Captains want port option to go to Cabinet

| 28/10/2011

(CNS): Sea captains backing the idea to put the cruise port in Red Bay instead of George Town want government to take it seriously and give the plan proper consideration before, they say, it makes the irreversible mistake of developing in the capital. The group proposing that the facility be built in the South Sound area hope to put their idea to Cabinet before a deal is signed with Chinese Harbour Engineering Company. None of the captains or  supporters have any financial interest in its development but believe government should put the proposal to the Chinese firm as a genuine alternative to the plan currently on the table simply because, they say, it’s a better option for all.

The premier is currently involved in exclusive talks with CHEC to finance, develop and operate two cruise piers in George Town based on a lease of some 49 years. McKeeva Bush entered into a ministerial MOU with the Bejing based firm in June but the clock is ticking on that agreement, which is due to expire next month. At that point government will be either pulling out of the talks with CHEC or signing a heads of agreement to go ahead with the plan.

Earlier this week the premier announced that the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) was issuing its final warning to Cayman to make positive steps towards cruise berthing or the islands could be seeing the end of cruise tourism business. His comments came in the wake of yet more statistical evidence that cruise arrival figures were continuing on a downward spiral. This summer visitor arrival numbers in Cayman are more than 30% down on the numbers arriving in 2010. That figure could be even worse by the year end as cruise ships bypass Cayman for the growing number of ports of call around the Caribbean that can accommodate the new class of mega ships with berthing facilities. 

Reginald ‘Choppy’ Delapenha, a local businessman involved in the tourism industry who supports the alternative Red Bay proposal and has been helping co-ordinate the campaign, told CNS that the group recognizes that government is in talks right now with CHEC and want the premier to consider placing this proposal before that firm before they sign a deal to build in George Town.

“It’s not our intention to bring another developer into the picture,” he said. “Our concerns are to see the project done as this will benefit the entire Cayman economy.  Given the considerable knowledge and expertise in our group of captains, their input in this very important project should be considered.”

He said that Captain Arlen McCoy, an internationally licensed captain of some of the world's largest ships, along with Captain Bob Soto have both made separate presentations in relation to this project going back as far as 2004 and there are now many others that share the same feeling that the best location for this project is in Red Bay.
“There are no private interests being represented here,” Delapenha said. “Our proposal to government will be for it to consider the Red Bay location over the downtown.”

The group believes that Red Bay is the best location for the cruise facility because it would create an all-weather port and has none of the disadvantages of a finger pier in George Town. Experts say that even with finger piers cruise ships will not be able to dock in the George Town Harbour during nor’esters, meaning Cayman will still require a back up at Spotts.

The captains say the Red Bay facility, which could include a mega yacht marina, could be developed simultaneously with the George Town re-urbanization project and the two could be connected by a new shuttle system.

The captains also say the Red Bay port would be significantly less expensive to build in the shallow water and the fill from the excavation would make the project financially viable. The alternative to George Town also removes the traffic bottleneck at Hurley's as it would disburse traffic.

They say the new facility would not compete with the retailers in George Town, which would be maintained as the shopping capital, but instead increase business for all as passengers would call in port on more days and taxis and bus companies would have work carrying passengers into downtown George Town.

There are, however, some serious environmental concerns as the project would be developed in a marine Replenishment Zone and it would have a significant impact on the reef, which would need to be cut. The development would also have a direct impact on the dive ‐sites in South West Point and change the character of the area completely. The captains say that these issues, as concerning as they may be, pale compared to the problems presented by the George Town project, which also has major environmental issues.

From a major increase in traffic congestion to the destruction of Cali/Balboa Wrecks, the Cheeseburger Reef and potential damage to Seven Mile Beach, the sea captains say the George Townproposal creates greater environmental and other more complex problems than the Red Bay proposal.

Added to that, the continued conflict with cargo, the limited space, the expense of construction because of the deep water and the disruption to ongoing  cargo and cruise operations during construction and life in George Town in general, Red Bay on balance is a far more feasible proposition.

So far, the premier has made no direct comment about the Red Bay alternative proposal but recently took aim at his critics regarding the slow progress towards the development of facilities. CHEC is the third proposed party that government has negotiated with, delaying the start of the development of the project.  In a statement on Monday Bush asked for the industry’s support for what he was doing as he promised to get cruise berthing facilities in the islands.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    In my opinion spending hundreds of millions of dollars on any berthing facility right now is a brute force attempt to squeeze blood from stone. The reality is people aren't spending as much money as they used to and when they are, they want value for their money. What value does Cayman have from a tourists perspective? Firstly, Cayman has developed (haphazardly) and is no longer the pristine hidden gem it once was, for better or worse. Secondly, we don't have enough attractions to generate enough tourism to sustain our growth. While it think it would be remiss to disregard tourism altogether i think we should start developing other industries. Tourism was a stepping stone but if we don't step off it at some point in time we are going to collapse. 

    The way i see it, either we spend money on developing attractions and the industry on a whole or we start finding another industry to develop and take the next step as a nation. But all thisarguing (at times unecessarily disrespectful) about the ideal berthing location for a mega yachts and cruise ships is like arguing over which bucket to carry to an empty well.

  2. concerned CAYMANIAN TO THE BONE says:

    CNS I'm surprised that you have jumped on board with the ILLINFORMED "CHOPPY D" about the cruise business in Cayman and the entire Caribbean.

    What you don't know:

    2011 figures are up 5% in total over 2010; barring any further bad weather Cayman will see over 1.5mil passengers; Summer took its toll because Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) took its ships to Europe and other parts of the world with more private charters; There will be no more Osias Ships built because Royal is struggling to fill the one it has now and have to merely settle for private charters as the ship has not met the passenger experience as originally planned; Western Caribbean is still the most popular and profitable cruise location in the world because it is cheaper to navigate (less time and less fuel consumption routes) something that RCCL found out on its voyages this summer; THE TRIANGLE (Florida, Jamaice, Cayman, Cancun, Florida) is the most popular and inexpensive cruise routes and that's why Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) is making a killing by selling this route as little as US$300 per passenger but RCCL can't compete with this price;

    What the Premier forgot to inform the people of: The above; The projected passengers visits for 2012 is over 1.65mil; that RCCL will be bringing its OSAIS class ship to Cayman; that the Eastern Caribbean will see its market share of passengers dwindle to almost nothing in 2012 beacuse the RCCL and CCL will be using the TRIANGLE route becuase it's cheaper to navigate and has the most popular ratings; that Cayman tenders the most passengers in the world every year for the last decade; That the FCCA don't want to talk with him or his groups; What the FCCA did say about Cayman and it wasn't about the cruise piers; That the FCCA is quite happy with the tendering cause they profit more as they are able to sell more tours and their passengers stay off the ship longer (for example a FCCA member ship will sell a tour in Cayman for US$80 and pay a cruise operator US$20 which equates to 75% profit. Why go to any other destination with that kind of profit)

    Dear CNS you must do some serious investigative work before you publish unattractive, uninformed and sensational information to further stir up decension and report propaganda.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe what should happen is that both projects are presented to the public and then turn it over to a national referendum?

      That way the people of the Cayman Islands decide and we dont have to thank or blame any politicians. And we are guaranteed that a project will go on and not be held up by political changes.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are simply wrong and misleading. The FCCA has carried out on its promise to remove inventory from Cayman. And it will only get worst. Cruisers are getting older again and the liability of tendering here in Cayman is unexceptable. If it is too rough they have angry passengers on board when they bypass. People hate to be stuck on board for two or three days.

      What you fail to appreciate is the new ports in the region. Falmouth Jamaica and Rotan alone will take our passengers. RCL just spent a mint in Falmouth and they really do not need Cayman for Oasis in your 'golden triangle' theory. They are charging $300 simply to fill rooms and get thier bars and shops full on board- not that it is so profitable that they can drop their profits- you will never hear that language in a Cruise line board room. At least get $300 for otherwise empty room and take another $4-600 on board rather than sail less than full.

      RCL simply cannot tender Oasis. 6000 passengers and 2000 crew. She only discharges on her starboard side and you cannot get the folks off and on here. Do the math. They will not bring Oasis here.

      You should look at Dept. of Tourism's surveys and FCCA surveys on passenger satisfaction( if you can still  call it that) in Cayman. You will be rudely awaken.

      • Anonymous says:

        Another uninformed blogger. You must work for the media or DOT. "She only discharges on her starboard side and you cannot get the folks off and on here. Do the math. They will not bring Oasis here'. What rubbish. IF you know anything about boats that would be the lee side of the ship which is excellent for off loading in Cayman since the sinds are mostly out of the East or North East! Secondly, for your information you can try your best to get a US$300 room on the Osais but you wouldn't reach the gang-way. If you only knew that the Osais visited Cayman already in the summer of this year and satisfied themselves that the ship can be tendered because they did it without a hitch. 

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is regretable that many readers and posters alike do not avail themselves of what I beleive is,( Thank You CNS) an important platform for helpful,meaningful discussion on the many local issues. As it relates to Cruise Berthing I urge readers and posters to first of all, to go to the website that has been provided. This is what I did. After you have read and understood what is being proposed, then, and only then, consider, the Pros and Cons of each location, if you then have a comment or question based on fact, whether it be in “Support or Not”, that serves Cayman well.
    It is clearly not helpful to anyone if this media is used as a tool for people to vent their dislike, anger or disrespect for others. Bitterness,Anger, and Distrust are all destructive to the people who engage in them and to the society as a whole.
    To the best of my knowledge, all the people behind this effort are Caymanians.People like the late Captain Theo Bodden, Captain Paul Hurlston and Captain Arlen Mccoy who we still have the benefit of their years of Expertise, this should make every Caymanian Proud ” WHY SHOULD THEY NOT BE CONSIDERED?
    I’m not suggesting that we close our eyes and follow blindly, which is what we have been doing a lot of lately. However, one question on our minds must be, “Is this another case that we need another Highly-paid Consultant to come from abroad to tell us what is best for us?

  4. Chris says:

    The port needs to be built at Hog Sty Bay, George Town. End of story.

    Its untold expense and completely foolhardy to gamble by taking the port away from the main attraction, which is George Town.

    What happens if we build this wonderful new facility and the cruise ship companies then say,

    "Nice port but there isnt anything to do out here in Red Bay and our passengers dont want to pay 5$ each way in a bus to buy a 7$ t shirt in George Town.

    In short, this proposal is a pipe dream just like the crazy idea of moving the airport to the North Side area and the idea of building a port in the north sound.

    Maybe it would have been ideal at some point but it is not ideal now.

    So lets build the port in hog sty bay asap and move forward from this pointless debate.

    BTW, why is the proposed road for the red bay port so long through the swamp and connecting to linford pierson highway when they could naturally and more economically connect to the roundabout by Hurley's??  just some food for thought.

  5. Naya boy says:

    Who will get the dredge fill from the sea?

    who will get vessel access to their canal development?

    who  will be able to get top prices for their condo development and waterfrontage? yacht slips units?

    who will benefit from yachts and marina facilities?

    Come on now" Captain Choppy D" tell us your business model & relationship with the developer of Emerald Sound or shall we be left to wonder about that. These poor old timers simply have no place now in this modern special interestsociety we now live in, which they now have to embrace and endorse, unfortunately a byproduct of their lack of foresight and vision for this island and just like certain political forces on this island prostituting themselves now! Just to stay relevant how sad how truly sad Cayman. Final question what about the homes and apartments in this quite area or shall i quote Captain Soto remarks of a recent talk show " its a dead area any how" what a unbelievable and outrageous statement coming from a so call pioneer of the our dive industry.

    • The Catboat Man says:

      Answers to enquiring mind 11:19,

      1. Who pays for retrieving the fill will get it. Usually there is a Royalty fee paid to government per cubic yard for offshore excavations. Obviously this fill is sufficient to provide the road base for all future cross-island roads and the runway extension into the north sound without having to keep digging holes in the island.

      2.The excavation of the Red Bay Cruise facility does not come within 1000 feet of shore. No canals can be connected to it. Look at the drawings. Emerald Sound's coastal works was for an area only 150 feet offshore, dug 6 feet deep. It cannot and does not connect to this ship basin.

      3.Developer of Marina/Port will determine prices and return on investment model. Currently that would be China Harbour Engineering Co.  The Captains have not suggested any other company or developer would be involved. They simply want CHEC and more importantly the government to consider this site prior towasting a lot of our money in weather prone Hog Sty Bay.

      4. Cayman will benefit from a mega-yacht harbour and marina. Also see answer 3 above.

      5. Choppy's partners development does not directly benefit from the Red Bay cruise facility. In fact, I can only imagine at some point Mr. Hislop is going to come to the table and ask if someone should not speak to him also.  The road from the port to Linford Pierson highway flies over the south sound road at that point and merely follows the existing NRA gazette, roundabout and south sound bypass in that area. In 3-D the road passes overhead ES. I am sure Rene would not promote such an idea. The road from the port also goes in the opposite direction as well and connects into the old prospect roundabout that the NRA put there for that reason.

      6. Yes, the Red Bay area has homes whose views will be modified or disrupted. The Old Prospect homes will look out over a mega-yacht marina and 4 days a week they will look out over large cruise ships during the day. However, one can easily ask the same question in George Town where all coastal properties, Bing Thompson's house, Burger King, Lobster Pot will look out to the two northwest facing concrete piers, not the horizon anymore. At least in Red Bay the structures are surrounded by new mangroves.

      While I can imagine that you would try to link Emerald Sound with Red Bay to stir up opposition, the sea captains are adamant that technically this is the best place and secondly, and most importantly, that this is not to move retail out of GT. Given that Choppy has assisted the captains in the PR side is reason to query his role however speak to Captains McCoy, Bryan, Hurlston, Soto etc and see where this idea really came from.

      If you want conspiracy try asking about the traffic solution in town, the port hotel in town, the retail on the dock in town, the parking solution in town, the damage to the upper reefs in town, the cost of those piers in town, the true depth of dredging needed in town, the northwesters in town, the lost of sunset views in town, the impact to the seven mile beach, the ease of berthing in a crosswind in town..etc, etc.  I am sure your answers will impact a few more people than the few who live in Red Bay now and whose view is changed.

      Please start a real debate on this topic not opposition for opposition sake or as support of one or two merchants or even lack of support for one or two developers.  This needs to be a true national debate- we are about to spend $200 million dollars.

      Is Red Bay really so superior as mooted? What are the upsides, downsides to both locations? What is the true environmental impact to Red Bay? the environmental impact to the healthy upper reefs in GT? How do we make this investment work for the most Caymanians and not a chosen few? Only when these are discussed can we truly have our politicians make good decisions.




  6. Anonymous says:

    If Mac gets the Chinese to build a port in south Sond it will give a whole new meaning to "Red" Bay.

  7. Hmmmmmm says:

    Why don't we focus on the airport first?  That way Cayman can see an influx of stayover tourists without directly damaging the environment.  Hopefully not damaging the environment.  Then Cayman can decide what the plan is for the port.  In the meantime, arranging for direct flights from the middle east say Dubai? or from the UK ? Or Western Canada say Vancouver?  Have direct flights to Panama.  It seems those are the hot spots.  Encourage those people to stop on by. 

    While the airport is being built have intensive classes and behavioural training for ALLLLLLLL individuals in a customer service occupation.  That means the taxi drivers, the airport staff, hotel and restaurant staff, the duty free staff etc.  Make these things pass/fail and if the individual fails, they are fired from their job.  It is very simple.  Failing should also ensure that the person who failed cannot work in a customer service again until they pass the training.  Employers have to certify that all staff have passed.  A nominal fee of $5 to train each person can be charged and that would be another way to make govt revenue. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Just to let you know, as a business owner, which you are clearly not… We don ‘t have ‘customer service’ problems. All of our staff is highly trained to international standards. What we don’t have is
      F-ing customers because we don’t have a proper berthing facility. DUH!

    • Anonymous says:

      I think we should send you to training, starting with Econ101.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ridiculous idea.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thank you CNS for elevating these poor Captains plight to headlines.  There are lots of conspiracy theories about who is actually behind this but speak to Captain McCoy, Bryan, Soto, Hurlston etc and find out that they have been suggesting this for years.  The objectors are just people trying to go against the best for the country.

    And if Captain McCoy says so we know MLA Miller from North side would recognize how good it must be. So I expect him to give support to this shortly.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you spoken to them? CNS does not even sound like they have properly spoken with all the Captains (excluding Ebanks and Soto) and are relying on Choppy Delephena's PR machine. 

      The captains ARE all being manipulated – perhaps to differing degrees. 


      Choppy Deliphena's business partner = Rene Hislop

      Rene Hislop = owner/developer of proposed Emerald Sound

      A cruise ship port in (the same area of)  South Sound is incongruent with  the proposed Emerald Sound development


      This SS port proposal is mischievous!

    • Anonymous says:

      “poor Captain’s plight”, “conspiracy theory”? This is not about any Captains and there is definately a conspiracy. Just follow the money, or in this case, the traffic flow of cruisers as they walk off the dock onto R.C. Estates owned land. R.C. Estates is the registered owner of not only all of the waterfront land as you come ashore, but also all of the land on both sides of the road leaving the dock area.

  10. Say what? says:

    Man Mac just build the thing…let the mourners mourn and the frowners frown!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Why are they calling it Red Bay port when it is in South Sound? If they can't get that right then help them. Where is there EIA ? If they dont have one who is going to pay for it? An EIA is a million dollars. So if someone said the best place is off Barkers shoudl CHEC and the Government study that too?

    Anyone can come up with an idea and say study it but it needs to make sense and be backed up with strong facts. Right now they have none.

    Does Choppy really think that the public does not see what is going on?

    Mac, make the decision and build the port and get it over with so that we can get the ships back in port.

  12. Anonymous says:

    "The Captains" surely did not pay for these plans to be drawn.

    "The Captains" surely did not pay for the website to be developed.

    "The Captains" obviously do not own the land around this proposed dock.

    Why all this masked talk about "The Captains"

    • Santa's little Elves says:

      You are correct. The "Captains" did not pay for the plans nor the website. They were donated to them by the company that produced them in the national interest and to ensure the country's expenditure of $200-300M will be a wise investment wherever it goes- GT or Red Bay. Santa does not care.

      As for landowners around the HARBOUR (in GT what is proposed is merely a dock), the closest it comes to shore is about 1000 feet. The 'road' to the facility comes ashore in two locations both chosen by the National Roads Authority as the logical connection points to the existing road network and also based on available land. It would be crazy todraw a road through someone's living room, surely.

      If you had listened to radio a few weeks ago the "Captains" were indeed on there speaking for themselves. It just happens that Captain McCoy, who spearheaded the design of the current facility, is back at sea for a few weeks. I am sure that he is not afraid to speak when he returns.

      Stay tuned for the "Return of the Captains".  In the meantime keep an eye on the donated website as well.  It is always being updated by the elves.  ""

      Sail good.


  13. Whodatis says:

    Elderly lady caller on Thurday's Cayman Crosstalk on Rooster FM:

    " … both my father and grandfather were paper Captains – and they neva' just drive dey' boat out in da' Nort' Soun' and den' call dey'self Cap'n unlike certain people …" !!!???

    LOL!! Oh my goodness – I almost DIED!!

    I am sorry if anyone is offended but that made my day – I haven't laughed that hard in a very, very, long time!

    * Honestly, there is nothing in this world like my older Caymanian folk – they give it to you straight, like it or lump it!

    Happy Friday everyone!



    • Anonymous says:

      Captain Arlen McCoy has a "Master Unlimited License"….that means that he is licensed to command ANY size and Class Vessel in ANY ocean in the world. He is currently directing BP captains in the Gulf of Mexico on BERTHING!.

      I think he brings a new level of expertise to the term "Caymanian Captain". Has he done more than taken a speed boat out in the north sound???…you bet he has.

      And Captain McCoy says Red Bay is the best location to berth a ship. I have no reason to doubt his judgment. None so ever.


      • Anonymous says:

        That is simply not true and you have incorrectly attempted to mislead in your post.  It would depend on the flag states endorsement

      • Whodatis says:

        Greetings poster,

        I don't doubt a word of your post.

        Also, please understand that what I found so amusing was the elderly lady's blunt and direct manner – not so much the content of her words. Besides, I am not very informed on the credentials of any of the guests in-studio at the time.

        I am not mocking the qualifications of any individual … I am simply enjoying the nature of my people.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Just build it in George Town and forget about it.  Margaritaville and others have already ruined it; Dart owns most of it, etc.  Cayman is going to have to do what Bermuda did eventually anyway, which is to set aside an area of land somewhere to PLAN a capital city.  Their old capital St George's was preserved for tourists and the power poles put underground to maintain the old feel.  Hamilton is a gleaming, well-organised city with space for motorbikes, a beautiful marina, stop lights and everything else.  No more 'man, make me see if I can circle round yah and find a parkin space'.

  15. Anon says:

    The onlyway this becomes an "all weather port" is if you build a 20 foot high cap over the current reef.  Does no one remember how some small weather erodes away SS road?  Does no one remember what South Sound looks like when hurricanes or inclement weather comes through? 

    If this proposal was really for the good of Cayman you wouldn't be trying to kill off the natrual beauty.  This nonsense needs to go away, just wasting time and more money.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know what will happen when Cuba opens?

    We will have the best empty dock in the region?

    I believe the term is "White Elephant"

    Only this one was no just constructed. It caused massive destruction in the process.

  17. Anonymouse says:

    What this realy shows (as comes up every time a Port is mooted) is that we're having the debate wrong.

    1) Figure out what is needed, i.e., what justifies the new port – remember there are two sides to this; the other side points out that the cargo facility is not at capacity, the larger cruise ships can actually be tendered with larger tender craft and there are no realistic growth projection/plans for either cruise or cargo port needs for the Cayman Islands so what are you basing your plans on anyway?

    2) Where is the best place for whatever port requirements (1) generates? There are economic, socil and environmental benefits and costs to every location. Lets put them all on the table and so we'll know what we're getting. Not have someone point out a big flaw half-way through pouring a dock. (And the Red Bay plans seem to have this problem in spades.)

    3) Then work out who is going to build it and how we're going to pay for it. Every other port plan (except, I admit, the Red Bay one) seems to start from point 3 and work backwards.


    • Anonymous says:

      The PPM work from 1 – 3 in that order…just saying…

      • Anonymouse says:

        Unless Atlantic Star bought some land then proferred a plan to build port. 3-2-1- Dig! (Unless I got my political parties mixed up again.)

      • Anonymous says:

        PPM sure did 3-2-1 with the schools. The Parties are all the same!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Keep the port in town to enable smaller ships to keep coming and invest the money in new hotels and permanently reducing air fares, with a CAL subsidy, to increase stay over tourist for everyone to benefit. People will then benefit everyday of the week and all day long (and nights) not just for a very few hours a week for cruise shippers. Yes some small cruise ship orientated businesses will close and some expats have to leave but other businesses will open to service the stay over tourist. We do not have enough attractions for the numbers of passengers on these new big ships we need to concentrate on the smaller ships which will still be around and stay over tourists.

  19. Frank says:

    As i said before, after years of the government telling us as kids that this is a marine park, do not take conch or lobster from here….you all are thinking about now turning it into a cruise ship berthing facility?? Kind defeateds the whole point dont ya think?? Leave South Sound Alone. Uve already destroyed towon so build it there!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Let's face it – whatever area is suggested is going to be poorly received by someone.  It doesn't matter where it goes – it will cause traffic problems, unsightly views, noise and environmental issues…. I do have sympathy for anyone who live within the vicinity of whereever it ends up but it is necessary to have it somewhere.  I don't think there is a perfect option that will please 100% of the people.  They are going to have to sit down, view the pros and cons of each option and make a decision…and accept that it will never have 100% backing from the people.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The day that Cuba opens up to the world means the end of Cayman as we know it.

    The end of overprized condo's, end of cruising, end of tourisme in general.

    Who would want to visit a way too expensive tiny island with absolutely nothing caymanian if one can visit the rich culture, affordable prices in Cuba.

    So forget about this dock, and find something else.


    • Just Me says:

      "The day that Cuba opens up to the world", it won't be so affordable anymore. The USSR opened up too!

    • Anonymous says:

      Was in Cuba last charged US$32 for a lobster at the hotel. We will not have to worry about their prices, their culture maybe, but not their prices.

  22. Anonymous says:

    At least town won’t be so cluttered anymore. When is cabinet expected to make a decision, CNS?

  23. anonymous says:

    Finally, a solid proposal from folks who have nothing to gain from it. That is why you all are having so much trouble coming up with any solid reason to object.  It is obvious that the Red Bay location outshines George Town hands down. Who would be crazy  to try to push 4 of those ships in that little corner, side on to the wind?

    I for one am glad to hear they are taking it forward. And I certainly hope Government listens to them. It seems they dont listen to anyone these days but these guys are retired and can only mean well.


    • Anonymous says:

      "nohing to Gain" what a joke!  Oh wait, you must be talking about the super captains, because for sure Choppy and his long term parnters have something to gain.

    • Anonymous says:

      When did Rene and Choppy retire?

  24. Anonymous says:

    This is a re-post but quite relevant.

    While all the posts on this topic are interesting, and I personally wouild like any decision regarding any cruise dock to be based on the best interests of the Caymanian people, the reality is that the relevant decisions will not be made on the basis of anything to do with sea bottom conditions, prevailing winds and currents, the environment, safety, traffic flows or anything else. The decision will be made on the basis of who benefits – and I don't mean the general public. The only way that will change is if we change the decision makers. Harsh but true.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, the FCCA (or probably more accurately RoyalCaribbean) are requesting this facility.  Cayman activities feature prominently in their "GET OUT THERE" campaign, so we know we have more currency in this game.  If it must go ahead, why wouldn't Caymanians negotiate for them to pay for construction, get CHEC or other to build it, and create Caymanian jobs by retaining the management of the facility?  

      Red Bay would be ideal if it were a natural 80 feet deep bay, but we all know it's 5-20 and a protected nursary for reef life.  Oddly, the DOE is silent as are Save Cayman Hurricane protection squad and other potluck environmental groups.  The volume and scale of the massive subsea quarrying that would be required would make Mike Ryan blush and should have laughed this idea to the bin weeks ago.  

      Caymanians continue to prostitute this island's natural beauty for lean benefits concentrated into a few tainted hands.  Absurd concepts proceed beyond reason if the right person asks.  It seems you would chop down your orchards for firewood if the right person proposed it.  As a non-voting observer who loves and appreciates the natural beauty of this country, it is very hard to understand.  

      • Anonymous says:

        The DOE is silent because they are professional. They dont just jump up at everything and make an uniformed opinion not based on facts.

        They require facts, know what is being proposed, what are the scientific result of the project's terms of reference for the EIA, etc,  

        Nothing has been done on a EIA for GT or Red Bay so DOE has no comment YET.



        • Anonymous says:


          Or anyone for that matter. 

          It would be a futile waste of DOE resources. 

          This proposal IS a joke. 

          Protect South Sound group I believe take a similar view and are focused on their objection against Emerald Sound: CPA appeal, Cabinet rejecting the Coastal Works License application and objecting to the road movements (objections must be in by mid November). 

          Mac is well underway with negotations with CHEC to build the thing in GT – and he keeps repeating this every week, up to a couple of days ago – and updating us (if vaguely) on the GT cruise dock negotiations. 


  25. Anonymous says:

    I spend a lot of time in that area. Its really alive. Goggle eyes and sprat are in big schools along the mangrove edge  behind old Durty Reids area. Because of these the larger predators cruise the grass flats. Very little boat traffic because of shallow waters. Protected area for many years. Its full of life. Towards the reef the super male parrotfish feed. When was the last time you saw a Galenbow? (not sure how to spell it, local name for a huge parrotfish). Put the port in town. I worked the snorkel boats there for many years and the damage is already done there. Just build the GT port. Get cruiselines # up and move on. WE cant stifle the process anymore. The operators and tourism industry is suffering.

  26. Anonymous says:

    "The alternative to George Town also removes the traffic bottleneck at Hurley's as it would disburse traffic."

    What? Wouldn't it increase the problem as there would be an entirely new flow of traffic into the Hurley's round about? 


    “There are no private interests being represented here,” Delapenha said. “Our proposal to government will be for it to consider the Red Bay location over the downtown.”

    What? The project incorporates Emerald Sound. Does Mr. Delapenha really have nothing to do with Emerald Sound? No business partner? No close friend? 



    • Anonymous says:

      It DOES NOT include emerald sound…they are only foloowing where the NRA designed the road to town.

      Just ask Captain McCoy or Captain Bryan or Bob Soto, all supporters of this, what their plan is and what their motives are.

      I am sure for once you will be surprised. Love of country and to do the right thing. Not sexy but something refreshing finally.

      • Anonymous says:

        And it is NOT one of these captains who have designed this website. 

        Quite a few of them don't even have a computer or email!

        GIve me a break Choppy!

    • Anonymous says:

      Traffis solution- Look at their plan before you go off supporting DART and KIRKS.

      Private interests- ask Captain Bryan who supports this project. I am sure he is not shy to tell you his ideas.

      • Anonymous says:

        What does any of this have to do with supporting "Kirks and Darts"? At least we know who is NOT behind this project.

      • Anonymous says:

        Is this the same Capt. Bryan that is against North Sound dredging and against moving the WB Road? How can he be against those projects on the basis of heritage and environmental concerns and yet support the total destruction of South Sound?

    • Anonymous says:

      I was just about to echo the same when I read the above about the traffic.  While I respect the fact that our Captains may know about the sea, I would have to say respectfully their experience does not carry over to land and the mordern days of traffic.  Placing a cruise ship port in this location without providing for increased traffic flow will not "bottleneck" this area, but rather bring traffic to a complete stop.  Even with the recent addition of the "By-Pass",  the volume of traffic cannot be sustained.  For those of you that live past Savannah and are up before the roosters crow because you want to get your children out of bed for school, then somehow manage to slide into your office door before your boss can chastise you again for being late, think about it. 

      None of the people proposing this solution have this worry.  Have Choppy move up to East End or NorthSide and have him try to get to West Bay by 8am every morning.  I think you'll find a quick advocate to put the Port back in GT quickly after that!

      By the time you jokers finish complaining there won't be a need to build one!  I agree with the consensus.  Just build it and move on!! 

  27. Anonymous says:

    The port is being built so that cruise passangers will not need to be tendered in to George Town because this is too time consuming for the larger ships..This idiotic plan would mean that the passengers would need to be "tendered" in from South Sound to George Town by TAXIS, and we all know what a rip offf they are! So we build a dock which makes it harder to get the peassengers to the shops than it already is, destroys an environmental zone (although we know this is not a major concern to most Caymanians!) pisses off a few wealthy South Sound residents (who will probably sue and probably win) and place the transportation of these passengers in the hands of the taxi association who have shown themselves to be a bunch of lawless rip off artists (IMHO) Can you imagine Walkers Road at 7:45 am!!!! Brilliant! What a bunch of pin heads!

    • Anonymous says:

      I am curious to know how much busses should charge for the fare from south sound to gt shopping ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Some people should read before they post here. Really?   Makes them look silly. Go look at the Captain's plan. the website "" has all your answers and the pros and cons.

      Traffic improves with a new Bypass. Shuttle to town- no need to get "ripped off" by those starving taxi drivers who have not worked for 3 weeks now because of George Town weather. Even with a dock there they would not have worked.

      Pisses off some wealthy expats in South Sound- really?…I say country first over individual wealth. 

      THINK Caymanians, think. Dont let special interests fool you this time. Kirks and Dart already have their billions.

  28. Bueller says:

    Why does this nonsense get so much press? This would, quite literally, destroy the whole of South Sound. Not only does the Replenishment Zone get dredged and the reef destroyed, but a harbour like this would definitely result in oil and fuel pollution (probably waste too), and the current there pulls straight along the coast to the west.


    Then you've got the problem of bussing the tourists into town (you think traffic's bad now!) and the fact that the south side of the Island is rough more often than not (look at the reef – waves are almost always breaking). I mean why do they think the port was put in Hogsty Bay in the first place? It's flat calm 90% of the year on the west side!


    And that's not even mentioning the lawsuits/compensation claims that would definitely follow from the surrounding home owners, who paid for sea front land, but would be left land-locked by this monstrosity.


    If the Cabinet are going to waste any time at all on this, they simply need to kill the idea immediately. It's pure foolishness.


    IMHO they need to get the cruise ship docks built in GT where they are now (and get started immediately!), and swallow some pride and resurrect the Atlantic Star deal to move the cargo operations to the end of Bodden Road. Problems solved.

    • Anonymous says:

      While most of your post has already been answered on the Captain's website there is really a simple question for you- does the need (greed) of the FEW really outweigh the needs of the COUNTRY??

      No one was guaranteed a 'view' by anyone when they bought their property. I am sure they even expected mother nature to move that view around every now and then (remember Ivan).

      Please refrain from posting nonsense in the future. Lawsuits?…ha ha, very funny.

      • Anonymous says:

        Captain's website? Dont you mean Choppy and Rene's website?

      • Anonymous says:

        If no one is guaranteed a view, then maybe we should work a deal where the new mount trashmore is put next to Choppy's house and the new oil refinery is put next to Rene's house. 

        No one guaranteed them a good view…or clean air…or a polution free environment.

    • Anonymous says:

      Does anyone else detect a Chinese accent here?

    • Anonymous says:

      I'm losing my house because of people like you . Because you think your sea view is a right to see 180 degrees. Thats your first mistake.  2 there isn't much reef inside in the red bay area. this is obviously the problem with most of the complainers. Its sand and underneath is marl. 3 any and i mean anyoil or bilge containments that come from a ship is a 500,000 dollar fine. So all ships have put in gear to make sure that doesn't happen.4 This the reason why it should go in red bay because its calm 360 days of the year inside the bay. 5 where are you from? calm 90% of the year, were you drunk or on drugs? George town port authority can prove that statement is wrong. 6 sue for what ? anybody on the ocean in a house or a condo will still SEE the ocean. 7 Do you know that the atlantic star deal was going to destroy the best reefs in cayman for diving? soto's reef central and south. two dive sites ? 

                      I see… people like you should try diving for 30 years then come back form experience in what you talking about. People like you should run a boat on the west side and the south side. Come through channels with no markers on it  . In rough seas . large boats not skiffs . Then you will understand why these Capt. are right.

      • Bueller says:

        Unfortunately my family has never owned beach-front land, and I sure as hell can't afford to buy any, so the view is the least of my worries. I was merely stating a fact – the Govt. would get sued, and we're broke enough as it is.


        There's plenty of patches of coralheads in there, and the sand flats are full of conch etc. And fines are great, but money won't fix a reef once the damage is done.


        Yes its calm inside the reef in South Sound, but that's only because the reef acts as the breakwater. Once you cut a huge hole in it to let the ships in, the waves are coming in with them.


        I'd give the diving a break if I wereyou! You're not making a whole lot of sense. Are you really trying to argue that the west side of the Island is rougher than the south side?


        And to the posters below, I'd bet big money that Renee has nothing to do with this. He'd wouldn't sell a single lot in Emerald Sound if this abomination was to go through.

  29. Anonymous says:

    CNS – Your headline is misleading.

    Anyone can take any hair brained idea to Cabinet ie request a meeting with them.

    SS Port Pushers Want Audience With Cabinet

    is more like it

  30. Anonymous says:

    The home owners of South Sound, Red Bay and Prospect will face huge property devaluation in what is currently a beautiful, natural setting.  The opposition that came to the proposal for one small canal into the Emerald Sound development would be multiplied by thousands and could potentially lock up the possibility of moving the cruise dock forward which this country cannot afford.  We have lost way too much time business and jobs by delaying the development of a cruise berth.
    The South Sound/Red Bay area that would have to be dredged to approx. 50' is now zoned as an "environmental replenishment zone" not just a marine park.  This may not mean a whole lot to someone trying to make the quick buck, but to true Caymanians (those that love this country and its natural beauty) this type of environmental "raping" is an absolute disgrace.
    The entire reef around this development would have to be capped with reinforced cement. Completely killing the coral reef along an area designated by the department of environment as a place that needs to be protected just doesn't seem to make sense.
    The amount of infrastructure that would have to be developed (and paid for by our government with our tax/duty money) is no small cost.  Currently the cruise ships dock in town and traffic flows outwards (to tours etc.). Suddenly reversing this traffic flow,  bussing thousands of tourists through the already backed up, roads during peak traffic hours does not seem to be a good plan to make anyone's lives easier.
    All the land owners and businesses in town have developed, nurtured and invested into George Town for over 40 years.  Trying to move the cruise dock out of town so that a couple of guys with their own interest and not the country's best solution is just not right.  All of the property owners in town have paid premium prices and developed long term business plans over generations.  This is just an attempt to take undeveloped land and hit the jackpot no matter who it hurts.
    The South Sound cruise idea may have been a great possibility 30 yrs ago.  You simply cannot abandon 40+ years of investment and development, it just does not make sense. To show the mentality we are dealing with.  Rainbow developed and sold the "Villa Emerald" to a customer for close to $4M.  Now they are trying to put a cruise dock in that poor guys back yard. I'm sure he'll love the view, traffic and hundreds of busses that will be lined up outside his door.  All for love of money.
    When I first heard the proposal for this development, I paid it little mind as I thought there could be no possibility that such a ludicrous proposal could gain any traction.  The proposal pipes the cruise tourists straight into and through the Emerald Sound development.

    • Anonymous says:

      You know when you post this amount of propaganda your posts become invalid.

      The opposition to Emerald Sound was led on misinformation. The Captains have fortunately gotten out their message first. thank God.

      your queries:

      1. The 'marine park" designation IS a 'replenishment zone. All it means is you are not allowed the taking of conch and lobster. DOE has said that in the 25 years the counts of conch, lobster etc have not even expanded at all so not even sure this is working. Do understand there are lots of sea eggs up near old prospect point however.

      2.The captains have not said anything about 'capping the reef'. they propose a breakwater INSIDE the reef which will also be a habitat for sea life. It will also SAVE those same expat homes you talk about stopping any hurricane waves coming into the sound.

      3. Traffic is a bad excuse if we are talking about George Town. When we have 24,000 cruise passengers, that is 100 to 150 buses per hour leaving GT to go to tours. No one has said how GT will handle that traffic. They only show you the pretty offshore pictures. Just wait for the other shoe to drop. The Red Bay port also deals with the traffic bottleneck at Hurley's. I am sure the folks of East End, North Side and Bodden Town will love their solution.

      4. Given the value of fill coming from the site, OUR government's cost may ultimately be half what GT is. Simple- remember the East End Seaport argument by its objectors? greedy developer making quarry and millions of dollars? we the cayman people can now be the 'greedy developer" for once. Cost is on the Red Bay port's side as well.  Who really has costed a structure that can stand up to those ways out there in Hog Sty Bay in 100 feet of water. come on now. One serious hurricane from the south or west and its at the bottom of the drop-off.

      5. Yes the downtown merchants ( DART and the KIRKS mainly) have invested and the captains have said they want no retail in Red Bay. They have proposed a shuttle to town. The Busiest cruise port for shopping is St Thomas and the ships dock 5 miles away in Havensight. Charlotte Amelie is still crazy on cruise ship days, and they are all purchasers-not wet stingray city folks looking for a free handout.

      6. While you keep refering to Emerald Sound and its developer to try to stir up opposition probably, the road system shown comes from the NRA. Even emerald sound had to design around that central road and roundabout I remember Connoly saying. The road into the Redbay and back again has been designed for years. That is why they put the roundabout in Prospect by Joeys lovely new car wash. The "fourth leg" of that goes out into red bay and back near Emerald Sound- just look at their maps. At least the NRA is forward thinking unlike some.

      No, this is a serious proposal worth considering. The Captains have nothing to gain and do NOT want retail out there. I was wondering when post like this supporting DART and the KIRKS was going to show up. Well it is time we think of the country first instead of the few mega-merchants and a couple of wealthy expats in South Sound. Talk about the love of money? hmm. thought so!


      • CI Concern says:

        Bobo, there won't be no replenishment zone left, unna want dig it out and let them big ships plow through.

      • Concerned SS Citizen says:

        "The Captains" aren't the ones holding all the land right infront of this port.  "The Captains" aren't the ones holding the land where the roads are piping through.  Stop hiding behind "the Captains" 

        This is about people trying to make money out of undeveloped land. 

      • Concerned SS Citizen says:

        "The Captains" are not the ones who get to decide what the Emerald developers do with their "new waterfront town" and potential shopping village.

      • Concerned SS Citizen says:

        The traffic is a main part of your argument, but if you think that moving the roundabout a couple hundred feet makes any difference you are wrong.  You are trying to get out on a technicality, yes the traffic bottle neck might not be completely concentrated on the "Hurley's Roundabout" it will now be concentrated on the new "Emerald Sound Roundabout"

      • Anonymous says:

        If you think the people that own land in front of this proposed front wouldn't SELL OUT to DART real quick you are very mistaken.  If you think DART wouldn't buy that land up even quicker you are even more mistaken.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why are you hiding behing the "Captains" Do they read this blog or is it Captain Choppy and Captain Rene?

  31. Anonymous says:

    Is this really "all weather"…?  If so, we could certainly have used it this week.  🙁

    • Anonymous says:

      No ships came to this part of the Caribbean this week so a port would have made no difference what so ever.

      • Anonymous says:

        The ships could have landed at Spotts, it was calm enough from last week Friday. It was like glass out there Wednesday. I drove out to check the sea conditions. So, there are other reasons why the ships did not come.

  32. Anonymous says:

    JHC! Can we please, please stop dicking around and build the dang port in GT, where it belongs? Many, many of us have invested for YEARS in GT, and suffered devastating losses while one administration after the other dragged their lazy, self serving, feet. It is going to take years of opposition for the above proposed local to be approved. And more years yet to secure financing and plans. And I, for one, cannot afford to spend another decade hemorrhaging losses!
    This is no joke, the cruise industry in Cayman is going to die. And to all you “we only want stay over tourists” whiny, head in the sand, think you know it alls… Guess what? Without ships their is no George Town. There will be no restaurants, or shops (other than Dart/island Co.). Already a great number of us have succumb to the lack of ships. So stop delaying the inevitable. Either the port goes in GT or Cayman forgets about having cruise tourism. Enjoy your smoke pots.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Looks like “The Captains” have got themselves a well oiled propaganda machine behind them. Hmmmm.

    • Anonymous says:

      My thoughts exactly, weather had perfect timing for Glidden also, divine propaganda. See! we need a new road, he should have no say in any deals with Dart as his companies work there and his employees live on the property there.

      • Anonymous says:

        You keep bringing up this perceived conflict that only you have a problem with. Glidden isnt involved with this port proposal and has been quiet on the one with the Chinese, it doesn't appear he is involved with the negotiations of that one either.  It was suggested he had a conflict with Dart and DECCO and that was why they would get to build the Port. Well guess what newsflash they didn't get it, what happened to the conflict????? 

    • Anonymous says:

      The Captains certainly have a slick website. Who says they can only drive ships? If I wasn't so fool, I would think there was big money hiding behind all this.

  34. Anonymous says:

    No disrespect intended but I didn’t read what qualifications the ‘sea captains’ have other than being able to drive a ship. The Government would require input from experts in this field, in the design and feasibility of such a project before bringing it to the table for consideration.

    • Anonymous says:

      It did sound like disrespect when you speak like that. Captain McCoy can do more the "drive a ship".

      Are you talking about experts like DART and the KIRKS? OMG  are we really that much sold out to these two billionaires?

      • Anonymous says:

        Do you really think the "Kirks and Darts" bashing is fooling anyone? Caymanians are not idiots.

    • Anonymous says:

      There's a reason why airline pilots don't build airports. While they may have valuable input they are simply not qualified. A port project would require the design opinion of the relevant professionals.

  35. Anonymous says:

    You cannot compare the South Sound reef system and it’s unspoiled beauty with the desolation of the Cali/Balboa area. Dont even go there as justification for this envronmental disaster plan.

    • Anonymous says:

      Miss Annie H. Bodden told the Assembly many,many years ago, when they were debating this same issue, "if our forefathers had thought of a better place, they would have put the dock there in the first place!!"  I think it was Mr. Berkley Bush who was head of the Port Authority at the time. Those people used 'common sense', but that's not so 'common' in today's world. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Our forefathers did not have equipment to do anything else, in fact the first dump truck came here in 1951 to do the airport. The Jamaica PWD had to lend it to us.

        That's why, Ms Annie, your forefathers put that little strip of concrete on the ironshore where it is battered in every northwester. They knew better just couldnt do the right thing.

        Hope we do not go along with everything saidback then. We would still have mosquitoes which at the time was also said to be impossible to control.

  36. Anonymous says:

    When are we going to hear from these “Captains”? If Choppy and his partners want to build a Port in South Sound, they should man up and say so. Strange we haven’t heard directly from the Emerald Sound developers as this project overlays that original plan. Maybe they have decided to give the land to the Captains.

  37. Anonymous says:

    I cant wait to see the Environmental impact study on this one. If we are going to rape the Country, Why not use the extra fill to build an island in the North Sound?

    • Anonymous says:

      Please use a different word, rape is a violent sexual assault, don't downplay it by comparing it to something else.

  38. Anonymous says:

    back to square one again….zzzzzzzzzzz

  39. Anonymous says:

    It's sad that we have to worry about these cruise ships with their grotesquely lower class tourists cluttering up our Caymanian infrastructure. Lets cut our expenditure and do without them.

    • Andy G says:

      I will be there on a cruise ship in December.  Look for me – i will be the grotesquely lower class tourist cluttering up George Town. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Please don't hold this comment against the majority of us Caymanians.  There are a few, like the ones proposing this south sound dock, that operate out of ignorance.

        • Anonymous says:

          And there are one or two of us Caymanians, like you, that blog out of ignorance. (No, I am not talking about most Caymanians either!)

    • Anonymous says:

      Why don't you pay Income and property taxes so you can do without them, you underclass fool who are you to put yourself off as higher class than anyone else. Do you even have a job ?

  40. Anonymous says:

    Nature has a way of providing mankind with almost everything they need. It is up to mankind to develop what nature has provided so that it is most beneficicial to them. The reality is that nature has provided the Caymanian people with two areas that they can develop into real nice all weather operating ports. For some reason, only a few can identify those areas that can be developed at the least cost into a great deep water harbour for all year round Maritime operations.

    Those that are able to identify these areas must fight to convince those who are either unable or for lack of reasoning unwilling to see that those are the only viable areas that can be developed with low cost and will be sustained with low maintenance costs for many years.

    Many of our forefathers has long ago identified Red Bay and the North Sound as viable areas to place a cruise Port. Why we continue to this day to act against what we know is right I will never understand. Do we have to lose the cruise business entirely before we will see the light and act on it. It is surely looking that way right now.

    However while we are pondering and pretending that this matter will resolve itself, the cruise lines have made it clear that they are not prepared to wait any longer and are taking their business to countries who really show that they appreciate it. So we can sit around and do nothing and see if when we lose all the cruise business anyone is going to feel sorry for us.