For four weeks I have been sharing the small place of nine meters with Aldo on his sailboat Still Free. Aldo is from Uruguay and has been living for a long time in Miami. Now, at the age of 67, he fulfilled his dream to sail the Caribbean Sea. He saw my leaflet in the marina and wrote me an email. Since he wanted to go all the way to Panama, he was looking for a crew member to help him n this long journey. We were anchoring for a long time in Port Antonio to wait for a good weather window.
On the one hand you can find nature loving Rastafarians, peaceful reggae music, the smell of marijuana, small fruit and veggie stalls on every street, beautiful green mountains, and many little farms where they grow everything you can imagine (banana, coconut, pepper, corn, kale, pumpkin, carrot, ginger, avocado, nutmeg, pineapple, tomato, cucumber, salad, jack fruit, bread fruit, lemon grass, star apple, ackee, soursop, kalaloo, bok choy)... On the other hand there is a lot of poverty and crime on the island, sexism and homophobia in the society and music (dance-hall), people wish for capitalism, have an unhealthy diet and burn their plastic waste in the backyard, because there is no recycling system.
The 18 year old Christoph offers me a lift on his small sailboat to Jamaica. It is a 22 feet Hurley from 1978. He already sailed it all the way to Guadeloupe from Hamburg, Germany. But at first we need to do some repair work: the hinges of the hatch are broken, someone hit its bow just recently and the rigging needs to be treated against rust, so the mast has to be brought down. It takes us a few days in the marina to finish everything.