Thursday, October 30, 2008

Distressing Beach Photos

As promised, current beach photos of North Beach. These were all taken around Noon yesterday. It is still mostly cloudy and gray here. I think the lack of color really plays up the destitution of these beaches.

Starting from west and moving east. First we have the beach in front of Casa Maya. This is the hotel just before you cross the bridge to the Avalon Reef Club and Rip Off.

Turning around you are now facing the side beach of the NaBalam Hotel. I always use that stick in the water for my gauge. You will see it in every picture I take of this location.

All the recent strong winds have started to form sand dunes from the beach sand.

The no longer open and who knows if it ever will beachside restaurant at NaBalam.

Moving along, this is on the other side of the NaBalam, heading for Buho's Swing Bar. Notice the washed up seaweed everywhere. It has been gathering for weeks and nobody is taking any steps to remove it. It's like nobody cares anymore.

Looking back to the NaBalam. Notice how the palms are all sandbagged again. Some are still being sacrificed to the eroding beaches though.

There is some hope. See that brown stripe just before the darker water? That is a sandbar that is developing along the whole stretch of North Beach. Gives me hope that the beach will eventually reach that far out again.

The most famous stretch of North Beach, just to the left of Buho's if you are facing the water. Pretty dismal. Would you want to pay to use one of those lounge chairs amidst the stinking, decaying seaweed? Who do they think will????

At least the little sea terns are happy for all the bounty washed up in this seaweed.

I've shown you these sticks before. Last time we saw them they were about four feet tall (a bit over a meter). This is a very good example of why all those sticks are protruding out in the water. They are effective for stopping erosion and actually rebuilding the beach.

Here's what they used to look like.

Just another view of North Beach. If yesterday were the first time I ever saw it, I wouldn't be coming back. Don't the powers that be realize this? Let's at least get the seaweed cleaned up!

And those awful, dirty, unhygenic beds are still everywhere. Still, they do make good dog beds at night.

Moving way down to the west side, facing Cancun. This is the point just past Sergio's Bar, next door to ChiChi and Charlie's. This whole point is undoubtedly the best bet for enjoying the beach.

Although not yet beach, the sand is filling in around the point. This used to be a quick, steep dropoff. Now look at how far out those people are able to wade.

Not many takers yesterday, but the beach chairs were all lined up in a nice, neat row. If the sun were shining, this would be the place to be right now.

More of the point, closer to Sergio's. Cancun in the distance.

The beach area is so ginormous there that this one guy was actually able to parasail in the sand!

Another view of the point.

But Isla lovers, all is not lost! Help is coming!

Plans were announced recently to once again spend millions of dollars to pipe in sand for the beaches of Cancun. This was just done less than three years ago and they are all gone again. Such poor planning over there. They took sand from the ocean bottom about 2 miles out from Isla. In my opinion, that is what started this whole beach erosion for us. It changed the ocean currents by disturbing the bed. It also disrupted the fishing and lobster beds for the fisherman here.

Something unique around here happened when the plans were announced. The Mayors of Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Cozumel said, "Wait just one darn second!" They filed a united complaint against Cancun getting all the money for rebuilding beaches and demanded that our beaches be taken care of also. As a result, the money has been reproportioned between all of these beach communties. So Isla, Playa, Tulum and Cozumel will also all be getting sand piped to our beaches to extend them out to where they should be! Good news indeed.

No word as to when this may happen though.


Beach Lover said...

Thanks for the's not pretty! I know we all appreciate seeing the current status!

I have heard that they might actually start pumping sand next week (although this IS Mexico so who knows!)

Isla Deb said...

Geez, what a mess! I can just imagine how that must smell. What a sharp contrast to that beautiful blue water.

Life's a Beach! said...

All the stinking seaweed is unbelievable. Truthfully, after seeing the weather and beach conditions, I'm kind of relieved I skipped my usual October/November trip. The beach restoration news is very good, but if they pump the sand from the same area again, I wonder what that bodes for the future of Isla beaches and fishermen? That's kind of scary! But I'm really glad Isla managed to get in on the action.


Anonymous said...

I ask the same question…. Why don’t they understand that cleaning the beach of that putrid seaweed would be good for busness?

Jamqueen said...

Glad the powers that be banded together and spoke up this time so the beaches won't be destroyed more. It's a shame that they aren't cleaning up the seaweed; in years past there used to be people that worked at the different hotels that did that--I remember at both Maria del Mar & NaBalam

Life's a Beach! said...

Thanks for the update Wayne! But it's sad. Last year when I was on Isla in November, a woman who works at NaBalam was telling us about some of the local theories on beach erosion. One of them had something to do with seaweed -- specifically that seaweed supposedly helped prevent erosion and that the problems started when the government hauled away seaweed after Wilma instead of burying it. So I'm wondering if that slightly far-fetched theory has anything to do with all that seaweed being left in the area. They could at least bury it! That was one of three theories. One actually blamed it on Ixchel condos changing the wind patterns -- another on the dredging of sand for Cancun. Glad help is on the way, but if taking the sand from the channel would have something to do with beach erosion, you have to wonder about the consequences of more dredging.


Doug (aka Doogan) said...

Excellent report, the pictures sure tell the story. Beaches are a mess. I find it hard to believe that seaweed laying on top of the sand has anything to do with lessening erosion. Maybe! buried.....yes.
Sergio's sure has a beautiful beach.
Thanks again, for a current report.Excellent pictures.