My husband and I went to CSA in October 2011, and again in October 2012 since we loved it so much. On our 2nd trip, I noticed that the roped off area had shrunk to be about half the size it was in 2011. I think the rope had been anchored out a bit further in 2011, but on our 2nd trip it looked as if it had broken and drifted inwards. The rope was free to be swept towards the beach by the small waves. That, and the jet ski guys would constantly pick the rope up on to their jet ski, and drift towards you with his leftover momentum... all while soliciting you for a ride. This disappointed me very much. At one point, we were standing at the rope, but in about 3.5 feet of water... barely 20 yards out from the beach! What gives? We are considering a 3rd trip this year, however I'm nervous about being disappointed with the lack of swimming area again this year. Its nice to have a bit of a buffer zone between you and those jet skis, as you float in the sun about 1/2 way to the rope. Does anyone know if this has been fixed? How far from the shore line is the rope these days????
Another reason to go to the Ocho Rios side of the island. Secluded Beaches! We've been to Negril and loved the beaches but didn't care for the solicitors. Heading back to CTI and CSS later this year........
Having been there late Feb/early March I can tell you that the answer is, it depends. For the first few days of our stay, the water was calm and the rope was out to a water depth of about six feet (my height). It was quite a distance from shore. Then the wind picked up, it got really wavy, and the rope came to shore. These were good size, body surfing waves. Long story short, I think we are at the mercy of the elements to a large extent. Other non-CSA spots on the beach all had the same problem.
The rope at Swept Away was cleaned of algae last week creating less drag against the water. The rope was so covered, it was actuall under the surface. After cleaning, the only part of the rope system that was actually touching the water were the floats. The swim area seemed as large as always. The sand was moving quite a bit, making the middle of the newer resort section shallower than normal. That too seemed to be changing especially toward the end of the week.
Like M&N we loved the beach in Ocho Rios because we were never solicited on the water, they kept their distance. I give them "A" for effort in Negril, they even followed us out on the catamaran cruise!
When we were at CSA in 2012, it did seem like the swimming area had shrunk. This past January, when I went out to the rope, I had to tread water (I'm 5'5"), so it seemed much wider. I think a lot has to do with the tide and the sands shifting on the bottom. The jet skiers are nasty, though. I had one jet ski cross the rope and almost hit me this past year. It was a young couple. I couldn't believe it. This is why you should not swim outside the roped in area and be careful even at the rope line.