5th to 7th and 10th to 11th June, 2021
The police boat came over when we were on our way in. They said the country was still closed to yachts due to COVID, and we were not going to be allowed to secure a health visa, therefore not allowed into the country, and certainly unable to progress to anywhere else in Jamaica, but we could stop to rest before sailing elsewhere.
So we took a mooring buoy off the yacht club, and called them on the VHF to work out what to do next. The staff have a (deserved) reputation for being exceedingly helpful.
*magic happened and suddenly we had a health visa which meant we were allowed to complete the rest of the entry procedures to Jamaica*
The various officials came to the yacht club to meet us, the health official first. After we had our visa, a brief wait ensued before the other officials came over. It takes a while to fill in the long, long forms. Jamaica does love paperwork. So that took the majority of our first full day in the country. But the club is a comfortable place to do it. There is a fee to use the club facilities, which initially didnt seem unreasonable, but for 5 people the fees would have accumulated over time (we assumed that the fee was per dinghy/boat that used the facilities, but it was per person).
It rained a lot (daily). We cleaned the boat and danced. The kids caught a few oilfish from near the mooring, a few more from around the wrecks in the mooring field. It’s a good spot for kids fishing. And for watching LPG tankers dock, which is apparently great fun too.
We dinghied out to the reef a couple of times, there’s quite a bit to see there. But the location of the club is a bit isolated from the town of Montego Bay, so we decided to move the boat over the river (conscious of our dinghy battery’s terrible range) and explore the other side a little for a few days, too.
On our return from the town, we took an expensive taxi to a good shop to stock up a little. Theo went with mummy and bought many nice foods ready for our time in Ocho Rios, and to replenish stocks of a few other things that had been expensive or impossible to secure in Turks and Caicos.