Thursday, January 15, 2015

Coast Guards and Carpenters

Today marks being in the new house (which we've named Casa Pescadores) a month, and during that time I have really noticed a lot about the boats and fishermen. Day before yesterday I noticed many of the boats that normally "park" out front were not in their usual spots, I wondered if they weren't finding other parking spots, so to not be in our way. But then I noticed the boats were out in the water, just a little offshore, not out as far as when they are fishing, or casting their nets, I found it odd, but continued to observe til later in the day when I found the reason. 

The Captain (for lack of knowing exactly the correct title to use) of the boats was walking towards his boats with a couple men in black and his "right hand man", the men in black (or rather Navy Blue) had clipboards and looked very official. I finally saw the back of their shirts said GUARDASCOSTA, they were doing inspections, going over every inch of the boats hull, motor, taking the cover off, checking for life jackets and fire extinguishers.

So, I've now come to assume the boats that were in the water, didn't want to get inspected that day, and the inspections did continue the next day. I observed life jackets getting transferred from one inspected boat to a non inspected boat, and chuckled. I decided to look up Ecuadorean Coast Guard, and this is what Wikipedia had to say.

The Coast Guard (Cuerpo de Guardacostas de la Armada) became fully operational in 1980. Their mission is to control maritime activities on national territory, including all river zones. The objective is the internal security, protection of human life at sea and environmental protection. 

It said they had 250 men, and quite a few vessels to patrol with, including helicopters, which we do see flying over head. They are part of the Navy, and there were some interesting info about them as well.

The Ecuadorian Navy is responsible for the surveillance and protection of national maritime territory and has a personnel of 7,258[1] men to protect a coastline of 2,237 km which reaches far into the Pacific Ocean. The vessels are identified by the ship prefixB.A.E.Buque de la Armada del Ecuador (Ship of the Ecuadorian Navy).  A website called GlobalSecurity tells us this tidbit...Ecuador claims a 320-kilometer-wide (200-mi.) territorial sea. In 1952, Chile, Ecuador and Peru issued the Santiago Declaration, the first international instrument to declare a 200-mile limit. The Declaration made a significant conceptual leap, however, asserting not merely jurisdiction for the purpose of managing natural resources and fisheries, but that each State "possesses sole sovereignty and jurisdiction over the area of sea adjacent to its own country and extending not less than 200 nautical miles from the said coast." Freedom of navigation was restricted to "the innocent and inoffensive passage of vessels of all nations through the zone aforesaid." The United States, in contrast, claims a 12-mile boundary and jurisdiction for the management of coastal fisheries up to 320 kilometers (200 mi.) from its coast, but excludes highly migratory species. Although successive Ecuadorian governments have declared a willingness to explore possible solutions to this issue, the U.S. and Ecuador have yet to resolve fundamental differences concerning the recognition of territorial waters.

So, there ya go, now on to the Carpenters...

As mentioned previously we have a street dog that has adopted us, she jumps over the short concrete wall at the new house and it makes our pups crazy. They can get along, we've taken walks on the beach before, but that is neutral territory I guess, but coming into their courtyard had to stop, so we enlisted a local carpenter to build us a fence. I drew up a plan, translated some key phrases and with a little help from our friend Marty tried to convey what we needed. After some confusion, we got the gist figured out and we waited for the quote. Manuel the Maestro came the next day with written quote and said it would take no more than 4 days, we paid for materials up front and he brought the supplies back later that same day.

He came bright and early yesterday with his son and they got busy. Had all the fence up by the end of the day, mostly sanded and today ready for gate installation and laquer. They'll be finished today for sure, with how fast it went up yesterday. 

I chose this design so we were not blocking our view, we really didn't need the fence for security, just for some wind break and to keep the street dogs out. We'll see how much wind break this gives us, and may add some more slats if needed for our plants to thrive.

Can't wait to see the finished project, stay tuned the adventure continues!

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