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The Killer Earthquake the Shook Me Up Saturday Night
April 21, 2016

Good Morning My Fellow Adventurer

I really have a lot on my mind this morning, as I have had all week.

Saturday night, as usual, I was in bed early and feeling very sleepy. We have a lot of windows in the house. I remember that all of a sudden around 7 pm., they all began to make small popping noises. Quite quickly, I sat straight up in bed and immediately could feel that the bed was vibrating.

It didn’t take long for entire house to begin vibrating. The movements were not too strong, but very noticeable. I have been in small earthquakes and strong tremors numerous times during my travels. They have always lasted for 10 or 15 seconds before fading away. This time it was different. This time the vibration seemed to last a very, very long time. The one minute that the trembling lasted, seemed like ten.

I turned to my wife and said, "This was a killer quake. Many people are dying somewhere right now, probably many hundreds or more."

I arose and pulled up the earthquake app on my Android tablet. Sure enough, the epicenter was on the coast, and it registered as a massive killer. Right away my thoughts were drawn to the many weeks and months I had spent in these coastal parts over the years, pursuing my passions of gold prospecting and treasure hunting.

There were the many adventures all around the gold-rich Lost City of Coaque, right on the equator. I had followed in the footsteps of Howard Jennings from his book, The Treasure Hunter. Always while exploring Coaque, I stayed in the comfortable hotel, "Mr. John’s" in Pedernales. As of Saturday night, Mr. John’s no longer exists.

I remember the time in 1988 that I visited a shrimp farm in Cojimies, just north of Pedernales. I had been invited to explore massive archaeological remains there. I saw an amazing array of in-situ funerary pots, one on top of the next, each containing human remains. Those pots had been buried nearly 2,000 years ago. I was stranded overnight there as the tides were very high and the little local bus was not able to make its routine trip from Perdernales along the beach. Many people died in Cojimies on Saturday night.

How many times did I prospect and pan for gold on the beaches, north and south of Esmeraldas? Atacames was one of my favorite places to base my coastal explorations. There was always an amazing night life to enjoy there after a long day of finding gold. Now, that night life will not return for many months or years, if ever.

I always enjoyed finding petrified Megalodon shark’s teeth near the rustic coastal town of Canoa. Every year we stayed in a great little hotel, Bambu, right on the beach. I almost never failed to rent a surfboard at the hotel to enjoy a few sets of waves before dinner. The seafood was fresh and fantastic there. I just finished reading horrendous stories of the death and destruction in Canoa on Saturday night.

Wow, I am feeling devastated right now. The terror continues as I write this. Some people are still laying trapped and breathing the last breaths of their lives today. I kind of wonder to myself, "Why them and not me?"

The only thing that I can conclude is the dire necessity of stepping my life up a notch while I am still alive. I need to share more and help more and feel so thankful for the incredible life that we each have. Who knows when our time will finally come. Heaven only knows how many times I have cheated death over the decades.

Please join me today in empathy for the victims of this disaster. And also please join me in the appreciation of all that is good for us in this present moment.

My warmest regards to you this morning, Stan

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