My 'cousin' Kristi

October 11th to December 21st.  Shit.

I got this message from my Cousin Kristi today:  Megan, you've been home for over a week and no drunk blogs yet?  I hope all is well...

She knows me too well.

Obviously.  I'm drunk now.  She also wasn't wrong....I had been drunk before...I thought about blogging and then opted out...

Here's the back story on Kristi.

I have three older boy cousins - I literally call them my 'boy cousins'.  At age 12 it went like this:  Keith 14, Colin 16, Greg 18.  I spent my summers in British Columbia my whole life...well from age 4-18...now, I visit when I can...which if I say so myself is LOTS.  When I was growing up I stayed at my 'boy cousins house'.

Kristi started dating Colin (middle boy cousin) when I was 13.  To my 13 year old mind - she was cool as fuck.

Kristi comes from a good family,  It's also a big family.  Also, Kristi is just a nice girl.  Granted, she's like most nice girls (ahem, like me!) in that, she's nice until you get to know her and then she's just REAL (ahem...maybe also called a bitch!  Like me!).

Colin didn't give two shits about me growing up.  Several things: a) middle child - he didn't give a shit about lots and b) age-wise (example: 10 / 14 - 14/18 - 22/26) we were opposites.  We were too close in age to be close and too far apart in age to be close.  By no fault of our own I've always been the least close to Colin.

So here's the thing.  Kristi has always given a shit about me.  Always.

When we were just kids - imagine Kristi having a learners permit - she'd come pick me up and take me to my cousins lacrosse games.  I thought I was so. fucking. cool.

My cousin Colin couldn't give two shits.  But Kristi always knew exactly where I was and what I was doing.  The other cousins Keith and Greg, they were a little all over the place but Kristi was a constant.  She treated me to getting my nails done, she let me hang out with her friends.  When I was in high school ad thought I was cool as fuck she didn't roll her eyes when I smoked cloves.  When my Grandpa died she supplied my favorite - Kahlua - and let me take shots in her car as we drove around in the neighborhood to escape the house.

Kristi is almost more my cousin than Colin.  When they got married I'd say, 'My cousins are getting married!'.  People would look at me askance and I'd have to laugh and explain.

Today when she teased me about not drunk blogging I thought, 'Damn. This chick gets me.'.  

Here's what else Kristi has done for me.  She's helped me get to know my cousin Colin.  They have three kids and I love going to their house and hanging out with the kids.  I love giggling with Colin when we watch the kids and its funny as hell.  I love waking up and having coffee with Kristi.  

One of the last times I was there Colin said, 'I hope you know you are always welcome and can stay as long as you want.'.  That's Kristi.  That's why she gets all my love.  

Kristi, love you lady.  You've done amazing things for this family - and for me.  I can't wait for you to visit!!!!!  Here's your drunk blog post - more to come - I absolutely promise!

xoxoxoxoxo

**In the meantime, I've drunk texted every single sailor friend I have...so fear not...people have heard from drunk Megan!!!!!!

Poop Tanks Before Sunrises

A while back the office asked for some of my photos.  They wanted to use them in their newsletter - and then they wanted me to write a little article to accompany them.  They specifically requested photos from my sunrise series.  I did write a little article...but it was pretty boring...and someone called me out on it before I sent it in.  They recommended that I tell a story instead.  In the meantime, while I was re-writing the article I started to get pissed.  

The whole thing just felt ridiculous.  Like no, you can't just have some pretty sunrise photos.  We do more than that out here.  I wanted them to have to tell the whole story.  You can't just get the good parts.  Those parts are for us.  We earn the good parts.  The good parts get us through the other parts.  The best parts are the people that we share the good parts with after we get through the other parts.

I sent in the following article...needless to say it was not approved for publication...

 

 

Sometimes, when you get on a boat for the first time it takes awhile to find your footing.  There are new people to develop a working relationship with, new systems to learn, and new vessel-specific idiosyncrasies to identify.  It’s been my experience that when you truly bond with a shipmate or a vessel it’s because you’ve just come out on the other side of a ‘situation’ unscathed.

Which is exactly how Donny and I bonded: we had a ‘situation’ and spent an afternoon elbow deep in the MSD a.k.a ‘poop tank’.

After flushing the head I noticed that a lot of air bubbles came up in the head across the passage way.  I say to Donny (the Chief Engineer), ‘ummm…just an fyi…I think something bad might be happening with the heads…’.  Twenty hours later we realize that due to sitting in the yard for several months waiting to head to Red Dog the poop tank wasn’t ready to *ahem* be used so heavily.

We popped the top off the tank and rigged up our de-watering pump to clear it out.  It ’s an all hands on deck evolution - with crew monitoring each critical point of the operation.

The jokes were endless.  The smell was eye watering.  We laughed and laughed and laughed.  

A crew might enjoy a gorgeous sunrise together but, that’s not where you bond.  You bond in heavy seas, gale force winds, and twenty hour days: when the going gets tough and you laugh your way through it.

Here’s to pumping out poop tanks so you can enjoy a sunrise with your friends.

 

*I was going to title this post shit tanks an sunrises but well, I decided I couldn't swear in the post title...so here's to poopy sunrises!

Back at it.

I'm back at work. The time home flew by and now I'm hoping the end of our season flies by too. 

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It's cold but not as cold as I thought it would be. I'm sure I'll be on a barge hating life in the cold before I know it.  

We had a little reprieve - those of us who relieved others - we're down for weather so we slipped into anchor watches and are coming up to speed slowly. 

I got a new float coat!  I figured once I was bundled up I wouldn't want to wear a work vest. It's bright orange and ummm...puffy. I've been told I look like an Oompa Loompa.  I knew I should have packed my green and white striped tights! 

Here's to being back at it! 

Priorities.

I just spent the last month at home - and I literally did nothing.

I've got this room at my house that I don't really know what to do with.  Instead of figuring out what to do with it sometimes I just drag stuff in there and shut the door.  Don't know what to do with the papasan chair?  Drag it in there.  Don't want to space bag the comforters?  Throw them in there.  

Instead of figuring out what to do with this room I went to the beach, drank beer and mixed cocktails, walked around town, met up with friends, drove to Kona and hung out with my cousin.

'Taking care of the front room' was one of the top items on my to do list.  

While I was at work on the last go around my Grandma passed away (gear switch but I promise this will come full circle).  Sad of course, the end of an era for sure but, I didn't feel the need to fly home.  It was time and the family was prepared.

This time home I spent a lot of time with a Cousin up at my Grandma's house.  There is a macadamia nut orchard - and we picked the nuts, husked the nuts, roasted the nuts, cracked the nuts and sorted the nuts.  We made a little packets so that all the family coming for her funeral would have some nuts to take home with them.

Preparing the nuts was incredibly time consuming but, it was so great to be there at my Grandmas.  Be in the orchards.  Be with my cousin.  Talk about the family.  Talk about our lives.

On my last night home I had a plan that I'd stay up late and 'knock out the front room'.

Instead, I went up to my Grandma's for one last dinner.  We busted out the fine china (my Grandma rarely did this) and made a white trash pasta bake.  We drank cheap wine out of her fancy glasses.  

We laughed and talked and told stories about being in that house growing up.  

Then, like total rebels we let the dog lick the plates on the floor.  

Priorities.  You have to make them as a sailor.  Was the month home 'wasted'?  Maybe.  Was it fun?  Yep.  Is the front room going to be there waiting for me when I get back?  Yep.  

Autumnal Equinox

Today the sun will rise nearly due east and set due west as it crosses the celestial equator.  Day and night will be equal.  

I always wonder when, as a collective society, we stopped looking up and marking movement across the sky.  Sun, moon, stars.  We use our phones, our watches, our computers to mark the passing of time and end up missing the magic and the meaning.  

A time of harvest, and thanksgiving and gratitude.  It's a time of preparation for colder and harder months to come.  Although the day and night is in perfect balance change is in the air.  It's a time to consider your place in nature.  Equinox marks the second harvest - the final being at the end of October.  It's a time to look at what you've worked towards, acknowledge what you've accomplished and, remember that there is still work to be done.  It's a time to make a plan.

I went down to my favorite morning coffee sipping location.  During the summer months the sun comes up almost dead center of those palm trees and by winter it'll be casting long shadows into the water.  I tried to remind myself that there is still work to be done.  

Happy Fall Friends!  Get outside today!  Make a plan for some hygge come winter!  Give thanks!  Acknowledge your accomplishments!

p.s. Here's a great article if you'd like to know what else is going on in the sky these nights.

p.p.s.  A previous equinox post if you'd like more.  

One Hundred Nautie Mornings

Back in April, I was just starting to outfit a tugboat.  I was maybe a little bit out of my element but, ultimately, super excited to be part of a project from the ground up.  I happened upon the 100 Day Project - I had read Elle Luna's book The Crossroads of Should and Must and followed her on Instagram.

I don't necessarily make things but, I do try to stretch myself creatively.  I think ultimately, it's good for our mind as human beings.  I love the morning.  It's definitely my favorite time of day so, I decided to document one hundred of them.  One Hundred Nautie Mornings was created - #100nautiemornings (many of you followed along on Instagram).  It ended up being a really fun project!

First of all, these mornings tell a story.  I could not have picked a better three month period of time to document.  I really dove head first into tugboats.  Documenting my mornings was incredibly satisfying.  

Without further ado, here is what I ended up with!

100 nautie mornings 1

Highlights:

Finding the best laundromat in Portland while I was working at the shipyard and living in a run down hotel.  

getting new pens for my bullet journal - that thing kept me grounded in the yard.  The details!  Yikes!

100 nautie mornings 2

Highlights:

The stacks got installed on the tug - it made her look like a real tug boat :)

I installed shelving in my container and organized all my 'gear' for the boat.  It was so much easier to get around and I started feeling like I might be able to pull it off...maybe.

It was my birthday!  I turned 33!  I took the train up to Vancouver, B.C. for the weekend and sipped coffee on Rhiannon's lanai - always a favorite past time.

100 nautie mornings 3

Highlights:

Sea Trials were completed!  We took this beauty North and christened her.  Proud Mama Moment.

100 nautie mornings 4

HIghlights:

One of my Besties came down to the boat to visit me.  

Then my Dad came down to the boat to visit me.

I hopped on a different tug!  Built in the 70's this little tug has some major character.  

The Inside Pass!  I love this trip.

100 nautie mornings 5

HIghlights:

Sea Days Northbound for the Arctic Circle.  Days are getting longer.

100 nautie mornings 6

Highlights:

Getting into a groove up a the mine.  It was fun - and challenging - to learn a new operation.

The looooong days.  The sunrises and sunsets that went on and on and on.

Friends who put podcasts into a Google Drive for you :)

100 nautie mornings 7

HIghlights:

Tugboat shenanigans.  They. Are. So. Fun.

Moana The Tugboat Dancer.  I love this lady who resides on the dashboard.

Truly, the ultimate highlight was just the daily practice of finding a bit of joy to document in my mornings.  I love them anyways and so it was fun to capture them.

When my one hundred days ended I was seriously let down.  I wasn't ready for it to be over!  I decided to try to complete a year.  I created #100nautieevenings and have plans for #100nautieafternoons before switching back to #65nautiemornings.  One year?  Once a day?  Kind of fun!

(A confession, the way I got all these photos together was by searching my hashtag on Instagram and taking screen shots.  I apologize for some of the formatting mistakes, some of the doubles and some of the missing ones!)