Hola Volunteers, Friends, and Supporters
Within one month, beginning on August 26th, we recorded a record 353 nests. This is seven times the amount collected in any single month between 1990 and 1999. Handling more than 350 nests proved to be an overwhelming task. For instance, the nursery filled to capacity between September 4th and the 22nd, forcing us relocate over 140 nests to a selected area between Juan and Frances south wall and the flood channel out of Las Olas. If you're interested in watching hatchling making their way to the sea, these nests should hatch between October 19th and November 6th. By October 1st, we had placed over 420 nests in the nursery and the poachers had taken 6% or 43 nests. Overall, it looks as if we may be heading for a record 700 to 750 nests this season.
The near drowning of the dune buggy: It was about 2:30 in the morning and we were traveling south within 30 feet of the ocean. Ahead of us was the river, which, at the time, was impossible to cross. As we approached the river's edge, it was necessary to travel upward to make a U-turn. Unfortunately, the incline was too steep and soft and my attempt failed. At that point, there was only one thing to do, back up and try again. Miscalculating the direction and distance I had traveled, I found the buggy and myself perilously close to the waves. Within seconds my worst fears were realized as a wave killed the engine with a shudder. Grabbing the seat cushions and equipment, we ran for higher ground. It appeared as if the buggy would be washed out to sea. Any other time that would have been a pleasant thought but, at the time, it was a terrifying prospect.
Within an hour we had assembled the Flores family and all the volunteers around the drowning buggy. It seemed an impossible task to haul it out of the surf. Forty-five minutes later, it had been towed to the nursery, washed down with fresh hot water and was now being dried with all available fans. The next afternoon we changed the engine and transmission oils (after draining two liters of saltwater out of each.) It was also necessary to change the points, condenser, plugs, switches, and gas filter. Finally, after towing her for a mile, she came back to life and within 20 minutes, she was back on the beach as good as new.
Volunteer wise, Dirk, Gessica, and their son, Cameron left for Brazil on September 25th. They had planned to live in San Pancho indefinitely but, unfortunately, the quest for work has taken them away for at least 18 months. We were sad to see them go. Gessica is from my hometown, Idyllwild. I've known her family for decades. By the end of September, we had six volunteers, Johanne and Lisa, Curt, Joslin and daughters, and Kimberly and Carlos. Jim and Linda left on the first of October. All remaining volunteers are planning to stay with us until November 15th.
Weather wise, throughout September, it had been hot and muggy with somewhat cooler nights for the most part. Last year we received a total of 37 inches of rainfall, which is drought condition for any jungle environment. The good news is, on September 3rd. we passed the mount of 37 inches, which means that all rainfall received since the third of September will ease any pending drought such as we experienced last winter.
On the third, we also received over three inches of rain in about three hours which sent flood waters over the railing of the local bridge and cut a 500 ft. breach in the beach between the lagoon and sea. Such storms as this one often bring tons of floating debris down river and this one was no exception. The remains of the jungle are covering the beaches.
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C
Mexico tel. (311) 258-4100
America Latina #102
San Francisco, Nayarit, Mexico
Remember the three inch kitten found in the backyard in 2005.
That kitten is now the King Che and he has the teeth to prove it