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We are rolling in Boulders--Yeah!!!

This afternoon, the big machine rolled up to our place and began to fill in the spaces left by the initial row that was placed yesterday.  Since these boulders are personal to us, we figured that maybe all we would get was the first row.  That would have been fine with us, since these formed a wave barrier about 100 time stronger than our little rocks, and the sandbags by themselves.

First the machine had to "gas" up...how about this for fun?  The guy holding the bottom end of the hose even had to suck on it to get the diesel to flow from the 55 gal drum hidden in the bucket...

 

 

 This closeup of the new wall will give you an idea of how many boulders it takes, just to try to tame Mother Nature...

 

 

 

 

 To give you an idea of the size of the boulders, the one on the lower left was the one that Rox was pictured with in the previous entry.  See how small Isidro looks as he works on the wall over on the lower left of the picture.

 

 At this point, we are vastly more prepared for the huge waves expected to begin Feb 14.  Even if they are worse than last time, our 500 sandbags are snug up against tons of boulders.  We may get a little slippage, but we hope that the tides will finally meet their match. 

The story about this project is this...

One week ago, the government became aware of the terrible damage that our part of the beach was incurring, they passed an emergency relief resolution , appropriated $350,000 for immediate help, dynamited a bunch of boulders in the quarry, laid on a bunch of 10 yard trucks 1.5 hours away, contracted for the Excavator and Operator, and put down tons of rock in front of our house in only one week--SEVEN DAYS!!! 

By contrast,

In Pacifica, a small beach town south of San Francisco, there is an Apartment building built high on a seaside cliff.  The same waves that we are facing are battering the cliff below that apartment building, worth many millions.  The owner had asked to put in a "blown in and bolted on cement blanket" to this cliff, all with his own money.  The Coastal Commission said "NO WAY".  So, now that his building might collapse into the sea, the Coastal Commission says, that if he applies again, they will approve it right away.  To illustrate how the delay has threatened his project, his contractor said that "we will keep spraying cement as long as he has money to pay for it"...sounds too late to me...

Just a quick note:  The Province of St Elena, and the government of Ecuador have picked up the tab for this emergency work, "for the good of the country"--and that has a nice ring to it!!!

 

Here at the beach, we understand that the rocks we received were funded by the above mentioned resolution, and that another project to protect the beach will begin in a couple of months.  This might take the form of a "breakwater" or "seawall", we will see. 

A breakwater will change our view of the ocean, but if the ocean is actually producing higher waves.  (See Brian's article:

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/West+Coast+waves+getting+bigger+study/2538593/story.html), and our beach remains 6 feet lower than usual, there is no choice but to try to slow down these waves.  It will mean that we get a different kind of view.  Instead of gently rolling waves breaking on sandy beaches, we will have ever changing displays of water sprays and fountains as stronger waves crash onto the boulders put in their path. 

We wish to thank a lot of you folks who have sent such encouraging emails and comments--they made us feel a lot better, especially when we saw each successive tide tear up our previous, feeble attempts to stop Mother Nature... 

 

Posted on Tue, February 9, 2010 at 08:41PM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | CommentsPost a Comment

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