Caye Chapel's water barge gets stuck - again

On Monday afternoon, May 5, the "temporary" commercial dock betweenCoconuts Hotel and Caribbean Villas was a scene of unusual activity.Around 1 p.m. the tugboat from Caye Chapel tied up to their fully ladenwater barge and with a mighty roar of its engine began to pull it out tothe sea lane. The barge refused to budge and remained stuck until justafter 4 p.m. In the meantime, the tugboat roared, the water and mudchurned and hotel guests and owners voiced their dismay.

"What kind of idiots are these?" asked a German tourist on the dockat Corona del Mar. "They have been making these noises since one o'clockand the boat doesn't move. Where did they learn their job?"

He added that the scene was a repeat of a performance given the daybefore by the same boats.

"My wife and I are trying to rest and relax on the dock and we can'teven hear each other talk. Swimming? Forget it. I can't swim in waterthat's full of sand and chopped up seaweeds."

Spectators at other hotels in the area agreed with the Germantourist's assessment. It was reported that on Sunday two barges werefilled and towed away. At least one of the barges was grounded in theshallow water for several hours while the tugboat filled the surroundingsea with sand and mud. As on Monday, the sea was brown from Corona delMar Hotel all the way past Caribbean Villas, a distance of about eighthundred feet.

"Why do you suppose they wait until low tide to try to tow away afull barge?" wondered Woody Canady, owner of Corona del Mar. "It's likethey read the tide tables in the San Pedro Sun and choose the lowesttide to leave on."

The crew of the tugboat was not available for comment; they werebusy.

The San Pedro Sun also received a letter from a citizen who was notpleased about the Water and Sewerage Authority selling water to CayeChapel for their golf course. Here is what letter writer Mr. Connors hadto say:

Dear Bruce and Victoria,
Allow me to comment on two articles I read in the May 3, 1997 issueof the San Pedro Sun. The first has to do with an article on the newproblems arising at the temporary commercial dock. Jesse Cope has everyright to complain about the pilings that were sunk in front of hisplace. What surprises me is that no one complained about the fact thatGeorge Wong of WASA is willing to accommodate the owners of Caye Chapelwith two barge loads of water per week to wet their golf course whileresidents in the San Pablo area and the San Pedrito area of San PedroTown are desperately in need of water. If according to Mr. Wong, the SanPedro plant is producing plenty of water for the town then why isn't hedoing something to get the residents of San Pablo and San Pedrito hookedup to the water system? Just imagine a golf course is being givenpreference over human beings. It is only in Belize that this sort ofthing happens.

My second comment has to do with the article on St. MatthewsUniversity School of Medicine to open in San Pedro. I welcome such anundertaking as it will create jobs for many Belizeans as various aspectsof the project get underway. In the long run more income will begenerated for many of our people.

However, here in San Pedro tourism is our main attraction. What Iwould like to see come to our town is a Hospitality ManagementInstitution. If we are to promote tourism there will always be a needfor people to work in our hotels, restaurants, gift shops, etc. Such aninstitution while giving the on-the-job training to its students wouldbe generating income for the institution and in the long run wouldbecome self-supporting. Could it be possible for a group of existinghotel owners to come together to discuss such an undertaking or am Istill asleep in an awakened world?

Thanks for giving me your time.
Sincerely yours,
/s/ Donald Conners
San Pablo Resident

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