The Morgan’s Harbour area may not be a sunbather’s first choice for a day at the beach, but it harbours six crucial access points to the North Sound that Caymanians have been using for generations.
Cayman 27 continues our piece-by-piece breakdown of the mammoth 1,174 page beach access report.
As far as public spaces go, the ‘Kings inn’ cabana at Garvin Park is one of Cayman’s true gems, hidden in plain sight on the western edge of the North Sound. It’s listed as one of six access points in the Morgan’s Harbour corridor in the report released last month by Lands and Survey Department, but none of the six are marked.
With a steady fresh salt breeze coming in, it’s a popular spot for West Bayers in the know to take a lunch break or just chew the fat. Wednesday (7 March), some of the Garvin Park regulars shared their recollections of some of these traditional access points.
“The view is nice, there’s fresh salt breeze that come in, it’s wonderful for the soul and the body,” said Winston Hurlston.
While it’s a far cry from the powdery sands of Seven Mile Beach, Mr. Hurlston said the cabana at Garvin Park is one of Grand Cayman’s most relaxing places.
“I think it was purchased generally for the public to be used as a park and for the people to have access to the water to launch their boats and go fishing,” he said of the park, which has restroom facilities and a boat launch for small boats.
It’s not marked as such, but it’s one of six unregistered beach access paths in the Morgan’s Harbour corridor.
“I used to use Uncle Bob’s, or Garvin’s, plus the government’s one with everybody, we called that the government where Morgan’s Harbour is,” said Percival Ebanks.
Mr. Ebanks told Cayman 27 he remembers accessing the North Sound from Uncle Bob’s as a boy, when access to the sea meant a livelihood for Caymanian fishermen.
“The fishermen find a decent place that they could keep their boats with some shade, and they could come in through, walking through the mangroves, it was very difficult sometimes back then with mosquitoes and darkness, that was what we had to do,” remembered Mr. Ebanks.
Of the six accesses listed in the report only one is inaccessible, blocked by a chain link fence.
“It’s not like when we were boys growing up you could just walk through anybody’s land in a sense of speaking and get access to the beach, so it definitely is something that should be preserved, these paths,” said Mr. Hurlston.
“So other generations can see, you know,” said Mr. Ebanks.
Both Mr. Ebanks and Mr. Hurlston said they are all for recognising these prescriptive paths, and applaud the Lands and Survey Department for compiling these beach accesses into a comprehensive report for the public to see.