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Old 08-07-2016, 17:17   #1
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Grand Cayman Canals in 1984: Question for a Work of Fiction

I had this posted over in the Off-Topics threads, but received no responses--maybe it's the question, or wrong category. Anyway, perhaps someone over here can help.

I’m hoping someone here might have some knowledge of Grand Cayman in the 1980s. I have Googled, consulted members on Grand Cayman travel forums, and even inquired of the Grand Cayman government (no response), and although I have learned many interesting little details that will help my novel along, I can’t seem to find one important piece of information: I need a canal in which to moor a 47’ Bermuda yawl. Yes, there are many canals that would work perfectly today, but what about in 1984? Grand Cayman was largely undeveloped, even in the early 80s and there isn’t a lot of information available on the internet—aside from the Queen’s visit and resort listings—so maybe someone here knows something of GC back then?

I need a residential area with more modest than upscale homes, with a canal that would accommodate a 47’ sailboat with a 6½‘ draft. Preferably someplace not too far from Cemetery Beach (northern part of the 7-Mile beach stretch). I’m favoring West Bay, “ Shores ” area for proximity, but have no idea at what stage of development it was in back in May, 1984, or what the homes were like along the canals. If I need to, I can be vague, but I love bits of detail that lend authenticity to a setting. In fact, I would love to hear anyone’s recollections of Grand Cayman back in the early 80s. Photos would be even more awesome!

Thanks,
Bridget
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Old 15-07-2016, 16:11   #2
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Re: Grand Cayman Canals in 1984: Question for a Work of Fiction

The Shores have deep enough water however getting to it may be a problem with only approximately 5ft at entrance. The North Sound has many shallow spots, that area being only one of many. The shallows on approach to the Shores has been at that depth for a very long time. 6 1/2 foot draft is a lot for the North Sound. Why don't you simply write about a boat that has a centerboard then the Shores would be factual.
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Old 15-07-2016, 16:41   #3
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Re: Grand Cayman Canals in 1984: Question for a Work of Fiction

BTW there is an area closer to Rum Point called North Sound Estates that has deep water canals and probably if you are careful could get a boat with 6 1/2 ft. draft in there. It never really developed like the other canal lots on GC however it is sort of funky with unrestricted building rules. Sort of artsy with nice but lower end homes compared with the Shores which homes there are probably $2M+. Lots alone sell for $300K CI. Even early in the development the prices were over the top. You can still find a canal lot in NSE for $40-80K CI some with owner financing. Kind of a cool place but out of the way and probably underwater in a Hurricane.
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Old 16-07-2016, 05:18   #4
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Re: Grand Cayman Canals in 1984: Question for a Work of Fiction

Not definitive, but suggestive.
“... 1967 – Dyke building began in the swamps of Grand Cayman and the network of dykes and canals grew until 1983. This allowed for the swamp levels to be manipulated to interrupt the breeding cycles of the swamp mosquito ...”
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Old 16-07-2016, 11:29   #5
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Re: Grand Cayman Canals in 1984: Question for a Work of Fiction

Quote:
Originally Posted by caradow View Post
The Shores have deep enough water however getting to it may be a problem with only approximately 5ft at entrance. The North Sound has many shallow spots, that area being only one of many. The shallows on approach to the Shores has been at that depth for a very long time. 6 1/2 foot draft is a lot for the North Sound. Why don't you simply write about a boat that has a centerboard then the Shores would be factual.
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Originally Posted by caradow View Post
BTW there is an area closer to Rum Point called North Sound Estates that has deep water canals and probably if you are careful could get a boat with 6 1/2 ft. draft in there. It never really developed like the other canal lots on GC however it is sort of funky with unrestricted building rules. Sort of artsy with nice but lower end homes compared with the Shores which homes there are probably $2M+. Lots alone sell for $300K CI. Even early in the development the prices were over the top. You can still find a canal lot in NSE for $40-80K CI some with owner financing. Kind of a cool place but out of the way and probably underwater in a Hurricane.
Thank you so much for your responses!
I'm afraid I need to stick with the boat I've chosen for the story--it's an important part of the plot. If the Shores are a bit on the shallow end, perhaps Governor's Creek was better back in the day, and there appears to be a canal north of Yacht Drive. I'm betting that area is even more upscale than the Shores, but I could probably make it work. At any rate, since it is fiction--and my captain is well acquainted with the North Sound--and the exact location does not have historical context for the plot, I think I can get away with being somewhat vague about the exact location, simply alluding to the canal and designing it for my purposes. From the scant responses to this thread, I'm thinking there aren't a lot of people who know the depths and locations of Grand Cayman canals back in the 80s.

I do like the sound of Rum Point, but unfortunately, it's location makes it a cumbersome distance for some of the events that need to take place. Just the same, I really appreciate your help on this! Thank you so much!
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Old 16-07-2016, 11:33   #6
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Re: Grand Cayman Canals in 1984: Question for a Work of Fiction

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Not definitive, but suggestive.
“... 1967 – Dyke building began in the swamps of Grand Cayman and the network of dykes and canals grew until 1983. This allowed for the swamp levels to be manipulated to interrupt the breeding cycles of the swamp mosquito ...”
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Thank you so much for weighing in! Yes, I like what that informatin suggests. it does seem that by 1984 the canals were well underway if not fully developed. At least that's what I'm going with, taking a few liberties with my 'work of fiction!' Thanks again!
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Old 16-07-2016, 11:59   #7
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Re: Grand Cayman Canals in 1984: Question for a Work of Fiction

Just curious on what significance Cemetary Beach has to do with your novel or do I have to wait to read it? Spent my high school Summer's there about 2 houses down on what was once my grandmothers property. Also all my relatitives are buried there. Specticular beach however a lot has eroded away since my youth. Now in some places you can't see the beach for the hotels. To me it is tragic, to others it's a holiday....or well
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Old 16-07-2016, 13:11   #8
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Re: Grand Cayman Canals in 1984: Question for a Work of Fiction

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Originally Posted by caradow View Post
Just curious on what significance Cemetary Beach has to do with your novel or do I have to wait to read it? Spent my high school Summer's there about 2 houses down on what was once my grandmothers property. Also all my relatitives are buried there. Specticular beach however a lot has eroded away since my youth. Now in some places you can't see the beach for the hotels. To me it is tragic, to others it's a holiday....or well
I chose Cemetery Beach for a couple of reasons. One, its proximity to some of the tourist attractions, ones that would experience development over the next few decades--two of my characters are partners in a start-up business exploiting the island's natural resources. The name of the beach also fits in very well with some of the foreshadowing from earlier in the story. It also has a nice "beginner's" snorkeling reef, and also, it's the only beach on Grand Cayman that I have actually visited personally!

The foreshadowing aspect aside, since your previous post mentioning Rum Point, I have been reconsidering that area, with its canal and more modest homes, as an alternative setting. I'm weighing out how much the travel time and distance from the hub of the island really matters. There are plenty of great beaches on the North Side. On first attempt, I can't seem to find any information on the North Sound Estates you mentioned...I'll have to dig a little deeper.

...and then, of course, there would be all that rewriting...an inevitable part of constructing a work of fiction!

Thanks again for the suggestion!
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