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July 2011  Issue 103

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Summer and the hurricane season are here, and the tourists are still here too.  And, there is a fair amount of “Came & Went” as well.

The month of July gets a quick jump start with Robin’s Best Shirt Award on the 1st, kicking of the beginning of the long July 4th weekend,  Also falling on this weekend, we have Akumal’s Circuito Etapa Tortuga (5 and 10 Kilometer Races) on the 3rd,rdthe Henley Royal Regatta, the men’s and women’s finals at Wimbledon, the start of the Tour de France, and Festival of San Fermin begins on the 6th.

When and where are the fireworks?

Interestingly enough, there are no Mexico holidays in July to report.


It was the month in which Julius Caesar was born,  The month Julius replaced Quintilis (quintus = five)—the fifth month in the early Roman calendar, which began with March before the Julian calendar instituted January as the start of the year.  Unfortunately, Caesar himself was only able to enjoy one July during his life—the very first July, in 45 B.C.  The following year he was murdered on the Ides of March. 

Cancer   June 22 – July 22

Leo - July 23 -August 21

 July Birthstone:  Ruby
July's birthstone is among the most highly prized of gems throughout history.  The word Ruby comes from the Latin "ruber," meaning red.  It is a variety of the mineral Corundum, and is found as crystals within metamorphic rock.  Corundum is the second hardest mineral, after Diamond.  It comes in a variety of colors, and is considered a Sapphire in any color except red, which is designated as a Ruby.  Rubies range in hue from an orangey red to a purplish red, but the most prized gems are a true red in color.  Large sized Rubies are very rare and valuable. 

 July Flower:  Larkspur
July's flower, the larkspur, is associated with lightheartedness and levity.  Larkspurs can evoke the care-free days of summer we remember from our youth.  The larkspur, or Delphinium, is named for the shape of their flowers.  The flower resembles the bottle - like nose of a dolphin. 



Birthdays and Anniversaries

2          Gerardo Dominguez
2          Isabel Schober
4          Amy Blatner
9          John Chiosso
13        Ellie Humphrey
17        Joan Gonzalez
18        Gary & Oveta Vardell Anniversary
20        Hurley Hackler
22        Bud Blatner
26        RC Castro
26        Paula Humphreys
28        Gustavo Guerra
31        Gonzalo Arcila 

There must be more than this.  Let’s hear about YOUR birthday.

 Missed June Birthdays



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 is one to celebrate, because it’s on Friday, July 1st , the the beginning of the long July 4th weekend.

This award is based on Robin’s penchant for good, classy Beach Bar shirts, and his sister, Mary, is not going to be here to be the judge and jury.  Mary has nominated Mary Ann Radamacher the head up the judging committee in her absence. And, as we go to print the criteria are still somewhat nebulous, but it looks like “coolest”, “neatest”, and “most colorful” might garner a lot of brownie points.

 The June award for “Best Shirt” went to Nick Ille, who is staying at Mary’s.  See June Best Shirt for more photos. 


Independence Day is the national holiday of the United States of America, commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  For more information, go to July 4th.



Lol Ha Beach Bar Captain
There is a new Bar Captain at the Lol Ha Beach Bar, and his name is Sinhue Ramirez.  Sinhue lived in California since 1996, primarily in L.A. but also in Claremont, Ca.  He has a degree in Hotel and Food Management from Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, California.  His most recent jobs before coming to Akumal include Fleming's and, TGI Friday's (both in California) as a server, and in Hotel Quinta Real in Huatulco, Oaxaca as a beach club manager.

            Sinhue says, “"While exploring the most famous Mexican tourist destinations, I found the Riviera Maya as the most fitting place where I could develop my knowledge and skills.  Serving, helping, and providing the best experiences, which is a true pleasure in this paradise." 

Luis is Gone
It has been a month or 2 or 3, but it has never been reported in The Akumalian.  Everybody knows, or knew, Luis behind the bar, but he has not been at the Lol Ha Beach Bar for awhile now.  Apparently, he decided he needed to be in, or around, Playa del Carmen, so he quietly left of his own accord.


5 and 10 Kilometer Races
Juan Antonio Huerta reports, “I will start organizing events at Plaza Ukana, and I would like to work closely with locals that are interested in cultural, health and music events.  This time we will have a 5 and 10 kms race starting at Plaza Ukana parking lot on July 3rd from 7 to 9 AM.”


North Akumal Road Project Update
    Good progress continues on the North Akumal road as NARC pushes forward.  The section in front of Mi Casa del Mar is just about finished.

     NARC reports that Kranski and Corey are stepping up to the plate with their contributions, and their section of the road will be done before the crew moves to the Lagoon area.  The recent torrential rains convinced NARC that this section is a very high priority for everyone.

Take the Pepsi Challenge.  Make the switch.
The most exciting news we have to report is that our local Pepsi distributor also wants to see Akumal improve, and he is helping us, help ourselves.  As of May 1st, our local Pepsi distributor will be selling 20 liter bottles of drinking water for 25 pesos.  Then, from May 1st onward: 

Pepsi will donate 6 pesos for every 20 ltr bottle or case of water sold in Akumal, N. Akumal, S. Akumal, Jade Bay, Punta Sur and Aventuras Akumal. 

Pepsi will down-size their delivery trucks in North Akumal to help keep our new road in good condition.  When you change over, Pepsi will pick up, and credit you for, all your Crystal water jugs.

    Pepsi will provide a sales report every month and make the donation from those sales numbers.  Depending on the season and how quickly we can all change to , we project the Pepsi donations to bring in $1,000 to $3,000 U.S. every month.  Start drinking more water, it is good for you!  Think of it like this: For every 20ltr or case of you buy, you are buying a brick for our road.


            Allyson and Holly are holding a Memorial Ceremony for John on July 5th at the First Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas.

John Holly Sheffield Jr
John Holly Sheffield Jr. was born April 16, 1946, the only child of John H. Sheffield and Elinor Eloise Ewing.  His new journey began June 18, 2011.

 John was an Austin, Texas boy.  He grew up in Wilshire Woods and First Presbyterian Church, hunting and fishing the woods and creeks, building and racing cars through the downtown streets. John grew up with the best group of lifelong friends in his beloved hometown.

 John’s education began at Maplewood Elementary, University Jr. High and Austin High.  He continued, attending Shreiner College, Sul Ross University, and Stephen F. Austin University.

 John served his country in the U.S. Army. After his discharge, he moved to the Rio Grande where John lived his dream and opened three Suzuki motorcycle and high performance car dealerships with his dear friend Roy Scruggs.

 The Valley is where John and Allyson met in 1975 and married in 1976.  They lived their dream working, riding, fishing, sailing and raising a family together.  In 1984, the family packed up and moved back to Austin.  John sold restaurant equipment for a few years until finally seeing his professional path and joined his father in the insurance business.  John was a people person and he had found his niche.  His family, hunting and fishing and spending time with dear friends filled John’s life.

 2007 brought an opportunity to reassess life goals.  That done, in the summer of 2010 John and Allyson sold off their Austin life, packed up the leftovers and relocated to Akumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico, to live the life tranquillo on a dream built together.

John served his community through church, Exchange Club, Woods and Waters, Texas Youth Hunt and Boy Scouts of America.  He was a Mason, receiving his thirty second degree from the Masonic Lodge of Austin # 12 A.F. & A.M.

 John’s legacy lives through his family, adoring wife, Allyson, children; Melissa D. Kuehl, Raymond D., J. Ryan and Holly E. Sheffield, granddaughters; Karah, Kellis and Keela Kuehl.

 A loving and devoted son, husband, father and friend.  We have all lost our Johnny Boy.  His spirit lives on through our shared memories and stories of him.  Valla con Dios Juan.


            A massive black hole devoured a star after it wandered too close.

The awesome energy released by the feeding frenzy was first detected by NASA's Swift satellite on March 28 and was later confirmed by a fleet of space and ground telescopes.  Some scientists initially thought the bright flash was a gamma-ray burst from a star collapsing, but flaring from such an event typically lasts only a few hours.  Instead of fading, the cosmic outburst continued to burn bright and emit high-energy radiation months later.

Two separate teams pored through data and concluded that an unsuspecting star the size of our sun likely got sucked in by the powerful tug of a giant black hole, much like a fly that can't escape a frog resting on a lily pad.  The findings were published online Thursday in the journal Science.

As the black hole gobbled up the star, it streamed a beam of energy straight at Earth that was recorded by telescopes.  The stellar feast occurred in the heart of a galaxy 3.8 billion light years from Earth.  A light year is about 6 trillion miles.

"This was clearly different than anything we've ever seen before," said one of the team leaders, Joshua Bloom, an astronomer at the University of California, Berkeley who classified the event as extremely rare.

Black holes are swirling, super-dense cores of galaxies that vacuum up nearly everything in sight. How they grow so huge remains a mystery.  Scientists think the latest observation could help them better understand how galaxies form.  Could what happened in the distant galaxy occur in our Milky Way?  In theory yes, say scientists, but the chances are low.


Henley Royal Regatta –
Each summer, Henley-on-Thames is brought to life with the Henley Royal Regatta.  The Regatta, first held in 1839, is a unique rowing event offering 100 world-class races over 5 days (June 29 to July 3).

The picturesque surroundings and glorious summer sunshine provide a welcome haven of relaxation and tranquility from the stresses of city life.  The ambience is one of a large, Edwardian garden party and this prestigious event offers an idyllic opportunity for corporate or social entertaining.  Enjoy a day of indulgence and relaxation.  

 Wimbledon Finals:
July 2, Women
July 3, Men


  • Men's singles: Gentleman's singles trophy inscribed "The All England Lawn Tennis Club Single Handed Champion of the World", a cup standing 18.5-inches tall with a diameter of 7.5-inches.
  • Ladies' singles: Venus Rosewater Dish, an 18.75-inch silver salver made by Messrs. Elkington and Co Ltd in 1864.

Tour de France
Running from Saturday July 2nd to Sunday July 24th, 2011, the 98th Tour de France will be made up of 1 prologue and 20 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,430 kilometers.

 Festival of San Fermin
The festival of San Fermin, or the Pamplona bull running as it's more commonly known outside Spain, officially begins at midday on July 6th every year.

 MLB All-Star Game
The 82nd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be held Tuesday, July 12 at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.


British Open
From the 14th - 17 July the British Open 2011 will be returning to Kent, hosted again by Royal St Georges Golf Club in Sandwich, Kent.  The last time The British open was held in Kent was back in July 2003.   Once again the worlds' greatest golfers will gather to do battle for the famous Claret Jug.

 All-American Soap Box Derby
The 74th All-American Soap Box Derby is on Saturday, July 23, 2011 in Akron, Ohio.  The Soap Box Derby is actually three races, one in each of three divisions.  The races are held at the 954-foot long Derby Downs track, a three-lane, straight downhill track.  Divisions include the Stock Division, Super-stock Division, and Master Division, each with their own restrictions.


            The ISS (International Space Station) is making an honorary Akumal flyover in remembrance of John Sheffield on July 6th at 8:41pm.  It will be flying in a NW – SE flight path, and it should be very bright and visible, assuming we have a nice clear sky.  Be sure to get outside and see this.





Bastille Day is the French national holiday, celebrated on 14 July each year.  In France, it is called Fête Nationale ("National Celebration") in official parlance, or more commonly le quatorze juillet ("14 July"). 

To see “the rest of the story” go to Bastille Day.



            The pace continues unabated as we head into July.


Seen in and around Akumal in June:

  • Michelle & Dave Bliss are back.
  • Richard & Arlene Pargot
  • Hugh Maynard & Carolyn are back for their usual extended stay.
  • Jen & Antonio --Las Sirenis—have returned from a visit to the States.
  • Russ & Stephanie Motley have also returned to Las Sirennas after a short trip to CO.
  • Monica Meyer was back in Los Primos for a short vacation.
  • Ron & Sherry Stern are back in town.
  • Red Beard is also back, after his extended trip to the Pacific North West.
  • Bobby Sapia has returned, and his brother, Louis came with him.
  • Mauro Bordignon just got back from the USA after a month with family.
  • It has been reported that Didier Jackson has returned.
  • Tom Baxter was in town for a short construction site visit.

 Coming in August:

  • Neil & Paula Humphries – sans Katie and Ellie – will not return until late August

Steve & Ingrid Clouther went to MA for two weeks vacation in June.
Bob Mulgrew was up north for a brief spell.
Mary Henderson is off to Sacramento, California for two weeks or so.
Wendell & Lynda Day have returned to Texas.
Laura Bush has gone off to Costa Rica.
   Allyson and Holly Sheffield are in Austin.



Full Buck Moon is on July 15th at 5:40am AST.

July is normally the month when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur.  

It was also often called the Full Thunder Moon, thunderstorms being now most frequent.  Sometimes this is also called the Full Hay Moon. 



What is a full moon, I hear you ask?

The full moon is a lunar phase that occurs when the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun.  More precisely, a full moon occurs when the geocentric apparent (ecliptic) longitudes of the Sun and Moon differ by 180 degrees; the Moon is then in opposition with the Sun.  As seen from Earth, the hemisphere of the Moon that is facing the earth (the near side) is almost fully illuminated by the Sun and appears round.  Only during a full moon is the opposite hemisphere of the Moon, which is not visible from Earth (the far side), completely un-illuminated.

The time interval between similar lunar phases—the synodic month—is on average about 29.53 days.  Therefore, in those lunar calendars in which each month begins on the new moon, the full moon falls on either the 14th or 15th of the lunar month.  Because lunar months have a whole number of days, lunar months may be either 29 or 30 days long.


Did you know Meteor Showers recur each year, in some cases for hundreds or even thousands of years?  Technically speaking, Meteor Showers are bursts of cosmic debris entering Earth's atmosphere at extremely high speed and thus vaporizing, leaving a streak of light that quickly disappears.  Normally named after the constellation from which they originate these bursts are the result of interactions between a planet and a comet in which a number of meteors are observed.  As they all travel in parallel paths and at the same velocity, to their viewer Meteor showers appear to radiate away from a single point in the sky.  This is called the "radiant" of the shower.

So, as we know, you don't like spending your early mornings outside at the beach or up the roof, but you still love fantastic meteor showers.  Watch for the Delta Aquarids towards the end of the month.


The Delta Aquarids usually produce about 20 meteors per hour at their peak.  The shower will peak this year on July 29, but meteors can usually be seen from July 18 - August 18.  

The Delta Aquarids favor the southern hemisphere, and the tropical latitudes in the northern hemisphere. The meteors appear to radiate from the southern part of the sky.  From northern temperate latitudes, the maximum hourly rate may reach 15-20 meteors in a dark sky.  Unlike many meteor showers, this one doesn’t have a very definite peak, despite the date given above.  Instead, these medium-speed meteors ramble along fairly steadily throughout late July and early August.  An hour or two before dawn usually presents the most favorable view of the Delta Aquarids. Try watching in late July and early August, in the hours between midnight and dawn.


The only Akumal “Event” was the Best Shirt Award, and that has been reported above.


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