Marine Turtle activities: By the end of October, we recorded over 931 nests since the beginning of the season on May 1st. 606 of these nests were place in the box nursery, with 295 nests relocated on the beach in safer locations. 14 nests were taken by poachers, which is about .015% of the overall total. And heavy surf has washed out about 16 nests. A total of all hatchlings that found their way to the sea, including relocated ones, came to about 40,076, with an estimated 83,642 for the season.
The survival rate of the nearly 300 relocated nests is unusually high, over 84%. At the end of October, you could see thousands of hatchling tracks on their way to the sea.
If you see hatchlings on the beach, let them go to the sea on their own. Although, if there are dogs or birds (seagulls/frigates) in the area or, if the beach is too hot, you may need to help them. In the case of dogs and birds, protect their journey to the sea. If the beach is too hot, collect them up and place them on the cool, wet sand near the waves. Please do not bring these hatchlings to us.
Volunteer-wise: Year-round volunteers: Manuel Murrieta, Julio and America Gonzales, Juan Flores and his family, Karen Sorum and Hallie Loveridge. Seasonal volunteers for September were Zac Wilson, Marek Bering, Emma Urofsky, Scott Boyce and Beckie, Sandra Lee, Cherilyn, Kent and Keely Mitchell with Orion Bohren (see image below).
Weather-wise: Daytime temperatures were mostly in the mid to high 80°s, night time temps were mostly in the mid to high 70°s. Rainfall for September was 11.72 inches and for the year it came to 45.35 inches.
Large waves from a tropical disturbance 2,700 miles to the northwest created large surf that brought back to shore lots of floating debris and tons of plastic garbage that had been washed out to sea as a result of a flash flood on September 26/27th. The mess was deposited across our entire beach as waves sloshed all the way up to the malecon and right through Las Palmas and La Perla restaurants and into the condominium construction area.
More weather wise: For the first time this season, we received two tropical hurricanes. Willa, a category 3, made landfall 125 miles north of San Pancho and gave us 7.24 inches of rain with waves that pummeled our entire coast.
It’s the Damn Buggy again. Manuel and I have been watching a crack within a critical area of the torsion bar column (the bar springs). The column also holds up the transmission and motor. Unfortunately, the crack can’t be ignored for another month and will be fixed as soon as possible. As you can see in the photo, the buggy was tipped on its side to access the damaged area. In the meantime, my Honda CRV will have to work the beach. (See image below.)
I haven’t been totally accurate when I stated that the entire dune buggy had been slowly replaced over the years. Some of the top rails are the original (1967) iron pipe. But also there were bits and pieces of old rusted iron pipe on the floor in places that were nearly impossible to get to (see photo below). By turning the buggy on its side we were able to cut out that rusted pipe.
Town and Country. The original Federal Zone was placed in a perfect location by engineers that had expert knowledge of tidal/storm conditions (they were not politicians). They were not trying to please merchants and homeowners but were protecting the land and structures from storm surges. They were also responsible for protecting the public’s access to the beach.
Sooner-or-later, any property owner that builds beyond the original Federal Zone will meet head-on with waves over 20 feet in height over their windows and doors, and a 10 to 30 foot wall of sand above their door or under their doorstep. The price for ignoring the power of nature and the wisdom of the civil engineers has already knocked at the condominium doors. Category 3 hurricane, Willa, passed 125 miles north of San Pancho. Her waves eroded away 7 feet of beach from the front of the condo. At low tide, around 15 feet out from the condo, the sand drops about 12 feet below the height of the ground floor level..
Sandra, Emma, Becki, Scott, Marek, Zac, Manuel Kathryn and Bob. Karen and Hallie not in the photo That night we cleaned 30 nest boxes, seven loads of sand to the beach, and nearly 2,000 hatchlings released
Old 1967 iron pipe remove from the buggy
October 28th and the buggy needs new pipe and about 40 areas need to be reinforced via arc welding.
With a steep four foot bank just off the ground floor level of the condo, and to keep out of the high tide waves, you must walk across a narrow, four foot path just under the condo windows.
That is if someone is not sitting in the path???
The ground floor level when this photo was taken is about 10 feet above my feet, and it is low tide line at the time. Good luck with storm surges!!!