Yesterday [Sept 22] we took a tour of some of Bermuda’s South Shore beaches to see what state they were in after the passing of Hurricane Igor this past weekend. Our first stop was Elbow Beach in Paget where we found Island Construction machinery pushing sand up to the exposed cliff that previously was the public entrance.
Parks Department had previously announced that due to beach erosion from Igor, the public access to the beach was temporarily closed.
The mound of sand has formed a viable passageway to the beach now and when Bernews left, the barrier blocking access to the beach was left erected assumably awaiting Parks Dept to inspect and approve the new access.
On the hotel side, staff were busy removing tons of sand that had washed up to the property. A beach comber could be seen leveling the sand that a pay loader was busy redistributing along the property’s beach front.
Next we found ourselves at Horseshoe Bay where staff were hard at work readying Bermuda’s famous beach.
Parks director, Andrew Pettit, was on the scene overseeing the repairs being carried out by more heavy machinery. He explained to Bernews the process of reclamation of the beach sand.
A backhoe is used to scoop sand from an area beyond the low tide mark onto the beach. Pay loaders are then used to push and sculpt the sand along the beach up to the dunes and also used to fill in exposed “caves” in the rock formations that were caused by the seas erosion.
The water currents natural process will then fill in the areas sand was removed from. This procedure helps speed up the process as mother nature does her job. He says that the beach will be ready in the next day or so for the arrival of visitors from the cruise ships when they begin to arrive again next week after bypassing the island because of the storm. Beach goers were seen basking in the sun during our visit.
In the parking lot area, Parks Dept lifeguards were busy with a different task. Under the guidance of Parks Officer Craig Burt, lifeguards were busy clearing foliage debris with one wielding a chainsaw to the many tree limbs that scattered the area.
When we visited The Coco Reefs Hotel, the general manager was pleased to show how that property’s beach front took very little damage. Guests weathered the storm at the hotel and had no problems at all. One guest celebrated her 50th birthday and toasts were cheered at midnight in the midst of the storm passing. Debris that washed ashore was cleared and lounge chairs were set back up. Two dolphins were seen to be “beached” on the sand in the form of sand sculptures.
Warwick Long Bay, Coral Beach Club, John Smith’s Bay, Chaplin Bay and neighbouring Stonehole Bay were also visited. Volumes of sand have been washed away by Hurricane Igor but ultimately, all beaches visited were in pristine condition, ready for beach goers to enjoy and showed the beauty Bermuda is known worldwide for.
Photos by Only the Best, click to enlarge: