A master mariner on the cruise dock

| 17/10/2019 | 47 Comments

Paul A. Hurlston writes: I started my sea career at the age of fifteen 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 and 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, USVI; St Thomas, USVI; Point Lisas, Point a Pier, Galleoita, Trinidad; Bonaire, Netherland West Indies; St Martin; Cul de Sax Bay, St Lucia; Purto Moralis, Mexico; Freeport, Bahamas; Guyanilla, Puerto Rico, and many more.

I will name some of the company’s 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 enclose. 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


Share your vote!


How do you feel after reading this?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid

Tags:

Category: development, Local News, Viewpoint

Comments (47)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Remember when Moses said that if the referendum went ahead it would derail the project to the point the process would have to be restarted, regardless of result?

    https://www.caymancompass.com/2018/09/25/government-referendum-would-kill-cruise-port/

    CNS should mention this in some of their follow-up reporting. Just another example of why people are against the project and find it difficult (understatement) to trust what government says.

  2. Anonymous says:

    blind man can see what a wreckage this will be. Alden get a grip and stop this foolishness. The experienced Sea Captain has spoken.

    31
    31
    • Anonymous says:

      Alden and crew think they know more than Capt. Paul. They have probably never been outside the reef. $$$ is what it’s all about.

      9
      11
      • Anonymous says:

        The future of the Country is what it is all about! We need the dock to secure it!

        1
        8
        • Anonymous says:

          Really? To secure our future?

          Unproven assumptions that a larger cargo port is needed or will make goods cheaper? An incremental increase in tourists, above what the Government’s own management plan says is desired, and which the reports showed was actually only a maybe that could be achieved in other ways anyway if we wanted it.

          None of these things are necessary, i.e., needed, to ‘secure’ our future.

  3. JJ says:

    Why all this silly banter with bad information? People, please go read about the port plans for yourself and quit complaining that the info isn’t available. It is….

    Here is the link to Verdant Isle’s website. There is a lot of info there!

    http://www.verdant.ky/

    20
    18
    • Anonymous says:

      more like promises and propaganda…We are not fooled…I want to hear this from the mouth of Alden and Moses because they are the ones we are holding responsible.

      11
      3
  4. Anonymous says:

    Capt. Paul
    I am so thankful for your first hand knowledge on this matter. I hope it will knock some sense into Alden’s brain.

    23
    31
    • Christian van der Bol says:

      There are many structural deficiencies in the port design, just wait tilll one of he cruise ships slams into one of hose piers and sends it to the bottom. Or one bad northwester which will do the same. Capt Paul has 2 mothers, one is Mrs. Hurlston, the other is Mother Nature! He respects both. Come on guys ! do permanent moorings and give the Tender company long term contracts to buy bigger tenders and make some shade for the people to be comfortable while they waiting to go back on the ships in the hot sun. And legalize gambling because everyone knows that’s the main reasons why the ships want to get 12 miles out ASAP ! The piers will fail ! Keep it simple ! This is a total disaster you planning, hope you all have an escape plan when the ocean swells come calling, they don’t have any mercy ! The whole thing is so retarded, money blurs the vision !

      23
      31
  5. Anonymous says:

    Government is at it again with trying to influence the vote by holding a jobs fair BEFORE the referendum. Get some people in with promises of gold in their pockets so they won’t vote against the port. This is a disgusting move by the pro-port lobby.

    1) Prevent people from casting their votes by putting in a deadline for getting on the registered voters list
    2) Put the referendum on a date right when schools are getting out and people are leaving the island
    3) Rig the question so it includes the cargo port
    4) Hold a jobs fair before the referendum
    5) Take over the airwaves and social media with ads on the public dime

    Democracy at work

    40
    53
  6. Anonymous says:

    “Why is the builder of the dock designing it? ”

    Excellent question I never thought of myself.

    An architect hopes to achieve a certain aesthetic, a design that will be both functional and beautiful. Builder hopes for the same while applying good construction methods and keeping an eye on the budget.

    Builders should be hiring architects for their design expertise, and they should really allow an architect to make their strong recommendations regarding the design and its execution.

    Custom builders are not licensed in the same way architects are and cannot conceptualize a complete project in the way that architects are able to do

    25
    8
    • Anonymous says:

      7:22 there is no law against it!

      2
      3
      • Just Sayin says:

        And if there was a law against it, this government would amend it; if the law was passed but not in effect, they would not bring it into effect. Agreed?

        12
        1
    • Anonymous says:

      Architects do not take instructions from builders, secondly there is no “licencing ” of Architects in Cayman. Anybody here can call themselves an Architect, with or without qualifications, and many do.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Finally: a long overdue dose of truth from one with eyes, ears, and a distinguished career of gravitas. Thank you.

    66
    70
  8. Unna take that! says:

    Thanks Capt. Try so talk to these eedyuts.

    58
    51
  9. Anonymous says:

    Captain Hurlston asks a lot of good questions.

    “Why is the builder of the dock designing it?”
    I think it is because this may have been tendered as a “Turnkey” or “EPIC” contract (Engineering Procurement Installation Commissioning)? Who in Government or the Civil Service has the expertise “design a dock”?

    “Yes, you can build the dock at a cost, but will you be able to use it?”
    Well, if we can’t then the contractor will pay under the terms of the EPIC contract.

    “Why is the design so secret?”
    Is it, though? Plans etc published on CNS yesterday. What is being kept secret? (Tip: Ask CNS what information is in the public domain, but not considered “news worthy”?) However, there will be information related to the bid that is legitimately commercially sensitive.

    “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.”
    Or as we call it now “some ships have a large air draft”. Surprisingly, this is considered at the design stage of the ships and dynamic positioning and propulsion systems designed accordingly. Cruise ship Captains no longer have to “lash themselves to the wheel” when winds are approaching 20 knots.

    “In closing, think and listen. Listening to people can save a whole lot of headache, sometimes even your life.”
    Yup. That has always worked out well!

    I am opposed to the cruise port, but our case is not advanced by tales of “wooden ships and iron men”. Or maybe it is?

    Flame away…..

    23
    20
    • Hugh Japendidge says:

      The point about the wind affecting these monster ships is that they’ll mash up the dock whenever they get their docking slightly wrong (think 10% of the time at least), and they’ll mash up the dock slowly but surely whilst docked and in high or squally wind and /or mild chop. I give the docks 18 months before they need major repairs.

      32
      37
    • Anonymous says:

      What a pompous ass you are! Before you try and discredit Capt Paul maybe you should do some research! YouTube is full of videos of cruise ships crashing into docks! Where were their dynamic positioning and propulsion systems then? This thing is going to be a complete disaster if it’s ever built!

      35
      40
    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed, except the reason the builder of the dock is designing it, is because it’s being built for them, not us.

      26
      30
    • Anonymous says:

      Everytime a ship docks in moderate to high winds they will have to use their thrusters considerably. this WILLstir up sediment and silt and send it towards Eden Rock or Cheesburger Reef depending on wind direction….the death of these coral systems will be guaranteed…

      14
      20
  10. Anonymous says:

    Excellent points. Thank you!

    28
    30
  11. Anonymous says:

    “Why is the builder of the dock designing it?” The builders of the dock are Cruise ship companies.
    “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, USVI; St Thomas, USVI; Point Lisas, Point a Pier, Galleoita, Trinidad; Bonaire, Netherland West Indies; St Martin; Cul de Sax Bay, St Lucia; Purto Moralis, Mexico; Freeport, Bahamas; Guyanilla, Puerto Rico, and many more.” It is obvious from your experience that every place you mentioned needed a dock. Why would we not need one also? A Cruise ship is different because of its super structure. A sudden wind change over 20 knots would make it harder to maneuver and need more space. That would make it very difficult in Red Bay. North Sound would have to make a much larger turning basin. Cost would almost double dredging the Sound to 40-50 feet. Can you imagine power lost in the South or in the sound and a ship drifting? George Town would be different a ship would drift away from Cayman. Cause any other time the weather wouldn’t allow ships to use the piers.
    I think you have said it clear, the Government are not dock builders and don’t know what it would take to build one. So they did the best thing they got the people who own Cruise ships who have experience. They put it out to tender from companies who have built piers and know how many pilings, cement, conduit ,glass windows, glass doors, toilets sinks, faucets, electric light bulbs, electric poles, wood beams, steel girders, asphalt, paint forms to produce the piers, the wave walls, etc,etc.
    Do we really need all this information in this kind of detail. Cause it’s going to increase the bill. No one in the Cayman Islands knows what is needed to built this port or any other port in fact any other project in the last 50 years. Let us not pretend that we do. We need a port all these places that you and I have been we saw a port. A school design in Frank Sound was created and when they built it they changed it because of teachers complaints. It cost us over 100 million CI dollars. We going to build another High School and go over 100 million CI dollars. No other school in Cayman came to such a high amount. How many school graduates are getting jobs from these schools? How many are going to college or University? Should we do petition? Let us all vote to see if we can afford another 100 million CI dollar school.

    27
    37
  12. G.Wirth says:

    It seems Cayman wants to stay I the dinosaur time….cruise operators do not like tendering. With Carnival- TCL etc.involved Cayman will be assured yo the best ships visiting guaranteed

    80
    77
    • Anonymous says:

      You are way past dinosaurs time. You are on your way to become a wasteland with land and sea life already dead or dying. The land of children born with birth defects, learning disabilities and the rest suffering from neurological disorders and cancer.
      Congratulations!

      23
      24
    • Anonymous says:

      At what price? Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Why take a chance that it could ruin what all we have now? Use your heads, people.

      27
      30
    • Anonymous says:

      I spoke with a serial cruiser the other day. She disembarked on Grand Cayman on a cruise and had a wonderful experience on the tender. She also traveled to the Bahamas where the ship couldn’t dock because of bad whether. They took a tender. Go figure…

      44
      50
      • Anonymous says:

        10:54 BAD WEATHER ( not whether ) a plane don’t land in BAD WEATHER also!

        15
        9
        • Anonymous says:

          When seas are choppy planes still land… and the tourists stay over… and spend more. Invest in stay over tourism and not floating toilets!

          13
          19
    • Anonymous says:

      The Cruise Chief plainly said tendering is an outdated system, and is the option, for the absent of a dock, what part of that is difficult to comprehend?

      19
      9
    • Anonymous says:

      Cruises tender all over the world still, and always will. You’ve probably never been on one, or left the island. Either way, you have no clue what you are talking about.

  13. Anonymous says:

    With the greatest respect , a “Master Mariner” of decades ago sailing on simpler and much smaller cargo schooners , does not understand the sophisticated advances installed in modern vessels.
    These large Cruise ships have been successfully docked in all the worlds ports in all kinds of weather conditions.

    91
    87
  14. Anonymous says:

    Pertinent serious from someone who understands. Thanks Capt. Paul.

    65
    70
  15. Sharkey says:

    You hit the nail right on the head…The Government not only has no idea what it’s doing but it also has no idea what it wants!
    They couldn’t organize a drinks party in a brewery

    88
    90

You can comment anonymously. See CNS Comment Policy at the top of this page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.