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August 2011  Issue 104

Return to Home Page   2009 Index  2010 Index   2011 Index


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

July was somewhat of a mixed bag, weather-wise; e.g.  lots of rain, hot steamy days, and strong winds.  What will August bring us??



You can go to Birthday and Anniversaries Index to see if you are listed. 

 August Birthdays and Anniversaries
2          Peter Titze
4          Bob Mather
7          Lucy Gallagher
8          Steve Wandler
8          Shari Jackson
8          Fermina
9          Donny Hall
9          Ryan Wolfe
9          Pat & Cheryl Reagan Anniversary
14        Alice Blatner
14        Oveta Vardell
15        Kurt and Jonathan Bliss
15        Mari Sanchez
16        Maribel Bianchi
16        Sibylle Gonzalez
18        Pete & Lois Raap Anniversary
18        Cheryl Hall
18        Dave Zucker
20        Bart & Jen Smith Anniversary
23        Jana Franta
23        Woody & Julie Brenton Anniversary
24        Dave & Michelle Bliss Anniversary
30        Tony & Judy James Anniversary

 Missed Birthdays or Anniversaries in July.

            Nada. Got them all.


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

This month was originally named Sextilis in Latin, because it was the sixth month in the original ten-month Roman calendar under Romulus in 753 BC, when March was the first month of the year.  About 700 BC it became the eighth month when January and February were added to the year, before March, by King Numa Pompilius, who also gave it 29 days.  Julius Caesar added two days when he created the Julian calendar in 45 BC giving it its modern length of 31 days.  In 8 BC it was renamed in honor of Augustus, who did not take a day from February.

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. 


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, will once again 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.

The July competition was on Friday, July 1st, and the winner was Rick Minkler.  See July Best Shirt for more photos.

On Friday, July 8th, Kurt Bliss won an honorary Best Shirt Award.  Kurt had purchase his shirt for the July 1st competition, but he could not be in Akumal due to an emergency appendectomy.  So, Kurt was there at the Beach Bar with his shirt on the 8th, and the Beach Bar Executive Committee made an executive decision and bestowed the special, honorary award to Kurt.



The legendary Perseid meteor shower will peak on August 12, 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. 



North Akumal Road Update
   Work continues with lots of progress being made each and every day.

 5K and 10K Races
Juan Antonio Huerta has started organizing events at Plaza Ukana, and he is working closely with locals that are interested in cultural, health and music events.  The kickoff event was  5 and 10 kms races starting at Plaza Ukana parking lot on July 3rd from 7 to 9 AM.  This was very well attended, and it brought out Akumal's best runners for some very stiff competition.  Photos can be seen at Monika Estrada's Facebook page in her album "Akumal Events by Juan Antonio Huerta".

ONDARTE Opening Cocktail Reception
   ONDARTE –INTERNATIONAL ARTIST RESIDENCY in North Akumal officially opened its doors on the 23rd of July with a cocktail reception.  See ONDARTE Photo Gallery.


The next Akumal Council General Assembly Meeting is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, August 17, 2011, at 10AM at CEA.  The meeting will focus on what's new, and more.

Join your council board members and others for updates on what the Council has been doing.  At the same time, you can sign up to become a member, pay your 2011 contributions, support the security efforts, join a committee, or just listen, learn, and share your concerns and experiences.

The Akumal Council will send out a formal agenda approximately one week before the meeting.

For general information:

For membership information:



The Full Sturgeon Moon is on August 13th at 5:57pm 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 Maya 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.




  • Wickie Rimmel was reportedly back on the Lagoon.
  • Michael & Lunda Schwartz were back in South Akumal with the kids.
  • Macon & Susan Gravlee popped into South Akumal for a brief vacation.
  • Don Papa has been up in Puerto Aventuras for awhile.
  • Michelle Meyers was in Los Primos for a spell.
  • Terry Turner and Gary Vardell were in South Akumal for a short visit.
  • Sam & Sharon Gobi were back in late July.
  • Gary & Myrna Sparks were also in town once again.
  • Sharon, a friend of Myrna and a new owner at Playa Caribe, was also here.
  • Bill & Cheryl McClendon were here with sister and her husband, John.
  • Dave & Nancy Poor are back at Romero for a month.
  • David Richards is back in South Akumal
  • Pete & Lois Raap, and family, are also back in South Akumal.
  • Bob & Sherwood Anders are returning in August, reportedly with lots of “best “shirts”
  • Bob Doebert is coming back to Aventuras Akumal to sell condo.
  • Oteka Brab, Patricia Murray, Theresa Weed, Terry Chambers coming to S Akumal mid-Aug
  • Roger & Denise Burton have plans to return to Akumal later in August.
  • Ken & Mary Margaret Goldstein are reportedly returning in early August.
  • Gary & Oveta Vardell are returning towards the end of August.

Richard & Arlene Pargot have returned to NJ.


What are meteor showers I hear you ask?
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."


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

·         5K and 10K Races


·         Cheryl McClendon’s 50th Birthday




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