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We spent part of yesterday evening doing something unique for us, we attended a meeting about the proposed establishment of a new Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Grenada. This is definitely not something we would typically do as meetings like that are not our thing. That said, the MPA they are proposing includes one of the most popular anchorage areas in Grenada and thus, affects cruisers directly.

The first good thing about this is that they had a public meeting in the first place. I suspect that in many areas, the government would simply do what they want without that type of consultation. Unfortunately, outside of the people running the meeting, only about 9 people attended, and Rebecca and I, and our two friends made up 4 of the nine!

The biggest concern by the cruisers (I think) is that if the MPA is established, the St. Georges anchorage area will disappear and will be replaced by a mooring field. Most cruisers trust their own ground tackle more than they do sometimes questionably-maintained moorings, and paying for a mooring for a long-term stay would be cost prohibitive. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. There is another meeting scheduled for tomorrow.

8 Comments

  1. Agree. Nice to be invited for input. If think it shows that Grenada recognizes the value cruisers bring to the island.

  2. Unfortunately the sentiment in the first two sentences is shared by many cruisers I think. I applaud you for spending your time to get involved. You can’t be heard if you aren’t there to speak up.

  3. It makes sense to make the St George’s anchorage into a mooring field (providing the charges are reasonable) if you anchor too close to shore you will wreck the coral heads, if you are anchored too far out you impede the the ship channel

    • Well, that’s one opinion. We know of several spots to anchor in sand, and not in the channel. For cruisers who remain stationary for sometimes months at a time, any fee will be considered too much.

    • Even if the fees are kept reasonable, there’s a non-negligible safety concern with moorings.
      Doing them properly is expensive; it involves either screwing massive (100+ kg) augers into the seabed with heavy equipment, or drilling inch-thick bolts into even more massive (5+ tonne) granite blocks. The more common three-foot corkscrew or one-tonne concrete block are, even if perfectly maintained (which they never are), nowhere close to good enough to hold a cruising boat in bad weather. You need six to ten old Chevy 350 blocks on chains to equal the holding power of one well-set 30 kg Rocna.
      Thus, a dilemma: A rented mooring is either reasonably safe, but too expensive to attract cruisers; or it’s affordable, but so cheaply made as to be dangerous in any significant wind or wave conditions.

      • A resort laid a bunch of new moorings in a bay in the BVI. Within 1 season all but one were gone. The concrete blocks they set were way undersized and thus, they dragged and flipped over, in normal conditions.

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