Opening Statement



Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Jamaica: On The Beach!




"Soon come!" It's a Jamaican expression. Simply means what it says. The summer heat is like a furnace blast. Laying on the white sand beach in Runaway Bay under a swaying palm tree, I gaze lazily out at the tempting, turqoise sea. Everybody and everything is moving in slow motion. Under the hot sun it cannot be any other way. 

A pleasant breeze ruffles my hair. A brief much welcome respite. But to really cool down I usually swim out to the coral reef. It's about 100 feet off the beach and runs along the entire coastline at our resort, stretching beyond view out to sea. I would be way out there now but for the choppy waters keeping me closer to shore. I still manage a good two or three hours in the water exploring the nearby reef every day. 


Ship ahoy mon!

Half way out a rasta raft waits outside the roped in main beach. Its black HS pirate flags flap tauntingly in the sea breeze. Its a homemade affair. Bamboo logs tied together with rope. Two long poles to push it along the coast to wherever the tourists are. There is a warning sign posted on the beach gate. They "warn" that the vendors "in the water" are in no way connected with the resort. Ha. How true: Good vibes! Homemade and grown wares! Nothing made in China. I enjoy the lively chatter, often a heavy patois, Jah mon! Everytink is Irie!



Unable to land the crew wile away the long hot summer, bartering, trading and selling their wares to the curious guests who swim out; huge conch shells, handmade jewellery, bamboo cups, a wide variety of herbs to treat whatever ails. The smokey smell of fresh barbecued lobster wafers from a metal barrel stove. It's to the aft of the raft where the chief rastaman sits back with his long dreads hanging out below his cap, on a wooden chair, pondering the infinite. Dinner awaits. Fresh and still alive. Today's catch is in a net sack beneath the raft. Pull it up. Take your pick.


Walking into the hotel upon my arrival, the first smell that hit me was a deep earthy ganja one. Marijuana is everywhere in Jamaica. Hell, it grows on trees. A gaggle of laughing guests blow a reefer with the security guard on the beach. But everyone knows the rastamen have the best weed.



Swimming out past the raft I reach the coral reef. An explosion of colour! Patches of deep green sea grass. Rocks. Huge green brain coral. Yellow leghorns. Schools of brightly coloured tropical fish. Lobsters under the rocks. A barracuda cruises past. Blow fish puff up. I swim by, up, under, down and around them. Then float lazily on my back buoyed by the salt water as I catch my breath for a bit. I touch nothing. I take nothing, but pictures. It's very hot, quiet and very peaceful. Everything is in balance.



JAMAICA IN THE NEWS:

Jamaica will decriminalize marijuana by end of 2014. Rather after the fact @ Sensimilla

The new law allows for possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana. It can also be legally used for religious, medicinal and scientific purposes. Legislatures argue it will create jobs + stimulate the economy. The only other big export is bauxite [Zzz] @ Jah Bob Land


More Reading:

-On the Road to Bob Marley's Jamaica @ Here!

-More assorted musings and information for your erudition etc:

Bob Marley + The Wailer Album + Singles Reviews! Part 1 @ Here Part 2 Here! Part 3 @ Here! Part 4 @ There!

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