28 February 2012

Unloading 'sticks' for the roof

     The spur has been really great for getting building materials closer to where they're needed.   An earlier post showed a panga-load of block, stone, and bags of concrete...everything in that load was offloaded at the new dock.  It all had to be carried by hand, but not as far as if the load had gone to the original dock and then to the building site.   
     And when time came for offloading the very heavy concrete rings for the new well?   Not an easy job under any circumstance, but for sure less distance to move them from the new dock to where the new well was being dug.
     Some 'sticks' to form the framework of the roof on the new house are coming off the pontoon boat, as well as a final couple of sheets of Plycem and some sheetrock.
Roofing framework, safe behind the gate, ready to be installed

21 February 2012

The spur, an extension to our canal

     Partly for security and partly to make handling supplies easier, we dug a 'spur,' an extension of the waterway, and built a small dock and walkway at its end.   The spur branches off from the dock that was built during the first phase of the project: the original dock where most of the increased traffic now comes.   This spur and the new dock and walkway get boats and supplies closer to the new house where they are behind a gate that stays locked most of the time.
The original dock and at the left, the gate to the spur

  At work on the small dock and walkway, with the unfinished house in the background
From the small dock looking toward the gate, the main pier, and the creek
From the walkway another view of the unfinished house
      (It may become necessary to limit use of and access to the original dock.  Access to the canal will remain open as will access from the canal across my property to the beach.   I couldn't deny access to the beach even if I wanted to.   However, limiting how easy it is to load and unload things that aren't supposed to leave the area might be needed in the future.  Currently when a boat pulls up, everything that comes in it gets piled onto the original dock: tools, food, bedding, oars, dogs, sails, plants, chickens...whatever!  And the reverse is true: when people get ready to go back to Bluefields after a day, or a weekend, or a week, their stuff ends up on that dock for easy loading for their return boat trip.  For now, the only restriction on the use of the original False Bluff dock is to clean up any mess you make and - even that's a hard sell from time to time.)

14 February 2012


     A very recent hatch.
     Close to where a sea turtle was rescued at False Bluff last year, another sea turtle came ashore and laid eggs.  We never saw her...only her tracks.
    My sincere thanks go to Silvia Fox and Digma Blandon for these pictures.  Shown are the hole from which the baby turtles emerged and the remains of some of their eggs. What excellent news for Valentine's Day...

A traffic jam in the creek

     Ever since the creek was opened a year ago there's been a marked increase in boat traffic to False Bluff. People no longer have to travel on foot through the swamp to get from Smokey Lane Lagoon to the Caribbean.  Because the creek is now navigable, more and more boats are pulling up to the dock that I had built during phase one of the project.   
     And I have yet to see a boat arrive at dock with only one person aboard.  There are families who want a day trip to the beach; owners of properties up and down the beach coming out to clean and clear their land; fishermen; hunters; and the occasional coconut thief.   
     Opening the creek has been a boon to property owners but we're also experiencing an influx of people who do not own property and are not satisfied with just stealing a few coconuts.   One of many things that will help with trespassing and theft is that more owners are planning to build, or sell to people who will build.   

07 February 2012

New well

     The rings which line the well that was dug during the first phase of this project were poorly constructed, on site, and the rebar (the steel reinforcing bars/rods which add tensile strength to concrete) have become exposed.   This has caused rust to leach into the water turning it the color of weak tea.   The water's safe for laundry, strangely enough not coloring even white things, and for bathing.   I've even used it for drinking with no ill effects...but we weren't going to use it for drinking long term...so during the second phase, in went a new well.     
     Availability of water is certainly not an issue since False Bluff both fronts and backs onto water.   The big question is whether or not the water will taste salty since wherever a well is located on the property it's going to be close to the Caribbean.   However, the water in the new well is clear and sweet, fed by a strong underwater spring.   When the guys were digging and lining the second well the water filled the hole with an audible gush, working the pump pretty hard.   The pump removed the water while the well was being dug, thus making it possible to dig deeper and install additional rings down to the desired depth.  The rings that line this well weren't made on site but were instead hauled on the pontoon boat to False Bluff from Bluefields, all in one trip...making me glad, again, that I followed the recommendation to buy a pontoon boat.
Old well
New well
     Both wells are useful.