just a tiny note...

How great is this card my Auntie Noni sent me?!  Love it! 

How great is this card my Auntie Noni sent me?!  Love it! 

Hello Friends, 

I just wanted to mention one small thing: 

I connected my Instagram and Facebook accounts!  Finally, right?! 

I know some of you wanted to see the Instagram pics and couldn't...maybe this will solve the problem? 

When I'm at work (and sheesh, even when I'm at home!) I use Instagram as a microblog. It's just fun and easy and I don't need as much patience with the sluggish Internet. 

Hope this helps Historiauntie! 



M.L.I.S.W :: Beaver Fur

Standing in the wheelhouse talking about some of the things the Chief Mate has bought in Native villages in Alaska... 


CM: I got some beaver slippers

Me: Nice. I think I'd like a hat...

CM: I got a spotted seal hat...it has beaver fur on the inside.  

Me: I bet that's pretty warm... 

CM: Beaver fur is really soft. SO soft.  

*a little pause* 

Me: Beaver fur is soft, huh?  Like SO soft? *I proceed to crack up* 

CM: Oh thank god you're laughing...I didn't think I could keep a straight face for one more second.... 

*thinks to myself: man, they have no idea how much time my mind sits in the gutter...* 

This photo has nothing to do with this post...there was a 'dock dog' in King Cove...I mean he did have soft fur... 

This photo has nothing to do with this post...there was a 'dock dog' in King Cove...I mean he did have soft fur... 

King Cove, Alaska

We stopped in King Cove, Alaska for some water and were able to walk around town for a bit. 

Exploring new places, even if for an hour, is one of my favorite things about the job.


King Cove was interesting (as so many small Alaskan villages are). The town is basically a cannery. I'm sure people who live and work there would disagree so it maybe isn't a fair thing to say but, from an outsiders perspective the cannery was the town.

The docks were bustling with fishing boats and tenders - coming in for supplies and dropping of their catches.


The cannery was a hive of activity. Forklifts moving totes around the dock, trucks driving around re-stocking supplies, ladies in rubber boots and hair nets stepping out for breaks.


There was a laundromat, a store, a large cafeteria all within a two minute walk from the dock contained within the cannery. From the dock you could also see the cannery barracks. 


As a sailor, one of the nicest things about being in port for a bit is the ability to stretch your legs. Don't get me wrong there are ships out there where you can get plenty of steps in.  But, going for a walk in town?  Much better.  Walking to the grocery store with your shipmates?  The best. 


Making them stop on the way back to the boat so you can snap pics of mossy mounds of net and line - hilarious.  What always cracks me up about taking pictures is that I first get made fun of...and then people ask me for copies of the photos!


I know I've said it ten million times buuutt...I love Alaska. Just love it. It's wild and gorgeous. It makes you want to have adventures. It encourages exploration.  It pulls at you. It freshens. It's hard but resilient. Untamed. Friendly. Rugged. It's incomparable. 


Even strange little canning towns make you want more.  

Sea Spray

Here's the thing about a 98 foot tugboat...you're going to feel the motion of the ocean.  

It's something that I'm currently loving and hating.  Loving because I'm at sea - I love being out here. Hating because I haven't showered in a few days because I'm not ready to get knocked around. So there's that. 

After a couple days of fairly rough seas the sun came out. There was still a bit of a swell kicking us around but, the sun was making them sparkle.  

Clearly, this meant I needed to step out of the wheelhouse and document it.


We were still taking a decent amount of spray (and still are for the record) but, it was getting more and more sporadic and I really thought I could time my outing.

...and then this happened...


My view was completely obliterated by a massive amount of sea spray. I ducked and dodged back into the wheelhouse but not before getting a cheek full of salt water.  

It was pretty fun truth be told. Plus, having this sea spray photo?  Love it.  

Moana the Tugboat Dancer

Let's just pretend that I wasn't missing for the last month after blogging about muthaf*#%rs. Mmmkay?  Mmmkay.


I'm on a tug headed to the Arctic. It's an older vessel that has tons of character....such as the hula dancer in the wheelhouse window...the dashboard if you will. 

Clearly, I named her Moana (ocean in Hawaiian) and made her a hashtag.  (You can follow along with her summertime adventures on Instagram.)

I have tons to say about the last few months but for now, I just wanted to say hi. I wanted to remind you that Instagram is a great place to find me when I've been missing here.  I missed this place.  

Chat again soon! 


I'm One Day Tougher

*this post has swear words. truth.


There was a time when I was a third mate and I was on a ship with a Chief Mate who hated me. Not only did he hate me but he was a total dick. Like awful, awful, awful. 

It's a time in my career that makes me cringe because I absolutely can not imagine letting someone talk to me like that. 

At the time I used to tell myself 'just smile'. I thought that if I kept a smile on my face everyone would see him for the asshole he was and I'd come out the other side looking like the bigger more professional person. 

I would say the Ani DiFranco lyric 'smile pretty and watch your back' over and over and over in my head.

It worked. He sunk his own boat and went down in a ball of flames.

Two days ago I was talking to an old timey sailor. I was venting about work. Venting about shipmates. Venting about how much more I can handle.

He said, 'you know I always hate stuff like this but I've always told myself:  I'm one day tougher than this motherfucker'.


You know when you hear something and think, 'I needed to hear this ten years ago?!'.  Or you think, 'yes!  This sums up my career!'.

That's this.


It's not just a person. It's a ship. It's a project.  It's an exam. It's also a person.  

It really comes down to a day.

Every sailor knows the power of 'sign off day'. Like the prison quote:  there's two days - the day you get in and the day you get out.

I've proved myself to be one day tougher over and over and over again. It's something I know I can do. I can beat someone out by a day. I can survive a tough job for one more day. 

One day seems so minuscule. But really, that's all it comes down to.

One day tougher.