I Found Myself In Jamaica (And Loved It), James Simister

by James Thomas Simister
(Upper Bucks County,Pa.,USA)

Aboard schooner Topaz - My Jamaica Experience

Aboard schooner Topaz - My Jamaica Experience

I chose Jamaica for my assignment with the Peace Corp; I was a wood working instructor for handicapped young men at the School of Hope in Papine, Kingston.


I spent the six weeks with my host family, who owned a market at the intersection at the bottom of James mountain by Sligoville.

After my Peace Corp experience, I was invited aboard the schooner Topaz 118' that was in dry-dock for two years with a major renovation.

I was hired as crew and a wood-wright, putting on the finishing touches.

I met Don Crowe and crew two weeks after Topaz was in the water, dockside. We sailed after a few months to MoBay, Ochos Rios, Discovery Bay and ending at Port Antonio: working and test sailing all along.

I hitched rides back to Pensacola, Florida on several smaller sailboats, the first a John G Alden wooden schooner called W C Fields.

Years later I flew into MoBay with my bicycle and camped out in Negril with a tent on the beach.......I am forever changed: Some by the Island but more by the beautiful loving people.

Cool Runnings and Level Vibes,
-James Simister, Upper Bucks County, Pa.,USA

Wellesley's Note

Hey James,
This is great my friend! Sounds like a one of a time experience...almost a movie - in real life.

I love your vibe, passion and appreciation for Jamaica my brother. Love it! Love it!

Thanks again for sharing your story!

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A patriotic Jamaican who adores his culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' - since April 2007.  

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