Recent Visit to Jamaica

Published 14 years ago, updated 5 years ago

Sent by Frank Virgintino, author of the DR Cruising Guide.

I have just returned from Jamaica, having spent a month cruising the entire island, and have some comments relating to the write up for Jamaica on noonsite.

More than 75% of the crime that takes place, takes place in the ghettos of Kingston on a given day. The rest of the country is relatively safe. And in addition, tourists are rarely at the receiving end of violent crime. That they reserve for each other in the ghetto.

Repair facilities are few and far between, yes. However, there is an excellent on priced under market in Port Antonio at the Errol Flynn marina which is owned by the port of Authority of Jamaica. They have a 100-ton lift and a wonderful service yard with capable repairmen for all trades.

The Montego Bay Yacht Club has some repairmen also. The Royal Jamaica Yacht Club in Kingston has both haul out facilities as well as repairmen.

The yacht should not be left unattended except at the marinas and yacht clubs; very much consistent with the rest of the world today.

Here is a point worth noting. The city of Kingston has many parts. Some are new and reasonably safe, some are old and some are ghetto where there is a great crime. However, the Kingston harbor, which is the 7th largest harbor in the world, is very safe (other than the plethora of commercial traffic).

As one goes up the harbor, a few miles up the entrance is Lime Cay. This is a safe, very safe, Anchorage, where many of the local yachtsmen anchor. It has a white sand beach and a shack that the local yachtsmen use for parties to prepare food etc.

From Lime Cay, one proceeds up the harbor another 6 or so miles to the Royal Jamaica Yacht Club. They take everyone in, and their hospitality is extraordinary, just like the Montego Bay Yacht club. Both clubs have wonderful facilities for yachtsmen, including excellent showers and bathrooms, bar and restaurant. The restaurants in both yacht clubs prepare really elegant meals, lunch or dinner, mostly for $10 US or less.

The Erroyl Flynn marina in Port Antonio is a new marina and is also wonderful. They have a beach and two restaurants, as well as the boatyard facility. It is very safe, and walking distance to the town of Port Antonio.

One of the most important things in Jamaica is that if you plan to cruise and anchor, anchor only in well-known tourist harbors, or anchorages where there is an absence of inner city poor communities.

All through Jamaica, I was met with smiles and helping hands. Wonderful music and food. Great sights with the John Crow Mountains and the Blue Mountains. It was “Ya Mon, everything is going to be alright”.

Overall, Jamaica was about as safe as the majority of Caribbean islands today, worse than a few, as good as most.

Note: The free Jamaica cruising guide written by Frank Virgintino will be out in less than a month and offered at

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