A Message from Montego Bay Yacht Club Commodore Nigel Knowles

Jamaica’s original name was Xaymaca, meaning “land of wood and water”,  as named by the first inhabitants, the Tainos or Arawak’s peoples.  The name may have phonetically been changed by the Spanish to Jamaica, but at our heart is still a land of wood and water.  Our lush landscape and regular brief rainfall ensure we are a very green and fertile land, however this is only part of who we are.  We are also very friendly and welcoming people, have great music, offer exciting  food, enjoy tropical sun and breezes as well as some of the most beautiful sea and coastline you could ever imagine. 

As a Jamaican who was moved overseas for many years yet returned annually to visit family and friends and then to and eventually return home 8 years ago, I can tell you that Jamaica has a very special pull on your soul that makes you miss her whenever you are not here.  She has a draw that invites you to share in the vibrancy of the people, culture and landscape.  As the Jamaica Tourist Board says; “once you go, you know”.  Jamaica has an essence that it is very hard to put your finger on but one that makes you want to drink it all in and come back for more again and again. 

Like many places in the world Jamaica has some amazing attractions, hotels, villas, beaches, activities, mountains, jungle and rivers, yet it is the people and how Jamaicans view life with a sharing, smiling and very welcoming attitude that makes her stand out in the world and stay in your heart.  For any visitor to Jamaica they will not be short of things to do, be it zip lining through a jungle canopy, scuba diving some our outstanding reefs, hiking in the blue mountains, floating on a bamboo raft down a quiet river, helping baby turtles to hatch and make take their first steps towards the sea, having a rum in a roadside bar, eating ackee and saltfish for breakfast in a beach side villa or having snapper rundown in a family run restaurant down town or off the beaten track, all these things bring the real Jamaica out and pull you deep in.  Of course you can equally chose to do next to nothing and just relax as you are served refreshing cocktail as you lounge by a private pool or in a hidden cove listening to the warm sea lapping on the white sand shore.  You could be enjoying a massage on the beach or just float in the crystal clear Caribbean sea as your worries quickly melt away and you realise that paradise does exist and you are now a part of it. 

With  Jamaica being the third largest island in the Caribbean we can demonstrate  a great deal of variety that offers a wide range of options to any visitor, yet they are all very Jamaican and allow you to meet our wonderful people and share their lives and experiences.   Too many people believe Jamaica is rum, sun and beaches, and although we excel at those three items, that is only the snap shot view of an island and country of remarkable depth, history, changing landscapes, amazing birds and wildlife, the sweetest reggae music.  We are more than a beach and more than fresh sun tan, we are Jamaica, home to the fastest human that ever lived, the best coffee produced in the world, the warmest welcome and the happiest memories that we can share with our visitors.

I hope  you all come and gain the same feelings I had when you have left our island and returned to your homes, that feeling of oneness, warmth, smiles, beauty and a happy heart tapping out your own reggae beat.  Irie Mon.

I am looking forward to seeing you all soon, Nige