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Mother Nature, El Nino, and a "Lunar Event" blow a fast ball by us!!!

Well, well, we thought that El Nino had sort of left us for Northern pastures, but it seems that he is big enough to cause total havoc in the Northern Hemisphere, and still sock it to us down here, too...

New Year's Eve in Montanita was its normal crazy self again this year, and we will start out this entry with just a couple of shots showing some fun get-ups...

 

'Course, it's our summer now, so the ladies can wear as much or little as they

wish...

 

 

 

 

But...that's not the big story for this year!!!  The above is just "business as usual"...the following is not!!!

El Nino has produced a really bad drought in Ecuador, bad enough to cause serious electrical outages, as the country allocates less than needed power to all sectors by having "scheduled" two hour shutdowns each day...

In fact, there is so little standing water, that Rox and I have not seen even one mosquito in 10 months!  Now that is just fine with us...

We have had some really large waves beginning in December and cresting around New Year's weekend, even though we have had no storms at all.

So...you tend to let down your guard when there is nothing but blue sky, but Mama Nature sneaks in the kind of huge waves that steals your beach and our yard right while you are sunbathing with a drink in your hand!!!

 As you can see, on Saturday of New Year's weekend, there was not a cloud in the sky...but the waves continued to take away the beach...

In the second week of December, three feet of beach left us in one night!

Naturally, when the beach level lowers like that, it just gives the ocean more access to your property, 'cause the waves break way closer...

The beach was so low, and our buffer of sand was so thin, that we organized a crew of great guys to fill and stack a bunch of sandbags for protection...

 

Each sandbag weighs over 200 pounds, so they are filled halfway and then humped into place and then filled in place, tied off, and knocked over into place.  We had a great crew, and thought that these many sandbags would give us some protection...

 

Mother Nature had other plans for us, in that those sandbags were just a joke when the big waves came, knocked out the bags, lowered the beach another foot, and took away six feet of sand buffer in front of our fence!!!  Also 8 feet of the neighbor's yard and his fence!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Notice, past Rox, that the neighbor has no fence, and that his property disappeared back behind our fence corner.  Also, those sandbags that you see in the sand behind her were put there because of the 1996 El Nino by Agripina and Isidro--sort of like a time capsule...

 

We decided that sandbags were not going to do it, so off we went to Santa Elena to find some granite in the quarry.

We didn't know at first, if we wanted super big boulders that could only be moved by a monster backhoe, of if we wanted to stick to the 100 pound variety that could be handled by a couple of guys and made to fit...we chose to use the little ones.

 

  

 It's easy to find granite in Ecuador, it's hard to get it transported!  This quarry was a 90 minute drive from our place, and we wanted it delivered on the beach.  Number one, no dump truck driver wanted to risk his truck on the beach, so finally we found guys who had 4 cubic meter trucks, that would be hand loaded and unloaded, and yes, they could drop it on the beach...but the tide has to be out...naturally, so the first load was dropped off our neighbor's driveway...(a car used to be able to drive from the beach right through his property to the street).

 

The guys are preparing for the rock by digging deep trenches, and yes, they are removing all the sandbags for use as footings about eight feet from the base of the wall...

 

 

More beach unloading...

 

Talk about dedicated!  Two of the guys found a 400 pound granite boulder about 100 yards from our place and rolled it over and dumped it in!

 

Rox also like this one when she saw them wrestling a huge boulder out of the truck to crash onto the pile.

 The guys worked until 7:30 in the evening, and will double back today at 8:00 where they have two more loads of rock ready to place.  When they aren't stacking rock, they are digging footings and moving sandbags...

We are about one third finished, and will keep adding pics to show you the progress--Huge waves are expected in February...and we hope to be ready this time,,,

A couple of asides...

While waiting for the next truck, one of the larger fishing outboards beached itself to deliver a ton of fish...

Noticing the man carrying a fish box loaded on the lower right, you should imagine over 100 trips just like that.  This boat has huge hulls, and they were full to the brim...those 100 trips filled three fish trucks.

And...what was great, is that all of our guys took their little plastic bag over to the boat and each got about 10 really good fish for their family's dinner--for free!!!

And...we donated another soccer ball to the fray, so that they could all play while waiting for the next "boulder truck"...

 

 

Posted on Thu, January 7, 2010 at 10:51PM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | Comments2 Comments

Reader Comments (2)

Very informative post--and a little troubling. We have purchased beachfront property north of Bahia on which we will build in about a year and a half. Is this sort of beach erosion only connected with El Nino years? (We currently live in Southern California and so are familiar with how distructive El Nino "winters" can be.) I wish you the best as you work to restore your beach.

January 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRon Farmer

Hi Ron...Rox and I were born in California, and have seen the steady march of the ocean inland. I think all western looking beaches face similar erosion.

You probably can see a lot of places in SoCal where lots of rip rap is being used to hold back the sea.

I believe that you have to know that this will happen and build accordingly. For example, lots of deep footings, some good water barriers, and probably the living area of your new house on the second floor.

Frankly, I think that El Nino winters will become more frequent..I don't see a bit of evidence that indicates that the central Pacific will reverse its warming trend.

Thanks for the good wishes, and the good news is that, as I write this, about 6 inches of beach has returned.

Incidently, the locals tell us that there are huge waves to be expected in February...that is why we are taking the steps that you see.

Good luck, and let us know how things are going.

Bob & Roxanne

January 8, 2010 | Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne

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