48TH PORT ANTONIO MARLIN TOURNAMENT – The 48th Annual Port Antonio Marlin Tournament unfolds Oct. 15 to 22 at the Old Marina with four days of serious fishing interspersed with superb entertainment and general good old fashioned partying. Check out www.jamaicasportfishing.com Always included with the tournament week is the Canoe Tournament (27th Annual this year!) which features local fishing boats vying for a variety of prizes provided by the Portland Chamber of Commerce. Regular marlin competition days are on the 17,18,20 and 21 October and the Canoe Tournament is on Oct.19. The tournament is run under the auspices of the Sir Henry Morgan Angling Association Limited and directed by Dr. Ron DuQuesnay. Dr. Duquesnay is encouraging potential participants to not wait until the last minute as berthing is available only for 40 boats at the Old Marina. DuQuesnay also promises that an electrical system upgrade is expected to be completed in advance of the tournament. The upgrade is being done in close cooperation with the Port Authority of Jamaica which owns the property. Details regarding the tournament, including sponsorship, can also be had by contacting Dr. Duquesnay at 876-909-8818 or by email at [email protected] We note the tournament has been conveniently scheduled to occur in advance of the next predicted end of the world day, Oct. 23! Anglers are hoping for a repeat of the fantastic weather they had in 2010 when record numbers of Marlin were landed or released. Heaviest Marlin in 2010 was 338 pounds. The Yacht "Diana" was the overall winning team and Owners Richard and Diana Stewart will be working hard to repeat the 2010 performance.
OCC, SCCA MEMBERS WELCOME – We have for some time now been privileged to be official representatives of both the Ocean Cruising Club as well as the Seven Seas Cruising Association for our area of Jamaica. Marina general manager Dale Westin is the official greeter for the marina but members of the groups will find the entire marina staff acting as their special hosts whenever they are in our port. For details on membership in these fine sailing organizations, check their websites: www.oceancruisingclub.org or www.scca.org
HOLIDAY GATHERING SPOT – The marina promenade is the special place where you meet up on holidays in Port Antonio. In association with Emancipation Day holiday Aug. 1 and Independence Day on Aug. 6, you can be sure the promenade is the place to be. Literally thousands of the area's locals and visitors alike will be on hand. The promenade is provided like a free national park by the Port Authority of Jamaica in association with it's adjacent Errol Flynn Marina.
FLYNN 'FLIMS' EVERY THURSDAY NIGHT – Yes, that's right, "FLIMS"! In case you're dead certain this writer has had too much to drink, "Flim" is the West Indian patois word for "Film." On the schedule this month is "In the Wake of the Zaca" a documentary on Flynn's famous schooner which is narrated by Flynn's wife, Patrice Wymore Flynn who resides in Port Antonio. Also scheduled are Flynn's "Charge of the Light Brigade," "They Died With Their Boots On," "Captain Blood" and "Sea Hawk," among others. The films are complimentary from about 7 p.m. every Thursday night at Marybelle's Pub on the Pier at the marina. Marybelle's also has a "Blue Monday" night party every Monday from 5 p.m. featuring bargain priced rum punch and beer drinks.
FREEDOM FROM THE COLONIAL SHACKLES? – Jamaica will observe Emancipation Day, Monday, Aug. 1, as a national holiday. This is closely followed by Independence Day Saturday, Aug. 6.
MAROONS LOCATIONS GET HERITAGE STATUS – The nearby Nanny Town and Cunha Cunha Pass are in the process of being named national monuments by the Jamaica Heritage Trust and are also expected to become world heritage sites in the near future. Nanny Town is the most sacred of the Maroon sites and is named for the great Maroon leader, Nanny; Jamaica's only national heroine. It was from this strategically located stronghold here in our Portland Parish, that Nanny launched her wars against the British Colonial Government. The Stony River in the area is viewed as the place in which the spiritual powers of the great founding ancestors is most concentrated. The Maroons commemorate the place in song and on their drums. The site is regarded by Maroons with such reverence that it is difficult to comprehend by non-Maroons. Nanny is commemorated on the Jamaican $500 bill.
WEDDINGS BELLS AT MARINA – We're a whole lot more than just boats! We are regularly host to many weddings at our fabulous facilities. The Ken Wright Pier is our most popular spot for tying the knot. For complete details on holding a wedding reception or any event at the marina, contact Christine Downer, administrative manager, at 876-715-6044 for details or email [email protected].
CHECK OUT 'DETOX' INDEPENDENCE DAY AT NORMA'S – There's a full Independence Day of activity in store at Norma's Beach Bar and Restaurant when their "Detox" party sponsored by Red Bull unfolds from 2 p.m. until midnight Saturday, Aug. 6. The admission is not too tough; you just have to bring a friend to come in! In addition to the Red Bull Ladies (If that isn't enough!) you'll also be hearing from Timeless, Illusion, DJ Jigga, Tox, and Iceberg. Come early, stay late.
HAVE WE GOT SECURITY? – The scrap metal trade in Jamaica dipped to a new level of ridiculousness as a couple of not-too-bright would-be thieves tried to remove some giant man hole covers from the marina. Our roving security officer at the time caught them in the act attempting to slide the heavy cast iron covers under an unused security gate.
ABOUT THAT CANNON? – The next time you're at the marina, check out the humungous cannon at Marybelle's Pub on the Pier. It's 10 feet long and bears an amazing likeness to those made in the 1780's and used at nearby Fort George on Titchfield Hill above the marina. The only difference is the original weighed about 5,000 pounds (2,272kgs) and Marybelle's weighs a mere 75 pounds. The original had an impressive firing capacity. With a 30 pound cannon ball, the impact of the shot could pierce 54 inches of solid oak at 400 yards, according to Admiralty figures. Marybelle's version was made recently in Bryan's Bay in Port Antonio and additional duplicates of the cannon are available for purchase. The original cannon from which the mold was made was found buried on a property near the marina.
RESTAURANT ENTREPRENEUR NEEDED – The marina has a fully- furnished, newly- decorated, 2,519 square foot, 72-seat restaurant ready to move into. Located on the first floor (2nd floor for our American friends), it has a view to die for. The kitchen is probably one of the best equipped facilities of its size on the island. In fact, a few chefs say it is the better part of two kitchens in one! For details, contact Marina General Manager Dale Westin at 876/477-6914 or email to [email protected].
THE OLD CUBA WATCHER – As we are drafting this issue, it is that time of the year when Cuba is marking its 26th of July commemoration of the Castro Revolution. The 26th of July Movement's name originated from the failed attack on the Moncada Barracks, an army facility in the city of Santiago de Cuba, on 26 July 1953 by Fidel Castro and compatriots. The movement reorganized in Mexico in 1955 with a group of 82 exiled revolutionaries (including Castro, his brother Raul, and Argentine Ernesto "Che" Guevara. The insurgent's battles were not without numerous setbacks and finally culminated in January 1959 when Batista was ousted and Castro made his triumphant entry into Havana. In the midst of all of this was non other than our marina's namesake, Errol Flynn, who always seemed to have a penchant for getting mixed up with various revolutions â€¦ and women. Flynn was trying to capitalize on the revolution's growing popularity (yes, even popular in the USA at this point!) and was filming "Cuban Rebel Girls" featuring his current underage ingénue of the moment. Suffice it to say there can only be one hero in a revolution and Fidel made certain it wasn't going to be Flynn. While we haven't been able to verify it with film, when Castro entered Havana on the first tank, Flynn was purportedly riding on the second one. After that, Flynn and party were promptly escorted out of Cuba. "Cuban Rebel Girls" was one of Flynn's last efforts at movie making. He died the following November while in Vancouver trying to sell his beloved schooner "Zaca." Not surprising too is the fact there is not one mention of Flynn in any of the official Cuban historical reports of the revolution.