The Adventures of Alexandra and David

Who: David & Alexandra
Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
We're always Somewhere South of Somewhere.

The Banyan Love is Growing.

http://www.hitwebcounter.com/htmltutorial.php
WebPage Visits

We're on Facebook

Sailing Banyan

Instagram: #banyantravels

but we're not Tweeting.

Our friends Paul and Sheryl Shard, of Distant Shores, are incredible producers of their very own TV Show.

If you haven't already, check them out.

Their DVD's are informative and fun to watch as they travel to all four corners of the world.

You might even find Banyan in some of them!!
30 May 2019 | Catamaran Marina
20 May 2019 | Shallow Sandbar by Livingston, Guatemala
18 May 2019 | Tres Puntas, Guatemala
14 May 2019 | Isla Guanaja to Isla Utila
11 May 2019 | Grand Cayman to Isla de Guanaja, Honduras
03 May 2019 | Grand Cayman
25 April 2019 | Errol Flyn Marina, Port Antonio, Jamaica
18 April 2019 | Matthewtown, Great Inagua, Bahamas
14 April 2019 | Clarencetown, Long Island, Bahamas
10 April 2019 | To New Horizons... and Beyond!
05 April 2019 | Exumas, Bahamas
02 March 2019 | Staniel Cay, Cat Island, Bahamas
07 February 2019 | Cambridge Cay, Exumas, Bahamas
25 August 2018 | Halifax, NS
28 November 2017 | Somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean
20 November 2017 | Somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean

Shaken... not stirred.

25 April 2019 | Errol Flyn Marina, Port Antonio, Jamaica
Alexandra & Dave | overall heatstroke
We hoisted the yellow Q-Flag when we were about an hour out of the Jamaica, and radioed the Errol Flynn marina just as we arrived within the calm waters, and daylight hours of West Harbour, Port Antonio. Jamaica.



But, for a bit of a giggle. Just after sunrise we had a LOL moment. We'd slowed ourselves down to arrive in daylight, enjoying our coffee, and remarking at the smell as we neared Jamaica, inhaling fresh breezes of wetness and torrential rains in the distance, and if the view of immense green mountains had a smell, this would be it. Every now and then, a special flowery scent descended to surprise us, Ylang Ylang I imagine. Of course the wet rainforests is home to cinnamon and bay leaves and all bush plants that thrive in these regions.

While calculating our time, speed and distance with our arrival time, we had to slow down even more, because even the current was pushing us along at faster than we needed speeds. We were making water, and wanted to completely fill our tanks before arriving at the marina, so that was all well and good. Suddenly we noticed that our iPad clock and our wall clock didn't jive. WTF? We'd gone back an hour. We had an extra hour to have to kill! No daylight savings time here? Throttle back on the engine even more {{ sigh }}

Proof positive that no matter how excellently you think you plan, there's still SOMETHING unanticipated that comes your way. We were a tad shaken... as we stirred our coffee.

As we hailed Errol Flynn Marina, the dockmaster, George responded, and within moments, thanks to him and the helping hands of a few fellow cruisers, we were comfortably tied alongside.



But still unable to step foot ashore.

George brought us the paperwork necessary for Health, Customs & Immigration, and I sat down with my pen, and a cold glass of ice water {{ no Arrival Beers before official duties, or we'd be shaken and stirred, by the authorities !! }} The papers were numerous but the system familiar to us from our Eastern Caribbean Island Hopping Days. The questions on the forms were easy to answer, mostly repetitive details, and it wasn't long before I flipped the last page over.



Dave in the meantime ensured that our home of a boat was clean looking, and we quickly changed into some fresh and presentable attire as well.

Some tidbits of savvy?

Answer the Health questionnaire first, they're first on your boat. We were asked if we had any fruits or vegetable, I had two carrots to report. He asked us about meat. We were quite low on provisions and only had a frozen turkey and some chicken from the U.S. in the freezer. Neither were a problem, as they were clearly identified, and not local Bahamian meat. He asked if we had pets? {{ nope }}. He asked us {{ twice }} about our holding tanks, and was pleased with our answer that it was isolated. He glanced at the cockpit and our home {{ glad we'd cleaned up}}, at us {{ glad we'd cleaned up as well }} but didn't deem it necessary to go below fo any inspections. He gave us the all clear, thanked us for making his job easier, and welcomed us to Jamaica. We were told we could remove the Q-flag, and hoist the Jamaican flag. Did we need one? We had ours, but he did have some if we hadn't.

Customs arrived, checked our forms {{ you will need two copies of your boat registration, which we didn't have extra of, but the marina office does provide copies, although we were escorted there }}, which is when Immigration arrived, checked our forms, stamped our passports and that was that! In our experience it was three separate visits, about half hour in between, the whole process took not even three hours. By noon, we were done and were given the OK to finally step foot on Jamaican soil.

There has been some question over the issuance or having to have clearance papers from the Bahamas, when entering Jamaica. The Bahamas does not normally issue exit clearances so its an extra step for those that are travelling to here, with only a few locations available to receive the paperwork. There are C&I Offices in Georgetown, and Matthewtown, if you're going that route.

{{ A friend of ours has recently been in Mayaguana, and reported the customs office was closed for the days he was there and he couldn't obtain the paperwork, as he headed to T&C }}. When we left Mayaguana for the Dominican Republic, back in 2013, we did not get the clearance forms, and the D.R. Did not ask for them.

But Jamaica, in our reading and research, might require one. We'd asked those who travelled weeks and days before us, and received conflicting reports: one said nay, the other saying ya man. Hmm...

In Matthewtown (Bahamas), the Customs/Immigration offices are an easy walk left from the Dock. It being the holiday weekend, we walked over on Thursday and talked with the officers. They confirmed that Jamaica is indeed one of the islands where exit paperwork is required. It being the holiday weekend they could clear us out in advance. Here, it did not cost us anything, although we hear that in Georgetown it does?

What we did not like however, was to give up our Bahamas Cruising Permit, still valid until June, because if something happened and we had to return to the Bahamas, we didn't relish paying another $300 to re-enter. That would leave us shaken and stirred !

A couple days ago I chatted with the Officers here at Errol Flynn marina and they confirmed, with a smile, that they have some leeway on this issue. Of course they like to see the exit paperwork, makes their job easy. But they understand that you might not have it, and if you hold a valid Bahamian Cruising Permit, it would suffice.

There was no cost for us to clear in, however if you arrive after hours, on a weekend, or a holiday, be prepared for lengthy waits and you will be charged overtime fees. Our friends arrived on Easter Monday, and the whole process cost them, and took all day.

The marina is quaint, comfortable and well situated, the location gorgeous beautiful. Sounds of birds everywhere, the winds gently rustling the palm fronds,



and only a two minute walk to the very vibrant town.



Immediately the sights, sounds and smells overwhelm all your senses. The colourful market with the fresh fruit and vegetable stalls is immediately to your right, where every lady wants to show you her stuff, where calls of "come look beautiful lady. See what I have. It don't cost nothing to look".

Bright red tomatoes, orange pumpkins, yellow bananas. Smells of sweet Mangos, pineapple, Mamee Apples. Breadfruit, bay leaves, cinnamon. Shelves of spices. Jerk seasonings and hot sauces, each recipe unique to the stall who sells them. You feel you want to buy it all. From everyone.

Ask for prices before you buy. Remember to haggle, which is an art that is not easy to master, and more often than not, the ladies will throw in an extra something something as you've paid of your items.



But the butcher area, set way back at the back end of the market, is truly a special experience. As a girl who is used to having meat arrive on a styrofoam plate, in cellophane wrapper, with the price clearly indicated, it's a little daunting to have to choose my slices of pork chops, or see the cows feet staring back at me, wondering how I could serve those up to the Capt'N without him noticing? This is reality folks.

Thankfully there were no flies buzzing around, but that's a good sign, right?



There are a few grocery stores in town,



with more familiar items in the shelves, and frozen meat that is more recognizable. Where I found Sorrel and Ginger juice, that after the first glass, had my body singing, and I remembered picking fresh sorrel in Grenada, and making my own juice, many moons ago.

Remember that your eggs will be found on shelves, and not in the refrigerator. It is only in North America that your eggs are refrigerated, because the chemicals that they use to wash the eggs, removes a protective coating on them, so they have to add more chemicals, to preserve the eggs, and it is the chemicals which require refrigeration.

Trust me when I say once you've had fresh eggs, you'll likely never go back.

We visited the Digicel store, and bought a SIM card for approx $5, providing free local calls, and 250 mb of data. With various upgrade packages available. There are a few banks around, and we never felt so rich, as we withdrew some dollars. About $1 converts to $100 Jamaican dollars.

Our grocery bill was $10,150.00

The vibe is fun, the smell of ganja 'round every corner, and the Rastas trying to sell you packages of Blue Mountain Coffee, CDs, or whatever they can. The honking of cars as they drive round, people walking in one jumbled mess of chaos and you're trying not to bump into anyone {{ until you get the dance yourself and then it all becomes normal }} , sidewalks with potholes and lopsided rain gutters {{ watch your step }} the busyness of town with smoking jerk chicken huts, and everyone knows where they're going but you.

Repeated calls of "hey Cap, how you enjoying Jamaica, man?" as you're repeatedly "hassled" for something or other, or someone wanting to show your around. Know that this exists, and pretty soon it just becomes background noise. All part of the vibe and the true experience.

Laundry was on our list, and the marina has two washers and two dryers at $3.50 each load. Showers, washrooms, and a pool that says "no swimming"



And a little restaurant Marybelle's, with fast WiFi, where we finally got to sit down and enjoy our very first, ice cold, Arrival Beers. Red Stripe!



{{ and where I'm currently having one of the best Mojitos I've ever had, from the Cuban bartender, fresh mint and all }}

The lushness and mountains have reenergized us, the intense and overwhelming heat however has slowed us down as we're not acclimatized yet, making sure we stop and smell the flowers.



Exhausted from the passage, we've slept like logs for two nights in a row, especially comfortable as the cool mountain breezes descend towards us, snuggled up in our beds, requiring our bedsheets.

And enjoyed our very first ice-cream since this summer, at $400 per cone.



Oh, and did I mention? They're filming some scenes of the next James Bond movie here, now.



Wow. Seriously. I'll have my martini shaken... not stirred.
Comments
Vessel Name: Banyan
Vessel Make/Model: Jeanneau 40 Sun Odyssey
Hailing Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Crew: David & Alexandra
About:
Welcome Aboard. I'm Alexandra, and if I'm not out Adventuring with Camera in Hand, or cheffing up a storm in my galley, I'm looking to pirate some WiFi to upload our latest tales (with way too many photos) about our most recent adventures. [...]
Extra: CHART YOUR COURSE: Our destiny is shaped by our thoughts and actions. We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails.
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The Adventures of Alexandra and David

Who: David & Alexandra
Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
We're always Somewhere South of Somewhere.

The Banyan Love is Growing.

http://www.hitwebcounter.com/htmltutorial.php
WebPage Visits

We're on Facebook

Sailing Banyan

Instagram: #banyantravels

but we're not Tweeting.

Our friends Paul and Sheryl Shard, of Distant Shores, are incredible producers of their very own TV Show.

If you haven't already, check them out.

Their DVD's are informative and fun to watch as they travel to all four corners of the world.

You might even find Banyan in some of them!!