The River at Alligator Pond

by John Blenkiron
(Canada)


Thanks for another great review of the Riverside at Alligator Pond Wellesley. It brought back many memories!

My first visit to the river at Alligator Pond was in 1951 when it was a rarely visited place well off the beaten track.

It was a welcome destination at the end of miles of unpaved road out of Mandeville through Newport and then down to sea level via Plowden's Hill.

The crystal clear water of the river was the favorite bathing area for the fishermen of the tiny fishing village of Alligator Pond to the east and the shift workers coming from the Port Kaiser site to the west.

At that time the river entered the sea after only a short bend to the east instead of the long channel which runs along the beach to the west.

Then, as now, the youth used to dive into the river from the taller sea grape trees while families ate picnic lunches under the shade of trees near the beach.

Occasionally people would catch land crabs under the mangroves near the river and a fisherman would come along the beach to sell crayfish that were the size of rabbits.

I remember the water being so clear that one could see for twenty yards or more under the water which was a change from the brine of the sea nearby.

If one was lucky they could spot a sea cow moving along the shoreline heading east to their mating ground.

Alligator Pond river was often a Sunday afternoon escape from Mandeville on hotter days in that era before swimming pools and it was much easier to reach than the long and arduous journey to the North Coast via Christiana, Cave Valley and Browns Town (many of the roads were unpaved then and murder on the feeble shock absorbers of the small English cars of the time).

** Wellesley's Note **

Hi John, the pleasure is mine my brother!

I take my hats off to you... I can depend on you to always relate to everything 'Jamaican', from heritage and culture to landmarks and attraction.

Thanks for sharing your memories as well buddy.

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