Scuba diving is important

Cayman is a big success as we all know because of the good financial and tourism (mostly diving) business.

And of course the people, all of whom are doing a good job of regulating and growing those industries, which we hope will continue to support our economy into the future.

I was bitten by the scuba diving bug at an early age, and was certified before I was a teenager.

I spent six years (age 12 to 18) in the diving industry, and spent thousands of hours underwater. I was a divemaster, who for years made many unforgettable and spectacular underwater and above, experiences and memories for thousands of dive tourists; many of whom used to come back every year.

I was fortunate to work (and play) with the best divers in the world. My uncle Kent Eldemire (the pioneer of Cayman marine conservation), my cousin Adrien Briggs (the best boss I ever had), Peter Milburn, my brother Wes, Ollen Miller, and too many others to mention.

So I think I am reasonably qualified to make my point, which is, why hasn’t the problem been solved of the cruise ships destroying the seabottom off George Town and Spotts with their anchors and chains?

Has anyone seen the damage down there? It is the most devastating site you can witness.

Over 100 acres of a seabottom, which was once an aquarium, is completely destroyed. The entire second reef at around 75 feet depth, which fringes the edge of the drop-off (4,000 feet down) is completely destroyed. The anchors and the chains have decimated the bottom beyond belief.

The once pristine sea bottom has been turned into a soupy silty mass of rocks and marl. This silt is picked up and carried by the currents and has been slowly destroying the beautiful marine life all the way to South Sound and the surrounding areas. They are practically dropping anchors on top of Eden Rock!

I know we need the cruise ship business, so let’s build a really big dock that can handle the ships and get it over with, or at least do some permanent moorings until the dock can be built. If the anchors and chains are stopped, the bottom will heal up (slowly), which will reduce the supply of silt.

If the ships keep eroding away the edge of the drop off, then one day George Town will break off and slip into the abyss, which will probably affect the financial sector too.

The underwater world is a precious and beautiful garden; let’s save it.

Christian van der Bol

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