Four new commercial use moorings will be installed at Honeymoon Bay, above, a popular destination for boaters and swimmers.
V.I. National Park is set to begin installing four new moorings in Honeymoon Bay for commercial use as a new method to install embedment anchors in mixed sea floor became available.
VINP management was unable to install moorings in the large open area currently existing between the present moorings and the swim area markers along the shoreline, because of the mixed sand and limestone substrate.
Honeymoon Bay is the first relatively large beach with a sandy shore, for mariners arriving to Virgin Islands National Park from Red Hook or the Cruz Bay areas.
The beach boasts fringing coral reefs accessible at each end, and sea-grass beds (the main food source for internationally protected green sea turtles) seaward of the swim area.
To ensure protection of the sea-grass beds and allow continued use of this popular beach, VINP management will install two blue commercial use moorings in mid-April.
Later in the year, two additional commercial moorings eastward of these first two will be installed. Meanwhile, two nearby moorings with white balls will be changed to blue in order to accommodate four commercial vessels. Said moorings may be considered for overnight use after being load–tested.
Anchoring and mooring regulations at Honeymoon Bay will be the same as it is throughout VINP. If a vessel not holding a current Commercial Use Authorization permit is using a blue mooring between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., a CUA permittee may ask them to forfeit use of said mooring.
If moving the vessel does not produce a health or safety concern for the person’s on the vessel, they must comply with the request. Vessels are prohibited from anchoring within 100 feet of any demarcation (or channel marker) buoy, and 200 feet from any mooring buoy.
Vessels 60 feet (LOA) or less must use a mooring when available (day or night), and if anchoring, must do so seaward of the mooring field and in sand only.
VINP management would like to remind boaters that Commercial vessels above 125 feet (LOA) are prohibited from anchoring or mooring in park waters.
Private or commercial vessels between 61 and 125 feet “length overall” (LOD) wishing to anchor seaward of the mooring field at Caneel Bay (any location south or west of Turtle Point and the Durloe Cays), are restricted to the anchoring zone, or rectangle box, designated by the following GPS coordinates: 18-20-34 & 64-48-08; 18-20-23 & 64-48-08; 18-20-34 & 64-47-48; 18-20-23 & 64-47-48.
VINP management would like to thank those mariners who use moorings where available, and those who check the seafloor to ensure they are anchoring in sand only before deploying their anchor.
For more information, contact Thomas Kelley at 693-8950 ext. 225, or Jeff Mihan at 776-6201 ext. 232.