Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~
The first group of 260 nests placed within the box nursery produced over 22,600 hatchling at a near record 90%. To date twenty-eight nest were taken illegally/poachers, (a record low of only 3.7%). Twenty-one nests have been left in place on the beach, and four nests were washed out. On November 12th the second group of 210 nests collected between October 5th and November 15th began hatching, but despite being six to eleven days late due to the cold temperatures, their also hatching in the 90’s.
Within the beach nursery, the second group of 145 nests collected between September 3rd and October 4th produced 6,026 hatchlings, although far below the 9,900 we had hope for. Just as high waves flooding caused problems last year, this seasons unusually heavy rains and fly larvae destroyed half the eggs and/or the hatchlings.
There is little we can do to keep high waves and heavy rain from destroying nests, although by browsing the internet we may have discovered a way to keep fly larvae from reaching the nests. If nests are placed about 6” deeper than normal the larvae should not be able to reach the hatchlings. To test the theory all nests collected after November 15th, (the third group,) will be centered at twenty inches below the surface.
Volunteer-wise, Curt, Joslin and kids, as well as Chuck and Alicia plan to stay with us to the end of December. I would like to thank each of the 56 volunteers this season for their outstanding contribution to the program and hope to see all of you next season; that invite includes all past volunteers as well.
Weather-wise, days have been extraordinarily pleasant, mostly in the range of 80°. To add to the enjoyable beach weather, skies have been mostly clear with no wind. Although since October 20th we’ve experienced colder than normal nights with temperatures down to as low as 58° (so we’re spoiled down here). During the coldest nights, temperatures within the box nursery drop to below 73° far below the sought-after incubation temperature of 90.5°. In any case it sent us running for an electrical heater, but instead we could only find two 1,850 watt hairdryers, which so far have kept the temperatures at a safe temperature.
Town-wise, the new bridge could be finished by mid-January or early February barring any snags. By looking at the strength of the abutments and the fact that the channel is 20 feet wider and 5 feet deeper than the old bridge, it was built to withstand a major flood. In addition there are no support columns to trap debris/trees. To insure that the abutments are not under-mined or damaged, they poured an eighteen inches of concrete under the bridge. (See images below.)
Around mid-November a dozen men began work on the street planters. Jackhammers broke up the concrete curb and sidewalk inside, while other workers removed the concrete and debris within to below the street surface. The last step, which has not come yet will be to fill the planters with potting soil and to plant palms, and hopefully shrubs and flowers later.
The Puerto Vallarta Bridge – On November 22nd, after the construction of two substantial support columns placed on both sides of the river, the two columns were connected by two massive steel girders. If you have not experienced the detour you’re lucky. At a snail’s pace it can take up to an hour to cross the river.
Most of us who live in San Pancho full-time agree on one thing, there have been to date fewer tourist and seasonal homeowners this year. When comparing this year’s crowd to a decade ago, the streets, beaches and restaurants are nearly empty. At night while on the beach looking for nests one can not help from noting that 85% of the homes from the beach to the top of the hills are unoccupied, although the last week of November is beginning to show some signs of tourism.
Country-wise, considering the heavy rains, the river may hopefully flow throughout the year for the first time in a decade. On the other hand the lagoon may remain open to the sea well past December into Spring. Despite being open to the sea, the water level within the lagoon remains high. The height is caused by the two hundred yards distance the water travels to reach the sea. Despite storm damage and tons of floating debris on the beach, bonfires have successfully cleaned most the beach.
This is one good way of raising funs for next summer’s marine turtle program, we need help renting our thee apartments, starting in February through May. They go for $600, $650 and $700 a month, with all utilities paid, including high speed wireless internet, water, gas, electric and a one mile beach. Past volunteers; this is also a good opportunity to re-visit San Pancho and the friends they left behind. If interested, contact us by e-mail or contact Caren at San Pancho Rentals firstname.lastname@example.org
Of the 167 sponsors within the “2011 Homeowners Directory”, 92% returned our request for information, actually not that bad at all. The first printing of fifteen copies were published on November the 25th, and copies are available at my house. Aside form printer problems, the local commercial phonebooks which should have been out on November first, will be delayed until March 2011. Without being able to check their white pages, I will not be able to show new or cancelled numbers except for those sent to me by e-mail or phone.
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.