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Sunday December 17 2017
Sand Under the Arch
Author:

Brian Blackburn
ask@caboguy.com


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Mexico has many natural wonders (Copper Canyon, Acapulco cliffs) and man-made mysteries (temples of Chichen Itza, Baja cave paintings) throughout the country… Los Cabos has an incredible phenomena which is both natural and mysterious, the famed “El Arco” at Land’s End.

Over the past several weeks, there has been an accumulation of sand under The Arch which got me to wondering…why does the sand gather like that and how does it stay around so long with the force of the ocean tides? Well, I asked around for explanations and received numerous comments involving science, guesswork and of course, legendary tales of power and magic.

Most Locals say they cannot recall when there was so much sand for so long a time, going back at least 20 years. Many claim the build-up occurs every 4 years; I have been coming to Cabo since 1993 and this is the most I have ever seen.

Carlos Ungson, who has been in Los Cabos since 1960 figures the build-up is because of changing weather patterns caused by “La Niña” which has cooled and strengthened the Pacific waters which dominate the warmer waters of the Sea of Cortez and causes the sand to be deposited at Land’s End. As we know, there have been subtle changes to water temperatures due to global warming and thus the slightest of degree change can create whole new effects on how water moves in a different direction than normal.

Captain Bob Barry of Day Sail Cabo gives a good explanation… normally there are counter-clockwise currents within Cabo Bay which sweep from Misiones and collect sand from Medano beach then curl to the base of the rocks which form Land’s End. The sand is forced against these rocks and has created two natural sand falls, one being over 100 feet deep which is near Neptune’s Finger. Jacques Cousteau discovered these sand falls and named this area “The World’s Aquarium”.

As well, ocean tides have shifted to due south-east thus come directly against Land’s End so the sand is driven against The Arch. This pattern has remained for the past few weeks thus the sand remains trapped and exposed until currents return to the normal pattern.

Capitan Mata of the Cabo Naval Station says it is because of the proximity of the Moon to the Earth but some respond that the Moon is always in the sky and the high tide levels on the rocks look the same as when there is no sand build-up.

Jose Manuel of Cabo Sails tells his guests that there is no logical explanation but The Arch is our most valuable treasure to share with all our visitors from around the world and that the build-up can be explained by the power and magic of The Arch … which might be the best reason of all!

And for all you romantics out there... last week, a friend took his lady for a moonlight stroll on the sand under The Arch which is just about the coolest thing I have ever heard…well done!!

 

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