The Spanish called Negril’s bay and adjacent headland Punta Negrilla (Dark Point), referring to the black conger eels that used to proliferate in the local rivers. During the colonial era pirates favored Negril’s two bays to provide safe anchorage during plundering forays. During the War of 1812 between Britain and the US Bloody Bay was the point of assembly and departure for the British naval armada’s ill-fated expedition to storm New Orleans. Bloody Bay was also used by 19th-century whalers who butchered their catch here (hence the name). When a road was finally constructed to Negril in 1959, the area slowly began to attract vacationers – as well as a coterie of hippies – but it wasn’t until the late 1970s, when the first resorts opened, that Negril began to stake its claim as Jamaica’s coolest party destination.