So, again, if we take this back to the original topic. We know the anchorage in Grand Cayman has been an issue as long as I can remember and worse now that the cruise
ships are bigger and there are more of them. There is a sliver of sand for the ships and mega yachts to anchor
on. If directed to anchor
in a particular place to stay out of the way of commercial
traffic, most of us agree that we would follow that advise unless we knew for fact how little room it afforded and possibility of doing environmental damage as we are most concerned with whether it is a safe place to drop anchor.
Without getting into local politics and the fight between the far right accommodating more of the larger cruise
ships and those who are on the far left of environmental concerns who will use the most visible target in the media to bring light to the issue. I don't have a problem with that. What I do have a problem with is the professional mariners who will be used as a scape goat through the media with a lynch mob
bulls-eye on their forehead for doing what they were told to do by someone in authority in a foreign country. Caveat below from the cruise antagonists point of view.
: cayman islands : Cruise Law News
Even in this case, the first order of the master is to ensure he is anchoring
in a place that he feels is safe based upon the depths, proximity to other vessels and fairways, and prevailing conditions. The environmental impact of that decision is normally left to local knowledge, especially when forced to find a suitable anchorage and weigh your job against the evils. If you have a box to anchor in, it is occupied and millions of revenue is at stake, everyone will try and find a way as the Captain is pressured by both the company and the island. Problem being is much of that help is held harmless...
If the boat and master are being used as a high profile media pawn in a local dispute on building the new pier, then I am going to be the first to defend them. I have very mixed feelings about the new pier, so not taking a side in that battle. I am also not siding with every mariner who has done damage to Soto's Reef. Let all the facts come out before pointing fingers, we may have had a different view of Capt Hazelwood today - Maybe???
From the average cruisers point of view (That is the forum and viewpoint we should take), recreational boats are the lowest in the pecking order and if told to do something by someone in known authority, especially in a foreign country with the yellow flag flying, we would be hard pressed to question that order. You have two choices, comply or leave and go somewhere else. If told to drop anchor at a specific place that passes all the other tests for the safety
of my vessel and crew, unless I was absolutely sure what I was anchoring
over, I would heed to it as would most everyone else.
For you further reading:
Grand Cayman Port Regulations & Laws
Information on the new port they are trying to build from the protagonist point of view. Cayman's Port Cayman's Future
What the anchorage looks like these days.