Jamaica March 2009: 9 – A Day in Saint Elizabeth

I forgot something in yesterday’s report: A trip to Rick’s. Occhy had never been there and after watching the crowds from Catcha Falling Star on a couple of occasions, he really wanted to go. We still had the scooter so I agreed to ride up with him -I hadn’t been there myself for many years, certainly not since their big redo after Hurricane Ivan in ’04.

We arrived at “rush hour” – near sunset – and the parking lot was packed with buses and cars. We were directed to a parking spot and strolled in. Immediately inside the entrance there was a beer stand with a big tub of beer – American kinds, red stripe, everything – in ice. Mainly because it was on ice, I ordered a red stripe. Occhy paid for it so I have no idea how much it was…I am just relieved they don’t make you do that stupid token thing they did back in the 90’s.

We walked around…weaved through the crowd might be a better description – and found a place to watch the divers do their thing. They are amazing, there is no doubt about that, and you can’t see them from Catcha ๐Ÿ™‚ They have a guy walking around soliciting tips…frankly I’ve always found this obnoxious. With the amount of money Rick’s makes at sunset you’d think they could just pay the divers – many people are here just to see them anyway. But no, we have to wait until the tip guy gathers enough money from everyone.

once he gives the diver the sign he does a flip off the very top of a tall (dead) tree, having warmed up with a few one-hand pullups from a branch. It was very impressive.

We enjoy that, and chat a bit with some folks, and after about 20 minutes I am more than ready to go. I just can’t handle the crowds of people…not my scene AT ALL.

But Occhy got to say he was there, and that’s why we went.

Moving on to today.

A couple of months ago I was talking to Dennis Abrahams who takes us out on boats when we are in Treasure Beach. He’s a wonderful guy I’ve known for about 7 years, his boats are really comfy, and he is an ace dolphin spotter. I’ve traveled to meet him from Negril before, I enjoy his trips so much. It’s a long drive though, 2 1/2 hours each way to Treasure Beach, and I can’t see my friends this time wanting to do that.

Dennis suggests meeting in Whitehouse – only an hour and half from Negril, a 45 minute boat ride to Pelican Bar (and onto Black River if we like). So I put together a trip with Chicken’s bus and Dennis’ boat and about 15 people decide to go.

I call Chicken from Seastar and ask him if he can pick me up – he is meeting everyone at Kuyaba to head out. He is luckily right at the roundabout and comes up to get me.

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I arrive at Kuyaba and most of the group is there hanging out. Our friend Lee Weinstock helped with this trip by handling all the business stuff – I just wanted to go have fun ๐Ÿ™‚

Dennis has confirmed that the water is rough (as it has been in Negril for the past day or two) so we decide to drive to Black River instead of Whitehouse to make the boat ride out a tad shorter.

Dennis told me when we arrived on the beach at Cloggy’s (a lovely and friendly beach bar just past Black River, by the way – makes a nice stop if you are in the area and I hear the food is pretty good too) that he’d seen a large pod of dolphins on his way to meet us and so he wasn’t sure we’d see any since they appeared to be hanging out closer to Treasure Beach.

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disembarking at parrottee

But Dennis is a master dolphin spotter and he wasn’t going to give up….just a few minutes out on the boat he saw something and pulled into a bay to see…DOLPHINS! I would have been disappointed if we hadn’t seen them but I know it’s always a risk…they are wild and only hang out with us when they want to, and you have to respect that. But i was happy we got to see them anyway. The ones we were with were feeding, Dennis said – mainly diving down and coming back up, not playing with the boat as they do at other times. He said the area we were in was a good feeding area for them and they are usually “all business” when they are there. They did come up very close to the boat to check us out though, and it was as thrilling as ever to be near them and I am grateful Dennis took the time and effort to find them for us.

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ย Leaving from Black River was the right move…due to the waves and wind the ride was, shall we say, wet. Lots of spray. But we all had swimsuits and it was hot out so it was all good.
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We’re here! Floyd wasn’t there when we arrived but the guys working the bar there were very friendly, nice job Floyd, the young guys are as nice as you are ๐Ÿ™‚

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Some of the group ordered food – the lobster and spicy fish were delicious – most of us just got some beers and waded around in the water on the sandbar or settled onto a sundeck or in the bar. there were a couple of boats already there, a family with young children and another group. Pelican Bar is definitely on the map now – one group was from Treasure Beach, the other had come all the way from Runaway Bay!

And relaxed on the sun decks.

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I think we could have stayed there all day but after a couple of hours we had to go. A couple on our trip were the best man/maid of honor at a wedding on the beach that evening and had to get back. So we packed up, said our goodbyes and headed back to dry land. This time we went to Parrotee, an even shorter boat ride, though by now we were going with the current and the wind had died down some so it was a lot smoother.

Dennis helping us out of the boat

Group shot with all of us – Chicken on the left and and Dennis on the right
the group with chicken and dennis

We came in at some bar in Parrotee – I was not nearly as impressed with it as I was Cloggy’s…much more basic facilities and the Cloggy’s staff was a LOT friendlier.

We settled in for the ride back and after a pit stop somewhere around Sav, we made it back to Negril in time for the wedding.

I personally didn’t get to it, planned to but got caught up between a shower and a ride to Fun holiday, but others took photos of it:


It was a wonderful day. I didn’t have too much time to relax though, tonight is Saturday and the party is at my place – Seastar’s Twisting by the Pool buffet and show!!

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