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March April 2020 Marina World

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The magazine for the marina industry


PLANNING & DESIGN CGI of Marina Coast Homebeach Club Peru showing the well protected marina basin and waterski lagoon. An oasis on a desert coastline by Dan Natchez, CMP Máncora. Unless you are from Peru, or possibly if you are a surfer, chances are you probably haven’t heard of it – yet. Máncora, with a year round population of roughly 10,000 residents, is considered one of the best beaches in South America and is located along Peru’s sparsely developed northwestern Pacific coast, approximately 96.5km (60mi) south of the Ecuadorian border. The coast in this portion of Peru lies in the rain shadow of the Andes, resulting in a desert-like and largely rain-free environment. And despite being only about four degrees south of the equator, the prevailing offshore currents in the Pacific typically keep the daytime air temperature in the low to mid-twenties Celsius (70s F), ever so slightly warmer than the typical water temperature. Unlike Lima’s considerable cloudiness, the sun in this part of Peru shines just about the whole year. Pretty ideal. The site before development is a ‘clean slate’. But it gets even better. Those offshore waters happen to be among the most productive fisheries in the world, and offer some truly exceptional big-game fishing. Its beautiful azure waters are full of black and blue marlin, swordfish and tuna. In fact, these waters are well known for catching magnificent grandeurs, including the still standing record for the largest black marlin ever caught on IGFA regulation tackle at 1,560lbs (708kg). Segments of the movie version of Hemingway’s classic ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ were actually filmed on these superb waters. Head farther west-northwest roughly 1,000km (621mi) and you will be in the Galapagos, making Máncora among the closer points of departure from mainland South America. Head east and it is a short drive to the mountains, with abundant opportunities to explore the natural environment. And the beach in Máncora continues seemingly endlessly to the north and south, unbroken by the predominantly dry stream beds coming down from the mountains. The beach is well known for surfing, particularly in mid to late summer when larger swells roll in from Hawaii and other points northwest, and for kite surfing with the steady breeze when the waves are smaller. There are no hurricanes or similar storms, ever, and every day the sun sinks into those azure waters. So, what’s missing? Well, other than a single unprotected pier jutting out into the Pacific past the south side of town (and used primarily by local commercial fishermen), pretty much any form of recreational boating facility. But that is about to change, with construction well underway of what will soon become Marina Coast Homebeach Club Peru, 32 - March/April 2020

PLANNING & DESIGN As the closest commercial airports are a significant distance away, the resort has its own private airstrip capable of handling turboprop regional airliners as well as private jets. a world class marina resort, and the vision of the brother and sister team of José and Antonella Bertello. But just how does one design and change a desert coastline with ideal weather conditions into a five star marina? Two words – very carefully! Working from a blank slate The new complex, scheduled to open in early 2021, is taking shape on a large tract of undeveloped land lying north of ‘downtown’ Máncora, and along the north bank of the Quebrada Fernandez creek. To the west it’s bordered by the ocean, to the north by more undeveloped land and the Quebrada Seca creek, and to the east by the Pan American Highway, which in this area is one lane north, and one lane south (acting as the main road through downtown Máncora). The property truly was a blank slate, gently sloping down from the highest ground by the highway to the ocean, with a lagoon behind the waterfront dunes destined to become the main marina basin. But otherwise, the land was essentially ‘off the grid’ with no access to services or infrastructure other than having its highway frontage. Where does one begin? It starts, of course, with the Bertellos’ vision to create a vibrant marina resort with a yacht club, boatyard, residences, conference The deck of the yacht club will become a prime waterfront dining spot. centre and numerous recreational facilities, followed by lots of study and by understanding the attributes as well as the challenges of the area. Weather is a major attribute and the downward sloping land provides for great views at numerous natural and man-made elevations to the Pacific Ocean, as well as to the creek area with its flamingos and other natural wildlife, which forms a bit of a green ecological oasis in the overall desert landscape. But the challenges were not insignificant, and this is where the homework really begins. Best use of a unique site As you might expect, along with development of the master plan came years of environmental study and analysis, along with navigating the government approval process. Being so off the grid and in a desert also brings about some unique challenges. There is no fresh water supply, so the resort has secured rights to, and is piping in water from, a nearby underground source, and will have its own desalination plant. There is no sanitary sewerage connection, so the resort has its own treatment plant, with the highly treated effluent used to irrigate the lawns and gardens. In order to have consistent electrical service the resort will have its own considerable power generation capabilities. No dredge contractors are anywhere close to the site, so the resort has its own dredge equipment for the construction (excavating from the ocean into the upland). I think you get the picture – and perhaps most unusual, since the closest airports are roughly 80km (50mi) and 130km (981mi) away, the resort has its own private airstrip with a 1,750m (5,740ft) runway capable of accommodating turboprop regional airliners with capacities of up to 80 people, as well as private jets. That means you can travel the roughly 1,165km (725mi) from Lima in about two hours, or conveniently fly from Máncora to almost any of Peru’s other tourist destinations. What about the marina itself? Once again there were any number of opportunities and challenges, with perhaps the biggest challenge ultimately also offering whole new opportunities. As you may have noticed above, - March/April 2020 33

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