Packing Light

When I headed out on this trip I knew I had to pack light. My room was going to be tiny. I might be flying to remote locations. I also just wanted to see if I could rise to the challenge. For the past three years I've been able to join my ships at the dock - which means I can pack heavy and then hump that stuff up the gangway. That method was absolutely not going to work this time.  

Kind of a joke....Sadly true... 

Kind of a joke....Sadly true... 

I've always treated my luggage like home away from home.  How can I ensure I have a delicious coffee?  Pack an orange zester.  How can I make sure I get a good nights sleep?  Pack flannel sheets + duvet cover. How can I stay mentally active?  Bring an iPad, Kindle, Laptop, iPod + portable speaker...and all required cables and chargers. 

This time out I was cutthroat.  I made lists and slashed, slashed, slashed. 

Then I headed to work with a precise list of what exactly was packed.  

Now that week two is almost complete I have a modified list of what I've used, what I've worn and what I miss. I have to be honest and say the 'what I miss' list has surprised me.  

The good news is packing light wa a good idea because my room is tiny and I might end up having to bunk up with someone.  

What's up with the umbrella?  No clue.  

What's up with the umbrella?  No clue.  

My room is so small that my bunk actually folds down from the bulkhead! 

In the meantime I'm off to revise my packing lists! 

What are the things you love to pack to bring a little home with you? 

Nautie Tugs Have Nicer Sterns


Sometimes things just unfold.  One second you're going one way and the next thing you know you're going another way. A path that you didn't even consider becomes a viable option and that friends, is exactly why I'm currently sitting on a tugboat headed to ports unknown.  

When I was in school I took Tug & Barge and it was hands down one of the best experiences I had. It was incredibly hands on - we spent all day on the tug - much of the day was spent moving around the barge. It was fabulous.  

Getting out of school I went deep sea. I worked on ships and I moved up my license. I didn't really consider tugs because the tonnage wouldn't have moved up my license.  

Now here I am. I've maxed out my license, I've hopped around the industry (and let's be honest I've struggled to find a home since my favorite ship was reflagged), I've moved back home to Hilo and I've had to do some soul searching. 

What it boils down to is that it's been harder and harder for me to get excited to go to sea. I've just slowly been losing steam. It's been longer than I care to admit that I enjoyed a watch, had fun with my shipmates or really felt like I was excited to learn something new.  All of this is out of character for me. I'm excitable. I enjoy the sea. I love to learn.  

When a friend said, 'why don't you try tugs. You might be surprised!'  I thought, what the heck...I've got nothing to lose.  

One week later I flew out to meet a tug in Japan. Destination to be determined.  

As I stagger around the tug (because ummmm....these tugs really move around...more on this to follow...) it feels new. Right now, new feels good.  

Life Lately.

I'm in 'get my butt to work' mode.  I've been hitting the union hall everyday and trying to keep my spirits up in between job calls.  The truth is that I'm in a pretty good position and, that I've been having a lot of fun in California.

Here are some snapshots of life lately! 

Bolinas Fish Eye

I got out my fish eye lens adaptor for iPhone and had a blast taking photos at Bolinas Beach.  We got there early, it was low tide with lots of exposed beach and, the persistent coastal fog was just a misty sheen.  It was such a fun day.

Friends Feet

Two of my really good girlfriends from High School were in the Bay Area at the same time.  It felt like Christmas.  It was so great to hang with these Ladies.  Sometimes you forget how much you love people!  We ate cheese, drank wine, had lunch, walked around the lake.  It was a total treat.

Track Shadow

I've been making a really big effort to get outside and walk or jog.  This is always the part of my life that gives a little when I'm feeling a little stress.  I've been relying on my FitBit to give me a motivational boost....I've also been relying on my Cousin Bunny.  She messages me every morning asking me what my workout plan is for the day....and she follows up to make sure I've done it.  Moral Support is amazingly powerful.  *Thanks Bunny!

Union Board

This is my view at the Union Hall.  This is technically the job board for the Engineers (I have to admit that the board for the Deckies isn't as nice...).  Somehow this big white board makes the whole thing feel a little more official.  The Union celebrated 'Bloody Thursday' this week - I had to look this up and have to admit its an interesting part of Maritime History.  It's certainly shaped West Coast Ports and majorly affected the Nation's economy.  


Come on guys.  Of course I was going to post a picture of a coffee mug.  I've been loving this strawberry table cloth - so at the Alameda Flea Market on Sunday I found a vintage one just like it.  I can't wait to have a little table on my porch with a strawberry table cloth on it.  For the record, the Flea Market might be my most favorite thing ever.  I got soooo many treasures over the weekend! 


I hope that Life has been for you Lately too!

Mettle Maker :: When Plans Go Awry

everyone has a plan.jpg

I am usually the girl with a plan.  It's not usually a plan that makes sense to anyone else - and sometimes my plan is mistaken for spontaneity - but it's normally something that I've given a fair amount of thought to.

For about a year now, I've essentially been 'plan-less'.  It's a feeling that I don't like.  It leaves me restless and anxious.  Unsure about where to go, what I want, and how to get there.  I have to be honest and say, I've never felt this way before.

I had a plan.  A good one.  Then my ship was reflagged and sold and it felt a little like getting punched in the mouth.

A couple months ago I ran across a quote from Viola Davis and it really resonated with me.  

One thing that is missing from the vision boards is what happens when you don’t get what you want, your ability to adapt to failure, and navigate your way out of it, absolutely 100 percent makes you who you are.
— Viola Davis

Losing my ship when I did couldn't have happened at a worse time in my career.  I had just gotten my Captains license and, by being displaced I was set back years, actual years, in my quest to sail as Master.

Except, that with most things in life 'getting punched in the mouth' has really taught me a lot.  A lot about myself, about persistence, about not burning bridges....and about burning some that should be burnt, about family, about friends, about having a good attitude, about heart and home and about making the best of what you've got.

Being 'punched in the mouth' and 'plan-less' has done one hugely important thing.  It's taught me that I swim.  Sink or Swim?  I swim.  I always have.  Just keep swimming?  I'm there.  I refuse to sink?  Damn straight.  Which leads me to maybe one of my all time favorite quotes.

They say don’t burn bridges you may have to cross later. I say I don’t mind swimming if the bridge was fucked up to begin with.
— Sonya Teclai

Getting punched in the mouth, burning bridges, swimming for your life - these things help you.  It never ever, ever feels like it at the time but, they define you.  They make you stronger, they give you perspective, they show you what you're capable of.  

What do you do when plans go awry?  Whatever you have to.

just hit publish.

can you spot the turtle?

can you spot the turtle?

I'm sure you've noticed the blog has slowed down.  I have to be honest and say, 'I don't really know why...'.  I think about blogging often.  I write things down that I'd like to blog about.  I check on the blog.  I have goals - interweb based goals.  Then I sit down to write and I literally stare at the screen.  Stare.  Then I feel blah and I kind of wander away.

Sometimes I think, 'just write something - who cares what it is?!  get back on the band wagon!'....but clearly I don't do that.  Sometimes I think, ''ll write when you write...'...but the urge to write hasn't struck yet.  

I was just watering some plants and I thought, 'why don't you just write about not knowing what to write...' so here you go....I'll just go ahead and hit publish...

Sunday + Father's Day + Summer Solstice

Let's make Sunday Soulful:


A dedication to my Father:

I will take the sun in my mouth
and leap into the ripe air
with closed eyes
to dash against darkness”
— ― E.E. Cummings, Poems, 1923-1954

What is Summer Solstice?


Might I suggest that you spend this Sunday well, remember your Father, enjoy the Light & Long Day, and prepare for a new week ahead?