Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~
I guess we got lucky for once. Hurricane Jova spared our beach nursery, arriving with no wave or wind and less than one inch of rain. Although, we were taking no chances, removing everything except the nests and fence to high ground and reassembling it ten days later. The record up to the end of October:
Of 641 nests placed in the box nursery, 333 have hatched at 86.5%, producing 30,777 hatchlings to date.
Of 134 nests placed in the beach nursery, 92 have hatched at 9.0% producing 1,147 hatchlings to date.
Nests within the beach nursery were destroyed by three months of continuous rain, and high waves on August 31st
Of 50 nests relocated on the beach, all have hatched at 67% producing 3,250 hatchlings. The area in which these nests were placed had not been flooded by high waves and had not received rain throughout October.
29 nests were taken by poachers, and about six nests were washed out. Total nests recorded came to 883 (approx.)
Past summers when the beach received little rain and had not been flooded by waves, the average survival rate was as high as 82% - 72%. Over the past four years we’ve received a grand total of 176 inches of rain, plus more flooding by high waves than in the previous 16 years combined. Unfortunately, any nest placed in the beach within two months after a single episode of heavy rains or flooding by high waves the nest will fail. Also, if a nest is flooded by rain or waves within its first 12 days, it will fail. Is chemical laden waste water from our sewage plant causing the sand to retain moisture?
Town-wise: Geno’s music CD is out and a gathering of some 75 locals celebrated the event with live music at the malecon on November 2nd. Judging by the number of tourists dropping by the house to visit the nursery, this has been one of the quietest Octobers in years. Despite the recession that seems to never end, many shopkeepers and restaurant owners are optimistically getting ready for the coming tourist season. The contractor of the Pemex station is pouring cement around the pumps but it’s going slowly. The peso is 13.05 to 13.50 per dollar.
Weather-wise: Hurricane Jova was a non-event with no wind or waves and less than one inch of rain. Temperatures were hot and humid up to the approach of Jova on the 10th, and then cooled a bit. After Jova, daytime temps dipped between the low 80s° and occasionally the very low 90s°, while nighttime temps dropped into the low to mid 70°s. The beaches are in excellent shape with the arroyo still snaking its way through the lagoon to the sea.
We would like to thank Carol Harootmian for answering our request for a vehicle. Her donation of a white Toyota pickup with extended cab and camper is much appreciated. Many thanks, Carol!
Does anyone out there know how to remove a defunct vehicle from the Mexican database without driving it up to the border? This is necessary before I can import the replacement truck from the US.
Homes on the beach - Please tell your renters to keep the lights to a minimum. Turning on all the lights at night for security reason will not make them any safer than the other twenty-one homes that are totally dark. Remember. Hatchlings are attracted to the smallest light and a single light bulb is like a powerful lighthouse that will lead them to their death. We are grateful to all those homeowners that understand how important this is to the future survival of the marine turtles
If you are one of the 170 sponsors within the “San Pancho 2012 Homeowners Directory” and have not sent us your information yet, (change of info, addition, deletion, etc) please do so before November 10th. The first printing of fifteen copies will be published on November 15th, and copies will be available at my house soon after. To date, 75% of the sponsors have updated their information, but bear in mind that we need your input regardless if is totally correct or not.
Clarification - My statement, “a greedy, for profit corporation”, was used to point out the difference between the cost of publicly owned Pemex gasoline and that of any one of the world's seven largest petrochemical corporations, and nothing else. I apologize if anyone was offended by my remark. We have never asked for corporate funding and seek donations only from individuals that care about our work and the conservation of the marine turtle. As far as rethinking my ideology, never! As for getting our funding from the Mexican people, that’s not necessary as they (over 15 local volunteers) offer something more valuable than money; their willingness to get out and help us on the beach.
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.