"A mile below, at the water's edge, is another swimming pool, except that this one is formed out of a natural shore formation. I go there occasionally and take a dip in the blue salt water I love so very much.
The second half century looms up, but I don't feel the night coming on."
Errol Flynn; Castle Comfort, Portland Jamaica, Summer '58 (Source: My Wicked, Wicked Ways; G.P. Putnam's Sons Cooper Square Press; Aurum Press)
Flynn at his 'writing retreat' on the NE shore of Navy Island. The shell of his former refuge still stands but it is now almost completely invisible from view anywhere further than close proximity. The Jamaican jungle has been slowly, but steadily, reclaiming this legendary hideaway since 1959. With a little planning, it can still be visited today.
Flynn? Exceptional out-of-the-blue.
Jack Marino; Producer, Director, host of The Jack Marino Show on LA Talk Radio, TheFabulousFlynn.com
In time, Flynn had money to fuel his adventures but his fondest memories were of his youth when he had few responsibilities, and much more freedom. In many ways, Flynn was trying to find that sense of freedom with all of his travels and adult adventures in the world, and he was drawn to young women because they were uncomplicated and willing to do almost anything with a sense of freedom on a moment's notice. No idea had drawbacks for them. Everything, anything seemed possible. Flynn kept searching for that feeling again during his later years when he began to feel it slipping away. Where was it? Across the seas, under it, in the skies, in a foreign land, in the eyes of new lover?
Writer, Painter, Archivist (theErrolFlynnBlog.com), Flynn Analyst
"Add your name to a legendary guest list!"
Errol Flynn Marina, 2011
“People come to Port Antonio Jamaica because others don’t!”
GM, Errol Flynn Marina Director, Re-ignite Port Antonio Initiative
“We’re in Port Antonio Jamaica. We own time here!”
“Jurassic sized jungles. Eden-like auras of flora and fauna. Stunning beaches and beguiling bays. Welcome to the enchanting tranquility of Portland Parish Jamaica!”
“Clean, ocean-infused air mix with lush tropical landscapes and warm, sapphire-blue waters. Add to this Port Antonio’s storied past and time-machined ambiance and you soon discover you are visiting the best Jamaica has to offer!”
"See theWind" (Last Desk Ghostwriting & Editing)
Conrad called him "The elemental man." Marino referred to him as "Exceptional out of the blue." There is only one Errol Leslie Flynn and it's likely a safe bet there will never be another like him--at least in our galaxy. But this does not mean one cannot venture out do some of the very things he did and, in the exact same spots he did those things! Whether in Havana, or Port Antonio, one can often find oneself following-in-his-footsteps.
It's almost a guarantee we won't be doing these things as well as he did--and obviously not to the same outrageous zenith. But no one has yet offered up any convincing reasons as to why we cannot parallel his endeavors to a certain degree, while savoring a great deal of satisfaction along the way.
"In like me." "Living-it-up." "A fair day in the tropics." We know what these signature phrases meant--and what they still mean--but how often do we actually get a genuine opportunity to indulge in them?
My view is, we can emulate "A fair day in the tropics," even if only for a week or two at a time! And what's wrong with that?
If a few days of practicing Flynn 'flair' in a Caribbean environment does not redefine, or at least upgrade, your perspective upon returning home, then it's likely too late for you--for living, that is.
If there is anything the old boy has taught us, it is the utter necessity to "live-it-up" once in a while--to seek out that "fair day in the tropics." It is there for the taking--if we are willing...
Flynn was a connoisseur of the fast-lane lifestyle and, legendary drinking capacity aside, one can have some fun trying to keep pace with him!
While enjoying the chaotic mystique of Havana and the time-warped serenity of Port Antonio, we keep our eye out for the "elemental man." Some days we find him, some days we don't but, uncannily, he always seems to be just around the next corner enroute to a famous Havana bar or, making his way to his Navy Island writing refuge. We listen, we look, we explore, we "see the wind." Sometimes, we wonder if he can still be heard amidst the fleeting banter of distant womens' laughter. Could it be that the lonely Banyan trees and regal Royal palms still echo his voice?
As Earl Conrad, David Niven, Barry Mahon, Steve Hayes, Vincent Sherman, Christopher Lee, John Huston, John Barrymore, Ernest Hemingway, Jack Warner, Jack Marino, David DeWitt, Robert de Young (Tasmanian Devil: The Fast & Furious Life of Errol Flynn), Lincoln Hurst, Tom McNulty, Robert Matzen, Jeffrey Meyers, and countless others have accomplished to varying degrees, we attempt to decipher the fleet-footed Flynn and cast some light upon some of the many unanswered questions he has left behind.
Havana Cuba and Port Antonio Jamaica are, as you would imagine, pretty much opposites.
They both share a Flynn affinity of course, and both are world-renowned Caribbean ports-of-call, but that is where the similarities end.
One of these storied ports is a mesmerizing metropolis which knows no bounds when it comes to Caribbean beguilement, while the other is more of a tropical paradise, shimmering quietly within idyllic and lush surroundings. It is not difficult to determine which is which.
The beautiful thing about the two of them being so dramatically different is that they accommodate contrasting tastes. It's likely that if one of these world-famous destinations does not interest you, the other will.
Regardless of your preferences, plan your own "fair day in the tropics," while in search of Errol Flynn. A big part of the fun is anticipatory in nature...
Dennis Mullen; Research Analyst; In Search of Errol Flynn, 2011
Drinking buddies, yes, but ironically, it is likely they harbored jealousies of one another. It's 1958 and Batista's days are numbered. These two larger-than-life personalities are on Calle Obispo at the Floridita, the same bar Hemingway would later make irreversibly famous. A truly remarkable photograph of the two 20th-century icons in one of the globe's hottest spots at the time! When I'm in Havana and find myself on Obispo Street, I make a point of sitting right here! It's a fantastic feeling.
It is indeed an esoterically inclined experience walking the grounds that Flynn himself walked on and was closest to his heart.
I know the disconnect that exists when one is decades beyond the events that occurred, but in certain moments--as when one is traversing that 'tunnel-like' lane which descends from The Titchfield Hotel ruins to the beach, West bay, and Navy Island below-- time really does stand still and a bridge is created simply because one could have encountered Flynn himself on that lane not all that long ago.
Remarkable really, how many things have remained the same--just as they were when his footsteps were firmly imprinted on that same ground. You look ahead and see the distance and dimensions of this pathway and where it leads. All around you the same lush jungle vegetation he loved so very much. Dream away under the same deja-blue sky, and breathe the same tropically infused air. In short, one is having the same experience. The same sounds reach your ears, the water is nearby--the same water. Around the corner lies the Titchfield Hotel and the same heat beats down upon your face as it did on Errol's as he made his way up that path alone in his thoughts. In those moments you are a time-traveler, and nobody can take that away from you...
Think about this:
Flynn was the central figure in an adventure each day simply because he was Errol Flynn. The actor, the personality, the "elemental man," and the enigma--even unto himself. He must have felt some kind of obligation to be "Errol Flynn" everyday--for good or for ill. Few of us take the time to consider ourselves as more than ordinary people; to think of ourselves as adventurers in our mind's own movie. Instead, we toil away in ordinary jobs, and live bland pedestrian lives. For many however, this is enough. But those who see that there is--or should be--adventure in our lives are the ones who suffer most when life hands us servings of mundane mediocrity instead of accolades and adventures. Some of us wonder why we can't "live like the wind," as Jack Marino is fond of saying?
When one goes to Port Antonio Jamaica, or Havana Cuba, or wherever else your travels have taken you, one has the opportunity to do just that--"live like the wind," that is. Upon returning home however, it is the TELLING of it that makes it all worthwhile! And when one returns from Port Antonio or Havana, it is in many ways, the TELLING of Flynn's life...
~David DeWitt; Flynn Analyst / TheErrolFlynnBlog.com / DD Galleries
"He went about with an inward readiness for disaster, probably the prime mood of his whole existence."
Earl Conrad; Errol Flynn: A Memoir, 1978
"What an atmosphere. I’ll say one thing, romance lives here. I see now why Errol loved it so."
Alan Lyn Jr; San Francisco CA
"He would be shocked to discover how well he is remembered."
David DeWitt; 2011; Errol Flynn Analyst TheErrolFlynnBlog.com
"There is a common denominator among us pirates and poets...a vibratory communique that just slips into our consciousness, meandering around all the confusion , depression, and mysteries of life. Hope is the fuel that moves us toward the future."
Richard Ross Johnson 2013
It's quite likely you will find it easy to lose yourself amongst the ghosts of Flynn’s haunts as well as the endless number of other enchantments you will find along the way.
Havana Writers' Retreat; 2010