View Full Version : Port Antonio

17th October 2012, 03:26 PM
I like to think that I grew up in Jamaica, but that is a bit of an over statement.

The fact is, I grew up in Southern California, but my family owned some land on Navy Island in Port Antonio. That was before the Jamaicans voted in the socialist government of Michael Manley in the late 60’s and many foreign land-owners bailed out of the country on Manley’s promise to nationalize foreign land-holdings. My father was among those who bailed and lost

My family traveled to Jamaica many times over several years and we made several friends there including Patrice Wymore-Flynn whose husband Errol Flynn once owned Navy Island; and yacht designer Bill Tritt and his family who had built a house on the Island a few lots West of our own plot. I even got busted with Scott Tritt –Bill and Natalie’s son- in Kingston when a traffic mix-up ultimately resulted in the local police impounding his classic Mini Cooper leaving us to hitch-hike our way across the Blue Mountains to Port Antonio. Another local in those days was “Captain” Bob Hanley, Hollywood stunt pilot and founder of Catalina Air ways – a true legend in the world of “flying boats”. Those years were quite a time.

I have not been back to Port Antonio or Jamaica since the late 70’s. I have longed to go back there, but I fear my longing is something closer to going back to a time rather than a place. I am certain that Port Antonio must be a very different place today.

I see that it is still the base for a very large sport-fishing tournament every year. And based on glimpses I caught of the area in a little known, early Denzel Washington film (“The Mighty Quinn”), it appears that there has been some significant build-up in the area, especially along the waterfront of the Western-most of the town’s two harbors.

After doing a little research, it appears that the Yacht Club is still there and has even expanded its marina. But Jamaica has deteriorated into the drug-and-crime capital of the Western Caribbean sea. Opinions seem to be mixed as to Jamaica’s suitability for long-term stays.

I would love to go back and occasionally kick around the idea of sailing back to Port Antonio. I may indeed to that some time. But right now, there are lots of other islands between the Abacos and Jamaica and I have no intention of passing them by.



23rd December 2012, 01:58 AM

just returned to the east coast after delivering my boat from Curacao to the Cayman Islands via Port Antonio.

Although my stay was short it brought back many memories of my life in Jamaica. I too had not been back since the late 1970's. I lived in Kingston for 4 years.

On this occasion we were one of three transients, an Atlantic 57 from Australia, a 125 foot megayacht from Croatia and us a Voyage 440OV.

The marina was quite nice, accommodating, efficient and safe.
It is a shame more people do not go to Jamaica. I will go back ASAP.
It makes sailing the BVI's a bit boring. Would compare it with St. Lucia or St. Vincent (which I also love).
By the way Errol Flynn's grandson was at the marina bar when we were there. Maybe you know him.

I feel for the people of Jamaica, the 70's were a terrible time with the JLP and PLP fighting.
Jamaica remains one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean not only because of it's geography, but for it's people, heritage and music.

Yes I know there is danger there as there is in any large American city.
Just keep your street smarts and the rewards will be well worth the effort it takes to get there.
I encourage you (and others) to visit Port Antonio.
A true jewel.

s/v Redemption

23rd December 2012, 02:43 PM
+1 for Port Antonio. Have not been there since 2008 but did not appear to be a place that would change in a hurry. Felt safe both in the marina and in town. Probably the only place in Jamaica I would recommend though.