Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~
Hurricane Rick was a close call that could have destroyed the beach nursery in a matter of minutes. The brunt of the storm hit San Pancho at 4:00am on October 21st, with heavy rain and seven foot waves on top of a four foot tide. However, this time we were prepared for the worst and removed the nest rings and other equipment. By dawn the force of the storm had passed and the nursery endured very little damage. Perhaps it was spared because the storm had cut a steep seven foot bank in front of the nursery which broke the force of the waves.
By late October and despite the earlier problems, the overall survival rate at the beach nursery had reached 25% or about 5,600 hatchlings released. This survival rate, as low as it is, is far better than expected under the previous flooding. The box nursery on the other hand is doing well with an overall survival rate of 86% from some 575 boxes. A total of 45 nests were taken illegally. Total nests recorded come to a little less than 977. Below is an image of our first Albino hatchling in 18 years or out of 500,000.
October volunteers are Jennifer, Stacy and Elvira from the US and Scott, second year from Canada. I would like to thank all the volunteers for their outstanding work and dedication to the program. Without your help it would not be possible. (See Image Below)
Over the years the dune buggy has had a variety of nagging starter problems and no matter how many times we repaired the starter the problems persisted. It was not until we installed a new starter that we realized the trouble was something else and we towed the buggy to a mechanic. The mechanic found that the flywheel was ground smooth, which was causing the starter to either freeze up, spin free or quickly wear out the copper mounting bushing. Since the flywheel was replaced we’ve experienced no further problems.
Weather and otherwise, Hurricane Rick crossed into México about 160 miles north of San Pancho. As a powerful tropical storm, Rick’s waves cut a steep seven foot bank along the entire length of the beach that advanced within 15 feet of the La Perla restaurant. Within five days a second beach appeared below the bank. (See image below.) With Rick’s help, the river that has been a small creek for most the year was transformed into a clear river. The lagoon at the river's mouth has been open to the sea for the past two months making it virtually impossible to ford with the buggy and, in some cases, even on foot. Temperatures are cooling but, for the most part, days are still hot and humid. Nights on the other hand are cool to cold.
For many decades the jungle has been under attack by machete-wielding ranchers and, to some extent, by developers and small property owners. However, over the past two years the jungle has been regaining its place in the sun. I may be wrong but I feel that for the most part this is due to an old Ejido law that was changed many years ago which required landowners to improve their land or return it back to the Ejido. Plus the fact that the pool of machete workers has shrunk to the point where it is too cost prohibitive to hire them and an increase in rain over the past two years. At least for the time being, this is a win-win scenario for the watershed and the jungle it supports. Especially if we continue to allow the jungle to flourish.
Town-wise, the construction on Tercer Mundo is complete at least from Calle Africa down to the beach. The drain placed at the intersection of Calle Asia has stopped flooding at the lower intersections. As for tourists and the return of seasonal home owners, we are still in ghost town mode although most restaurants are open and gift shops are testing the wind.
A reminder: this November we are going to begin work on the 2010 Homeowners Directory and we need your input, especially if you have a change of address, have sold your home or if you are a new homeowner. It is gong to be a difficult year tracking down the many changes that have occurred over the past months.
We will be mentioning this in almost every newsletter: if you are looking for nice, inexpensive accommodations, please contact Karen at San Pancho Rentals (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information. Proceeds from the rental of these apartments will go directly to fund next year's marine turtle program.
And another reminder: possibly in February we will conduct our second annual yard/garage sale, so starting in January we will be asking for contributions of any suitable items for this worthy cause.
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C
Mexico tel. (311) 258-4100
America Latina #102
San Francisco, Nayarit, Mexico
October volunteers: Lisa, Jennifer, Scott, Stacy and Elvira
First Albino hatchling since 1991 or firsst out of 500,000.
...... Degraded hurricane Rick as it slams into México