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August 2009  Issue 80

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INTRODUCTION

August is another month with no (major) Mexican holidays.  But, August is very noteworthy if you look to the sky.  Besides the usual Full Moon, there is the Perseid Meteor Shower on the 12th

And, there was the ISS fly-over on Thursday, July 30. It was on time, brilliant, and fast (about 17,100 mph).
 

THE STAFF SAYS. . . .

 

AUGUST BIRTHDAYS

You can go to Birthday and Anniversaries to see these for every month of the year. Go check it out to see if you are there.  There are some new updates that have not been posted yet.

 August Birthdays and Anniversaries
2          Peter Titze
4          Bob Mather
7          Lucy Gallagher
8          Steve Wandler
8          Shari Jackson
8          Fermina
9          Ryan Wolfe
14        Alice Blatner
15        Kurt and Jonathan Bliss
15        Mari Sanchez
16        Sibylle Gonzalez
18        Pete & Lois Raap Anniversary
18        Oveta Vardell
23        Jana Franta
24        Dave & Michelle Bliss Anniversary

 Missed Birthdays or Anniversaries in July.
            None missing, but Ellie Humphrey’s Birthday last month was erroneously reported as being on July 14th, when in fact it is on July 13th; sorry Ellie.
 

IMPORTANT AUGUST FACTS

August was named after Augustus Caesar in 8 B.C..

Leo - July 23 -August 21
Virgo – August 24 – September 23

 August Birthstone:  Peridot
In 1912 the American National Association of Jewelers named the Peridot (pronounced pair i dot or pair i doe) as the august birthstone.  It is also given as the 16th anniversary gem.

A beautiful green to yellow-green in color, the Peridot is often mistake for an emerald.  In fact, legend has it that Queen Cleopatra preferred Peridot over other gems and that some of her "Emeralds" may have been Peridot.  Emeralds, though, don't have the yellow tint and tend to be a darker green.

August Flower:  Gladiolus
The gladiolus flower is the birth flower for August.  The name "Gladiolus" is derived from the Latin word "gladius", meaning "sword", for the shape of its leaves.  An ancient name for the gladiolus was "xiphium," from the Greek word "xiphos", also meaning sword. 

 

FULL MOON, AUGUST 5th

The Full Sturgeon Moon is on August 7:55pm AST.

The fishing Maya tribes are given credit for the naming of this Moon, since sturgeon, a large fish of the great cenotes and other major bodies of water in the Yucatan, were most readily caught during this month.  A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because, as the Moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry haze.  It was also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon.

ROBIN’S BEST SHIRT AWARD, AUGUST 7th

Come one, come all, to the Beach Bar, where we’ll have a ball.

It’s time for another “Best Shirt Award”, which is held on the first Friday of each month during Happy Hour at the Lol Ha Beach Bar. 

This award is based on Robin’s penchant for good, classy Beach Bar shirts, and his sister, Mary, has an alternative to be the judge and jury to select the “Best Shirt” for August.  And, as we go to print the criteria are still somewhat nebulous, and they seem to be changing as we move into the summer months.

This August "Event" is building itself into one of the all-time-great ones as the competition has come from as far as Qatar

The July competition was on Friday, July 3rd, and the winner was Beryl Van Lierop.  See July Best Shirt for more photos.

Look at EVENTS at the bottom of the page for the two other Events in July.

 

TROPICAL STORMS AND HURRICANES

So far, so good.  Nice and quiet to date.
 

SWIMMING FROM AKUMAL TO COZUMEL, AUGUST 8th

13 year old Beatriz “Betty” Arellanos plans to swim the 25 miles from Akumal to Cozumel on August 8th.  The swim will start at 4:00 am, and she has an estimated arrival time of 12:00 noon-2:00 pm the latest.  Later in the evening, at 8:00 pm, Betty’s family will have a ceremony of acknowledgement at a Cozumel resort.  Everyone is invited.

You are encouraged to visit Betty's web page (still under construction) where you can be in touch with her and write comments to cheer her up.

Betty and her family are staying at the Hotel Akumal Caribe prior to her swim.

 

WHAT’S NEW AROUND TOWN?

AKUMAL

On Sunday, July 26, around noon time, there was a very large solar halo directly over Akumal
 

BAHIA PRINCIPE GOLF FOR “LOCALS”

            It has been reported that the Bahia Principe Golf Course is finished, 18 holes + 9 holes par 3, but they will not be opening it to the public until December 2009.  The Club House is built (50% of the total area), and it will be opening in the summer 2010, approximately.  Akumalians will receive an invitation when the December “Open to the Public” date is defined.

            Bahia Principe Golf has defined the Membership and Golf Fee options for the ‘local’ Akumalians who wish to play over there.  While we were hoping, and somewhat expecting, that Bahia Principe Golf would look quite favorably on its local Akumalian neighbors with a REAL DEAL, it just has not turned out that way.  Here, in a nutshell, is what they are offering us.

 Residents of Akumal get a 10% discount off the posted rates

Senior (over 60 years old) Membership is 35% off Preferential Non-Resident Membership

Preferential Non-Resident (of Bahia Principe) Membership

  • $20,000 US for 20 years
  • Individual and non-transferrable
  • Plus Annual Fees of:
    • $850US for 10 rounds
    • $1,450US for 20 rounds
    • $2,350US for ‘full credit’

 Rates ($US) for Non-Members, with cart and F&B

  • 230      18 holes green fee
  •   90      9 holes par 3 green fee
  • 130      Twilight
  • 135      Local Golfer
  •    5       Range balls
  •    6       Range balls at night

If you need any additional information, or have specific questions, you can go directly to Maria Rodriguez, Golf Course Director, at direcciongolfmex@bahiaprincipegolf.com and/or Maria Oliveira, Gerente Ventas & Sales Manager Bahia Principe Residential & Golf Resort, at  maria.oliveira@bahiaprincipegolf.com and/or Tel: [52] (984) 875-5087.

.

COMINGS AND GOINGS

            Many visitors were here early in July for the July 4th vacation week and Best Shirt Award event, and because of the ‘late’ publication of the “REAL” July issue, the listing this month is a tad on the brief side. 

Comings:

  • Claudia Munoz and family have returned to South Akumal after an extended stay in Texas.
  • Michael & Lunda Schwartz and kids are back in South Akumal.
  • Susan & Macon Gravlee were here with Susan’s friend, Paige, in mid-July.
  • Michelle Meyer and family are in Los Primos.
  • Myrna & Gary Sparks are back in town.
  • Bob & Sherwood Anders have also returned.
  • Frank Hatch and Lennie Maietta are back in Casa del Sol.
  • Cheryl & Donny Hall arrive back at Playa Blanca on Aug 5; staying 3 weeks.
  • David Richards will be back in South Akumal on August 8th.
  • Patricia Murray and Oteka Brab will be at Casa San Francisco Aug 11 - 20. 
  • Bay & Chris Haas, and Chris’ dad, will be here for a short time in August.

 Goings:

·         Kazue and Beniko Schober have returned to Japan for the summer.

·         Rhett Schober is heading up to Vail for his 25th high school re-union and a short vacation.

·         Didier Jackson has returned to Ohio, with side a trip to GA and FL, for the summer
 

PERSEID METEOR SHOWER, AUGUST 12th

The legendary Perseid meteor shower will peak on August 12.  It’s expected to display the greatest number of meteors Wednesday morning around 6:30am AST, but you’ll see some Perseids the other days too.

The Perseids are probably the most-watched annual meteor shower.  The shower has a very long duration, from about July 15 through August 25.  The shower is most interesting around its peak on August 12 or 13.  This year, the peak comes on August 12.  The radiant is above the horizon the entire night for observers north of latitude 32N, but it is fairly low at the end of evening twilight.  Evening Perseid rates are fairly low, and the bright Moon makes things worse this year.  The real meat of the show comes during the predawn hours when the Moon is down and the radiant is high.

Predawn rates for observers with truly dark skies may exceed 100 Perseids per hour (West Coast of North America and/or Eastern Asia may be favored this year), with a nice sprinkling of sporadic and minor shower meteors added to the mix.  Adjacent mornings from August 10 through August 13 are well worth watching, although rates will be significantly lower.

Perseids are fast meteors and tend to be fairly bright on average.  An occasional fireball is seen.

You don’t need to identify Perseus to enjoy the meteor shower.  The Perseids are a especially rich and dependable meteor shower.  They shoot all across the sky – often leaving persistent trains – and occasionally lighting things up with bright fireballs.  To watch the show, find a dark, open sky.  Get away from city lights, up on the roof, and give your eyes at least 20 minutes to adapt to the dark.  The Perseid shower favors northern hemisphere skywatchers.  
 

METEOR SHOWERS VERSUS SHOOTING STARS

What are meteor showers?
     
An increase in the number of meteors at a particular time of year is called a meteor shower.

Comets shed the debris that becomes most meteor showers.  As comets orbit the Sun, they shed an icy, dusty debris stream along the comet's orbit. If Earth travels through this stream, we will see a meteor shower.  Depending on where Earth and the stream meet, meteors appear to fall from a particular place in the sky, maybe within the neighborhood of a constellation.

Meteor showers are named by the constellation from which meteors appear to fall, a spot in the sky astronomers call the radiant.  For instance, the radiant for the Leonid meteor shower is located in the constellation Leo.  The Perseid meteor shower is so named because meteors appear to fall from a point in the constellation Perseus.

 What are shooting stars?
      
"Shooting stars" and "falling stars" are both names that people have used for many hundreds of years to describe meteors -- intense streaks of light across the night sky caused by small bits of interplanetary rock and debris called meteoroids crashing and burning high in Earth's upper atmosphere.  Traveling at thousands of miles an hour, meteoroids quickly ignite in searing friction of the atmosphere, 30 to 80 miles above the ground.  Almost all are destroyed in this process; the rare few that survive and hit the ground are known as meteorites.

When a meteor appears, it seems to "shoot" quickly across the sky, and its small size and intense brightness might make you think it is a star.  If you're lucky enough to spot a meteorite (a meteor that makes it all the way to the ground), and see where it hits, it's easy to think you just saw a star "fall."

EVENTS

There were tow other Akumal "Events" in July besides the "Best Shirt Award", and they were:

Awesome Women's Akumal Reef Divers on July 12

Lol Ha Wine Tasting on July 24

 

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