Travels with Lucas

NOVEMBER 20, 2008

[Book: Travels With Charlie]

It's 1:24am and I am stirring dinner for Chris as he takes some hatchlings down the beach. The thought of returning them to the same spot, no matter how many kilometers we must walk, or what time of day/night is unnerving. I am so tired right now. I just got another 3 1/2 hours of sleep. We all feel like zombies; worked to the bone. Part of me just wants to go home because I am so exhausted. I am glad to not have patrol tonight. I know we will all feel better once acclimated to the routine. I think I will sleep more during the day later.

It's weird to say that it's day 5, but it is even though we are having day 4's dinner. Maybe we should call this breakfast. Still, I know how nice it is for us all to come home to a hot meal together.

Lucas woke me up barking. He's our camp/turtle dog. Not sure whose he is, but he's for sure camp's. There is also Tigre, which is Alec's boxer and two other mutts, Maggie who is pregnant, and a younger dog we call "Kitty". Yeah, Kitty. Maggie isn't supposed to be here because she supposedly digs up turtle eggs and eats them. I don't know if I believe the rumors, though she does always have really bad breath. She is starved for love. It's heartbreaking. I won't push her away.

Earlier this evening, after 7pm when everyone was asleep, I had to take 81 and 55 hatchlings down the beach. I was alone and high tide was coming in. I kept hearing barking and it sounded like Lucas. I kept telling him to be quiet, but I think he was keeping a couple poachers at bay. He's super protective and I am so glad that he is here. I sat down and looked to the surf, while waiting for the hatchlings to descend down the beach when I looked to my right and Lucas was right there laying next to me. I hadn't even heard him approach. It was comforting.

After the first set of hatchlings disappeared into the surf, I moved down a couple hundred meters to release the second batch of hatchlings. Lucas did not follow, still curled up in the sand, but after about 10 minutes he returned back to me. I still don't have him figured out. His demeanor is old and wise, but he rarely craves attention; only food. He's a true, loyal watch dog, that's for sure.

Just woke up from a 3-7:30am night's rest. It's been hard to get this kind of sleep at one time. I am the only one up. I think I always am, actually.

I lugged 3 buckets of water up from the well this morning for dishes and a shower. Dishes are done, but it feels a bit too chilly for a shower just yet. So instead I made a PB&J and had some crackers. Ten'ish is breakfast. I am not really sure how much I am eating, but I am trying to be aware of rations. Yesterday was oatmeal with honey, raisins, and dulce for breakfast. Lunch was rice, beans, and corn concoction at about 4pm, and dinner was beans and rice, carrots, and yucca at 2:30am. I had a few snacks in there and 1/2 a PB&J. I was hoping to stay fit here, but each day I only seem hungrier.

Today I have hatchery duty tonight and one early shift from 6-9pm. The times of patrol change based on the tide. Everyone may be done much earlier tonight and dinner should be around 10pm. I am also on water gauge all week, which reminds me... it rained last night, so off to check.

[6pm - 11/20; 4am, 6:30pm, 11:30pm - 11/21]

Ok, this is a long post today since I started early this morning. I figure I will run out of pages before my time is done here.

So I just found out that after my 6pm patrol tonight I have a 4am patrol tomorrow morning, solo, and then a double of 6:30-9:30pm, and 11:30pm-2:30am the next day. I'll be sleeping a lot the next few days. I'm telling you--this is no joke. You better be committed. It's hard not to be.
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