We had a slight change of tradition this year in terms of Christmas with Christine's family. Instead of skiing and snowboarding in the blustery cold weather of western Canada, we chose to head south for a wonderfully, warm vacation on the sunny island of Jamaica!
Jamaica is the third largest island in the Greater Antilles region of the Caribbean with an area of 10,990 square-kilometres. It has a population of approximately 2.8 million people. The capital and largest city is Kingston with a population of about 937,000 people. Jamaica is divided into fourteen parishes, along the same idea as the provinces of Canada. We stayed in Montego Bay, which is the capital city of St. James parish, and the fourth largest city on the island with over 96,000 people. The official language spoken on the island is English.
|Jamaica as located in the Caribbean|
|We stayed at the Royal Decameron Resort in Montego Bay|
|Rastafarian masks in the lobby|
|This Bob Marley lookalike was the centerpiece in the lobby|
|The beach at the eastern end of the resort|
|Looking back at the resort from one of the piers|
|A view of the ocean from one of the pools|
|Chris at sunset|
|Sarah and Adam|
|We decided to enjoy a few cold ones while wasting away at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville!|
|This is the sunset as viewed from the deck at Margaritaville|
|I snorkeled at least once everyday! This is a Porcupinefish.|
This is me swimming through a school of thousands of Minnows!
|A rather large Snail|
|This is a Puffer Fish. I tried quite hard to get him to puff up, but he just wouldn't do it!|
A young Barracuda that was swimming near shore. Please excuse the shaky camera, but he was swimming very fast and I was desperately trying to keep up!
|Their big meal was Christmas Eve. This is us enjoying the feast that was prepared!|
|Fruit decorations and carvings|
|A Merry X-mas watermelon|
|Christmas morning and also my birthday!|
|Christine getting some beach time|
|Spotted this Moon Jellyfish off one of the piers|
I didn't get my SCUBA certification for nothing! Christine and I booked two dives with Dive Master Nelson while we were in Jamaica. We had heard that the diving in Jamaica wasn't as good as in other locales. We were told the fish weren't nearly as big, due to over-fishing, and that the reefs would be severely damaged from the old practice of fishing with dynamite. That being said, I enjoyed my time diving in Jamaica, and although it wasn't as spectacular as Tahiti, it was still great to be underwater! Unfortunately Chris had lots of problems equalizing on the first dive, so she didn't take part in the second one. They took us out via glass-bottom boat to the dive sites and Chris and I were the only ones diving, which was a nice change of pace!
|After our first dive we came back to the resort to pick up Jerry, Rosemary, and Sarah. They were going to go snorkeling at an off-shore reef while I did my second dive.|
|Almost ready to get wet again!|
|Under the glass-bottom boat|
Most of the blue fish in this clip are called Bogas
You'll see a King Crab in this clip
This clip is from my second dive and it shows me going through Widowmaker's Cave
Watch closely in this clip and you'll see Lionfish and a Moray Eel stuck in a fishing trap
Near the end of the dive, Nelson brought out some fish food and almost immediately we were surrounded by Sergeant Majors, among other tropical fish
Just before getting back into the boat we saw this Spotted Eagle Ray. It was really neat to see in person.
|During their snorkeling expedition Sarah got to hold this Sea Urchin|
|They were also lucky enough to see the Spotted Eagle Ray from above|
|We did some exploring in Montego Bay and just had to go into this Reggae Bar. The place couldn't have had more than six tables inside, but it was a lot of fun interacting with the locals!|
|Back in the water! This is a Sand Diver.|
|Snorkeling in front of our resort|
|Caribbean Reef Squid|
As you'll see at the beginning of this clip, the squid swim in perfect formation
|Jerry doing some snorkeling|
We saw this little Yellow Stingray attempting to hide in the plants on the bottom
|Caribbean Whiptail Stingray|
If you watch closely you'll also see a white-coloured Flounder swimming behind the stingray
|We had so much fun the first time we had to come back once more before our trip ended|
|Another beautiful sunset as seen from Margaritaville|
|Add this to an ever growing list of great trips!! I definitely hope they continue!|
|Rosemary and Jerry enjoying their last night on the island|