Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sandbags and Sunny Places

We went for a walk the other day along the whole length of North Beach. About a mile I'd say. Sandbags were everywhere.

The beach erosion continues at an alarming rate. In my opinion, the problem is this: Each establishment along the beach front is doing their own thing to try to stop the erosion. There is no overall, coordinated effort being made that considers the beach as a whole entity. As a result, one business will put up sandbags or build a fence into the water. It may temporarily help with their problem but it just creates more problems for the people next door. Case in point:

See how they built a fence into the water? They changed the way the waves come in and ended up creating this:

It's a little bay that was quickly eroding all the way back to the property line of this hotel. So they had to put up another fence to stop it. You can't see it in this picture, but that little wall is reinforced with sandbags also.
Just a spitting distance away is this:

This little palapa is being supported almost entirely by sandbags now. On the other side of it is this:
These are rental chairs. People are using whatever available space there is, trying to make a peso or two from the tourists. I loved this little area. It drops off sharply on either side, but, hey, you have your own private little spit of land to sun on and watch the water.

These walls are sticking out into the water all along the beach. They don't seem to be doing that much good.

Everywhere you look you can see the valiant effort businesses are doing to try to save the palms. Almost all of them have been tied to something. Or in some cases, to each other.

Here somebody actually went to the trouble of sandbagging around these trees to prevent further damage to them.

But, alas, not all of them have made it.

It's all so very sad. If somebody doesn't do something soon, there will be no more North Beach. The Hotel NaBalam, on the eastern end of the North Beach, is totally closed. The front bar and restaurant are totally under water and probably past saving. The outdoor restaurant area is roped off with signs saying they are closed and to keep out. I wish the City would hire some erosion or beach expert or something and come up with a master plan.
I'm not holding my breath.


CancunCanuck said...

Saying hi from Cancun, I've just started reading your blog. Your Playa Norte pics are heartbreaking! Is it just the nortes like every year or is this a bit more severe? It makes me want to cry! Any developments over the last few days? I was thinking about heading over this weekend but won't if it looks like this.

Nice to "meet" you, I am enjoying your blog.

wayne said...

cc: Please don't let anything I say keep you from enjoying our beautiful island. yes, the beaches have improved somewhat on the north end. Not a lot though. The beaches on the west side, facing Cancun are still intact and gorgeous. Anyway, the North Beach is worth seeing just for the impact it leaves on you alone.

CancunCanuck said...

Wayne, there isn't much that could keep me from enjoying Isla, it's one of our favourite weekend jaunts. My Cancunense son learned how to walk on Playa Norte, I'll dig up some old pics and vids to share. I know the beaches come and go with the changing seasons and weather, it just always breaks my heart to see the "gone" part of the cycle.

I really hope that this is not a result of the beach recovery project in Cancun. I know they scooped a lot of sand from around the island and my fears (and others from reading around) is that it interfered with Isla's natural ebb and flow.

We'll be there soon and I am coming to you for the inside scoop on restaurants. We've never had a bad meal on Isla, but we're always open to suggestions! Glad to have found you.

Just2ducky said...

I just discovered your blog and love it. My boyfriend comes to Isla once a year (for the past 4 years) this may will be my 2nd trip - the pictures are heartbreaking. last year - it was bad - is there an update? is playa norte no more? Last year we heard locals blaming the giant dig - where sand was dug up between cancun and isla and redeposited in cancun - for changing the tides? any truth to this? I cant wait to come back - but this may change where we stay.

Hydra said...

The idea of placing sandbag walls around the palm trees and shores is too good..They will definitely work out and also will prevent floods..