Letters to the Editor: A sensible dock solution

Much has been said about a cruise
ship docking facility on Grand Cayman.

We are probably the last place in
the Caribbean to realise we need such a facility.

What are we waiting for?

Until all ships have bypassed us
and like services to our people and visitors, we have gotten so complacent, we
let them wait weeks and months for a simple approval.

WAKE UP. We are no longer living in
a time when we can hold up progress by just not doing our work and allowing all
kinds of obstacles distract us.

We are living in a very competitive
world.

Education being a key component –
good manners, honesty and impeccable service – the countries that have these
will succeed.

Our economy, like all countries in
the world, is in trouble. We must be creative and again look for that crystal
ball that helped Cayman in the past. The cruise ship dock looks like it will
cost $200 million, presumably CI dollars. This is a lot of money for this
country.

I am not an engineer, but I believe
we need to use good old common sense.

Why don’t we do this dock on the
iron shore of Pedro St. James Castle. Government has a fair amount of iron
shore land here and if needs be could purchase more reasonably.

I understand the water next to the
ironshore is at least 300 feet deep – no need to dredge.

Put as many finger piers as is
needed and far enough apart that the cruise ships can come in between the piers
and land their people.

These piers could be covered and on
a big enough land area with adequate restrooms, eating places, etc. to
comfortably take care of the arrivals. Use videos to welcome our guests, etc.

At the end of each pier, have a
Caymanian giving discount books, including special return airline and hotel
fares, etc., and a general information brochure on the Island.

A good public transit company
should be formed, allowing only Caymanians and status holders to buy in,
limiting the amount of shares for company or individual and allow present tour
bus companies and taxis to purchase up to 70 per cent.

Visitors would be bussed over the
Island to duty free/gift shops, the Turtle Farm, Botanic Park, etc.

Have a designated area for booked
water sports, people, and those who are interested in doing water sports. Let
these operators pick up their people and save time.

The deck at Pedro would be a better
sheltered area and ships should be able to dock there almost every day of the
year versus docking in George Town where in the winter months it is plagued
with north westers. That is the busiest time of year and ships will have to
pass us by.

I am sure we would save half of
this $200 million, save the environment and save time.

This is a big industry – cruise
ship arrivals; every person should have bread on the table.

Pedro Castle is here and close by
is a huge dug out area across from the ironshore in Pedro. Government should
assist the owners to use this as a lobster, shrimp and conch farm. This would
be a great attraction. A fee could be charged and it would make money as well
as generate food.

What has happened to the cruise
ships’ offer to build a dock?

This would be good business to have
the people who will use the dock involved. They are the ones that will pay for
the project.

If Pedro is used for the dock,
Government should add dock space for visiting yachts. Let’s save our God given
treasure, the North Sound, for future generations to enjoy.

Remember Cayman is a low lying
island in the path of hurricanes and earthquakes. We should not be excavating
our shores.

This is precious time we are
dealing with.

Once these ships have moved out, it
will take a while to get them to return or they may never.

Let’s do the right thing for
Cayman.

Let’s start now. Delay is
dangerous. We are losing business. Together we can make Cayman a better and
more successful island. Let’s start.

Elita Soto

945-4575

Editor’s note: Ms Soto requested that her telephone number be
included with her Letter to the Editor.

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