Date: Wednesday 15th April 2009
Location: Lime Cay. Kingston, Jamaica
Promotions: Bacchanal Jamaica
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A Beach Limer's Paradise!
After Beach J'Ouvert, we were ready and excited for Bacchanal Jamaica's next Carnival event - Soca @ de Sandbar. This event is held on the Carnival Wednesday between 12-5pm at Kingston's most beautiful Lime Cay beach. Lime Cay is a small uninhabited island approximately 3 miles off the coast of the famous pirate town Port Royal.
We arrived at Port Royal's Y-Knot dock around 1:30pm, and what was supposed to be a smooth 5 minute boat ride across to the island ($700 JMD/round trip), actually turned out to be 15-20 minutes of one hell of an adventurous ride at a Six Flags White Water Theme park! Let's just say that when the boat left, more than half of us didn't bother to put on our life jackets (which are required to be worn btw - photo), but after the driver put foot to board "Evel Knievel-ing" over a few waves, all man jack life jackets were tightly secured (with some people even holding on to two jackets)! Adding an addition 5 minutes to the trip across due to an unexpected stall in the middle of the ocean (engine might have flooded), we did eventually reach Lime Cay - complete drenched, but intact (drinks, food and equipment included). Soca @ de Sand Bar TJJ Party Guru Tip #1 - "If you're not sailing over to Lime Cay in the luxury of your own yacht, never sit in the middle or back of boat. You will get WET!"
Now Lime Cay is considered one of the hidden gems of Kingston, and we quickly learnt why. We were surrounded by picture-perfect white sand beaches and clear seas (photo). What a perfect venue for this Soca event! The serious partygoers were on land sunbathing, sippin' their drink of choice while the socialites were still profiling on their yachts. And as the early warm tunes played, folks huddled by the a small open building for some cooked Jamaican food - Jerk Chicken or Escovitch Fish with Festival (photo). There was also an oyster man, who's "backshot" sauce is renowned for its delicious, spicy flavor (photo). Soca @ de Sand Bar TJJ Party Guru Tip #2 - "Although the good folks of Bacchanal Jamaica ensure that both food and drinks are available for sale (not usually available during the week), it's smarter to walk with your own cooler full of drinks (and food if you're a picky eater)." Oh, there are no shops on Lime Cay, so make sure you bring everything you need. There are also no bathrooms/changing facilities, so the sea and bush/mangrove quickly become your best friends!
DJ Smoke & Delano of Renaissance Disco (photo) got on the 1s and 2s around 3pm, and after that, the selections were on point. Strictly Soca with a touch of Dancehall - yes, some folks must get their "daggering" on! And although the event was more of a big lime, this didn't stop most limers from wukking up and wining in the sand. In fact, the beach was pretty crowded with partygoers by 4:30pm with pure vibes for the last hour. Once again, we spotted dancehall star Sean Paul enjoying himself, but didn't "paparazzi" him. Everyone was begging for the party to go past 5:30pm, but thank goodness the generator ran out of gas because by 6:30pm, it was complete darkness. Soca @ de Sand Bar TJJ Party Guru Tip #3 - "Unless you know how to light your own bonfire or want to play Tom Hanks in 'Castaway', get out of Lime Cay before it gets completely dark!" After missing about 2 boat return rides, Babylon personally gave us a ride back to Port Royal as the sun faded behind the Caribbean Sea.
So, if you're ever in Jamaica for Carnival, Soca @ de Sandbar is another not to be missed event! And besides the sweet lime, bubbling music, white sand and clear waters, it's a FREE party! For you year round visitors, we heard that Lime Cay is a regular hotspot on Sundays, with a mainly Kingstonian crowd. And during the week it's virtually empty, so you may even get to have the island all to yourself.
Thanks for the adventure Sam!
Jamaica's Bun and Cheese,