Unexpectedly Washed Ashore
We recently had some unexpected visitors to the property… It was an unconventional visit, but one that we will surely remember!
As Deb and I drove up to the resort office Saturday morning we saw a young lady standing out in our parking area. She appeared to be in her early twenties, and the look on her face clearly expressed her current state of panic. We knew something must have went wrong as she was completely wet, wearing a swim suit and life jacket, and was bleeding from a few cuts on her legs. Not recognizing her as a current guest of our resort, we pulled up next to her and asked if she needed some help. She immediately began telling us that her kayak had started sinking while offshore and that her boyfriend was still with it. I left Deb with the young lady and started to quickly walk towards the sea, not sure of which area I should be heading towards, what I was looking for, or what I might find.
Once I got to the top of the cove I could see down to the water. There I spotted a young man in his life vest struggling to pull to shore, what looked to be an older style and water logged kayak. He was no longer swimming with the kayak, and appeared to be in control of his situation, so I turned back again to listen to the young lady who had walked up behind me. She began explaining that they were staying at an older resort just to the west of Hermosa Cove. Apparently the water sports manager had rented them this kayak and recommended paddling to a place called Shark Beach. So they set out paddling out past the reef, turning east in the direction of Shark Beach. After a while they started to notice that the kayak was taking on water and was starting to have difficulty in the waves. She said that with each wave, the kayak took on more water until it finally sank so low they had to get out and start swimming the rest of the way towards shore.
With a pained look on her face, she explained how they were forced to cross over the reef.
Unfortunately during low tide, swimming across the reef is nearly impossible. The reef is full of sharp rock and coral, and swimming across at low tide usually results in cuts and bruises. She also showed us a red spot on her arm that was burning, mostly likely from brushing against some fire coral. The fear in her voice slowly subsided, but quickly turned to anger as she thought of the man who gave them the kayak.
Meanwhile, the young man finished dragging the semi-submerged kayak to our shore. As he was walking up to join us, I began thinking to myself that he obviously felt a sense of responsibility for the kayak — one that I’m not sure I would have shared, especially after hearing that story. Now together, they rehashed what just happened. Then they became anxious to get back to their hotel to clean up and to give the man that rented them this kayak a piece of their mind! Our general manager, Katherine, had called them a cab, and as we bid the castaways farewell we exchanged names and invited Felipe and Stephanie back to the resort for some drinks by our beach to help them relax after their big adventure. Deb and I really wanted to make sure these two young people didn’t carry back home a bad impression of Jamaica. We love this island and want all visitors to leave with a great experience! One that makes them want to come back again and again!
Felipe and Stephanie did stop in later, as we had hoped they would!
It was great to find out more about them, as their adventuresome spirit reminded us of our own grown children. Felipe and Stephanie are from Chicago and love to travel, constantly looking to find places off the beaten path. We found out from our conversations that Felipe is originally from Brazil, and we got the sense that he is the one that comes up with the adventure travel trip ideas for the two of them. They talked about their trips, which included Australia, Thailand, and Brazil, with such joy and passion! Deb and I both knew there would be more adventures for these two!
When it came time to say good-bye, Deb and I encouraged them to come back to Jamaica, as they had only explored a tiny amount of what Jamaica has to offer. There is so much to see here, particularly to the east of the Blue Mountains! We do hope they will return!