Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~
By July 19th the last of the first fifty nest were placed beach nursery, these nests are the first group of three that will hatch around August 3rd, and should do well considering there have been no flooding waves and gentler than normal rains. The new box nursery received its first nest on July 19th, (one week later than hoped for). By the end of July we had recorded over 127 nests, 10% over last season at this time.
Due to the tropical heat, the removal of the old box nursery and the reconstruction of the new one turned out to be a two month project that should have taken about three weeks . The nursery should last for many years, being well constructed, treated with termite resistant paint, set up high out of flooding rains, and placed on concrete blocks. Below is a series of four photos.
Volunteer-wise, July Volunteers are according to their arrival: Katy McGinnis, Kathrin Gansera, Joslin, Starlie, and Summer Bertrand, Jessica Schmidt, Mark Hiller, Mary Schumacher, Morgen English, Lilliana Christine Lopez and Andres Rodriguez. Lisa, Carly and Annie Hoffner, Tom Hofmann and Kym Gardnir arrived within the last week of July.
On the night of July 27th the dune buggy exploded in flames and burned on the beach for about 30 minutes before it could be extinguished. The cause of the fire was traced to the fuel hose that slipped off the carburetor. When the hose slipped off, the buggy died, and when the driver tried to restart it, it exploded in flames. Luckily no one was injured. The fire destroyed one tire, the air filter, coil, alternator, distributor, fuel pump, carburetor, back lights, and all the wiring. The total damage came to about $1,200 dollars.
While repairing the fire damage, we also repaired several other problems such as the welding of the frame, replacing seals, a paint job, etc. With luck we should have it back on the beach around August 5th. In the meantime, the people of La Patrona Polo Field have lent us their Honda MUV “Mule” to patrol the beach-- for which we are very thankful.
Reaching the beach from our inland box nursery (my house) has becoming a puzzle of road blocks. Years ago we could cross the fields to the beach where Las Olas is today, although we are now welcome to pass through their gate during the day and return from the beach at anytime. Our only other path is through the alley by Plaza del Sol but it is temporarily closed for construction (installing a pipeline to the new toilets/showers). Now Calle India is closed to Plaza del Sol. What we really need is a remote control to open the Las Olas gate.
Weather-wise, days have been hot and humid while nights have been refreshingly cool, temp as high as 92°f and as low as 77°f . 6.75 inches of rain for the month of July, with 14.5 for the year. No hurricane waves, or unusually heavy rains. There is a good flow under the bridge on Highway 200 northeast of town, but no water under the bridge in town? The beach is free of debris and the lagoon is closed.
Please keep in mind, excess light on the beach can seriously distract both nesting turtles and their hatchlings, and may cause their death. The dilemma did not exist until the 70`s when the first electricity arrived in San Pancho, and the first lights began to appear alone the beach. When hatchlings reach the surface they use the pastel green and blue light of the waves to find their way to the sea. Inland lights --mostly white lights-- overpower the hatchlings’ ability to see the waves, and lead them inland to die in the morning sun. Artificial lighting also disorients the adult turtles and causes them to wander the beach for hours trying to find the sea. Please help by keeping outside lights turned off.
Town-wise, the San Pancho Pemex has one employee guarding the idle, unfinished station. The Plaza del Sol, Calle México/Cuba project is looking really good. A crew of women are trimming all the plants and hoeing out the weeds along Avenue Tercer Mundo. It looks very nice! Keep up the good work.
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.