Photographer's Note

The town of Black River lies at the mouth of the actual Black River that empties into the Caribbean on the SW side of Jamaica. The Black River is the longest in Jamaica (all of 70km (44mi) long). It winds through an large area of wetlands known as the Great Morass (325 sqkm, 125 sqmi). Although the river water is actually clear, the peat moss covering the bottom is what gives it the name. Before the days of synthetic dyes, the town of Black River was one of more influential in Jamaica due to its production of black textile dies (I don't know, but I would be inclined to assume the peat moss and the dye are related).

The town is known among tourists for the safaris that leave from there to view the diverse wildlife within the Morass. This includes crocodiles, which happen to be on the endangered species list here. See the photo here on TE by Andy of a crocodile park in the region.

Being a coastal town, Black River is also expected to have at least some skill at the catching and frying of fish.

The mega-resort specialists Sandals are nearing completion of an all-inclusive resort near Whitehouse, less than 30 minutes to the west of Black River (in fact, a taxi driver told me they have opened or will open part of their facility this season). While the dismal purpose of an all-inclusive doesn't foster much interaction with locals, I would think that the tourist flow through Black River will increase at least noticeably with the opening of the resort.

Until Sandals Whitehouse, there has been relatively little tourist trade on the southern coast of Jamaica. A few isolated events such as Black River safaris, Bamboo Avenue, and YS Falls attract the more adventurous, but most of the tourist trade is on the north and west coasts. Perhaps this is why Sandals advertises their Whitehouse resort as the "Real Jamaican" destination, but anyone who believes an all-inclusive is the "Real Jamaica" is sadly sadly mistaken.


Along the beach to the south and east of Black River's mouth is a narrow strip of houses, smack dab on the beach with the Morass in their back yard. This was taken from the front "yard" of a friend's house (their front yard being a two meter stretch of sand between the seawall and high tide). Originally I was aiming for the birds, but noticed the clutter of the town came through tolerably well. At full 10x zoom, and there's some heat waves over the far shore, but I increased the contrast considerable and tweaked the colours. Cropped and resized.

ISO 50, focal 63mm, EC 0.0

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Additional Photos by Johnny Five (johnnyfive) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 22 W: 1 N: 44] (94)
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