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  • Cool Runnings Cruises – More About Jamaican Breadfruit

    Cool Runnings Cruises – More About Jamaican Breadfruit

    BREADFRUIT
    Your Cool Runnings Cruises Jamaica, writer read some time ago about the importance of Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) as a food.
    This is the large, round green fruit that hangs from those tall trees with the attractive dark, green leaves that spread like fingers.
    The newly arrived visitor to Jamaica may find this delicacy offered in place of potatoes or bread. It may be boiled, baked, fried, and we were pleasantly surprised to learn that it is considered such a good food that people are being encouraged to plant a tree wherever the climate is clement for the growing of a Breadfruit tree.

    Image: Breadfruit from http://wwwchem.uwimona.edu.jm/gifs/brdfruit.jpg

    Cool Runnings Ocho Rios – Captain Bligh

    You have probably already heard that the Breadfruit tree was brought to Jamaica from the South Pacific by Captain Bligh of Mutiny on the Bounty fame. Cool Runnings Cruises Jamaica discovered that Breadfruit is, like bananas, a good source of potassium and dietary fiber that helps lower ‘bad cholesterol’ LDL, while increasing the ‘good cholesterol’, HDL. Amazingly the fiber in breadfruit cuts down on the absorption of glucose, so it helps out a little even on the diabetes front.
    The breadfruit can also be ground into a flour or porridge or made into breadfruit chips. In fact the Trees that Feed Foundation recommend that breadfruit is dried and turned into flour, which can then be kept for months. This breadfruit flour contains more protein than wheat flour.

    Cool Runnings Boat Cruises – Trees That Feed
    trees that feed

     

     

     

    Image: http://www.treesthatfeed.org/

    Most important, Cool Runnings Cruises Jamaica recently read about Mike and Mary McLaughlin, who are both Jamaican and who founded the Trees that Feed Foundation. They started out in Jamaica, because they knew the land, but soon they were expanding to Haiti. The mission of the Trees that Feed Foundation is to plant food producing trees, which can create jobs and benefit the environment. Now the Foundation is planting trees not only in Jamaica and Haiti, but also in countries that include Costa Rica, Barbados and Ghana.

    In Jamaica there is also a ‘Trees That Feed in Schools’ program, where schools and learning institutions are able to earn from selling extra fruit from the trees as well as improve school nutrition.

    To find out more about the Trees That Feed Foundation go here (http://www.treesthatfeed.org/).
    To book your fun cruise with Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises in Jamaica go here (http://coolrunningscatamarans.com/). See you soon.

  • Cool Runnings Catamarans – Jamaican Breadfruit

     

    SONY DSCCool Runnings Catamarans wants to tell you something about Breadfruit or breshay as it may be called in Jamaica (Artocarpus altilis).

    Why?

    Because this is a fruit that is eaten as a vegetable and the first time visitor to Jamaica may want to know something about what they are being offered.

    You may be given breadfruit at your hotel and it may be fried, boiled or baked. It has a sweetish, doughy flavor, much like that of tasty homemade bread or fine potatoes.

    The breadfruit grows on a tall tree, with broad dark green leaves that glint in the sun. The fruit itself is a little larger than a grapefruit, oval with a light green, rough skin, as shown in the photo.

    You can bake breadfruit whole in coals or in the oven, or peel it and slice it for boiling.

    It was with some happy surprise that we found that breadfruit is in fact good for you as it is a source of Vitamins A, C and the elusive K and is also a source of potassium, magnesium and calcium.

     

    Cool Runnings Catamarans Breadfruit Recipes

    ARS_breadfruit49Fun Cruises with Cool Runnings was surprised to find that some people eat breadfruit raw, but here in Jamaica breadfruit is one of our stable foods, we eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and perhaps even for picnics or a snack.

    We can tell you that some say that the light green young breadfruit is best for soups, whereas the ‘fit’ or ripe breadfruit is better for roasting or, as we will find out, for making desserts.

    The plant originated in the South Pacific where it was found by the famous Captain Bligh who is credited with having brought the plant from Tahiti, which he reached in 1788, but his plant collecting expedition was interrupted by the Mutiny on his ship the Bounty, and it was not until some years later that breadfruit was brought to Jamaica.

    Perhaps one of our favorite recipes for a breadfruit snack is to make breadfruit chips.
    For those unfamiliar with a breadfruit you will need to cut it in half, then quarters and cut out the heart, peel off the skin. Then slice the breadfruit into slices, and soak the slices in either salted water or coconut milk. Drain the slices so that they are dry for frying. Heat your oil (peanut oil, we are told, is best for frying but some prefer coconut oil) and fry your chips until they are golden brown. Take them out drain off the excess oil and eat them up.

    Our favorite dessert recipe is from Vanilla Lemonade, and uses a ripe breadfruit teamed with sesame and coconut and you can find it here .

     

    Cool Runnings Catamarans The Breadfruit Tree

    Fun cruises with Cool Runnings finds that if you are planning on building a house the wood from the breadfruit tree is resistant to termites. The tree can grow to 25 m (85 ft). The latex from the leaves can be used for medicine, glue, or for calking boats.

    If you are now hungry enough you might want to book a Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises Caribbean Sunset Dinner Cruise and fill yourself with good views and tasty food.

     

  • Cool Runnings Catamarans – Jamaica Hermit Crabs

    Cool Runnings Catamarans facts about Jamaica – This time we will tell you a little something about hermit crabs.

    If you are on the beach and find yourself suddenly aware of tiny furtive creatures dashing here and there it is probably the hermit crab. They are carrying shells on their backs that have nothing to do with how a crab shell should look. This is because these crabs that have tender bodies that are nothing like their hard-shelled cousins, have taken over a shell discarded by another creature.

    Hermit crab shells may sometimes seem too big for them, which is because they do indeed find one shell that fits large enough for them to fit even their claws inside. Then, when they grow some more, they need to look for a bigger shell.

    You may find crab racing at your hotel one evening, but we prefer our hermit crabs left free and simple doing their own thing on the beach by the sea. Don’t even think of getting one for a pet, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) says they need their own company; need water to lay their eggs. Some in the wild, we learned, can live for 30 years; but in captivity may die within a year.

    They need the great outdoors where they can molt, live and most surprising of all, they need to forage with other hermit crabs.

    Caribbean hermit crab (Coenobita clypeatus)

    Caribbean hermit crab (Coenobita clypeatus)

     

     

    So now we tell you that the Caribbean hermit crab (Coenobita clypeatus), which may also be called a soldier crab has a left claw that is larger than the right, as with the Caribbean hermit crab shown here climbing up the side of a tree and can be used to block predators at the entrance to the shell.

     

     

     

     

     

    Large Red Hermit Crab with an anemone on its borrowed shell,

    Large Red Hermit Crab with an anemone on its borrowed shell

    Pagurus_bernhardusThere are 1 100 species of hermit crabs.

    Those that live in the sea may have a sea anemone growing on their borrowed shell.There are also the land-loving hermit crabs, such as the one pictured climbing up the tree, but they also need to be near water to lay their eggs, and where the larvae live out their lives.

    Here is a photo of a hermit crab without its shell showing the soft, curled abdomen.

     

     

     

    Surprisingly, and here is the Cool Runnings Boat Cruises tidbit – some hermit crabs have been seen to create a chain to exchange shells.

    We didn’t believe it, so why should you? So, just to prove it, here is a fantastic video clip from the BBC on how the hermit crabs exchange ‘properties’ .

    We wonder if a successful exchange of shells means networking and cooperation, something we may know about! Let’s take a note from the hermit, or soldier crab and do some fun networking on the next Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruise leaving from Mahogany Bay in Ocho Rios in just … how many minutes? Wait for me!

  • Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises – Lyming

    Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises – Lyming

    Cruise

    Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises would like to introduce you to a fine Jamaican concept and the verb to lime. Well, Lyme in Jamaica means to have fun. Where did it come from?

    Some say it is actually a term that comes from Trinidad and Tobago, however, the word apparently is associated with ‘sitting under a lime tree’ and having nothing else to do but ‘squeeze limes’.

    Image: https://www.instagram.com/p/BGW3auOGWq6/?taken-by=coolrunningsfuncruises

    Cool Runnings Ocho Rios – Having Fun in Jamaica

    Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises also knows that ‘to lyme’ means to have fun in the Jamaican way, meaning to hang out with friends, maybe having a couple of beers, a little rum, perhaps some fruit punch and dancing, eating, swimming and snorkeling.

    Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises can guarantee you some fun ‘lyming’ in the sun on the deck of one of our catamarans. You can go on a cruise to Dunn’s River Falls, go snorkeling, or try one of our dramatic sunset cruises, where the drama is provided by a dinner watching a spectacular Jamaican sunset.

    Cool Runnings Jamaica – Come and Party with Us

    Or for those who like to party out loud, come join us on one of our Wet and Wild cruises. As Lyming also means to hang out with friends in a public space, we would offer the public space on board one of our catamarans as a perfect place to hang out with friends.

    Maybe not just doing nothing, but doing something as in listening to music, dancing, eating, having something to drink, a swim in the brilliant blue Caribbean sea and we could add a lot of laughter.

    If you want to pick the folks you want to for a celebration lyme, then try The Sail-a-bration cruise. Our crew will make sure to help make a special day unforgettable, such as for a birthday, office parties, anniversaries or just hanging out with some of your special friends and family.

    See you soon.

  • Cool Runnings Ocho Rios – Sea Urchins

    Cool Runnings Ocho Rios – Sea Urchins

    Cool Runnings Ocho Rios offers daily trips sailing on the Caribbean Sea. But if you happen to find yourself out and about on your own in areas where the sea bottom has been left natural, you Sea urchin 1may find a bunch of sea urchins.
    These were once known as sea hedgehogs and although we often find them just sitting on the sea bottom, they do move, very slowly. You can see their spines move around also.
    Cool Runnings Ocho Rios alerts you to their presence, because to step on one is very painful.
    For those who have never seen them before, see photo, (Diadema antillarum) the ones in Jamaica are black with long sharp spines, or grayish looking, with shorter spines. They actually do a very good job of eating the algae off the coral reefs, so looking out for them and not troubling them is a very good idea.
    Image by NOAA on Wikipedia https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Diadema_antillarum_Flower_Garden_Banks.jpg
    Cool Runnings in Mahogany Bay – Sea Creatures
    The sea urchin has been around for a long time – since the Ordovician era, which lies between 485.4 and 443.8 million years ago.
    Here is another type of sea urchin, (Tripneustes ventricosus), as you can see it is gray in color, but its sea urchin 2 hard shell or ‘test’ is black.
    A sea urchin has two types of needles, the needle sharp type and then a ‘grasping’ type called Pedicellaria and it is these that actually release the venom when they seize an object, or someone’s foot that has inadvertently brushed past.
    Photo of Tripneustes ventricosus by Nick Hobgood on Wikimedia https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tripneustes_ventricosus_(West_Indian_Sea_Egg)_edit.jpg
    No sea urchin is going to be actively running out to attack you, they barely move, so it is our slight inattention that may end up in our brushing by one or stepping on one.
    Cool Runnings Jamaica – What to do if you Step on a Sea Urchin

    So, what do you do if you happen to brush by one, tweezers will take out the large spines, but here is some advice we did not know, as we usually follow what we learned from the fisherfolk, we found this particular advice on http://www.newhealthguide.org/Sea-Urchin-Sting.html, where it is suggested that shaving cream is used to cover the area and then to use a razor to gently scape the area to remove the pedicellaria. Then wash with soap and water. Other sites suggest using vinegar to dissolve the spines, as children our parents also used ammonia.
    Cool Runnings Ocho Rios also knows that sea urchins are good to eat too, if you can only get past their spines, usually their eggs are eaten and the flesh of other species.
    For much more information on sea urchins you will find it on the usual storehouse of information and for your convenience we have added the link here: Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_urchin.

  • Making Time for Your Vacation

    Making Time for Your Vacation

    catamarans

    Image: http://www.visitjamaica.com/Media/Default/Gallery/Vendors/Five%20Star%20Watersports/Five_Star_Watersports_Gallery_1.jpg

    Cool Runnings Boat Cruises knows it is time for a lot of us to be getting back into the flow. This means going back to school, university, college or work of all types and challenges.

    After a few days of holiday some of us have difficulty adjusting to the sudden demands on our time. After all it is OUR time, isn’t it?

    So here are a few tongue-in-cheek suggestions from Cool Runnings Boat Cruises for making it over the first hurdle.

    First suggestion is this. When making the bookings for your vacation, or for the time off from work, make sure the day after returning and the day before going back to school or work is dedicated to doing nothing; that’s it.

    You get off the plane, train, transport or car to go home and know you have an extra day to just unwind from the stress of traveling from, if you were fortunate, Jamaica. Just take care of yourself and your family.

    Then there are those who get back home or to work and may find themselves with thousands of emails, just go through them all and ignore everything else for the whole day. You are actually catching up on what has been happening while you’ve been away, and preparing for how you are going to handle the week. So it is not time wasted.

    Oh and organize any meetings for the afternoon of the second day (this from Katherine Dill on the Forbes website, http://www.forbes.com/sites/kathryndill/2014/07/28/5-tips-for-getting-back-to-work-after-a-vacation/).

    Someone else says to just pick five things to do and do them, ticking them off on your to do list, there are a few friends who say that this is enough to spark the will to do much more and before they know it they are back in the flow of things and whizzing through their day being extra efficient.

    Cool Runnings Jamaica – Take Time To Relax

    Cool Runnings Boat Cruises writer notes that the advice given here is not so tongue in cheek because a quick look around the web will turn up lots of suggestions to plan a day to ‘recover’ from the stress of traveling, meaning the vacation planning should include the day to just be. That’s not such a bad idea, is it?

    We might just add that planning a trip with Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises will add some extra fine memories to take home with you. So, see you on your next vacation!

  • Cool Runnings Catamarans – Bananas!

     

     

    M._acuminata_x_balbisianaThe Cool Runnings Cruises blogger just saw a post by a friend who was remarking on the wonderful purple bananas she had eaten when in Jamaica. I know we have red bananas, but I had not seen the purple ones.

    Curious, I started some research and found that, apart from being a very good food, bananas are considered to be berries, botanically speaking. The rind can be green, yellow, purple, red or brown when ripe and bananas have been cultivated since 8000 BC.

     

    Common banana varieties which are traditionally cultivated in Jamaica include

    You also can find another types of fruits

    Banana production in the Caribbean

     

    Cool Runnings Cruises in Jamaica

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Cool Runnings Cruises found that the earliest modern banana plantations were begun in Jamaica, at one time the Boston Fruit Company, sailed the bananas out of Boston Bay in Portland. Some may be familiar with Boston Bay and its famous Jerk Chicken and Jerk Pork.

    Just to give you some idea of the variety of bananas, here are four. The green on the left is a plantain, then the Red Dacca or Jamaican red banana, ladyfingers and the most common desert banana Cavendish.

    The Cool Runnings Cruises’ friend tells me she ate her purple bananas in Saint Mary’s Parish. There is a photo of a bright purple bunch of bananas, which can be found on the Internet, but she tells me that this is not correct and the purple is more like that found in the photo of the bunch on the tree later on in this post.

    The plantain, by the way, although it looks a lot like a banana is firmer and starchier and you would probably want to eat it cooked. In Jamaica plantains are boiled, fried in a pan until soft and sweet, or deep-fried and sold as plantain chips.

     

    Cool Runnings Cruises Health Notes 

    TanzaniaHere is a photo of the ‘purple’ bananas growing, which it turns out are a variety of the red bananas. They are shorter and sweeter than the yellow bananas and you can find them in Jamaica in the market.

    One of Cool Runnings Cruises’ favorite recipes using bananas is a very simple one. Cut up a banana in a frying pan, sprinkle it with sugar and add a pat of butter, heat this mixture and near the end add some rum, serve in a deep dish with the ice-cream of your choice.

    Another is Jamaican Baked Banana and, in this is a way you can use up all those bananas that have suddenly gone brown and spotty on you.

    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    Peel five to seven bananas, slice lengthwise and place in layers in an oven proof baking dish. Sprinkle with fresh squeezed lemon juice or orange juice over the top. Sprinkle brown sugar and nutmeg and cinnamon to taste.

    Bake for around 15 minutes until the bananas have turned a pale pink. Take them out, spoon into deep dishes, add a little rum (or not), or add a drizzle of cream, or some ice cream and serve warm.

    Now, remember, if you are planning a trip to Ocho Rios be sure to come and look for Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises in Ocho Rios at Mahogany Bay. Or book your cruise right here on our website. See you soon.

     

  • Cool Runnings Catamarans – Sea Cucumber

    Cool Runnings Catamarans – Sea Cucumber

    Cool Runnings Catamarans Snorkeling – There are a few of us who don’t know what a sea cucumber is. Others have written about this strange creature for the TerraMar Project, but they were referring mostly to sea cucumbers in Indonesia, leaving some of us feeling a little left out. I mean we in Jamaica have at least five species of sea cucumber, each with at least a couple of local names.
    Something we did not know, and we picked up from the article found on the TerraMar Project, the Daily Catch post (http://theterramarproject.org/thedailycatch/sea-cucumber/) is that when a sea cucumber feels threatened it will spit out its innards and speed away, now we are not sure how fast a sea cucumber can travel, but we know from the article that they can re-grow their intestines after, possibly they have left them sticking to your goggles.

    Types of Sea Cucumberssea cucumber 1

    So, here Cool Runnings Snorkeling will list the sea cucumber species you will find in Jamaica. They are: Actinopyga agassizzi, which in Jamaica is also called Curry fish and you will find it in the coral reef and sea grass.
    Astichopus multifidus is also known, confusingly, as Curry fish and you will find it in sea grass.
    Isostichopus badionotus and here again the sea cucumber is called Curry fish and can be found on the coral reef and in sea grass.

    Wait for it, here we have a change because Holothuria mexicana is called Elephant trunk in Jamaica and can be found on the coral reef and in sea grass.

    Finally, there is Holothuria floridana, which in Jamaica is called Red Surf or flower fish, shown here, and can be found on the coral reef and in sea grass.

    Image: Holothuria floridana from the reef guide http://reefguide.org/floridaseacucumber.html

    You will also find these, among other places around Jamaica, near Saint Ann’s Bay in the sea.

    Eating Sea Cucumberssea cucumber 2

    Cool Runnings snorkeling, also understands they can be cooked and eaten, which is probably why they get to be called Curry Fish so often.

    A quick search of the Internet shows that most sea cucumber recipes are for Chinese or Japanese cooking, and there is a Japanese recipe for preparing raw sea cucumber. We don’t recommend trying any of this as food until you have consulted with an expert.

    Also seeing as the Jamaican Government has banned sea cucumber fishing while they conduct a survey funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on the viability of the sea cucumber stock, concentrating on Holothuria.

    Image: Holothuria mexicana by Becky A. Dayhuff, Environmental Educator via Wikipedia https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Reef1075_-_Flickr_-_NOAA_Photo_Library.jpg

    Cool Runnings snorkeling therefor strongly suggests you just look at the sea cucumber through your goggles as you snorkel, leave them in peace to go about their business, whatever that may be, and amuse yourself with looking up some recipes on YouTube.

    See you soon on our Dunn’s River Snorkeling cruise departing from Mahogany Bay.

  • Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises – Lobster

    Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises – Lobsterlobster

    Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises now looks at a favorite creature living in the sea around us. It is the prince or princess of seafood – lobster. Before we get into the finer details we must first tell you a very important fact.
    Lobster breeding season is in the spring to early summer so you are not allowed to fish or catch lobster from 1st of April to 30th June of each year.
    This is also for the non-fishers because you will not find lobster on the menu during April, May and June. So those who love lobster on a plate should plan their trips to Jamaica accordingly!

    Photo of the Caribbean Spiny Lobster (Panulirus argus) by NOAA via Wikipedia https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fish4549_-_Flickr_-_NOAA_Photo_Library.jpg

    Cool Runnings Jamaica – The Spiny Lobster

    The lobster found in the seas around Jamaica is the spiny lobsters (Panulirus argus). The female lobster carries the eggs around with her for about four weeks and when the microscopic little ones hatch they are phyllosoma larvae. As they grow they shed their outer shells to grow a new one. The adult lobster will live in coral reefs and are more active at night. Lobsters eat mollusks and also any dead fish they may find.

    Cool Runnings Ocho Rios – Eating Lobster
    Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises notes there are many ways to eat your lobster once you have caught it. Some experts agree that possibly the best way is to split the lobster and grill it over an open fire. This leaves you to taste the wonderful flavor.
    There are other recipes involving curry or cream, butter, hot pepper as in our Scotch bonnet pepper and even cheese, but our toes curl up in horror that anyone would even think they could improve on the delicate flavor of a Panulirus argus.
    Again, having thought about it a little longer, perhaps our favorite lobster is out in the Caribbean Sea living on its own coral reef.
    It is suggested that the serious fisher or snorkeler (no scuba-gear allowed to catch lobsters) contact the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Jamaica for more information:
    Tel: 876-927-1731-50 / 619-1731 or click through to their contact form http://www.moa.gov.jm/Contact_Us.php

  • Cool Runnings Cruises – Jamaican Facts

    Visitors to Jamaica will notice that ‘Out of Many One People’ is our motto. This is because Jamaica is made up of people who have come to the island from many places around the world. We have people who hail from Syria, Ireland, Germany, Africa, India, and China to name only a few.

    They have brought with them their own culture, food and, in some cases, their own religion. Here Cool Runnings Cruises takes a look at some of the religions in Jamaica.

    Cool Runnings Cruises – Jamaican History

     Cathedral Saint Jago De La Vega or Saint James Cathedral, Spanish Town


    Cathedral Saint Jago De La Vega or Saint James Cathedral, Spanish Town

    Over all, we could say that Jamaica is a Christian nation, but here Cool Runnings Cruises shows you some photos of the main structures that may be of architectural interest to the visitor.

    Saint James Cathedral or Cathedral Saint Jago De La Vega in Spanish Town was built in 1714 and is the oldest Anglican Church in the Caribbean.

    The name recalls that of the first Spanish settlement Villa de la Vega, which was founded in 1534 as capital of Jamaica.

    Shaa’re Shalom Synagogue (The Gates of Peace) in Kingston

    Shaa’re Shalom Synagogue (The Gates of Peace) in Kingston

    The Jews of Jamaica first came to the island in around 1494, as a result of the Spanish Inquisition.

    Recent DNA testing has demonstrated that nearly 424 000 Jamaicans are descended from these first Jewish settlers. Bob Marley’s father, for example, was of Syrian Jewish descent.

    There are also about 5 000 Muslims in Jamaica and several organizations and mosques. The most recently constructed can be found in Old Harbour and is shown here.

     

    Cool Runnings Cruises – Jamaican Religions

    The Ahmadiyya Mosque, Old Harbour, Jamaica

    The Ahmadiyya Mosque, Old Harbour, Jamaica

    Cool Runnings Cruises know there are also Buddhists and Hindus, the latter are currently the second largest religious group in Jamaica after Christians.

    There are also around 29 000 Rastafarians and, in many ways, this religion is most closely associated with Jamaica. It was ‘born’ here in the 1930s and is an ‘Abrahamic’ religion.

    The religion is probably best known through the music of Bob Marley and other Jamaican musicians. The Rastafarian colors of red, green and gold are often thought to be the colors of the Jamaican flag. They are in fact the colors of the flag of Ethiopia, which is very important to Rastafarians.

    This religion emphasizes peacefulness and loving your neighbor, which we note, are also the centrally held beliefs of all the other religions mentioned in this post.

    So to end, let us remember ‘Peace and Love’.

    Now, after all this serious talk, book yourself a fun-filled cruise with Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises leaving soon from the dock at Mahogany Bay in Ocho Rios.