10 Things to bring to a remote Turtle Project
As many of you know I am currently living and working in Costa Rica. My job involves working with sea turtles and living in a remote location with a group of people. As the days pass, I have come to the conclusion that there are some essential items that I cannot do without. With that being said here is a list of these top items to bring if you ever decide to work at a turtle project (or perhaps camp out at the beach).
There is nothing more amazing that relaxing on a hammock looking out at the beach, surrounded by palm trees, and listening to the waves crashing on the beach. A small travel hammock is easy to carry and stow away. I bought this particular hammock in France, but you can easily find one like it online.
2. Books or Kindle
Most of the work occurs at night, such as patrols or hatchery shifts. During the day you might have communal chores or research assignments. But overall, you will have a lot of downtime. You can definitely catch up on some reading, perhaps even on the above mentioned hammock! (Boom). I suggest those books that you have been putting off because they are too long. A kindle is easier to carry, but you require internet to download all the books you need unless you pre choose them.
3. Bathing suits
They turn out to be more useful than underwear. After digging up nests and getting yourself covered in sand, a quick dip in the ocean can fix it all, here comes the bathing suit to the rescue. You don’t even need to change. I often find myself wearing my bathing suit as I do my daily chores, the heat often prevents me from wearing clothes. And I mean, I live on the beach so do I really need clothes?
4. Hiking Sandals
My Teva’s saved my life! They were perfect for going on patrol and getting my chores done. Chaco’s are also a good brand to consider, but they are a bit more expensive. If you don’t want to dish out the cash for some hiking sandals, consider bringing old, worn out sneakers (I also had a pair of these just in case).
5. A Journal
Write it all down! The funny jokes, the interesting tidbits, your first turtle sightings, your raccoon encounters, the rules to a new card games, directions somewhere, and just anything that pops into your brain. One day, you can look back into your journal and remember all the great experiences you had while you were working with turtles (I mean besides the fact that you were working with turtles).
6. Playing cards & board games
I can’t emphasize enough how much down time you have. Also, I’m not sure its the same in all turtle projects. It’s good to have some games to socialize with everyone and also as another form of entertainment, especially if you don’t have internet.
This one is a no brainer! You will spend tons of time outside in the sun. So… wear it or burn to a crisp.
Anything that covers your face so you can do work outside such as exhumations is a good idea. I brought an old baseball style cap (well I brought two since I tend to misplace things).
9. Re-usable water bottle
You have to keep hydrated especially in warm climates. Costa Rica has two seasons: dry and wet. Both seasons are very warm, and staying hydrated is extremely important especially while performing chores. Plus, if you are working in projects for the environment you might want to consider being more environmentally friendly.
10. Headlamp with red light
You will use it on patrol, when releasing hatchlings, when getting ready for patrol at night, and if you are blind like me, you will use it all the time. It is also a great item to have if you like hiking.
BONUS: A good attitude
You don’t need to be a genius for this one. You are living in close quarters with other people, you have an odd work schedule, you might have additional work to do , and you might be constantly tired/dehydrated. But remember, you signed up for it so… deal with it. In the end, you are doing amazing work and the planet and ocean will be forever grateful.