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This weekend my family and I decided to visit one of Jamaica’s great land marks, Port Royal. I remember visiting the Fort, Fort Charles and the Giddy House with my school as a child. It was ‘cool’ back then (and seemed a lot bigger) however this time I really was able to better appreciate all that I was seeing. The authorities have really done a great job in preserving that bit of our heritage.
For such a small country, Jamaica is certainly not lacking for excitement. Not now and apparently not from as far back as in the 16th century. Port Royal was once known as the "richest and wickedest city in the world". Some might even have called it, ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’. After gaining control of the island from the Spanish in 1655, the British began fortifying the settlement next to the deep harbor which eventually would hold as many as 500 ships.
During the latter part of the 17th century Port Royal became the centre of the shipping commerce in the Caribbean Sea practically overrun by buccaneers who were as despised for their drunkenness and prostitution as they were loved for their loot. Many of you might have heard of Henry Morgan who was one of the most notorious among the Port Royal pirates. The English and French actively encouraged and even paid buccaneers based at Port Royal to attack Spanish and French ships. Pirates from around the world congregated at Port Royal coming from as far away as Africa.
On June 07, 1692 a massive earthquake struck at 11:43 a. An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth 's crust that creates Seismic waves Earthquakes are recorded with a Seismometerm.followed by a tidal wave which brought widespread destruction. Two-thirds of the city of Port Royal fell into rubble or sank into the Caribbean Sea.
After this disaster, Port Royal became a fishing town. Pirate enthusiasts, and nautical archeologists as well as treasure hunters regularly survey and make valuable recoveries from the sunken site. There are however present plans to develop Port Royal into a proper tourist destination by 2015-16. The plans include visits by Cruise ships. The attractions will include the archaeological findings, a combination underwater museum-aquarium and a restaurant with underwater dioramas and the ability to see the native tropical sea life.
Sounds exciting, doesn’t it. I hope the authorities really come through with those plans. I enjoyed my visit just as it is now so I’m sure with the improvements it should be a great success. Of course, we ate dinner in Port Royal after our tour, at the Cabin by the sea, which was great. The steam fish with ocka and crackers was delicous. As usual I took some pictures for you all, enjoy.