Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~
Except for last three nests still within the beach nursery the 2009 season has come to an end, with a total of 1,149 nests recorded and 63,700 hatchlings to the sea.
Extremely good news for lovers of the marine turtle: “WASHINGTON — Mexico is losing its certification to export wild-harvest shrimp to the United States because its trawls lack required protections for endangered sea turtles, the US State Department said.” (International treaty requires that all countries require shrimp boats to be equipped with and use turtle excluder devices.)
Better late than never, the dune buggy is being equipped with new rust-proof back fenders that should out live me. As soon as the front fenders rust out, perhaps within a year, they too will be replaced; otherwise the buggy had been running well throughout this winter.
The combination of daylight savings time (April 4th) and the joining together of the Jalisco (Puerto Vallarta) and the municipality of Bahia de Banderas (Nuevo Vallarta, San Pancho) time zones into one has put our sunset at 8:20 PM, two hours later then the day before.
In case your looking for us, we moved upstairs next door. The apartment that I had been living in is being re-modeled which includes new stove, fridge, all new fixtures in the bathroom, new mattress, replacing kitchen tiles, painting and refurnishing. All apartments should be finished in early June in time for all volunteers; otherwise it’s been a war zone around here of noise and dust. (See photo below)
To date the recruitment of summer volunteers has gone very well with 30 volunteers on board, including 17 return staff or 57%, 18 volunteers from the States, 5 each from Canada and the United Kingdom, 1 each Italy and México. To see an up to date score sheet go to Http://www.project-tortuga.org/selected.html Although, we’re still looking for a couple or one other person for October/November.
Weather-wise, highest March daytime temperature was 83° although for the most part daytime temps were in the mid to upper 70’s. Lowest March nighttime temp was 69° although most nights have been in the mid 70’s. Oddly, April temps have not been that much warmer. Except for a one brief shower there has been no rainfall in two months. Large waves just before Easter slammed into the walls on the north of the beach. The water level of the lagoon is dropping fast, and its surface is quickly filling with Water Lettuce; never the less a wide verity of wildlife is making the lagoon their home.
As an employee of the US Forest Service in 1966, I managed the San Jacinto Wilderness and the Tahquitz Peak Lookout within. The lookout was manned by Jess Southwell since 1946. Jess had an uncanny skill of predicting thunderstorms before sun up. Each morning the fire dispatcher would call Jess for his forecast. To make a long story short, Jess was never wrong and never told anyone what his secret was until his last day at Tahquitz Peak when I asked him.
Jess’s answer was simple- There are five conditions that must be present to have thunderstorms within the San Bernardino Mountains, although the first three conditions do not apply to the tropics, the last two conditions are cruelly important to this area. 1) Humidity must be 42% or higher and 2) there can be no gradient winds present (winds at mid and high elevations. As long as the subtropical jet stream is crossing over México and especially San Pancho there can be no thunderstorms. High elevation winds clip the tops of cumulus clouds keeping thunderstorm cells from forming,
Despite this years heavy rains the river at the entrance of town dried up in late March, this is an indication that the town well is drawing down water faster than the aquifer can replace it. But there may be help; Meteorologists are calling for an active hurricane season due to El Niño. Despite the damage that hurricanes can cause, hurricanes can produce up to 50% of our moisture in anyone year.
Town and country-wise, all except the street planters, which are now under fire by some businessmen for taking up valuable parking space, the Avenida Tercer Mundo construction project is complete up to the intersection of Calle Ceilan. My concern regarding the construction of these planters is a little different. I feel that in time these planters will find willing hands and the funds to care for them, plus if painted and landscaped well, they will be an asset to our town.
For Decades the State of Nayarit and the municipality of Bahía de Banderas have been extremely eager (to a fault) to develop and improve the coastal lands between River Ameca through Nuevo Vallarta, Punta Mita, San Pancho up to Lo de Marcos (dubbed as “Riviera Nayarit”) for what they hope would be an insane amount of tourism and tax receipts. About two weeks ago the president of Bahía de Banderas arrived in San Pancho with press and cameras and announced that San Pancho had to live up to the landscape of the Riviera. With the help of the school kids and adult volunteers, they began trimming shrubs and trees along the main street, removing weeds, rocks, building material and cleaning the planters. They also removed at least 4 inches of soil and debris from the area between the curb and sidewalk, swept the roadway, painted the curbs and bridge and removed the bridge lights. It also includes a uniform color code for buildings and signs; plus no signs will be allowed on the street or on the sidewalk. So in any case does San Pancho look a little more like the glamorous Riviera of the Mediterranean? (see photo below)
If it sounds like I am down on tourism, its true. It’s good when hotels, motel, gift shops and restaurants are full, but you can go to far. Case in point, I lived in Idyllwild California, a year around tourist haven. Because tourist were at the mercy of the merchant, prices in Idyllwild were driven through the roof, thus those who lived on the mountain were forced to travel a 60 mile round trip down the hill just to purchase food, gasoline, and the most common supplies, otherwise you paid nearly twice for food and five times for gasoline and stores that once sold common supplies were replaced by gift shops. You had to wait over an hour to be seated at your favorite restaurant and then pay through the nose for it. Of course, there was no parking available in town, Looky-lue tourist were trying to run you down on every curve and if they failed at that they blocked your drive way. Despite the inconvenience and discomfort suffered by 90% of those who lived in this retirement community the chamber of commerce of Idyllwild was desperately pushing for more tourism. Like Wall Street, the discomfort suffered by many was well justified by the profits of a few.
Semana Santa loaded the town and beach with scores of tents, sun burnt and mosquito bit tourist, but the town handled the overload in style.
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C
Mexico tel. (311) 258-4100
America Latina #102
San Francisco, Nayarit, Mexico
War zone of constrution out my bedroom window. Removing at least 4 inches of soil and debris from the area between the curb sidewalk, also trimming plants and trees.
We drove to Colima to see the volcano which
had not erupted for over a year. We drove we
as closeas we could, stopped for an hour and
as we turned to go home it erupted.