Saturday, 21 March 2015

Diversion at Jamaica

Monday 16 February 2015. We are up early and have breakfast in time to get up on deck to watch the Thomson Dream arrive into Falmouth, Jamaica.

We brave the considerable wind blowing over the bow of the ship and watch as we are joined by tugboats which attempt to help us into harbour. They are not having much effect against the waves and headwind. After a while there is an announcement over the ship's speaker system. Due to the heavy weather, it is too dangerous to try to get into the harbour at Falmouth and the decision has been taken to head along the coast of Jamaica to Montego Bay, where we were due to arrive tomrrow. The two ports are only a short distance apart and tours will still go ahead, with the half-day tours taking place in the afternoon rather than the morning. Good... Because today's excursion was to be the only one of the week!

So we find our usual spot up on Deck 11 and spend the morning reading, talking and waving at people we have made friends with. The coast of Jamaica slides slowly past us as we sit in a sheltered spot away from the wind.

Then as the announced time of arrival at Montego Bay approaches we again head out to the Promenade Deck to have a look as we edge closer to the land. The reef around the little promontory of land is clearly visible beneath the water.

Looking back over the stern of the ship we watch a plane descend, heading for one of the island's two airports. You can see it just above the horizon on the far left. By now we are nosing our way into the bay and the colour of the sea has changed as the sea bed shelves rapidly and we move into shallower water.

And look at this! Looking through the clear waters of Montego Bay you can see the coral reef on the sea bed. Many people come here on holiday to dive these reefs, which present them with colourful corals and all sorts of fish. And you know... despite all the times they crop up here in the James Bond novels of my teens and despite all the cruises we have taken over the last decade and a bit - I've yet to see a shark swimming in the sea...

We slide further into the bay and admire holiday villages both completed and under construction. The ship slows and starts to turn round to moor with its bow towards the sea.

The cruise terminal. This is where we joined the ship six days ago and we shall leave it at the end of this cruise here tomorrow around lunchtime.

The coaches are starting to arrive for the excursions. We are due to visit two of Jamaica's infamous slave plantation great houses. We check with the Destinations Desk and our excursion will leave at 1:30pm. Time for some lunch then! We'll have a look at the excursion next time.

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