I started my sea career at the age of 15 in 1946 culling turtles around the Nicaraguan coast. At the age of 16, I went to the US and joined the Merchant Navy Sailing of Foreign Flag Ships. I sailed on fruit ships, general cargo ships, oil tankers, bulk carriers, container ships, heavy lift ships and RO-RO (roll-on roll-off) ships.
I started as a deck hand. Retired after 41½ years as Master.
During my sailing as Master, I transported building equipment and supplies to many countries to construct docks. Just to name a few: ¬ Port Hess in St Croix, US Virgin Islands; St Thomas, USVI; Point Lisas, Pointe a Pierre, Galeota, Trinidad; Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles; St Martin; Cul de Sac Bay, St Lucia; Puerto Morelos, Mexico; Freeport, Bahamas; Guyanilla, Puerto Rico and many more.
I will name some of the companies I transported equipment for: Chicago Bridge and Iron Works, Brown and Root, Badger Litwin Contractors, Riggers International and many more. I also transported a breeder nuclear reactor for the US Atomic Energy Commission from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Longview, Washington, so I would say I have a little experience in observing dock construction.
I have a few questions to ask. Why is the builder of the dock designing it? It seems the government doesn’t know what they want. When you don’t know anything about the project, they can build anything, you don’t know if it will work or not.
Yes, you can build the dock at a cost; but will you be able to use it?
Why is the design so secret? One thing more, George Town does not have a harbour. George Town has a roadstead, a harbour is an enclosure. Please see Webster’s dictionary.
These such large cruise ships have a lot of height above the water which holds a lot of wind power. Try docking one of these large ships when you have 15-20 knots of wind. You are not docking the Kirk Trader or the Merco. It is a different ball game.
In closing, think and listen. Listening to people can save a whole lot of headache; sometimes even your life.
Paul A Hurlston
Retired Master Mariner