Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cancun Beach Recovery Has Begun

After many set backs and problems and a pile of political back and forth, the beach recovery project has started in Cancun. I took a little trip out to the hotel zone today (Sunday) to see what I could see and to try to get some pictures. What luck, I could see, I took photos and I chatted with one of the guys working on the project!

Today they were working behind the Sunset Hotel. There was one large boat, two mid-sized boats and one little "panga" out in the water. Large pipes were coming from the big boat to the shore where several pieces of sand moving machinery were waiting. The man I was speaking with told me that there are two of the large boats, moving back and forth between Isla Mujeres and Cancun, taking turns bringing sand to the hotel zone. The large boats weigh about 15 to 20 tonnes when empty and are carrying 5000 cubic meters of sand with each trip. Unloading the sand onto the shore takes about 45 minutes to an hour, quite an impressive feat. The two mid-sized boats apparently take care of the large pipes, while the small panga runs desperately around with a "maya" (that's what the guy said!), a type of fence hanging in the water that they are using to try to prevent the sand from flowing back out to sea during the process.

My contact said they will be working north right now, heading from the Sunset to Punta Cancun (Dreams), then they'll work their way south along the hotel zone. He told me that all of the work in Cancun should be completed in about three months, they'll then move on to Isla Mujeres, then to Playa del Carmen and finally to Cozumel. I do want to be clear, the man I was speaking with was not doing so in any official capacity, so take the information as "word on the street" rather than gospel, I have no way of knowing if his information is totally accurate. Please don't ask me when the project will be at your hotel, I have absolutely no way of knowing that, sorry!

Here are some photos of the big event....

The Big Boys of Sand Recovery

Closer View of the Big Beast of Sand
(it's sitting really low in the water as it was full of sand at this point)

The Pipe Chaser

The Little Panga With Maya
(can you see the dark stain of sand trying to escape?)

Danger! No one was allowed past this point
for obvious reasons

Ta Da! The Sand, The Sand, The Sand is Coming!

How Many Men Does It Take to Rebuild a Beach?

I managed to take some video of the event as well, not the highest quality video, but video nonetheless.

And there you have it, we have begun! In a few months time, if all goes well, if the aluxes doesn't interfere and mother nature keeps her nose out of things, we'll have the big, beautiful beach that is necessary for the future of Cancun and the tourism industry. Good luck team, mucha suerte!


Dangers said...

Excellent first hand reporting on the scene CC, and the pictures are terrific, thanks for posting them to your blog! Let there be Beach! ;-)

ElleCancun said...

yayayay - fantastic news .. and something I'll be taking full advantage of upon completion :)

Heather said...

How exciting!

Amber Pierce said...

Yay! Quick question, in case you know ---

I had heard (not certain if it's the case) that the first restoration project had failed because Cancun didn't actually finish the final stages of the project that would have kept the sand from washing away.

Do you know if they plan to do these steps this time?

Anonymous said...

Hey girl you have done it again.

I love your work cause you always handle to be in the scene knowing what is going on before anyone else does.

Keep on the good work sister.

Kelly said...

Hurray! I'm sure there will be lots of tourist complaints about murky water, but I'm so happy to see that something is actually being done. Excellent reporting!

KfromMichigan said...

I sure hope it works this time! Did you have lunch at Fish Fritanga? I can taste a shrimp taco.

CancunCanuck said...

Dangers- Thank you kindly sir, I had to run right out there when I heard they had started (I'm nosy that way). :) Spread the word!

On Mexican Time- Me too, can't wait to see the results!

Heather- It is, we've been waiting a looooong time for them to do this!

Amber- The first time around they did not follow the advice of the pros and therefore lost everything. I do not know what their plan is for maintenance of the beach, but my understanding is that it is now incorporated into the budget. I asked the man yesterday if they were going to be using "geotubes" (one of the recommendations), but he didn't know. I hope to heaven they do something, nothing like throwing millions of dollars into the ocean!

Iaax- You're so nice, lol! I'm just "chismosa". Thanks for the kind words!

Kelly- There was just a think stream of sand flowing back out to sea, not sure how long the water will be murky, I think it clears up pretty fast. :)

KfromMichigan- Nope, no Fish Fritanga yesterday, we went to Playa Cabanas instead. (Of course I'll be posting about it, lol!)

paul nj said...

good for cancun,the beach really needed it,the beach near us LAHIA was always good because of the reef i hope this brings more tourists even though i like the quietness its not good for the people,buy the way, are things picking up there has been a lot of buzz to rent my condo?well good luck cancun,god speed the beach recovery!!!ps left you a message on the pyramids..

Unknown said...

Hey from Guatemala again. what a good news for shure you´ll enjoy the sand again really soon. Jusy a quik spanish tip: it´s not "maya" when you want to express that is a fence. is "malla" with double "ll".

Islagringo said...

Goog reporting and that is the nicest thing I can say about this horrible project. From my house I can clearly see and hear that monstrosity of a boat going back and forth, day and night.

I understand that this whole project is dollar motivated but I am so opposed to it for ecological reasons. The last time they did this little job of making a pleasant place for tourists to lay their asses, they totally disrupted the fishing beds, putting many people out of jobs. They changed the flow of the current as it passes by the island, thus taking away all of our lovely beaches. This plan is just so ill conceived. I hope Isla and Cozumel win their law suits and put an end to this. I also hope that the small fishing boats from the island that are going out everyday to harrass this huge boat don't get hurt.

CancunCanuck said...

paul nj- It seems that things might be starting to pick up, we're heading in to high season soon (really starts December-ish, but people will be booking now). Will go look for your message, I've been swamped, sorry!

Estuardo- Hola Guatemala! Thank you for the Spanish tip, I had the guy repeat himself a couple of times, I even asked him if it was "Maya" like the pyramids and he said yes. "Malla" is my new Spanish vocabulary word, muchas gracias!

IslaGringo- I agree with you that this should be done with the utmost care for the environment. The problem is that it is not just about money for the fat cats, it's about the tens of thousands of people who would be out of work if tourism numbers continue to fall (which they will if there is no beach to come to). With loss of jobs comes higher crime, and so on and so on. So, while in my heart I do agree with you, I can see the other side as well. We need the beach to keep our jobs, I just wish there was a way to do this that would keep all sides happy. Of course, I just don't think it's possible.

Sara said...

"Ta Da! The Sand, The Sand, The Sand is Coming!" WOW! I remember I went to Cancun the year after a huge hurricane and the beach was tiny! This is amazing that they are finally going to fix it. About time I say!

CancunCanuck said...

Sara- It's been a huge battle to get this done, politics, money, environment, it's a brouhaha. I hope it happens without impacting the environment in a huge way and that they can maintain the beaches so we don't have to do it again. Millions of dollars have gone into this project!

steve said...

I will be there for New Year. They are woking at my hotel right now "The Royal in Cancun". I hope the beach will be ready when I arrive :)

paul nj said...

sorry chuck dont mean to sell anything on your blogg,steve i wanted to know if you are interested in a week in jan 1 week ocean front,with the front lawn right onto the beach the most sought after villas at a great price, send me a message if so or not

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