The Akumalian

Akumal's Newsletter for its Extended Global Community
Quintana Roo, Mexico

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July 2005 Issue 28

INTRODUCTION

It's hurricane season, and it has been the most active June and July on record, and now Emily, the strongest (155mph winds) Atlantic/Caribbean storm of July in history makes a direct landfall on Akumal on Sunday/Monday, July 18/19.  Needless to say, Emily has kicked Akumal's butt and is causing some normal stories to be eliminated or postponed to next month's issue.  The problem is that we do not have any electricity, so there is no telling when this issue will actually be distributed.  The Akumalian was in Merida until Tuesday July 19 morning, and his last Internet communication was on that Monday afternoon.
 

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE

The Akumalian sent out a brief report to a small distribution list from Merida under the title of "Message in a Bottle", and this is being repeated here in this section.

 Merdia, Monday, July 18, 2005

By Steve Clouther, The Akumalian

We boarded up the house and moved some furniture and rugs to higher ground on Saturday and Sunday morning, and then we bailed out for Merida on Sunday noon.  Merida might not have been the best decision relative to the track of the storm, but it does seem safer and "better."  Others went south towards Chetumal and Bacalar, and today's storm pictures show that area to be relatively "quiet."

Anyway, we are here in the Villa Maria Hotel and Restaurant www.villamariamerida.com where we are riding out the storm.  It's raining and there is some wind, but it's not too bad.  We'll stay indoors and watch movies on our portable DVD player, and we'll enjoy the excellent restaurant and company.

Our room does not have any windows - just three skylights - so we are unaware of what is going on outside.  Till now, we have not lost power, and the DSL internet line is working just fine.  The Internet is our link to storm center.

We came over to Merida and stayed at this small 11 room hotel in May, and we enjoyed it, so we decided to return this time.  I know I can connect to the Internet via DSL.

You know as much, if not more about, where Emily landed and what she did on the coast of Quintana Roo as I do, so I won't elaborate.    It looks like she went right over Cozumel and came in north of Tulum - sounds about right at Akumal - with sustained winds of 135mph; OUCH!!!!!  The power and telephones are out, and more than likely will be for some time.  Our concern is for the beach surge height and the shutters holding up to 135mph winds - I am sure some of the lighter plywood panels were ripped off, depending on the wind direction.  We'll see.

Our plan is to enjoy Merida and Hotel Villa Maria today and return tomorrow.  If there's still no power, we fire up the generator for the water pump, refrigerator, computer and maybe TV.

Till later. . . . . Steve & Ingrid

HURRICANE INFORMATION

            It's that time of the year again, and as everyone knows, Akumal was hit with the eye of Hurricane Emily, and at 155mph, it was 1mph below a Category 5.  Many of you have talked with people here or read about it in various Internet Chat Rooms, so by the time this is distributed, Emily will be old news.  With no TV, radio or newspaper, there's no way of knowing what else might be forming in the Atlantic or Caribbean.

 Here's a little hurricane related information. 

Category

Tropical Depression

Tropical Storm

1

2

3

4

5

Barometric Pressure

(in Inches)

29.73

< 29.53

28.94 – 29.53

28.50 – 28.91

27.91 – 28.47

27.17 – 27.88

< 27.17

Wind Speeds (MPH)

< 39

39 - 73

74 -95

96 - 110

111 -130

131 - 155

> 155

Storm Surge

None

< 4 feet

4 -5 feet

6 8 feet

9- 12 feet

13 18 feet

> 18 feet

Damage

None

None

Minimal

Moderate

Extensive

Extreme

Catastrophic

 

Experience shows that the use of short, distinctive given names in written as well as spoken communications is quicker and less subject to error than the older more cumbersome latitude-longitude identification methods.  These advantages are especially important in exchanging detailed storm information between hundreds of widely scattered stations, coastal bases, and ships at sea.

 Since 1953, Atlantic tropical storms have been named from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center and now maintained and updated by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).  The lists featured only women's names until 1979, when men's and women's names were alternated.  Six lists are used in rotation.  Thus, the 2004 list will be used again in 2010.  

 The only time that there is a change in the list is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for reasons of sensitivity.  If that occurs, then at an annual meeting by the WMO committee (called primarily to discuss many other issues) the offending name is stricken from the list and another name is selected to replace it.

 Several names have been changed since the lists were last used.  Four names from the 1995 list have been retired.  On the 2001 list, Lorenzo has replaced Luis, Michelle has replaced Marilyn, Olga has replaced Opal, and Rebekah has replaced Roxanne.  Three names from the 1996 list have been retired.  On the 2002 list, Cristobal has replaced Cesar, Fay has replaced Fran, and Hanna has replaced Hortense.  Two names from the 1998 list have been retired.  On the 2004 list, Gaston has replaced Georges and Matthew has replaced Mitch.  On the 2006 list, Kirk has replaced Keith.

 The web site for the National Hurricane Center is at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov

 

NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER REPORT, MONDAY

HURRICANE EMILY DISCUSSION NUMBER 30

NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL

5 AM EDT MON JUL 18 2005

 The eye-wall of Hurricane Emily passed over Cozumel a few hours ago.  The air force reserve hurricane hunter aircraft over-flew the island during the eye-wall passage at 05z.and reported peak flight level winds of 124 knots.  At 0322z.they reported 141 knots.  Landfall occurred near 0630z just north of Tulum.  The reconnaissance data suggest that Emily likely made landfall as a category four hurricane with maximum winds near 115 knots.  No observations have yet been received from the landfall area.

Loading Storm Graphics LoopsEmily will be spending roughly 9 hours over the Yucatan but is likely to maintain hurricane strength during this passage.  A weak upper-level low over the Bay of Campeche may be contributing some Southwesterly shear over Emily, but global models suggest that this upper low will move west-southwestward and weaken within 12-24 hours.  This would result in an upper-tropospheric environment conducive to strengthening.  Therefore, re-intensification is likely once the center moves back over the waters of the southern Gulf of Mexico.  Just how much Emily re-strengthens is partly dependent on the extent that the inner core is disrupted after passing over northern Yucatan. 

MORE, THROUGH THE EYES OF STEVE & INGRID

It was a dark and stormy night, and there are lots of stories about how, "I survived Emily."  Numerous people stayed in Akumal to ride it out and experience living through a major hurricane.  Others evacuated Akumal and headed to various points south and west of Akumal.  The more popular destinations were to the south, away from the rain-laded northeast quadrant of the storm, ending up in places like Bacalar, Chetumal, Kohnlunich, and even as far away as Palenque (those with animals).  Some went to Chichen Itza, and Steve & Ingrid headed way over to Merida.  We do not know for sure, but imagine others might have gone to Coba or Vallodolid.

            With no e-mail, telephones, or local watering hole, the communications with others has been very limited and sporadic.  Even then, it's more about when we might be getting some services, like the electricity, garbage collection, telephones, water delivery, and brush/tree collection.

            So, you now have to bear with Steve & Ingrid's journal and recollection of the aftermath of Emily, as they returned to Akumal and Casa Colibri. 

Sunday, July 17

            It rained most of the way over to Merida, and this might have been some of the outer bands from the hurricane.  Driving into Merida on a wet Sunday afternoon, with a major hurricane approaching, was a unique experience.  First of all, all the shops were closed, and there were very, very few pedestrians or vehicles around.  It was almost like a ghost town.  Another observation is that all the billboards were empty, as the canvas ads were rolled up and tied down like sails on a main mast; all you saw was the metal structures.

            Wiener Schnitzel for Steve at the Hotel Villa Maria restaurant. 

Monday, July 18

Merida - Hotel Maria

The Hotel Association published a Bulletin:

  • The Merida Airport would open at 2:00pm
  • The Cancun Airport would open at 9:00am on Tuesday
  • The Merida - Cancun Toll Road was open
  • The Cancun Hotel Zone was operational

We had read that the electricity and telephone lines were out along the Riviera Maya, so we tried to communicate with Akumal via cell phone, not realizing the cell phones were out too.  However, we did reach evacuees in Playa del Carmen, Palenque, and Bacalar, but they did not have any news of Akumal.

            Not fully realizing how bad it was in Akumal, we tried some Telmex numbers and actually spoke with Isabel.  Her hard Telmex line was working!!! 

Tuesday, July 19

            We left Merida around 9:00am, and took the Toll Road all the way to Cancun, because on the drive over to Merida on Sunday, the Tulum - Coba road was littered with pot-holes, some of them very large.  Outside of Merida, and all the way to the gas station outside of Valladolid, there was no sign of hurricane destruction.  Once past the Valladolid exit, we saw trees and highway signs knocked down by the hurricane winds.  This scene continued all the way to the Quintana Roo state line, and then the damage became minimal.

            Once on MX307, the scene was much the same, and the Pemex station just south of the Toll Road exit was operational - they had electricity and gas.  Coming south MX307 there were signs of damage, especially to the billboards and highway signs, but it was very sporadic.  There could be a billboard toppled over, and then 100 meters later there was another with no damage at all.  Same with the highway signs, and the ones that suffered the most were the "7-shaped" one stuck out over the highway.  Lots of those are down.

            Once we neared Playa del Carmen, some of the street lights had their heads twisted around, but they were standing.  The first sets of traffic lights were not operational, but those on Constituiente were.  And the Pemex stations were pumping gas.  The traffic lights at Juarez were not working, but Chedraui and Sam's Club were open.  Maybe, it's not so bad after all.

            Coming to Puerto Aventuras, it took on an entirely different feel and look.  For the first time in many, many years, you could see the buildings of the entire development, and even the Caribbean Sea.  The roof from the Pemex station blew off/down and crushed all the gas pumps there.

            It was the same going by Copacabana, Xpu-Ha, and Barcelo - you could look out and see the Sea.  And, the Pemex station by Maeva was also demolished, as its roof collapsed.

            Then as we approached our long-time "landmark" (three miles to Akumal), the Telcel cell tower by Xaac, we realized it was missing!  Not actually missing, just toppled over at about the mid-point.  That's why the cell phones are not working!!

            Approaching Akumal, there were power lines and poles down.  Light poles were down.  It isn't looking good.

Driving into South Akumal it was painful to see the defoliation and trees down.  Many of the people who stayed or had help, had already been clearing the debris and piling it across the street, so it was a bit tenacious to navigate down to Casa Colibri.  On the way down we met Rhett, who said, "Your house is fine with no damage, but do not plan on using the pool for awhile."

From the street, it was hard to recognize the yard we left on Sunday, because it was not there.  Lots of branches and trees were down, and we could not drive into the driveway.  The house is fine, and only two of our plywood panels - both on the street side - were blown down (anchors pulled out of the wall).  There were no broken windows and just minimal water damage inside.  

            However, the pool is another story, as the storm surge came all the way up to the pool and the house.  There were pieces of coral on the patio, and the pool was a dark brown and covered with leaves and branches.  The pool filter had been lifted partially out of the recess it normally sits in, and the cover is missing, even though it was screwed down and there on Monday; there are thoughts of a robbery.  The pool pump motor area had water, and it is questionable if this has been destroyed totally.  We cannot check it out without 220 volt electricity.  Same is true for the pool water heater.

            The telephone pole past our house is down on the street, and our Telmex pole across the street is tilted at a sharp angle.  Our telephone pole - the one that connects to the Telmex pole - is at a 90 degree angle, but our 984-875-9154 line is working!!!!  The 9155 number is not working though.

            We purchased a small generator in Cancun, so we can keep some sense of civilization.  We use it to keep the refrigerator somewhat cool, but all the food in the freezers is bad and has to be thrown out.  The generator also is used for the water pump, so we can use the toilets and take showers, which we frequently need these days.  We also use it to recharge the battery in the portable DVD player and the laptop computer.  Now, I am looking into how to get the water heater connected.

            We have not tried to use the generator to power the TV and satellite box, because one of the dishes has been knocked over.  We shall try at some time, but it's raining right now (Friday morning).

            Even though I can get my computer stuff connected and running, I cannot get a broadband connection to Infinitum, so I cannot get onto the Internet.  I don't know if it's the Infinitum ISP being down, or the fact that I am using the 9154 line, when the 9155 line is the registered line.  I keep trying.  I saw Enrique at the Cyber Cafe on Tuesday, and he thought he might be operational on Wednesday, but I have not checked it out yet.

            After our return on Tuesday, Rhett came by with his gas-powered chain saw and cut a path through the trees and branches up the driveway to the garage and parts of the walkway.  We then spent the afternoon cutting down branches and more branches and hauling the debris across the street.  Afterwards, we took a shower and went to the Lol Ha Beach Bar, which was not open.  We drove through North Akumal and realized how bad things are.  We met Annette, who stayed in Akumal, and she says it was "terrible", but she did not suffer any damage.  On the way back we met Kay, who went to Kohnulnich, and she told us about how Puerto Aventuras was "really devastated".  They walked through buildings that had nothing in them, as everything was blown out through the broken doors and windows.  We had mozzarella and tomatoes when we returned home. 

Wednesday, July 20

            On Wednesday it was more of the same, even going to the Beach bar, which was still closed.  We came home and grilled a steak and potatoes on the Q-Grill.  We sat outside on the patio, with candles and an (almost) full moon, and it was delicious.  It gets dark early, so we went up on the roof with another glass of a delicious 2002 Shiraz from Australia's Barossa Valley; it's under the Kirkland name from Costco.  We then went to bed to watch "Darkness" on the portable DVD, but we were both too tired to see the ending. 

Thursday, July 21

            On Thursday morning, at 7:00am Terry Turner and Gary Vardell came by with a generator and pumped most of the water out of the swimming pool - Thanks guys.  We then spent most of the day bailing, bucket by bucket, more of the water out, along with some sand and other debris, like rocks, coral, branches, crabs, etc.  We were so tired we did not even attempt going to the Beach Bar.  We used the Q-Grill to grill two fantabulous salmon filets, and again we enjoyed another candle lit dinner on the patio.  We then went up and watched the ending of "Darkness" on the portable DVD player.

            Stefanie and Ryan called in the late afternoon as we were resting, and they offered to come down and help out, and they also suggested we go up and stay with them in Massachusetts until the electricity is back on. 

Friday, July 22

            It's Friday morning, July 22nd, and it's raining, adding more water back into the pool.  Dang it!!!!  But, it looks like we cannot work outside, and in a way, that is a relief.  However, Demetrio did come by today and he finished cleaning out the rest of the water and sand from the pool.  We call Luis Lobo to file a claim, and he says the adjuster should be out within 72 hours.

We go to Tulum to get more gas for the generator, and while the damage seems to be generally not as bad as around Akumal, several of the larger (newer) billboards are just bent over twisted metal.  Interestingly enough, there are crews there taking away the sheets of metal.  We also see SCT crews repairing (standing up) damaged highway signs.  CFE crews are all over the place, and in some stretches, there is a man atop every pole connecting cables.

On the way back we stop in Tankah to see if Lisa did come down; the road is terrible.  She did, and while they also did get some water surge, their house did come through OK.  They did get some water in the lower floor, and there was water up to the bottom of their van.  Phill is coming down on Saturday.

            It looks like the water surge came across all of Tankah Tres, as there is sand and debris on the road, which has huge puddles.  Damage to some houses is visible from the road, and Casa Cenote does not look too good at all.

            When we get back to Akumal we go and check on the Cyber Cafe, and it is not open.  We check out Turtle Bay Cafe, and Jen is supervising the workers putting a large, blue tarp on to the palapa roof.  We speak with Jen, and she says they are open for breakfast and lunch, but not dinner this week; maybe next weekend, if the electricity is restored.  Mary is there, and she has had her stitches removed.  Then we check out the Lol Ha Beach Bar, and Alfonso is there, and he tells me, "No happy hour today, but we shall be open tomorrow."  We go home and have a late lunch of tuna salad, which we eat in the empty living room.  It is REALLY blowing and pouring outside, blowing water in under the window.  I go out and close the hurricane shutters.  It seems that this actually was Tropical Storm Gert, which came our way without a warning.

CFE has crews from all over Mexico are here on the Riviera Maya working on restoring power, even in this pouring rain.  Apparently Tulum was under full power on Tuesday, and Playa del Carmen must be close to that by now.  CFE has even been here in South Akumal looking at our lines and generators.  We'll see.  Unofficial reports of a couple of days ago said "6 to 7 days more."  This morning Demetrio said that CFE said they would have the power on to Akumal tomorrow (Saturday).

            No sign of anything from Telmex yet.

            No sign of the municipality garbage trucks either, and we desperately need them to come and get our trash, especially the food stuff from the freezers.  There were reports they would come by today (Friday) but it's raining; and the houses have their garbage outside now.

It's 7:50pm Friday evening, and I am feeling a bit like a modern day Abraham Lincoln writing by candle light, albeit with a lap top computer running on a battery.  I have to have some doors open for the breeze, and that very same breeze is trying to blow out the candle, and it is also blowing the black smoke right into my face.

It is now 8:30pm, and I am going to hook up the TV and DVD/VCR player to the generator to watch an appropriately titled movie, "Message In A Bottle."  It was a 2-gas tank movie. 

Saturday, July 23

            It is cloudy and overcast, but the rain has stopped.  We do not know if Demetrio will show up today, because we did not say anything about it yesterday.  We doubt it.  Ivan was here, and he continued the cleanup, and he said he will return tomorrow to clean up the rocks from the beach.

One good thing, the Municipality Garbage trucks came by at 7:30am and picked up the trash.  Now if only the Crystal water truck would come by and deliver bottled water.

No massage for Ingrid this week.

Richard stops by asking about my DSL connection.  He says the Las Casitas office has capability for a wireless connection.  Say Kay & Gary said to come over.  Richard says he has heard, "another day or two for the electricity."  He's going down to Tulum for an Internet Cafe.

The Lol Ha Beach Bar is open, and we go over for happy Hour, as does just about everyone who is in Akumal.  It's a who's who of Akumal, and everyone was just glad to get away from the mess and cleanup.

And, as people arrive at the Beach Bar, they are reporting that "Electricity has been restored."  This is around 5:45 - 6:00 and it is reported that even South Akumal has electricity.  Everyone agrees that CFE has done a fantastic job, especially the linemen, getting power restored so quickly (it's relative) under the circumstances.  The linemen were out there up on the poles pulling cables and restoring resistors under some very wet and windy circumstances when Tropical Storm Gert went through.

None of the other Akumal restaurants are open, so we eat dinner at the Beach Bar with Richard & Arlene and Gary & Kay.  We sit outside at a table on the sand and under the stars, and at 8:22pm The Akumalian spots the Hubble Telescope passing overhead.

Afterwards, we return home to find that the last six houses (ours included) still do not have electricity.  These houses are on the last generator on the street, and it is not working.  It looks like the fuses have blown, and CFE never got around to repair them.  Ingrid goes to bed, and I connect the TV and VCR to the generator, so I can watch the end of the movie "Timeline.

Sunday, July 24

Using the generator, I make "real" coffee.

After breakfast I head over to the Akumal CyberCafe, and on the way I stop to report our electricity outage to Gabriella.  She does not have a telephone, but she says she will go up on the roof with her cell phone to see if she can contact Alvar or CFE.

The CyberCafe is open and operational, so I spend close to two hours, and 105 pesos, cleaning up my e-mail (hundreds of messages, mostly spam) and checking the Atlantic and Caribbean for more storms.  I also note that Lance Armstrong won his seventh straight Tour de France.  I send a brief response to some people, letting them know we are back in the house and everything is basically OK.

There are numerous Telmex trucks on the street, and they are replacing the poles that are down or damaged, and it looks like they might be replacing the junction boxes and some cables.  Anyway, our 9154 line is now out, and we have no telephone service at all.

After a while Mariano, from one of the nurseries in Playa del Carmen arrives to discuss with us some tree pruning - Rhett met with him earlier and sent him over to us.  Mariano says it's not too bad, and he will return tomorrow with an estimate.  He never returned.

In the afternoon, we go down to Zamas for lunch, and Richard & Arlene also arrive.  It's just the four of us.  The tidal surge came almost up to the restaurant on the little sandy bay side, and it leveled out the dunes and undermined the palapa, which is unthatched and down.  Ingrid & Arlene had the whole fried Snapper.

We returned home and rested and read until it got dark, and then we powered up the TV and DVD player to watch "The Notebook." 

Monday, July 25, 2005

It is five months before Christmas.  We got an early present, as during the night a turtle came to our beach and came all the way up to the edge of the pool.  Fortunately, she was smart enough not to climb up on the decking and fall into the almost empty pool.  She went around the planter and dug a nest right there, before heading back to the Sea.

I get Tigre, who brings a worker over to wash the pool tile with muratic acid, and does a very thorough job, emptying every last drop of water from the pool.

In the evening we go to the Beach Bar, primarily to get something to eat, but meet the "ususals" there at the bar.  Neil and Paula invite us to Paula's 47th birthday dinner at their house tomorrow night.

At the Beach Bar I have a pizza, and Ingrid has spaghetti.  

Tuesday, July 26

Still no electricity or telephone.  Gabriella comes by looking to see if CFE has been here, and she reports that electricity is out in all of Akumal, and she is looking into it.  CFE does not come by all day long.

Rhett and Kazue leave for Colorado, and Kazue will continue on to Japan, where she will have her baby.  Bon Voyage.

Telmex people come by and replace the poles across from Raap's and Vardells', and they apparently do make the connection in the new junction boxes.  But, we still do not have telephone service.

Now we run into a new self-imposed problem, as the generator suddenly stops.  A quick inspection tells me that it ran out of oil and the motor seized.  Ouch!!!  Needless to say, we have to have a generator, so I head north for a new one, and Ingrid says, "Do you seriously think you are going to find one?"

The Pemex gas stations in Puerto Aventuras and by the Maeva Resort are both open for business and pumping gas.  Amazing!!

I stop in Sam's Club in Playa del Carmen, and they only have a very large unit with no wheels.  Boxito has another, smaller unit, also without wheels, so I continue onto Home Depot in Cancun, where they have an abundance of generators.  I buy a unit twice as powerful as the small one we initially had.  On the way home I stop in Costco, and they also had a couple of different units.  No problem getting a generator now. 

I get home around 5:00, and I put the generator together and get it running before taking a shower and getting ready for the Beach Bar.  We meet Neil & Paula and crew at the bar, and then we go back to their house for the birthday dinner.  Under the circumstances, they did an excellent job of cooking dinner for about 16 or so people.

Neil & Paula are interested in buying a house in that area of North Akumal, and apparently the house beside where they are staying is available, for $1.2 million.  Ouch!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 27

I go over to the Cyber Cafe early in the morning and do some work after collecting my e-mail.  It turns out to be a good place to meet people and get things done.  Fortunately, Laura is on-line, and she responds to one of my earlier e-mails about "stuff."  She is having her people call CFE and Telmex about or problems, and she says, "We are getting a clean up relief effort underway with the help of Gonzalo and some funds from the Akumal Council.  I am going to chip in with our staff as much as we can.  This includes South Akumal, Jade Bay and Aventuras Akumal, so expect some clean up efforts for South Akumal in the near future."  

As of 1:00pm there is no sign of CFE or Telmex.

We continue our small clean-up stuff, but find it difficult to do anything major with no electricity or help.  There's no help available, as everybody is already spoken for.  Even the businesses and service providers cannot find the extra help they need.

We stay home and cook duck on the Q-Grill.  Ingrid also makes a baked potato and red cabbage, and we have another candle light dinner on the patio, with a bottle of nice 2002 Bolla Pinot Grigio.

While it is real nice to go up on the roof and look at the stars, it is also very frustrating and annoying to see all of Akumal lit up, as if nothing has happened.  I bet we are the only residents of Akumal in their house without electricity since Emily came by on July 18. 

Thursday, July 28

Still no electricity or telephones, and no signs of CFE or Telmex.

Demetrio goes to CFE in Tulum, and he is told, "We are coming there today."

Gabriella reports that Alvar was told by his cousin - the one in high places in CFE – that, "We'll have a crew there later today."

I go over to the Internet Cafe and do my ARC work.  I also send out more please for HELP!!

We go to Playa del Carmen and do some light shopping at Sam's Club and Chedraui.  Included in the shopping are two nice steaks we plan to grill on the Q-Grill on Saturday.

In the evening we meet Richard & Arlene at La Lunita.  It is their last night here, and we have a very enjoyable meal and conversation on the beach, under the stars. 

Friday, July 29

Still no electricity or telephones, and no signs of CFE or Telmex.  I do speak with a Telmex person in Akumal, but they are too busy running cable for lots of people in Akumal Central/Norte to come to Casa Colibri without a Work Order.

I go to the Internet Cafe to do the work on the ARCwire Newsletter.

Both Bart and Jen tell me that they are going to have a wireless network in Turtle Bay Cafe in a couple of weeks, and then we'll have a real Internet Cafe.

Gabriella stops by with an update on CFE and the brush pickup, which is almost non-existent.  It would not surprise me one iota if we got into another Catch-22 with CFE on the brush around the transformer.  The might come, but my guess is that they will refuse to fix the electrical problem until we have the brush cleared away.

One piece of good news today, and that was a promise of a fine bottle of Port on the next trip to Massachusetts, from Steve DePaola.  I don't know if I can wait that long, so I might look into a courier to bring it down in August. 

The Akumalian still does not have electricity or telephones, but it is time to close out this saga and distribute The Akumalian.  It's almost as long-winded as Emily was strong-winded.
 

CONSEJO DE DESARROLLO DE AKUMAL A.C.

            Check out the Akumal Council's web site at www.arkumalcouncil.com for the 2004 Annual Report, and the 2005 Business Plan.  And be advised that the next two General Meetings are scheduled for Friday, August 5 and September 30, both at 11:00 AM at Lol-Ha.  If you are in town, you really should make an effort to attend.

            URGENT       URGENT       URGENT       URGENT          URGENT   

            The Akumal Council needs to have those members who pledged their support (money) to get their payments up to date.  Even while Akumal is cleaning up after Hurricane Emily, the Akumal Council is planning to continue with the beautification of all the entrances, including Jade Beach, South Akumal, and Aventuras Akumal.

            The Akumal Council has not matched its 2004 number of members, so we ask all of you who are not members to become members ASAP.  Hurricane Emily, along with the Akumal Council, has really shown that Akumal is a very real community that comes together and supports the whole.  It's a real symbolism of, "the whole is more than the sum of the pieces." 

The Akumal Council Needs You!
 

AKUMAL TELEPHONE BOOK

The Akumalian is slowly "working on" The Akumal Telephone Book, and it is in its very early stages of data gathering and entering into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.  Data is coming from personal information and other people's lists, and other lists are always welcome.  The current entries are primarily in Akumal, but there obviously are entries from Tulum, Tankah, Puerto Aventuras, Playa del Carmen, Playacar and a few from Cancun.  There might be one or two from Puerto Morales.

The data being captured includes first & last names, house name, location, telephone number, cell telephone number, business name, and e-mail address.  Both spouses/companions will have individual entries.

The thinking is that the information can be sorted and organized by each of those characteristics, so more than likely The Akumal Telephone Book will have every entry in each and every section, except the business name section.  So, the section organization might look something like this:

§         First Name
§        
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If you do not want to be included in The Akumal Telephone Book you need to notify The Akumalian.  Same is true if you have some others who might want to be included.

The distribution methodology is still To Be Determined.  It would be nice to have a paperback edition, but that would be too expensive without funding, so initially, it might just be an electronic Microsoft Word document.

 

A NORTH, NORTH, NORTH AKUMAL PLEA

            Services are being restored to Akumal, and as good neighbors we should be considerate of everyone's needs.  A key service is water, and as you know the pressure in North Akumal has not always been the best.  Now, it is even worse, and it is to the point whereby those residents in North, North, North Akumal are getting very little, if any at all, water pressure and water.  This denies them the basic water they need to fill their cisterns.

            While these neighbors are suffering, others along the earlier part of the water line are watering lawns and filling swimming pools.  This depletes the pressure and the water available to the neighbors to the North, and on behalf of those neighbors, The Akumalian requests that people do not use the infrastructure water to fill up swimming pools; buy a truck-load of potable water.  Thank you.

            As it turns out, the well for North Akumal is (almost) empty, and (almost) nobody is getting any water.  This has led to Water Hijacking!  People order a truck (10,000 liters) of potable water for their cistern, and as the truck ambles down North Akumal, a resident will jump out and offer the driver an additional 200 pesos to deliver the water to them, before the truck can get to the original destination.
 

COMINGS AND GOINGS

            Due to Hurricane Emily, there were a lot more comings and going, and unfortunately they are not all reported here.  Sorry.  Here are some that occurred before Emily came to town. 

Comings:

  • Ron & Shari Stern have returned for their annual visit.
  • Don Brewer came to celebrate his birthday.
  • Don Eischen returned for a short vacation.
  • Dan & David came back for a short visit.
  • Hugh had his extended family in for awhile.
  • Bay & Chris Haas returned to 7 Seas.
  • David & Margaret Richards came back for awhile.
  • Macon & Susan Gravlee returned, fleeing Hurricane Dennis in Mississippi.
  • Lucy James is back from her European travels.
  • El Moreland came to town for a month, looking to finalize on a builder, again.

Goings:

  • Bud Blanter returned to Philadelphia, again.
  • Bob Mulgrew left for a week in Dubuque, Iowa, and he’s back.

  

RUMORS

While they were in Akumal, Ron and Shari Stern made an offer to Bob Knill on his 1/2 share of the first floor of Casa Zama -Leroy & Margaret have the other half - and Bob has accepted.  The sale is scheduled to be settled by the end of July.  Congratulations Ron & Shari!!!!!
 

BIRTHDAY SUNSET CRUISE

            On Monday, July11th, a bunch of intrepid sailors went on a Sunset Cruise aboard the catamaran from the Akumal Dive Shop to celebrate Don Brewer's birthday, which actually was on Sunday.  Sunday also happened to be Don Eischen's birthday, so he was included in the celebration.

            On board were DonB, DonE, Linda, Isabel, Gabriella, Bay & Chris, Bart & Jen, Dani, Dave & Dan, Rosio, and Steve & Ingrid.  Gonzalo's son, Ivan, was the deck hand helping out.

            The trip was arranged by Linda and Isabel, who provided the liquid refreshment, mostly Henkell Sekt.  Bart & Jen provided some food and a delicious Toffee Fudge Chocolate (Jen's favorite) cake - lighting the candles was an impossible task.

            Gabriella reeled in a huge (maybe 3 feet) barracuda.

            The highlight of the cruise was a stop a Xaac lagoon, where most of the party went for a swim and a well needed nature break.  Apparently, the developer of Xaac is voluntarily leaving a 100 meter set back from the beach, so this spot should still be accessible by boat, but it will never be the isolated spot it used to be.

            Unfortunately, or fortunately as the case may be, there are no digital photos of this wonderful event.  However, there are prints from the cruise, but The Akumalian has been unable to scan them without electricity.  Maybe, we'll run one or two next month.

 

RESTAURANT FALL CLOSINGS

            These were the reports before Emily, so we may need an update next month. akumal hotel suites mexico hotels akumal resort

Annette reports that La Lunita will be closed for two weeks, possibly three depending on the work, starting on September 18. 

Lol-Ha on Akumal Bay

Laura reports that the Lol-Ha Restaurant - not the Beach Bar - will be closing on August 31 and will be closed all of September and 'maybe' October as well; we'll see.

 Turtle Bay Bakery & Cafe.Bart & Jen are a little nebulous on their low season closing, and this make take a different twist after Emily.  The word was, "We will continue to open daily for breakfast & lunch.  Right now we are open Thursday to Saturday 6-9 for dinner.  Not sure on how long we will be open for dinners.  Last year we closed in August and will probably be doing the same.  We may close for one week in Sept for maintenance as well."
 

CLOSING REPORT ON STEVE & INGRID

            Sunday July 31 at 1:00pm and still no electricity or telephone.  Cancun weather says it's 93 degrees, but it feels like 108.

 

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