During May, eight additional nests were found, bringing the total number of nests to 1,256 for the 2014 nesting season (June 1st, 2014 to May 31st 2015). The number of hatchlings released to the sea is approaching 90,200. By the end of May eight nests will remain in the beach nursery, the last is scheduled to hatch around July 11th. We are now 39,200 shy of releasing our 1,000,000th hatchling, and counting!
By May 18th and after several months of exhausting work, the buggy was back on the beach. Except for a minor shifting problem, it’s running like new. Everything on the buggy was carefully checked twice and no repair was considered completed unless it received an AA+ rating. (See photos below.)
As soon as the buggy was back on the beach, it was necessary to turn our attention to getting the box nursery ready for the first day of the 2015 nesting season on June first. All 372 nest boxes were repaired, cleaned and set back on the shelves. Four new air vents were added to the bottom of each box to allow more fresh air to enter from all sides. Bucket handles and the plastic covering of the nursery were repaired, shelves cleaned and all necessary supporting equipment was cleaned and/or purchased and set in place.
Over the years we have discovered several ways of reducing our parasite problem within the beach nursery. During the past decades the parasites have killed tens of thousands of hatchlings. Hatchlings are more at risk from parasitic larvae during the last week of incubation. This occurs when a parasite fly is able to detect the odor of decaying hatchlings. Once the odor is detected the flies will then lay their eggs on the surface above the nest column and within a week the hatched fly larvae will arrived at the top of the nest and quickly begin to cut into and destroy those eggs that contain live hatchlings.
To counteract this larvae problem we have been placing the nests 33% deeper than normal, and tightly packing the sand above the nest. This process slows and/or prevents the larvae from reaching the eggs. It also keeps a lot of the odor from reaching the surface. Since the nests are deeper than normal and tightly packed, it is important that we bring the hatchlings to the surface at least one to two days early than normal. It is also important that no dead, decaying hatchling or larvae remain within or near the nursery.
May volunteers: Joslin, Summer, Starlie, Manuel, Simon and Lisa, and the first two volunteer of the season, Mando, (arrived in mid-May) and Fabio (arriving on May 28th,) both are from Germany. The chart below shows several openings and/or rooms available to anyone that may be interested in joining us this summer (couples or individuals.) For a look at the lineup, please go to Schedule
Weather-wise: Daytime temperatures in the mid to very high 80°s, and occasionally into the low 90°s, nighttime temps from the mid 60°s to very low 70°s. No unusual weather events; or rain, some high clouds off the southern Pacific and a rise in humidity. May rainfall was 0.00 inches, 5.41 inches for the year. There was a major shift in the weather pattern in late May when high clouds off the South Pacific gave way to cumulus clouds over the mountains, and the beginning of tropical storm activity out in the Eastern Pacific. In very late May, there were two tropical depressions and one hurricane, Andres. We received our first summer rains at 9:00 PM on May 31st, perhaps from Andres.
Town and country wise: Construction of a four lane intersection in front of town has begun, the question is: Does this mean that there are plans to open the gas station? It’s unclear why but tourism and traffic had dropped off a little faster than the retailers had expected. Despite the drop in tourism and to get a jump on next winter retailers are involved in a fair amount of new building, remodeling and painting.
The peso to dollar remained around 15.0. Regular gasoline is 13.57 pesos per liter and should stabilize at that price throughout the year. Regular gasoline is about 3.94 dollars per gallon.