Hola Volunteers, Supporter and Friends
The end of the trail for a great, one of a kind companion. Most of you may remember Chevy, the dog that enjoyed riding in the dune buggy. Owned by a poacher, Chevy adopted me at the age of three in mid '93, and moved in soon after. She figured that it was easier to ride in my vehicle rather than run, duck, and hide with the poachers. On May the 23rd at 12:30 AM, she died after two days of illness and several trips to the veterinarian. She was buried in a beautiful area long the edge of the beach she loved. I look for her at every turn. (see photo)
Normally, this time year I would return to the States to visit friends and purchase supplies for myself and the Group. This year I plan to stay here and rely on others to bring down supplies for the Group. If you are planning a trip down here, and would like to bring a small amount of supplies, please give me a call at (311) 258-4100; you will be reimbursed.
As the last hatchlings of the 2001 season was released, the 2002 season began, and it seems to be off to a normal start with four nests found to date. Now the tasks of enlisting twelve good volunteers, rebuilding the dune buggy, and repairing the nursery begin, all before July first if possible.
Of the twelve proposed volunteers selected to join us, ten have accepted: Fabioal Mora of Mexico. Dianne Forthman and daughters, Claudia Kroberer and friend, Mary Jane Schumacher and daughter, and David Dunn of the United States. Nick Sanders, Daniel Bennett, Kate Kellett Ana Phillips and Dominic Jones of the United Kingdom. No response from the last two, but fortunately they were scheduled for September and October, which gives us three and a half months to locate replacements. Traditionally, these months are difficult ones to find volunteers.
Over the years, we've received numerous requests from mothers with young children and individuals wishing to join us for less than three weeks. Most of these request were turned down because of the lengthy on-the-job training needed to safely drive the dune buggy, patrol the beach, and deal with the poachers. This season we plan to place all such short time volunteers within nursery to deal with incoming nests, get the hatchlings ready to release, and clean the nests, which will in turn free up valuable time for patrolling. The problem began about two years ago when the patrolling crews found themselves spending more time at the at the nursery and less on the beach, which in turn allowed the poachers more time take nests.
As patrolling came to an end in mid-winter, the task of getting the major bugs out of the dune buggy began. Four months later, on May 18th, the job was completed, with the replacement of one-third of its railing, a complete paint and rewiring job. Plus there was work done at Santana Volkswagen in Puerto Vallarta to have the entire muffler and brake system replaced, plus new shocks, and barring, (see photo)
The nursery has a sinking appearance to it, as nine tons of sand in two-hundred nest boxes press on its support posts, and termites eat away at them from the bottom up. Repairs should start on June 15th after Fabioal and Nick arrive. Because we are not expanding the size of the nursery this year, it will not be necessary replace the plastic covering, which will save time. The nursery is located where a housing project is planed to be construction within the next two years and the entire nursery is scheduled to be moved this coming winter, but the exact location is not known at this time
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.