiere! (Exumas- Bahamas) Nous venons juste de poser notre ancre dans le port de Georgetown. Nous venons la chaque ete depuis presque 5 ans mais d'habitude il n'y a que 12 a 15 bateaux. Quelle surprise de trouver plus de 100 bateaux a voile du Canada, des USA, du Netherland, etc...Emilie et David sont restes la ce week-end et Alec et moi avons pris l'avion afin de participer au tournoi tant attendu!!! Le tournoi de foot AYSO, nous avions promi a Alec de retourner de facon a ce qu'il puisse jouer avec son equipe "les demons bleus" et... nous avons bien fait puisque nous sommes arrives quatrieme, jusqu'en demi-finale, quelle joie!
Nous sommes maintenant de retour et reprenons notre routine, homeschooling, etc... Les enfants viennent de partir avec deux petits canadiens du meme age, pour l'instant ils n'ont pas encore trop recherché de contact avec les autres enfants, mais nous venons juste de partir, bientot ils rechercheront ces "kid's boats" des qu'ils arriveront dans un nouveau mouillage!

02/02/2008 | matthieu
chers tous c'est avec un grand plaisir et une grande émotion que je surf sur votre blog. je connais toutes vos photos par coeur. voir ces photos me donne envie d'etre avec vous mais hélas c'est tout simplement impossible(sauf si nous nous donnons rendez vous quelque part).je vous fais de gros bisoux et espere vraiment vous voir bientot!! a lot of kisses !!!!!! matthieu.

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