By the end of August we had placed some 364 nests within the box nursery, of which, 43 have hatched producing over 3,242 released hatchlings. Nine nests were taken by poachers; eighteen were left on the beach with two nests washed out.
Volunteer-wise: Juan, Jorge, Patty, Manuel and Simon help as needed.
August 1st, Katie Callcut arrived from England
August 8th, Avila Douglas arrived from Australia
August 12th, Kathrine Hansen arrived from Denmark
August 16th, Katharine Derry arrived from Canada
August 21st, Jessica Hiller arrived from the United States
August 29th, Monika Grieger arrived from Switzerland
Due to an emergency, a Canadian family that was scheduled to join us through the months of October and November will not be able to join us. This cancellation has left us seriously short of help for the last two months of this season. We are looking for one or two couples and/or singles to fill all or any part of this time frame (October-November).
After two weeks of repairs, the dune buggy was returned with a six (month?) guarantee on the labor and parts. No complaints, as it seems to be running well after I made a few adjustments. Chava did a good job.
As of Aug. 30th, El Niño temperatures in the Pacific have risen to about 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. This is much higher than the record set on Aug. 6, 1997 during the last major El Niño event. The 1997 El Niño caused the loss of the entire beach nursery due to three months of constant cold rain and cloudy weather. Unfortunately, when El Niño is due to kick-in in mid-September, we will be placing the first nests in the beach nursery.
El Niño weather conditions may also be affecting the marine turtle’s ability to nest. A large drop in the number of nests so far this season may be a direct result of rising sea temperatures and/or a change in their food supply due to higher temperatures. However we do know that marine turtles will not produce eggs if conditions are not perfect.
Weather-wise: Daytime temperatures were again very hot (heat index as high as 117.1°f, or 94.8°f for an August high). Daytime temperatures are mostly in the very high 80°s and often in the mid 90°s. Night time temps from the high 60°s to very mid 70°s. No unusual weather events. July rainfall was about 10 inches, about 30 inches for the year. No tropical storms.
Town and country wise: From the look of things, the first of two gas stations under construction may open soon. In the early afternoon of the 17th, we received a little over 4 inches of badly needed rain, enough to open the lagoon to the sea, releasing a flood of Water Hyacinths to cover the beach, although the lagoon sealed itself less than a week later.
The peso is slowly rising from 15.9 to 16.45 per US dollar. Regular gasoline stabilized at 13.57 pesos per liter and propane stabilized at 440 pesos per tank. Regular gasoline is (3.78541 liters per gallon X 13.57 cost per liter / divided by 16.45 pesos) = $3.12 per gallon.