Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pats On The Back...

Here's a good example of "the big guy helping the little guy." As Karen and I began planning our subdivision, we soon ran in to the issue of what to do with the edges of the canal and marina area.

As we saw the work proceeding on Coco Plum, it was happening while we were struggling with the "sea wall" issue. We had been advised by some to install sea walls along our newly dredged canal and marina. Not only was this incredibly costly and not terribly attractive, it did nothing to insure that the eco-system along the lagoon could be preserved and enhanced in a lasting fashion.

By focusing on what was the most natural way to preserve the mangrove eco-system,  Stewart Krohn at Coco Plum utilized careful modeling and planning during dredging and landscaping, and then where needed replanted layers of several kinds of mangrove and buttonwood. We watched this with great interest and it soon became clear what we would do at Kokomo.

In the current issue of "Roots and Reef" (download here), Patricia Celenza interviewed the newly appointed Program Coordinator for Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable Development (PCSD), Adrian Vernon. Quotes from that interview are below.
―Most developers just focus on what they need or want to do.  Few developers even consider reserving mangrove buffers to mitigate against erosion, storms, or higher water levels.
―However, I have to big up a couple of local developers. Not only did Stewart Krohn of Coco Plum leave the outside buffer, but he dredged in swampy areas and kept most of the plants.  He has replanted all his canals with mangroves.  Basically, Stewart put back more than 100% of what he removed.
―Another good example of mangrove management on our Peninsula is Kokomo, where developers Drew and Karen Travers, left the mangrove buffer and have already planted three different types of mangrove and buttonwood.
It certainly was not coincidence (and in the interests of full disclosure) that we engaged Adrian Vernon as the lead consultant to spearhead our efforts. Instrumental in our planning was the very valuable advice of Adam Krohn, Coco Plum's lead manager and expert in their landscape development.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The "Super Moon"

My feeble attempt at photographing the "Super Moon" using a point and shoot Canon S95 propped on the top of a gate.

How Fast Do Palm Trees Grow?

Pretty fast actually... While going through some old photos, I was struck by the "bareness" of the beach right after we built our Cabanas at The Maine Stay. It feels so much different now... and the before and after pictures show this pretty dramatically. In the second photo note the very small 1-2 foot palms we planted arrayed along the beach. Then in the last two photos see the mature palm growth of today. This pretty much confirms what we were told by our local friends that most palms grow 2 - 3 feet per year.

Before - in 2002
After - in 2010

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cruise Ship Consultant's Report... "Don't Do It..."

From the cruise ship consultant's report "Southern Cruise Viability Report" on cruise ship tourism in southern Belize: 

"The government of Belize should not approve a new port of call, contract or agreement with the cruise lines, developers or their affiliates for operations in the Placencia Peninsula."

Although this is clearly not the final chapter in this story, it most definitely is a victory for the people of Placencia.  See my earlier blog post on the problem, and be sure to check out the  Facebook page
Seatone Consultants presents the following social viability analysis and options for future collaboration based on a proposal for a cruise operation in Placencia put forward to the Government of Belize (GOB) by Shabir Walji - a developer who is the owner of several resorts in Northern Ambergris Caye - in collaboration with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL). Southern Cruise Viability Report

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Do Hummingbirds Fly At Night?

Well, Bill Taylor (Barnacle Bill) will tell you... "of course." And he's got this photo and dozens of others to prove it. On his porch at Barnacle Bill's Beach Bungalows,  just a couple of miles up the road from us, Bill has perfected strobe photography of hummingbirds and bats! I am convinced that this is all voodoo magic and there is no way to actually take these shots... he must bribe them to hold their wings still!

Nikon D100 SB800 with synch cord as slave (Bill Taylor)

Nikon D100 SB800 with synch cord as slave (Bill Taylor)
Be sure to go check out Barnacle Bill's Beach Bungalows. Wonderful Cabanas and beautiful beach setting. Plus you get to see how Bill does this magic photography.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Notes From The Road...Eric Gauger

Real Film Photography...

Below is a page from Eric Gauger's Moleskine notebook about Monkey River, in Southern Belize... taken during his photography trip here and documented on his stunning web site. If you have not explored "Notes From The Road," it is a real treat... filled with gorgeous large format, real, honest-to-goodness, FILM photography. Yes, I said film... and just wait till you see it.  Above is one sample. Eric also has a very well done Facebook page.

and his cameras

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Whale Sharks in Belize too!

Drew Travers (FaceBook link)

In Belize... WHALE SHARK SEASON 2011 - 
MARCH 17th - 29th, APRIL 16th - 28th, MAY 15th - 27th, JUNE 13th - 25th for guided snorkeling and diving tours.

ISLA MUJERES, MEXICO - U.S. and Mexican scientists believe they are close to solving one of the shark world's great mysteries.

Monday, March 7, 2011

BELIZE... Amazing Sunrise Photo...

I don't very often get upstaged in the Sunrise photo department... but Kevin Winkelman captured a shot with gorgeous composition and exposure. I have officially been dethroned!  Let's see who gets on that pinnacle next.

      • Have a look at the FaceBook goings on about Sunrise photos...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Is That a Doggie In There?

Taco is fascinated with the iPad... we'll have to get some YouTube doggie videos!

Friday, March 4, 2011

How Fast Do They Grow Up?

"I'm two years old and I'm going to do it myself..."

"Uncle Steven is Leaving Today..."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pizza Party... on the Barby!

When we have the "Pizza Man" over to Kokomo to orchestrate the BBQ Pizza Party, he's always "rolling in the dough." He loves the feel of the stuff and making bread is his passion. So making up some pizza dough and doing pizza on the grill is just about as much fun as he can stand! He is Eldon Mead of Maya Beach. Along with spouse Mary Ann, they are loving a great new place on the beach...   

See lots more Pizza Party photos here

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I wonder How Many Cameras There Are In Placencia Right Now?

Once in a while someone asks "what camera do you use"? I used to always have to give a complicated answer. When it comes to photography, Barnacle Bill I'm not. I do have a very nice Nikon D80 DSLR and several lenses and I use that camera about 20% of the time. Until recently I mostly used the camera that was always with me... on my belt. A several year old Canon Powershot SD1000 Digital Elph 7.1 megapixel. If you can still find one... it's an excellent camera. 

My point to this "ramble" is the "always with me" part of the equation... a camera small enough to always be there on my belt or in my pocket. Sometimes I feel sort of like an old west "gunslinger" with the weapon always at the ready in the holster. But that's the point (and shoot) isn't it... quick reflexes for all those frames you saw and should shoot!

I'm not the least bit embarrassed to say I mostly don't have time to think about all the settings and just keep the camera on "auto" and let it do its' thing. Last December, David Pogue in the New York Times wrote a "love letter" to a camera... the Canon S95. Funny post... but I think he's mostly accurate. I do sometimes keep the flash from popping up because of holding my finger over it! But then again that's the point with the large sensor... not needing the flash most of the time. So this is my new point and shoot, always on my belt... and it takes the vast majority of the photos you see on this blog and in my Flickr and Picasa Web Albums.
See the new review of the Canon S100 by Ken Rockwell to decide which one to buy.

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