At the end of July, 2012, we had collected a record 115 nests. This record was surpassed by 180 nests by the end of this July. If this trend continues throughout the season we will have on our hands a staggering problem. The chart below may better explain the problem than I can. If you do the math, it means that by the end of this season we may end up with over 2,195 total nests. This is about double the 1,190 we collected last season. In any case, to date, 163 nests were placed in the box nursery. All seven nests placed in the beach nursery failed due to heavy rain in early June, and the poachers ran off with nine nests.
Fishermen have reported seeing poachers carrying bags of eggs from Playa Questo in the early hours of the morning. Without permission to pass through the gates, there is no way that we can reach this beach safely. On the other hand, the poachers, like thieves in the night, have no trouble getting to Playa Questo despite the intense fencing. This will be the first time since 1991 that Playa Questo has been turned over to the poachers to do what they wish.
As mentioned in our last newsletter, the transmission in the dune buggy was about to give out and not wanting to disappoint us, it did on the 7th of July. The damage was so severe that the entire transmission had to be replaced with a rebuilt one, and as usual, the cost was staggering. This is not the end of the story. On July 27th, the rebuilt transmission failed and was replaced again on the 30th. We would like to thank the management of the polo facility for the use of their all-terrain vehicle, “The Mule” while the buggy was down and out.
The mother turtles and their hatchlings would like to thank all home and restaurant owners for turning out most of their lights throughout the night. From end to end, our beach is the darkest it has ever been in the past twelve years. This is in contrast to the Sayulita beach where walking at night requires sunglasses. Question: Did the Indians of the past walk these beaches with the aid of artificial light? I think not. With a little adjustment to the dark and the help of the moon, stars, clouds, thunderheads and lightning, the beach before you will be beautifully illuminated without artificial light.
Now, if you own a home on or near the beach you can still help us with the light problem. Occasionally insecure renters fearing the worst from our townsfolk will turn on every possible yard light to keep marauders at bay. This is foolish, a waste of money and inviting every possible insect in the jungle to invade your house. Shade your bulbs to keep the light off the beach and use yellowish-orange bulbs such as insect-type.
August volunteers: Joslin, Starlie and Summer Bertrand, Paige Thomsen, Jessica Schmidt and Mark Hiller all from the US, and Matej Madacky from Canada. Also see Selected for the latest lineup on our volunteers.
Unfortunately, this problem never fails to happen: Several volunteers have canceled at the last moment, as they do most every season, but this time it has left us seriously short of help during the peak nesting month of August (and perhaps during a peak nesting year). We urgently need help in August. If you or anyone you know can help us, please contact us. We have two bedrooms available in apartment #1.
Weather-wise: It has been hot during the day. The heat index on July 23rd was about 120°F. Daytime temperatures are ranging from the mid 80°s to low 90°s and night time temps in the low to high 70°s. Total rainfall for July came to 4.05 inches, all in four days: July 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 24th. No outstanding weather events. Light winds, surf and partly cloudy skies with one tropical storm, Herman, too far offshore to cause any problems, but it did bring some thunder at times.
Town and country-wise: The sewer plant, gas station and new intersection are idle due to small town petty politics, not the lack of funds or any serious environmental hazard. The new San Poncho white pages show that we have received 57 new telephone listings while losing 61, for a total of 460 numbers (not including business numbers). The only ongoing construction in the area is at the polo facility. The peso has been stable for over two month at around 12.7 to 12.8 per US dollar, regular gasoline is about $US3.87 per gallon.