The Akumalian

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

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Auust 2012  Issue 116

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August is another month with no (major) Mexican holidays.  But, August is very noteworthy if you look to the sky.  Besides the unusual two Full Moons, there is the Perseid Meteor Shower on the 12th & 13th

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??

Do not forget the other local publications, Sac-Be - The Costal Source for Travel in the Riviera Maya, the Pelican Free Press, and the CEA Newsletter

And, do not forget that Robin’s Best Shirt Award is on THIS Friday, August 3rd.

Something new and rare for The Akumalian – FOR SALE: two living room sofas from Casa Colibri.  These can seen in the Casa Colibri FOR SALE page.  Interested parties can follow up with or call at [52]-(984)-875-9154.


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. 


You can go to August Birthday and Anniversaries to see these for every month of the year. Go check it out to see if you are there. 

 August Birthdays and Anniversaries
2          Peter Titze
4          Bob Mather
6          Rudy & Cathy Perez Anniversary
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
27        John Winkel
30        Tony & Judy James Anniversary

 Missed Birthdays or Anniversaries in July.

            Nada. Got them all.

FULL MOON, AUGUST 2nd & 31st

August 2012 is one of these unique months, which will have two full moons.  There will be a full moon on August 2nd, and then another full moon on August 31st.

The full moon occurs once every 29.5 days.  This essentially means that there is one full moon every month.  However, as we know, every month but February has at least 30 days in it, which presents the potential for two full moons in a month, and August is one of them.

The Full Sturgeon Moon is on August 13th at 2:27am 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.

            August 31st will have the Blue Moon.  The term Blue Moon can refer to the second full moon in a given month.  When people say "once in a blue moon" they are speaking to the rarity of the occurrence of a second moon happening in the same given month.


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 6th, and the winner was Antonio Boloio.  See July Best Shirt for more photos.



On Saturday, August 11th, there will be an Otoch Paal Montessori School Fundraiser dinner and entertainment to raise money to build desperately needed new classrooms.  It is being held at the Tiramisu Restaurant in Puerto Aventuras, and it is suggested you have a 7:15pm arrival, with dinner & entertainment scheduled for 8:00pm.

Tickets are $400 for adults, $200 children 11 and under, and they are available from the Otoch Paal ParentsCommittee and Tiramisu Restaurant.  Get a Free ticket for each $50 donated on the website  Cash donations through the website are tax deductible!!!!

Menu:  Buffet of four different lasagnas, bruschetta, garlic bread, drink (wine, beer or soft drink).


·       The children of Otoch Paal Taller class will perform a selection of Mexican dances and traditional songs. 

·       A family friendly comedy show featuring Tony Gabriel performing as the Mexican star and 13 times Grammy winner Juan Gabriel, el Divo de Juarez.  You will spend an unforgettable night listening to the greatest hits of the "Mexican Sinatra". 

·       Plus other special guests!

 And if that is not enough to entice you, be advised that Two for One Margaritas will be available ($75 pesos for two), and Tiramisu will extend the local resident discount of 10% to all menu items including desserts and drinks for those who choose to order something from the menu and pay with cash.  They apologize that they cannot offer the discount to those paying with credit cards.


What is a Tropical Invest, I hear you ask?

An “invest” (investigate) is a system that has the possibility to develop into a tropical cyclone.  It is a weather system for which a tropical cyclone forecast center (NHC, CPHC, or JTWC) is interested in collecting specialized data sets (e.g., microwave imagery) and/or running model guidance.  Once a system has been designated as an invest, data collection and processing is initiated on a number of government and academic web sites, including the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (UW-CIMSS).  The designation of a system as an invest does not correspond to any particular likelihood of development of the system into a tropical cyclone.  Operational products, such as the Tropical Weather Outlook or the JTWC/TCFA should be consulted for this purpose.

Invest is used for all possible cyclones in all oceans.  They are numbered from 90 to 99.  The ocean that the invest is in is determined by a letter it's given.  This all comes from international designations.  When they have the potential to form, they are called an "invest".  Invest means "to investigate".  They are numbered from 90-99, since there will probably never be 90 storms in a season.  So the storm is named 90-99 plus the basin designation (East Pacific is E, Atlantic is L, West Pacific is W, Indian Ocean is B, South Pacific is P, South East Indian is S, and so on).  

So, if it is 94L.INVEST (official name), it is Invest 94.  Each one is different, so you can have two 96's; e.g. 96E, 96L, 96W, 96B, 96S, 96P.  Then once they reach tropical depression strength, they are designated as 01, 02, 03, and so on.  So 04L.NONAME is the fourth depression (as it has no name) of the Atlantic season.  It may then get a name 04L.CLAUDETTE once it is a tropical storm.


The legendary Perseid meteor shower will peak on August 12, but you’ll see some Perseids the other days too.

And when we say August 12 or 13, we mean the morning hours after midnight – not that night.  The waning crescent moon will rise around midnight, only somewhat obscuring the Perseid display during the shower’s actual peak.  The moonlight shouldn’t be so overwhelming as to ruin the show.  These typically fast and bright meteors radiate from a point in the constellation Perseus the Hero.  You don’t need to know Perseus to watch the shower because the meteors appear in all parts of the sky.  The Perseids are considered by many people to be the year’s best shower, and often peak at 50 or more meteors per hour in a dark sky.  The Perseids tend to strengthen in number as late night deepens into midnight, and typically produce the most meteors in the wee hours before dawn.  These meteors are often bright and frequently leave persistent trains.  Starting at mid to late evening on the nights of August 11/12 and 12/13, watch for the Perseid meteors to streak across this short summer night from late night until dawn, with only a little interference from the waning crescent moon.

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. 



Gonzalo Arcila Celebrates 30 Years
Gonzalo Arcila, director of the Akumal Dive Shop, recently received a diploma from PADI international for being a PADI SCUBA instructor for the past 30 years!


Charity Poker at Lol Ha
    Every Saturday evening from 7:00 – 9:00pm, the Lol Ha Restaurant turns into a poker casino in an effort to support the Montessori School Building Fund, which receives 50% of the funds. Reservations can be made at , Phone (984)-206-3500 Ext. 604, or with Sam.   $25US is the amount to get into the game.

Pet Peeve of The Staff
    Akumal functions run on Mexican property to support Mexican programs continue to work the financial issue in US dollars instead of Mexican pesos??  The Charity Poker above is the most recent case in point.

Turtle Nesting Season
CEA reports this season has been a great one for turtle nests, with just over 300 nests in two months.  This nesting season has been stronger than ever.

So far, we have 148 loggerhead nests and 153 green turtle nests.  We've also released 1,302 baby loggerheads.  We are hoping to break our record this year with 500 nests. You can help with sea turtle protection by:

1.     Staying quiet if you are on the beach at night.

2.     Avoiding wearing perfume, cologne or mosquito repellant.

3.     If you use a flashlight, make sure it has a red light.

4.     Making sure you do not use flash on your camera while taking photos.

5.     Keeping dogs off the beach at night.

6.     Reporting your observations to CEA at (984)875-9095 or .

 ONDARTE / Que Onda Restaurant is Closed for the Season
The Staff has not been able to confirm this 100%, because nobody at ONDARTE / Que Onda has responded to our inquiries, but the general consensus of locals - especially those in the Yal Kul area - is that the restaurant is closed for both breakfast and dinner until November.

PLAYA DEL CARMEN – RUMORS!! – Then again, maybe not.

 Costco is coming to town!! 
It has been reported/rumored that the construction site between Hospiten and the small CFE substation on the north bound side of the highway is for Costco!

Liverpool is coming to town!!
    It has been reported/rumored that the construction site south of the Hong Kong Restaurant, by the rotary on the south bound side of the highway is for Liverpool!


 Fast Train
This comes from an article by Nancy DeRosa in Sac-Be.

“Because of the many flaws in Tulum Airport project, the Federal Government has deemed it unsafe and has revoked all plans for this airport's construction, but now there is something “new” in the air.

 “In January of this year, a new Fast Train project was approved by the Federal Government.  This project is starting right now with the first of three legs—first leg Playa del Carmen to Mérida, the second leg Playa del Carmen to Cancún, and the third leg Playa del Carmen to Tulum—all planned to be finished in the next six years.”

            To read the rest of the story, see Sac Be and International Airport vs. Fast, Sexy Train.

Report: Fast Train to Chichen Itza, Maya Riviera, On Track

   Milenio, a national Mexican newspaper, has published a comprehensive report by Rodolfo Montes that demonstrates exactly what the fast train project is and how close it is to becoming reality.  What follows is a translation of the Milenio article:

The transpeninsular, fast train project is almost ready to begin and will link the Mexican states of Yucatan, Quintana Roo, and Campeche. Officials estimate that at least a million people will ride the train each year, and thousands of tons of cargo can be transported; the train will run in the morning and the evening, as promoted by Yucatan Governor Ivonne Ortega Pacheco.  The first run will be exclusively for passengers and the second for cargo.

In an interview with MILENIO, Secretary of Public Works for Yucatán, Francisco Torres Rivas, said that by next September the state will launch the request for proposals for the project, which has been described as historic, because in “100 years Mexico has not made an investment in the rail system in the country.”

Torres Rivas said “we are currently awaiting the Unidad de Inversión de la Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público (Investment Division of the Mexican Ministry of Finance) to allocate public resources and add them to private resources, after which we expect the approval of the government of Mexican President Felipe Calderon.”

The state has been contacted by representatives from Great Britain, China, Germany, France, and Mexico who are interested in participating in the project, he explained.

To determine the cost/benefit of the project, the World Bank financed surveys of 8,000 people who travel, for example, between Merida to Cancun.  The consensus was that the transpeninsular fast train was the optimal solution.

According to the official proposal:

  • The cost will be 11 billion pesos.  In its first stage, the fast train will extend 336 kilometers, from Yucatan to Quintana Roo, with terminals in Merida at one end and Punto Venado at the other.  There will be stations in Izamal, Chichen Itza, Valladolid, and Coba.
  • In a second phase, one extension is being considered to Progreso, the port north of Merida, and to Campeche, which would pass by the Maya ruin of Uxmal.  Another spur would be constructed north from Punto Venado to Cancun.
  • The service is expected to run in two shifts, with passenger traffic from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., and cargo from 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • The full trip for passenger traffic (estimated at 400 passengers per trip) is estimated at two hours, at an average speed of 110 kilometers per hour and a maximum speed of 160.  For freight service, we present a recommended average speed of 45 kilometers per hour.



  • Wickie Rimmel was back on the Lagoon in late June – early July.
  • Bill Brab was back in South Akumal for a very brief stay.
  • Bente Palmer flew in for short stay.
  • Richar & Arlene Pargot’s granddaughters, Madeline and Emma, were here for a short visit.
  • Phil Growick was back in Aventuras Akumal for a short visit.
  • Sam & Sharon Goby are back in town.
  • John & Sharon Winkel are back in Playa Caribe.
  • Richard Dooley & Kelly Zhou are also back in Playa Caribe.
  • Terry & Lisa Turner are back in South Akumal.
  • Gary Vardel is here too.  Have not heard Oveta yet.
  • Denny & Diane Mahan are returning this Thursday, August 2nd.

Phoebe Barrett has returned to Vail for the summer.
Mary Henderson is leaving for and extensive China trip, albeit in September 2013.


August 2012 is one of these unique months, which will have two full moons.  There will be a full moon on August 2nd, and then another full moon on August 31st.

The full moon occurs once every 29.5 days.  This essentially means that there is one full moon every month.  However, as we know, every month but February has at least 30 days in it, which presents the potential for two full moons in a month, and August is one of them.

  August 31st will have the Blue Moon.  The term Blue Moon can refer to the second full moon in a given month.  When people say "once in a blue moon" they are speaking to the rarity of the occurrence of a second moon happening in the same given month.



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." 


Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, is worth more than $14 billion, and he is refinancing his home!  And, he is getting an interest rate of 1.05%!

The interest rate is 1.05% for the initial period.  It can reset if interest rates rise, since the loan is tied to LIBOR, a global benchmark rate used to calculate borrowing rates for millions of individuals and businesses.  But for now his interest-only payments would amount to less than $6,000 a month.  According to filings with the Santa Clara Clerk's office, his home in Palo Alto, California, was refinanced this spring with a 30-year adjustable rate mortgage of $5.95 million.

Private-bank executives say that the typical loan rate for clients with $10 million or more in assets is closer to 2%, yielding payments on a $6 million loan of more than $10,000 a month.  So Zuckerberg is saving $4,000 a month over the average rich borrower. (Let alone the rates of 3% or more for average borrowers).

While the wealthy are able to take advantage of record-low rates and home loans at between 1% to 2%, many Americans are having trouble refinancing their homes at more than 3%.  Many other Americans can't get loans at all, or are struggling to pay double-digit interest rates for credit-card debt.


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

·       ONDARTE Exhibition and Reception, July 28th – not covered by The Staff








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