Please spare me the sad stories of those suffering americans who can only afford to see the islands by sailing in on one of those cattle cars. Also not so sure how many of those people actually made their countries great but that is a mute point and I have no sympathy.
However having been born in the Cayman Islands
and also living for years on the islands of Barbados
, I have personally witnessed the carnage left behind by the hordes.
Started SCUBA diving
at the age of 12 and that was many many years ago. Remember the reef structure even in the harbor of Georgetown
being vibrant, there were spectacular coral
caves teeming with fish
and live coral
. Today they are all dead and what you find is sometimes maybe 50 to 60 snorkelers in life jackets peering down at dead coral. The barrier reef in the North Sound by what today is called Stingray City is bleached white and there are 100's of visitors a day off the cruise ships. When the ships are in you cannot go downtown without facing traffic jams more similar to Manhattan than a Caribbean Island. Also having had the opportunity to work in Hospital Emergency
Departments in the islands crime is rampant when cruise ships are in town.
So I guess maybe my bias is partially a PTSD type reaction.
However after sailing to Cuba on two previous occasions I was in awe of the underwater beauty and the abundance of marine
life. It reminded me of my youth growing up in the Caymans and it left me sad. Yes the Caymans are very wealthy but despite it being a financial center they also have a thriving tourist trade
which in the opinion of many is continuing to lead to destruction of the island. The saying "What profit a man to gain the world only to loose his soul" comes to mind.
Also you guys have educated me in that cruise ships are already in Havana. But that will only be the beginning, next it will be Cienfuegoes, then Cayo Largo and god forbid Jardines de la Reina.
My hope is that the Cuban government
will continue to enact strict control of their natural resources.
Also the first time I sailed into the St. Vincent Tobago
Cays in the 70's I was the only one anchored in the whole area. So I am now getting old and it will not matter to me but I have raised 3 children
who also love the ocean and fear that in their life time they will not see the same world that I remember.
But maybe the people who made america great will just be happy to get a "cheeseburger in paradise" and leave the reefs alone.