What to pack when visiting a turtle

I’m excited to return to Wassaw Island National Wildlife Refuge with Caretta Reseach Project in July 2015!

The first step has been interviewing people about their recommendations about keeping cool on a Georgia coastal island in July. Maybe I should tell you WHY ON EARTH anyone would visit in July! If nature follows her pattern, loggerhead sea turtles should be both laying nests (the huge mature females) and hatching (the cute-beyond-belief emerging turtles, judging by photographs). Based on my interviews, staying cool will not be possible. Since we will be working at night based on the turtle’s preferences, I’ll be trying to sleep during the day in a cabin without electricity and away from any breeze that can be found on the beach. The cold shower does sound very appealing! I do like Mom’s recommendation to stay cool best: take a canoe, canopy, and anchor and sleep out on the water. If you know something about staying cool that my interviewees thus far have overlooked, please let me know!

All gear should fit in one large duffel bag and one small backpack. If duffel and backpack are not water resistant, put all items inside a large plastic bag inside the duffel and backpack for transfer to the island.


1 set twin sheets with pillowcase
earplugs (all volunteers sleep in a small cabin together and I snore)


2 shorts
2 long pants
long-sleeve shirt
swimsuit and swim shirt
windbreaker/rain jacket (poncho not recommended)
hat with visor or brim
hat with mosquito net?
lots of socks
walking shoes for beach (may encounter cactus and spines)
flip flops for cabin time


2 towels
sunscreen lotion
lip balm
small first aid kit (band aids and mole skin)
mosquito dope
anti-itch cream
powder (back on the hot and humid theme)


wristwatch for night use
water bottles (one to use and one to chill)
small flashlight/headlamp (one with a red light/filter is great)
spare batteries
battery operated fan
A Georgia Native Plant Guide
paperback books
camera, charger, and waterproof bag
cell phone and charger

Also pack clothes for return to civilization in a small bag to be left in the rental car. You will be happy to have them!

Dreaming of Finland

I’ve been dreaming of Finland for a long time and not long from now I plan to be there! As per usual, I am nowhere as detailed in planning as I had once thought I would be. There are some wishes that would be fun to fulfill. Here they are (in no particular order):

  • Drinking sima in Finland. I brewed some of this as a teenager. Perhaps I can test the “real thing.”
  • Having a sauna in Finland. Is this too obvious?
  • Seeing an inland Saimaa ring seal in the Savonlinaa area.
  • Traveling north of the Arctic Circle!
  • Visiting reindeer on their own turf.
  • Exploring libraries!
  • Meeting relatives and new friends.
  • Paddling.
  • Visiting a farm.

All good wish lists should include some stretch wishes that are unlikely to be fulfilled so that a return trip can be planned. I will need to work on my list further so that it can be well rounded. Right now I need to revisit my packing list and prepare to go!