Instagram Confessions

Confession:  I'm kinda one of those people who pick only the best parts of their day on instagram aaaannnddd, I'll take this one step further to say I sometimes semi-pose things to make sure they're 'instagram worthy'.  

Now, I know I'm not the only person doing this but, one thing I really appreciate in life is a little transparency.  I don't totally have my shit together - and I don't expect you to either!  Win-Win!

In an effort to provide a little transparency (especially since the blog has been light and my instagram feed has been heavy of late) I'm gonna tell all.

....annnd now.....for the rest of the storrrryyyy....

I went out to take this photo - because really I don't have too much to photo at sea.  White caps and Coffee.  The highlights of my day.  As soon as I went out to snap a photo the wind whipped all the froth off my coffee and straight onto my jacket.  I was a total flipping mess!

I took the photo on the left - and then decided my leg looked fat and white - so I took the photo on the right.  Then, I didn't post either one because I was scared someone would ask me about FitMermate and my exercise intentions.  I'm like an ostrich with my head in the one can see me not exercising out here if I don't post it on instagram!

I may have mentioned that I never went ashore in Japan....I slept instead.  That being said, I posted this photo of our approach to Yokohama with pretty clouds.  In actuality I was bundled up on the bow because it was raining and I was semi miserable.  I docked the ship, got off watch, ate and slept.  Total false advertising.

Alright, I know I already posted a coffee photo but, this photo took me about 6 tries.  I had to take many, many photos individually and then pick two that I wanted to marry.  Then I tried many, many times to get just the right border with my A Beautiful Mess app.  Time consuming would be an understatement in this case.  Incidentally, if you want to get more followers on instagram hashtag #aeropress.  No lie.  Coffee Lovers Unite!

I've got more where these came from.  I'm thinking I'll save them for later.  I mean, we should be honest more than just once in a while, right?

In the meantime, you can find me on Instagram:  @nautiemermate  - Instagram has become something I love - a source of inspiration, aspirations and what ifs.  Find me so I can find you!

I See At Sea :: A Fin Whale!

Nothing perks me up at sea quite like seeing a marine mammal.  That sounds so ridiculously corny but, I just don't know how else to explain it!  A dolphin, whale, seal, or otter can make me feel down right euphoric and giddy.  Often times, if I have a large enough heads up that there is wild life in my general vicinity I'll run for my camera.  Sometimes they're too far off, sometimes the weather just doesn't cooperate and on rare occasions sometimes I keep the event simple and just enjoy my sighting.

Coming into California a few days ago I spotted some whale spouts nearby.  I quickly switched camera lenses and hoped a whale would make an appearance.

I tried to get a few shots but missed every time.  In the meantime the Captain joined me in my whale watching.  

There was a large spout and then the Captain realized this whale was going to stick around and yelled out, 'Haul Ass to the Port Side!!!!!!!!'.  So I did.

I literally ran with my camera as fast as I could to the Port Bridge Wing.  

The Captain was quick on my heels and there he was.  A pale blue outline against the deeper blue of the ocean.  

fin whale

My camera was up - focused and ready to snap away - when our lovely whale friend decided to make his presence known.  

fin whale

First his head came up - a sharper pointer nose - then he slowly arched giving us a good look at his blow hole and finally his sleek back and dorsal fin.

fin whale

After taking a good look at the photos we identified it as a Fin Whale.  Fin's are the second largest whale (the first being a Blue Whale) - and man, it was easy to tell our whale friend was a behemoth!  So long!

Clearly, I can't only post these photos - I took 19 photos before he disappeared from sight.  Enjoy the full experience!

Nomad Summer Wrap Up

packing cubes on the road

This summer marked the beginning of my Going Nomad adventure.  My time on the road was brief but lengthy.  I mean, man, I covered some miles.  Between the middle of June and the beginning of August I put 9,000 miles on my little-car-car!

To sum it up I drove from California to Texas with my Mom (who flew in and met me when I got off my ship).  We booked it to Texas as fast as we could - packed up my apartment and loaded it into a u-haul pod - and then picked my Step-Dad up at the airport.  We immediately booked it for New Orleans.  A few nights in New Orleans and then we were off to Arkansas and Oklahoma to visit family.  From Oklahoma we bee lined for Vegas.  I mean, Vegas is always a good idea, right?!  Vegas wore us out and we straggled back in to California where we recouped in a lovely backyard with amazing friends.  My parents flew back to Hawaii and I made a solo trip up the West Coast stopping in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia before making my way back down to California and rejoining my ship.  I mean, whew

It almost feels like a cheat to call that one and a half months Going Nomad because it was just so short except, I put so many miles on my car that I decided it has to count.

Spending so much time in a car and hopping from house to house you're bound to learn a few things about yourself.  Here's what I learned....

I will wear the same thing everyday unless the weather prevents it.  I had no desire to switch things up.  I saw new people everyday so they were none the wiser! 

A pint of blueberries fits perfectly in the console between your seats.

More disgustingly, I don't really like to shower.  I get a little self conscious showering at other peoples house.  What is that about?!

I have no will power to eat healthy when someone puts something yummy in front of me.  If I had my cooler and was in the car I was golden.  Faced with a yummy spread - nope.  

Healthy food choices aside, you're allowed to buy yourself a McFlurry after hours on the road.  Judge away interwebz.

Podcasts make my heart sing.

I can drive really, really fast and be none the wiser.

My friends and family are the best ever.  Truly the best.  So helpful!  So supportive!  So loving!

It's not that easy sometimes.  Introverts need to build in some alone time.  

Stop for the good coffee.  Skip the Starbucks.

Buying packing cubes was smart.  Really smart.

Touch the ferret at the rest stop.  You'll be so happy you did later.

I can't wait to tell you about my upcoming adventures!  This fall will be one for the books!

Sayonara Japan

outbound yokohama

I'm gonna tell you this and you're almost not going to believe me.  I went in and out of Yokohama, Japan which is Tokyo's port - in fact I went in and out of Yokohama six times - and I never went ashore!

outbound yokohama

When I tell people I work on cargo ships they imagine long exotic port stays but, on a containership the reality is we are in and out within hours.  If I want to prep the bridge for the next leg of they voyage, get a bite to eat and grab some zzz's then there is no shore leave for me.

sunlight chartroom

Here's the kicker.  I'm kind of an old biddie when it comes to being tired.  I hate it.

Four years ago I would have been pedal to the metal.  No sleep in 24 hours - No problem.  That is majorly not the case anymore.  If I get behind in sleep at the beginning of the voyage it takes me days to catch back up and feel like a functioning human.

yokohama sunset

I'll have to be content with sunlight outbound transits.  I'll guard my sleep and document sunsets thank you very much.



This might also be considered a My Life Is So Weird Moment except truly it wasn't so much weird as it was funny.

ACDC Man:  (looking at the Radar sees a vessel named Winning Brother) What a stupid name for a ship...Winning Brother!

ME:  I think a lot of foreign ships names get lost in translation....

ACDC Man:  yeah....but Winning Brother?!

ME:  I dunno dude...

ACDC Man:  If I had a ship I'd name it Bad to the Bone.  Then when people called my vessel they'd have to say it three times!  

We all cracked up.


You can read ACDC v1 here.

M.L.I.S.W :: Punani & Cheese Graters

In the last port I'm taking a nap when the Korean Radar Technician wakes me up from my nap to say, 'you sign paypah!'  I grumble 'go get the captain' but put on my work clothes and shuffle up to the bridge to sign his paperwork. If there's one unofficial rule on a ship it's: learn when people take their naps...and then don't wake them up!  I was cranky. 

I sign his paperwork and run into the Chief Mate on the bridge who was also their to sign his paperwork - apparently I'm not the only one to receive a call.  

The Chief Mate was pretty bummed because he had just sat on his glasses. After a few minutes of trying to help him I basically say, 'you're required to have a spare...I'm going back to bed...' 

I've just snuggled back in my bed when there's a furious rapping at my door.  

I throw on some pants and whip open the door.  

CM: I opened the cupboard by my bed to look for my glasses...I gotta show you something... 

ME: *blank stare* 

CM: There's a stack of porn in the cupboard - it's been there since I got this job...about two years at least... 

ME: ..and... 

CM: That's not what I have to show you! 

(back story - the other CM who just got off the ship completed his first trip - he might not know about the porn legacy) 

ME:  ok....I follow him to his room and he opens the cupboard...

There, next to the stack of girlie mags is a perfectly placed cheese grater.  


ME:  ummm...well....I'd say he doesn't approve....