On a recent vacation to Jamaica my husband and I took a river rafting trip down the Martha Brae. The river water is normally a bit clearer, but due to heavy rains was a bit stirred up and cloudy. Captain Spence, who has worked on the Martha Brae for 40 years, was our guide. It was a delight to sit back on cushioned bamboo and listen to Captain Spence’s stories of the Martha Brae and his history with river rafting.
As he poled us down the river Captain Spence explained the technique the captains use in building their own rafts. He also pointed out different plants and sights along the trail of the river. I loved seeing the banana trees growing along the banks while the tropical bird cries serenaded us with sweet songs.
There were many little souvenir stops along the way, but there was no pressure to buy, just an offer of merchandise if we were so inclined.
The trees formed a beautiful canopy above us. I was completely awestruck by the size of the mimosa trees. These grow in my part of the USA, but they stay rather smallish, the mimosas in Jamaica appear as large as oak trees.
These gravestones along the way were removed from other areas of Jamaica as a historical display. They are quite old according to Captain Spence.
The only drawback to the trip was the size of the raft. We went with our friend Crystal, but only two people can fit on each raft.
The captains of the rafts carve calabash gourds in their spare time while awaiting their next passengers. The gourds are amazing with many intricate details. We were happy to bring one home with us. It is already one of my favorite treasures from Jamaica. Thanks so much Captain Spence.
Information for rafting the Martha Brae: Rafting the Martha Brae