About Us

My photo
Indiana, United States
Debt free empty nesters...ready to stretch our wings. Life is good and we plan on making it even better. This blog is mostly about our trips to Vieques Puerto Rico, with a few odds and ends thrown in about our life after the mortgage.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Please keep the beach clean.....

and that means NO CABANAS!!!

Finally made it to the beach today and yes we went to La Plata. The road once you turn off the gravel was very muddy, but we made it in our 2x4 just fine. We were the first ones there. I busied myself setting up our "refuge friendly" cabana. Here's a shot of it:

After that it was cleanup time for La Plata. There was garbage all over the place. Lorrie and I gathered 4 bags of junk. When we took the bags up to the trash cans we noticed that our friendly refuge personnel had placed a new sign for all to see (or trip over). Lorrie took a picture of me standing next to it:

If you look closer you can see what they consider an untidy beach. I love the red "NO" and the arrows pointing to the cabana.

It doesn't really bother me anymore, but honestly, driving that huge metal T post, right in the pathway of what is one of the best vistas looking out from the tree to La Plata just smells of Big Brother.

 I'm surprised they didn't bury a 12" I-beam in 6 yards of concrete. In my opinion a much more useful approach would be to have a sign with a trash bag dispenser. Maybe a picture of plastic liter water bottles and plastic bags, rather than a cabana, encouraging people to pick up trash. But not in the middle of the damn pathway. The refuge seems to be getting a Orwellian patina to it.

Ok, enough venting..it's out of my system (for now).

The beautiful thing about beaches is that they're always changing, sometimes so subtle that you don't notice it, although being away for nearly 9 months allows one to take notice. What I'm referring to is the way the beach edge has changed over near the rock gallery. Used to be you could scoot around the rock outcropping at the east end of La Plata and walk up onto a short sandy stretch, we've balanced a lot of rocks in this area. The sand is gone and what's left is a rocky ocean bottom. The water is deeper now too, when you go around the rocky point. I've taken a lot of pictures of this area and I took one just this past Feb. Comparing Feb to the one I took today you can really see the difference.


Over at the rock gallery there's been a lot of activity. What's been created is akin to a small city of different rock creations. (I'm expecting another huge T post over there by Feb). I saw stacking, balancing, and what look like just piles of coral and rock. People have created miniature stupas with conch and dried sea fans adorning them. It looks busy to me, too busy. You have to remember that I was indoctrinated into the rock balancing art form by Judy and Andre, who adhere strictly to the Swiss line of design, with a splash of Zen thrown in for flavor.

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to remove.”

 Less is more.

Anyway, Andre would talk about Chinese Scholar Rocks and their aesthetic value. This is what we shoot for in  our rock balancing. For what it's worth here's a picture of a Chinese Scholar Rock:

Not that any of this matters but there really is a method to our madness concerning the rock balancing, especially if you look at this piece I did this past Feb. Andre was particularly found of it:

and this was another he really liked:


So what does any of this have to do with today? Here I'll show ya the pictures:

 It is great to see people participating and to think Judy and Andre started all this. How kewl is that!

Lorrie and I will be doing some curating in the coming days.



  1. Interested to know that at one point one could see sand, at what is now deeper water with rocky bottom. What we experienced this past Aug. was this. About mid day after a sail with Jorge, we walked over to the rock garden area and sat under the tree there(I am guessing you know which one). As the day went by we sat and sat, and then decided to head back. But now, instead of water maybe waist high, it was chest/shoulder high. I don't think of tides so much in Vieqeues, but the water was no question deeper hours later. I wonder how much that is also playing a factor.

  2. Hi there... I've seen that sign, but the picture you posted is cropping the reason why it was placed. That is a sea turtle nesting beach and those type of cabanas are very dangerous for them. When we visit the beach, we should just leave our tracks and only take back good memories. Don't be so SELFISH! And thanks for picking up the human made garbage from the beach.

    1. The point I was making was that keeping the beaches clean should also include picking up garbage, especially sea plastic, not just no cabanas. According to recent research a bigger threat to sea turtles and their nesting sites is ocean plastic. (check out The Marine Turtle Newsletter editorial No 129 from 2010. They specifically site beach cleanup awareness and conclude a first step is to not buy/use plastic liter water bottles) We've changed our cabana design to help the turtles, that was never an issue. The point is, I rarely ever see people picking up garbage on the beaches, something we've done since our first visit. In my opinion, telling people not to build cabanas AND take time to help the turtles by picking up the trash, would have made a whole lot more sense. But that's my opinion, which I'm entitled to.

    2. Sadly, quite a few visitors from off island tend to think about their vacation rather than the trash they leave. It would be nice for people to pick up after themselves (and others as you do, thank you!), but that isn't reality. No amount of signage is going to change that. I've read about your issues with the parks department and think that you could help if you worked with them. As a Vieques resident, I know they could use all of the help they could get. Their offices are at the entrance to Camp Garcia on the way to Red Beach if you would like to stop in and help/learn.