Proposed port is wrong

It is with great concern that I write this letter to the paper and the public, regarding the new cruise ship port facilities and the cargo relocation dock, which we the public, know very little about.

While I understand there will be 100,000-square-feet of duty free shopping, restaurants and a hotel, I dread the day when these docks are complete and the ocean dredged up for the facilities and dredging up the reefs in front of George Town to the shore to accommodate these monstrous cruise ships.

We still have to have space for additional small ships, which will have to move down toward the Seven Mile Beach to anchor. The reef in front of George Town comes up within six to 10 feet of the surface, which acts as a breakwater during hurricanes and northwesters to diffuse the energy of the waves which in turn protects the shoreline of George Town.

Also 75 per cent of the cruise ship snorkelers, divers, glass bottom boat trips, submarines trips take place in this area. So I want to know where all of these people are going to do their water sports when the reefs and the Balboa are destroyed.

At the present, the cruise ship facilities have to tender people ashore, giving distribution of these people to other areas of the island. While it will put most of the tenders out of business, it will be a great financial loss to the economy of the Cayman Islands.

I did not think I would live long enough to see another invasion of D Day 1944 repeated in George Town harbour; we will all have to grab our hats and run to the bushes to avoid this invading army that will be dumped on our shores all at once creating chaos.

It breaks my heart to see us losing the beautiful ocean view in George Town and the sunsets and the tranquillity of sitting on the shore enjoying the view of our tenders cruising back and forth nurturing the duty free business in George Town.

The present duty free shops will have to convert to rooms to rent as they will surely lose the duty free business they have now to some foreign investors we do not even know.

I hope you remember the rebellion in the states against Dubai taking over the port control of the United States.

That was stopped. I am urging my fellow Caymanians to show the backbone of your forefathers and stand up and protect our local businesses against this development, which is going to contribute to a further loss of our long staying visitors in hotels and condos.

It is also of great concern to me that the Beach Club and Royal Palms beaches are soon to be closed to the cruise ship passengers.

We cannot allow the cruise ships to monopolise the little public beach, as locals have a hard time finding a space to use now. Cruise ship companies have purchased beaches on other islands and perhaps they should purchase the small narrow strip west of Indies Suites on the West Bay Road for their passengers.

As far as the beach sand goes, I still feel the beach sand evacuated for construction from the Seven Mile Beach should be pushed back into the sea for nature to re distribute.

I have been proposing this for many years now and nothing is ever done.

After Ivan, the beach sand on the road should have been pushed back onto the beach. Instead Government trucks took it away somewhere else. There is now another opportunity to save some sand at the development next to the West Bay cemetery. Whoever is doing it serves as an example of a good citizen; push the sand into the sea in front of your new condo development, you will not regret it.

Captain Bob Soto

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