National Geographic : 1954 Mar
345 Bradley Smith So Clear Are Montego Bay's Waters that Sailboats Seem to Float on Air Visitors stretch out on the warm sands of Doctor's Cave beach (background). Others come here to take part in the annual Montego Bay regatta, which starts from this point, usually in April. Inland from Montego Bay rears a rugged range of limestone hills known as the Cockpit Country (page 359). of banana, called lacatan, which has whipped the Panama disease. By spraying every three or four weeks we keep leaf spot down. We are also fighting soil erosion and pro moting the use of fertilizers by an educa tional program. "We've not done too badly," Williams went on. "We're now up to about 10,000,000 stems a year. And remember that 75 percent of our crop is produced by people having 10 acres or less." From Spanish Town I took the road to Bog Walk. Highway and railway wind up through the wild gorge of the Rio Cobre. Bog Walk is an unpicturesque name for such a delightful tropical defile. Actually, the name is a corruption of the Spanish Boca de Agua, Mouth of the Water. The fickle Rio Cobre has won as many curses, perhaps, as laudatory adjectives. When heavy tropical rains come, the placid river becomes a raging demon. At one bridge, heavily buttressed with concrete to withstand floods, a marker high up on the bank (you have to crane your neck to see it) records two almost unbelievably high water levels of the river in spate. When the rains come to Jamaica it can really rain! Late one afternoon, when I was at Port Antonio, the skies opened, un loosing a deluge. By next morning 16.95 inches of rain had fallen. The following night 15 inches more came roaring down. As much as 27 inches have been recorded in a single day. Hard to believe is the measurement of 135 inches in eight days quoted for the flood of 1909! "The river is down," say the Jamaicans when the water is up. Riding a jeep in cen tral Jamaica one day we came to a ford and found the river "down."