Archive for November, 2013

La acción de las gracias

Thursday, November 28th, 2013
From the Vista al Mar

A Leisurely Look at Isla del Carmen

Well it seemed like time to give thanks and so Leif and Susan and John and Ruth and I paddled down to the Vista al Mar, at Notrí, just over an hour from our beach.  The weather was perfect too, though there were some little swells left over from recent winds.  I ordered my usual fish tacos, and the other fellows had the near-obligatory clams (linguistically-challenged neighbors insist on calling this place The Clam Shack).  We had passed at least one clam diver on our trip down, and while we were there a second emerged from the water with two more big bags of the famous bivalves.  The ladies had eggs, as it still seemed pretty breakfasty when we arrived.

This was the first trip here for all of us this season and I didn’t recognize the friendly young servers, but the view, at least beyond the immediate landscaping, was familiar.  Ruth and John are kinder to their boats than we are and landed them on a sandier beach slightly further south, a gift from the autumn storms.

So thankful were we that it was a while before we remembered that the morning calm would not last forever.  On our way back, a school of little fish jumped right across Ruth’s foredeck, making a terrible racket.  Then, they did it again.  At Bird Rock we counted, among the cormorants, four Blue-footed Boobies.  There is a colony of boobies now on the big rock at Nopoló, just below where the ravens had their nest last year.

North from Nopoló

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

The big storms this autumn rearranged the landscape around Loreto. Though it is again possible to drive from the Mission to the Zaragosa neighborhood, the level space in the arroyo San Telmo where the market was held is simply gone — the tianguis has moved to a spot on the highway to the north.

South from Nopoló, the rocky skyline wasn’t in much danger.  Water would flow around the big headlands, not over them.  But to the north, between our beach and Loreto, the level and mostly walkable land is a different story.  This morning I paddled up to La Salinita to see what the shoreline looks like now.  The answer is, every beach that had a lowland behind it was an inlet, some quite impressive in size.

El Tular, the first big arroyo north of old ruined pier, provides a good example.  We have written of this watercourse before, first on January 18, 2010, in “Earlier Posts”, and again on a page with its own name, “El Tular”. Those notes show a low spot in the beach, suitable for wading.  A lower tide may mean more dry land, but today’s picture is of a creek instead of a beach:

TwoLar There are in fact two distinct mouths, and  stretching seaward from the familiar snag is a bar that runs at least a hundred yards out to sea, possibly offering a surprise to boaters used to running up and down this coast.

Further north a ruined signpost has long marked an intersection where three roads came together at the beach.  The low shore just north of there is now a lagoon and the intersection itself is about all that is left of the roads.  And again, between the southern two of the three sets of palapas at La Salinita, a low but usually passable spot has become an inlet.

No more bicycling into town along this route.  But the news is not all bad.  The local wildlife has recognized this change as an opportunity.  Besides the usual birds I saw what may have been a Belted Kingfisher, and an osprey followed me around for a while.  On my excursion into El Tular I met an eel about a yard long but  without memorable markings .  At first glance a lot of beach has been destroyed, but actually there’s probably more coastline than there was before — it just has a more convoluted shape.