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(retweeet)@Petchary @PanosCaribbean (ZeebraDesigns said: Beneath full moon will be at front line, feet in sand, staring mother ocean’s eyes (mouth?) one wave at a time. – 11 Jul)

Emma Lewis
@Petchary @ZeebraDesigns @PanosCaribbean “That sounds poetic, but sad… Will be thinking of you.”

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With little room between the high-tide mark and the buildings, Playa El Matal’s front street is choked with boats, fishermen, tourists and locals.

El Matal, Manabi, Jama, Ecuador

Mother Ocean was quite calm last night, and the night weaned into daytime without threatening and dangerous waves.  I peered out at the waves about once an hour and was glad to see dawn arrive with a gentle awakening.

With palm trees flanking each side of my friends home, I remained all but incredulous when they told me that in 2010, they could step 54 paces from the end of their lot to the edge of the dry beach that angled to the ocean!   I looked at their old photos, and I now sit with jaw agape at how much has been devoured by the ocean.

Will these few surviving palms be the ocean's next meal?

Will these few surviving palms be the ocean’s next meal?

They have every right to be shocked, baffled, frustrated and concerned about the tiny remnant that remains.    Over two years ago they voiced concern and were told that the beach loss was normal and it would return.   Last year the community united and formally presented their concerns to government authorities …

Thatched-roof boat 'cabanas,' restaurants and even a beach soccer field once lined this side of the beach!

Thatched-roof boat ‘cabanas,’ restaurants and even a beach soccer field once lined this beach!

We watched the fishing boats go to sea late yesterday, and this morning we watched them return.

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Rapt with fascination, we watched the boobies plunge from the skies for an all-you-can-eat buffet of fish that churned in the boats’ wakes!

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The next high tide will roll in around 4:30 this afternoon, and the next higher/highest will roll in around 5 Monday morning and again on Tuesday before surrendering to a normal ebb and flow.    To try to halt the beach erosion on the fishermen’s end of the beach, the municipality dumped large boulders, not natural to that beach.  The waves displace the rocks, which break apart and tumble down with the tides.

The fishermen now have to clear the beach of broken rocks before the boats can return to shore.  This man carried every remnant back to the top of the beach.

The fishermen now clear the beach of rock fragments before the boats can return to shore. (Above: After the boat landed, one man carried every remnant back to the top of the beach!)

Before the sun set yesterday, I commented that the ocean was calm and quiet with no signs of rough seas.   My friends told me that February’s high tide was not alarmingly high or rough, yet in the night the bipolar ocean switched personalities and roared into a monster.  The extra large waves crashed ashore at high tide and gobbled the last buffer of the beach.

Mother Ocean is now building strength for an end-of-day high tide.  We expect her to be quiet and calm and hope that her mood holds for the next few days.

I really really really want to swim out and visit the boobies!

I really really really want to swim out and visit the boobies!

A special ‘THANKS’ goes to Gringo Tree/Quito who shares our concern about El Matal’s beach loss.  Thank you so much for highlighting those posts!

Z

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