Thursday, December 11, 2008

La Manzanilla Tsunami - 1995

Taken from a University of California Campus web site that studies Tsunami's and who knows how long an old web page will stick around. This is the core of the article with a link to the original web page on the bottom where you can check other results of the same earthquake from Boca de Iguanas to Manzanillo.

The photos you are about to see are quite interesting. It is very rare that a person with a camera is present when a Tsunami strikes. It is even more rare to have that person stand in the path of the oncoming wave and snap photos of the wave coming in. In the case of the Manzanillo tsunami, that just happened. Jose Martinez, the tortilla maker of the town of La Manzanilla likes to take pictures. He always has his camera ready with film in it for whatever might be going on in his town. On October 9, 1995, something very special happened.

First, imagine feeling a very strong earthquake. The shaking may last a few minutes, but when it stops, everything seems to be all right. Your family is safe, your home is still standing. Just a big quake you think to your self. As you begin to clean up, you hear shouting from the beach. The water is flowing out of the bay! How is that possible? What is going on? The water recedes further and further until the rocks which normally sit 200 meters offshore in 4 meters of water are now completely dry and exposed.

This is the first shot, the rising water can be seen in the distance, a fringe of whitewater and a few people running from it. In La Manzanilla the wave came in just slower than a person can run, this was fortunately, no one was killed in La Manzanilla. Note the white building at the water's edge.

In the second shot, the wave has come in much further. The photographer has moved back about 50 yards between the first and second shots. The water is now past the central plaza (which is visible on the right side of the first shot). In this shot the central plaza is about where the painted palm trees are in the distance on the right.

The water has risen to its maximum level and is beginning to recede. Thankfully, this tsunami was not very violent. The water rose more like a rapid tide that didn't know when to quit, rather than a raging wall of water. The photo below is of the town hall of La Manzanilla.

The foto below is of Boca de Iguana where the devastation was extensive and reminiscent of Playa Popollo in Nicaragua, including debris wakes behind buildings. Uncorrected runup heights here at least 6m and the wave penetrated to at least 480m inland.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Finally paving the streets

I hope this means that the Tamarindo Resort contruction trucks are no longer coming through the middle of town - and that the water and sewers are in. I'd hate to see those pretty bricks torn up again

La Manzanilla, Costalegre

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Tropical storm Douglas

Tropical storm Douglas
La Manzanilla, Costalegre, Jalisco

Agua de Palapa Joe's

From -
Show: Guys Big Bite
Episode: Tamale Never Knows

1 cup white rice
6 cups water, divided
1/2 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup condensed milk

In a small bowl, soak the rice, 1 cup water and cinnamon for 30 minutes. Add to blender and liquefy for 3 minutes. In a large container, mix the blended rice, 5 cups water, vanilla, sugar, and condensed milk.

Stir and serve over ice

From Palapa Joe's in La Manzanilla - Costalegre

agua de arroz - rice water

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A warning about the La Manzanilla crocodiles

From La Manzanilla message board :

I am still very upset about what happened Monday 19th when I came to your little tranquil village to see how it was after an absence of 3 years visiting there. On a previous visit I saw the crocodiles and was shocked at how close they lived to the village. But that shock turned to horror this visit. I would like to tell what happened as a warning to anyone who has been there or anywhere that crocodiles live and are in contact with humans.

As I strolled about the village a lovely large white/ beige short haired dog came up to me, obviously very friendly. As I walked up the beach he seemed to want to follow along and his quiet friendly company was appreciated. After strolling around the beach , decided to go check out the croc population and see if it had changed. I was very surprised to see how many more there were and their sizes. It was very impressive and I was in awe that the local people seem to have accepted these animals in their village.

There is a nature trail suggested so thought since I had several hours before the bus was returning to take me back to my hotel in Barra, I would explore. The dog was still with me and as we rounded the bend to start on a trail I noticed that the bridge previously there was broken in the middle, unable to pass.

So I came off the bridge and noticing a lagoon at the end of the river and a big croc swimming in there.... not more than 20 feet away from me....... just a few feet from beach umbrellas and the ocean shore. As I stood there puzzling about this the dog went down to the edge of the lagoon to drink, about 6 feet from where I was standing. I saw the croc start to swim towards the shore and glanced at the dog who was still drinking. It flashed in my mind that the croc was coming towards us and I called to the dog to come to me but before I could get him to move the croc had covered the distance of 20 feet and lunged and grabbed the dog by the neck and drug it back in.

The whole thing happened in about 15 seconds. I was shocked and sickened that this happened. The speed of that croc was unbelievable. I had heard that they were fast but never imagined how fast. I am sick at heart because of what happened to that poor dog. I understand that it is the way of nature and the croc was only doing what is natural for him.

But I must tell anyone who is in areas were crocs are to be extremely careful. From this witness I can tell you crocodiles can move with lightning speed and he knows exactly what to do. The poor dog did not have a chance and I shutter to think if I could have been a victim myself. I am certain that small children would be in great danger there. These crocodiles are fast and deadly. Please everyone BE CAREFUL.

Costalegre Jalisco Mexico

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Posted by Dave Collins on April 30, 2008, 10:25 am

The following is a summary on the water situation in La Manzanilla written recently by Mark Cable Rains, Assistant Professor of Ecohydrology, Department of Geology, University of South Florida. Mark is part of a research team headed by the Great Basin Institute who has been conducting environmental research in the greater La Manzanilla area since 2001. I have translated this information and am passing it on to Morgan, our water master. Further questions about these issues can be directed to Mark at:

There are four major water-supply wells in La Manzanilla. Two of these wells are owned and operated by La Manzanilla, while two of these wells are owned and operated by Tamarindo. When wells are pumped, groundwater levels drop and groundwater flows towards the wells from all directions. This is not a problem if the wells are located in a large basin filled with fresh water. This can be a problem, however, if the wells are located in a small basin close to the coast, because salt water from the ocean and/or lagoons and mangroves at the edge of the ocean can flow into the aquifer and eventually into the wells. This can become a bigger problem if groundwater pumping is increased. We call this salt-water intrusion, and it is a problem throughout the world in coastal communities that rely on groundwater for their water-supply needs.

Salt-water intrusion may be occurring in La Manzanilla. I emphasize the use of the word "may", because our results are preliminary and have not been fully explored. The background salinity of water in the aquifer is approximately 0.5, while the background salinity of the ocean is approximately 35. The salinity in the primary water-supply well for La Manzanilla was approximately 0.5 in January 2007 and January 2008. However, the salinity in the secondary water-supply well for La Manzanilla, which is closer to the mangrove and closer to the water-supply wells for Tamarindo, was greater than 1.0 in January 2007 and greater than 2.5 in January 2008. These higher salinities may be due to salt-water intrusion, and this increase in salinity may be due to increasing salt-water intrusion. Again, I emphasize the use of the word "may", because our results are preliminary and have not been fully explored. Nevertheless, these results suggest that our work on this issue is timely and necessary if we are maintain clean water for the community of La Manzanilla. In this regard, we are continuing our work and are regularly communicating with Morgan to ensure that he has current information about the La Manzanilla water resources.

Water concerns for La Manzanilla

The post about water concerns below was posted in response to yet another investment and development scheme for the already over taxed water system in the area and generally the Costalegre

Working on the concept of a developement project wich includes condomminiums, swimming pool, restaurant/bar, motel, store and horse back riding facilites.

Just catching up on the latest postings... I think the issue of water comes in here, when any development plans are afoot. What Silver and the rest of us are experiencing is the salt water intrusion into our coastal aquifer.(Morgan told me and others this just a week ago) The salt water is heavier, and sits below the fresh. After all the dry months, the level goes lower and lower, hence the water gets saltier. When we over use the resource it means we draw more salt water into the aquifer, and make the situation worse. LA has the same problem, but they have figured out the capacity of their aquifer, and try to be super careful not to start drawing in salt water. We don't know the capacity here, but we're certainly getting some classic signals. Some months we are right at the legal limit of salinity, according to Morgan.(and more chlorine = more salinity 'cus it comes as a salt)

So, these are things to consider when making investments...if there are few enforceable rules, then certainly many new investors will drain our water resource and jeopardize the well being of the community. Profit and employment are only two of many considerations here. This ecosystem has been supplying us all with water for free, more or less. If we look after it, it will continue to do this forever. This is a good investment! Will we all have to pay big bucks for desalination, because no one makes us accountable for our use of water and we can't adjust to the capacity of our aquifer? Let's look after what we were given, and pass it on in good shape!

Perhaps we and the other stakeholders, including El Tamarindo and Yellowstone Club should find out the capacity of this aquifer. This might go a ways toward all of us reassessing just what we do with water.

There's lots of good stuff on salt water intrusion on the internet...the problem is common.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Powered paragliding La Manzanilla Bay, Mexico

La Manzanilla, Jalisco, Mexico, Costalegre, paragliding

Monday, March 03, 2008

Conservation of Wetlands

On February 2, 2008, La Manzanilla was chosen as 1 of 7 estuaries / wetlands to be protected by the RAMSAR project. Please see whose mission statement is: "Conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local, regional and national action and international cooperation as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world."

What this means is, La Manzanilla has been chosen to make plans to save our estuary, our water supply and our natural flora and fauna. It includes re-forestation which can create an atmosphere where the rain water will no longer run off the hills in erosion, but soak into the water aquafer through the tree roots. This also means we, as members of this community, may find ourselves volunteering to plant tree seedlings in the hills, or atleast supporting the efforts of those who do. MSc Francisco Silva, Chief of Department of Studies for Sustainable Development of Coastal Zones of the University of Guadalajara (Melaque) was responsible for the elaboration of the technical and scientific proposal given to the RAMSAR Convention. He and authorities of Jalisco State and municipality will visit La Manzanilla in order to meet with our community and establish a work plan. Please stay tuned for further developments.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Dalmation crapping on beach at sunset

Tongue in cheek comedy

To the gringa woman who has a problem with my Mexican Dalmation shitting on the beach and not liking it, piss right the phuk off. You came to Lora Lokas and had a word with Pancho, and, yes, you grabbed his arm so you could show him what the crap looks like, well guess what shit for brains, he knows what it looks like, so I suggest if you don't like the way things are here go HOME!!! You are lucky you did not get clocked, as he is a GENTLEMAN. If it were me I would have kicked your ass to Puerto Vallarta so you can get a head start to were you came from!!!! GO HOME you don't belong here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dogs have been shitting on beaches since the beginning of time, and it ain't gonna stop. I am SO TIRED OF PEOPLE TRYING TO CHANGE THINGS so they can live as they do at "home". Stay home if you don't ike it, or go to another place that meets your standards. I hope to hell she reads this. Gringa, if you have a question, just ask where I am,not hard to find. Just a pissed off resident..

La Manzanilla, Jalisco, Costalegre
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La Manzanilla, a village of approximately 1,500 indigenous and winter residents, is located in the southwest corner of the state of Jalisco along what is known as Costalegre (Costa Alegre) or the "happy coast".

Palapa Joe's
Visit La Manzanilla
Sparks Costalegre
La Manz Beach Cam
La Manzanilla Board