J is for Jump!


S0501628

Rick’s Cafe and Bar is a pretty famous attraction in Negril. They’ve been around since 1974,  when I suspect that they were once truly a local, kicked-back kind of place.  Now it is a large affair with a big bar/restaurant, a swimming pool, indoor and outdoor tables, and cabanas for rent. There’s a retail store with “Thanks for Making it Rick’s” t-shirts and various paraphernalia for sale. It’s really quite the slick operation.

Its attraction is the beautiful cliff-side location with sweeping big-sky views out to the wide, blue Caribbean. 35 feet below its cliff top locale, the rocks form a deep, protective pool that has become a favourite place for cliff jumpers. Catamarans leave daily from nearby tourist resorts with onboard bars and pulsing music,  arriving at Rick’s before sundown.   Everyone can watch the divers and the brave can try it themselves. Its a big party with live music, drinks and a spectacular sunset.   However, we have never seen it, as we are not fans of crowds and loud music, but when we discovered that they opened at 12pm for lunch, we decided to go take a look. It was very hot and quiet, but its easy to hang out in the large, shaded bar area with a red stripe and watch.  A small group of lunch time guests paced below us, as they worked on steeling their nerves for the jump.

Some got to the edge of the higher jump and make the leap before they’ve had too much time to think about it.  Others stared down at the water for endless minutes before they turned back and decided to take the safer jump from the lower platform. With an audience casually sitting around watching you fight your fears, it takes some nerve either way.  I took plenty of photos and enjoyed watching the show.

S0591668

This guy was the staff superstar diver.  With lots of trapeze artist panache, he greeted his audience and announced his dive…

S0571664

Everyone watched and waited.

S0491620

And off he went on his first jump.

S0581665

For a $20 tip, he also jumps for this high rickedy chair on a poll.  It adds about another 12-20 ft.  Yikes!

S0491616

…and then a second jump to show everyone who’s boss…

S0541645

…and then the jumpers had their go.

The first time we went, I have to admit it was an entertaining visit and and we have since taken friends and family on subsequent trips. I can imagine its lots of fun if you are young and love a party scene.  However, I did wonder about the safety of having alcohol and cliff jumping going on in the same place.   I know there have been quite a few serious incidents in recent years. Yes, there are signs warning that cliff jumping is dangerous, warning that divers do so at their own risk, and absolving Rick’s of any responsibility. However, I can’t imagine that signs like that would hold water in US courts.   Although they say there are trained life guards and security people watching, there aren’t many safety rails and I can’t imagine that every drunk who is suddenly emboldened to do something crazy will be spotted in time.   As the mother of a young adult of similar age, its all a bit scary really.

2 thoughts on “J is for Jump!

  1. Haha having been those young emboldened adults when we honey mooned there in 1981, I can attest to at least watching my husband take that leap. I am clearly the more sensible one. It was not a wild party back then (or else I didn’t notice)and there was definitely no Ricks gear for sale, nor a swimming pool . It was gainng notoriety, however as THE place to watch unsets. And rightfully so. WOW! This was fun (albeit sad) to read about. Thanks.

    Like

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s