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Port Royal and Lime Cay with J

Port Royal

One of the oldest and most historic regions of the country, Port Royal has maintained much of its independence as well as its heritage. Once the enclave of pirates and other outlaws, there is still a strong seafaring tradition. Much of the old city, described in the 17th century as the "wickedest city in the west", lies underwater beside the town, the result of an earthquake that in 1692 swallowed about two-thirds of the then-living space. Since then, another earthquake in 1907, numerous hurricanes, fires, and various population-decimating diseases have plagued the town. Despite all, the waters around Port Royal are a virtual archaeological gold mine, filled with pieces of history that tell of everyday life in the earliest days of English occupation. Port Royal is also home to the Archaeological Division of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), which recently completed a sonar survey of the underwater city, revealing a sunken pirate ship in the Kingston Harbour. To date thousands of artefacts have been recovered, and there are plans to develop a local museum to showcase these items once the research on them is complete.

Local Flavour: 
Port Royal is a community of proud people, fiercely defensive of their privacy, yet warm and welcoming to those interested in visiting. The community is especially close-knit because of its layout - everywhere in town is within walking distance, and there are several generations of people all living together. Perhaps the town's best attribute is its comfortable, laid-back temperament - on any given day there are children playing in the streets, young adults gathered in groups hanging out, and older folk sitting on verandas watching the world go by.

Famous For: 
Pirates! In the 17th century, Port Royal was the headquarters of the numerous swashbuckling scoundrels that plundered the high seas. Of the more famous pirates to be associated with Port Royal are Sir Henry Morgan, Calico Jack and Blackbeard Teach.

Don't Miss:
Be sure to stop by the Giddy House at Fort Charles. The building, which was built in 1888 to house the artillery store for the fort, was jolted to its present precarious position during the 1907 earthquake. Visitors are allowed to enter the building, however, walking through the building wreaks havoc on the senses, creating a nauseating effect. Go to Fort Charles and ask for either Molly or Rally. Both are Jamaica National Heritage Trust Tour Guides at Fort Charles and both live in the town nearby. They each know loads about the history of all of Port Royal - not just the history of Fort Charles - and are willing to share not just their knowledge, but also their memories of growing up in Port Royal. Also, ask Molly any questions you have about St Peter's Church. She is also the secretary there.

Lime Cay

Fifteen minutes by boat from Port Royal is a small, low-lying island cay with one of the most beautiful beaches in Jamaica. The largest of the many small cays off the coast of Port Royal, Lime Cay is uninhabitable by humans because it is occasionally submerged when the tide comes in. Lime Cay has been the source of many scams and hoaxes whereby the cay is “sold” to unsuspecting buyers as a potential location for a private resort. Don’t be fooled, Lime Cay is a part of Jamaica, and the beaches there are public and open to all who can get out there.
Local Flavour: 
On Sundays, Lime Cay is the favourite beach getaway for city folk, many of whom moor their boats at the Morgan’s Harbour Marina and sail out for the afternoon with lunch and refreshments, since there are no facilities on the island. From Morgan’s Harbour, a shuttle or boat rental for the day can be arranged, but for the intrepid visitors, a small fee will convince a fisherman in the town of Port Royal to give you a ride to the island in the morning and return for you in the evening.
Famous For: 
Sunday afternoon limes on Lime Cay are very popular among Kingstonians. On weekdays clothing-optional sunbathing is acceptable since there, in all likelihood, will be no one around. On Sundays, however, the tone and temperament changes completely, as the tiny island pulsates with life, laughter and good times.
Don't Miss:
Some of the best snorkelling on the south-east coast of Jamaica can be done around Lime Cay and the other small islands nearby.

Say Hello To:
Wave at passengers in Air Jamaica planes! Lime Cay is nearby the Norman Manley International Airport, so you can toast the low-flying aircrafts as they arrive or depart Jamaica.

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