Docking delays for cargo

Rough seas caused delays in unloading cargo at the port this weekend but stores on Grand Cayman say customers will not go short this Christmas.

A barge due to depart for Cayman Brac last night [Monday] was unlikely to brave the winds and stormy seas, meaning those waiting for supplies from the vessel on the island would have to wait a little longer.

But Brac store owners say they are well prepared for potential delays and have made contingency plans to ensure their shoppers do not go short this Christmas.

‘We’ve got plenty of goods. Our store is pretty full,’ said Denise Walton of Billy’s Supermarket on the Brac.

‘If the barge cannot make it this week, we might not get meat and chilled [products], but we’ve already got those in stock. We have plenty of turkeys and hams right now. My manager makes sure that he stays a step ahead because we know the weather can turn bad this time of year,’ she said.

At Kirkconnell’s in Stake Bay, store manager Courtney Morrison is also confident that delays in the barge reaching the Brac will not affect customers.

‘Our supplies are sufficient until 2010,’ he said, adding that a Cayman Airways charter flight had brought in supplies on Monday morning and another was due to arrive on Tuesday.

‘We have to plan these things, what with the pattern of the weather at this time of year… Normally we don’t wait until the last week to do our Christmas shopping,’ he said.

In Grand Cayman, delays in three cargo ships docking over the weekend did not seem to lead to any hardships for local stores.

All three ships arrived in Grand Cayman on Saturday, but two could not dock until Sunday. A third, the Seaboard Venture out of Jamaica, was expected to dock Monday afternoon, according to Port Authority staff.

A strong high pressure system over the Gulf of Mexico will support cloudiness, fresh northeast winds and rough seas over the Cayman area until Tuesday, but the weather is expected to clear up by Thursday and a sunny Christmas with a light southerly breeze is forecast.