Found on the Beach – WHAT Is It?

Now if you are going to start to ask what this is, I am going to let you know right off, I have no idea. It was on the beach one day while I was walking, it looked to me like half sting-ray and half fish…maybe half shark.

San Clemente 7.5.2013 001I did not get too close, I know it was already dead but again I did not get too close. Sometimes when the fishermen are hauling in their nets things get tangled up and end up in them that are not of interest to the fishermen. Usually within a few minutes a frigate bird has scooped it up. And the beach is once again clean…works for me!

Here is a close up to help you name this fishy for me.

San Clemente 7.5.2013 002My first email and comment came from John and Mary MacDonald our neighbors here in San Clemente. See what they wrote”

John Macdonald
8:38 AM (50 minutes ago)

I did a little reading on the guitarfish after Mary found the picture in our book and learned that they are in the ray family.  Google search has a lot of material on them and notes that the body is sort of a blend between shark and ray.  I think if you saw this swimming toward you near the surface the dorsal fin would convince you that it was a shark.
When I was out whale watching we saw some fish that I was sure were large sharks, but the fishermen told me they were Manta rays.  They have a large dorsal fin that looks like it came straight out of “Jaws!”
Have a great day,
John and Mary
Thanks John and Mary, I am learning so much about our new hometown.

Trouble in Paradise Part 2

If the people who live and work here are not happy about the prospect of an elevated highway being constructed on the beach, who is? What is the motivation for a huge project like this? How can anyone think that putting something as ugly as an elevated highway right on a beautiful stretch of virgin beach is a good idea?  This is a poor pueblo- where is this money coming from and who does it really benefit?

Follow the money trail! Everything comes back to those with the money, wanting more money! How sad. And shameful. Hope its not folks from the old country behind this………

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Trouble in Paradise?

Yesterday morning while walking downtown we spotted this graffiti.

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Roughly translated it reads: no beaches, no paradise. No! the road for the beach. Long live San Clemente.

We have read one article in an Ecuadorian paper and heard from several folks that there are plans in the works to take our beautiful pristine beach and ruin it with a road.

Roughly translated, the article reads as follows:

Friday, December 14, 2012 00:00


A road along the beach from the mouth to Bahia, drawn on paper seems harmless, as argued by its operators serve to promote tourism in the area.

But what is the reality?

According to the plans of the road contractor of approximately 12 meters wide would be built on the beach, from San Clemente to Bahia, cutting in some places the mountain. A path of about 50 miles long, located in the sand stretches and close exposure to sea flows is surely an expensive project not only in terms of construction, but also the subsequent maintenance.

The unfortunate effect of this work is expensive loss and / or reduction of beaches, which have been and are the main attraction for domestic and foreign tourism. Beaches near the villages which have grown as San Jacinto and San Clemente that for decades has been welcomed with warmth and traditions to countless visitors. People who would be directly affected by the highway traversing the beaches.

Is it valid to spend so much money for a road deteriorates the main tourist attraction and also do not respond to any pressing need of the surrounding towns? Priority needs of these populations are such basic services, security or improving roads but a new road to Bahia exist primarily as a good way to that city.

I think the fanaticism that the waterfront is “ocean view” leaves out of sight cheaper alternatives and profitable for responsible tourism and the enjoyment  envisions only a few.

A less expensive alternative, more productive and inclusive is: first, to enable current paths from the road to the beaches (routes that would also benefit small farmers / rural dwellers) and, moreover, sensibly invigorate tourism infrastructure in San Jacinto and San Clemente. This way you could preserve the irreplaceable value of these natural beaches yet where – without pollution and danger of a highway – could be developed with this charming tourist spots dwindling pristine in the world.  END OF ARTICLE

I am distressed at the thought of a road right on the beach. We have a perfectly usable highway going into Bahia running on the outskirts of the downtown area, and IMHO it is a waste of money and of a perfectly beautiful beach putting in another one. How will this road affect the fishermen who have worked these waters for so many years?  How will it affect folks like us who have moved here anticipating the use of the beautiful waters and clean beaches? How will this affect tourism, the environment? How will it affect those owning rental properties right on the beach? Where is this road going and who is paying for it? I hope to have some answers when I attend a meeting today.

There is a huge development being planned past the bluff towards Bahia that may have something to do with this. Hopefully it’s not  just another person from the states looking to make money by paving paradise to put up a parking lot scenario that so many of us tried to leave behind………

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But the most important question is: Is the sun setting on our Paradise?

Los Delfines Del Norte de San Clemente – Cooperativa De Produccion Pesquera Artesanal

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When we walk to our beach we have seen this very small building with a nice sized porch area under construction. We were not sure if it was going to be a house or was it part of one of the other properties located right on the beach. A few weeks ago this sign went up on the building.

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Still not sure what it will be used for but it seems to be owned by the fisherman who work on what we consider our beach.

Walking home from town yesterday we saw all these poles and all the fishing boats were gone. These poles are used to roll the boats down to the water and then back. This artisan fishermen have done this for ages, no fancy trailers, just palm or balsa wood poles. The younger boys do the moving of the poles from back to front while the older guys push the boats along with two rollers one in front and one in the middle under the boat. 

San Clemente 12.10.2012 006

Looks like the wheels on Fred Flintstones car. Very simple technique but it works!


Skydiving for Fish

What a spectacular day on Thursday of last week when Joe and I went to sit out on the sand. When we got to the beach the fishermen had just finished pulling in their nets. The birds were going wild, swooping and dipping to get a fish.

The pelicans were sitting patiently for any bits of fish to come their way but the frigate birds were almost in a frenzy wanting their share.  The dog in the video was also waiting his turn for a fresh morsel.

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Walking the Beach

Today Joe and I went into town to have our lunch. We walked the beach which is so much more relaxing and beautiful rather than using the road. The fishermen were out in full force.

These guys got a real kick out of me wanting to take some pictures, everyone was posing with huge grins on their faces.  They are fishing for herring – the small silver fish which we were told are made into pet food, but shrimp and larger fish are caught as well and they are separating them out from what goes to the processing plant.

Oh – lunch was a big bowl of viche made with chunks of fish, carrots and plantains in a peanut broth. The segundo was filet of corvina, white rice, yellow lentils and a small salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and green pepper with a mighty glass of either fresh pineapple juice or naranjilla —- I am still stuffed…sorry no pictures too busy eating ; ) GRIN!!!

Fishing from the shore

I have so many folks ask me about fishing from the shore that I knew when I saw this yesterday afternoon that it would be a hit.

Now all you folks that are into fishing can see they must be catching something in this net. So you will probably have a great chance yourself with a rod and reel.