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.  

Lady or Sailor?

"You might meet women who sail, but you sure won't meet no ladies."

 light or mess?  lady or sailor?

light or mess?  lady or sailor?

 

The vessel is inbound for Bahrain.  I'm off watch and sound asleep.  The Captain and Third Mate can't get ahold of Port Control to gain entrance to the buoyed channel.  They've called and called - they've tried every channel they can think of - nothing.  I get a knock on my door.  'Mate, we need you on the bridge!'.  I scurry up to the bridge in my jammies.  The Captain looks at me and says, 'I'm really sorry to wake you up but, we need you to call Port Control...'.  I look at him blankly and grab the Mic.  'Bahrain Port Control, Bahrain Port Control, the is the Good Vessel Lollipop.'  'Ahhh...yesss!!!!!  Good Vessel Lollipop!!!!  Good Morning, Good Morning!'  'Yes, Good Morning Sir, We'd like permission to enter the buoyed channel.'  'Ah yes, no problem, no problem!'.  I had the Mic back to the Captain.  He looks a little miffed and says, 'Thanks Megan.  You can go back to bed.'.  At the end of the trip they had a shirt made for me that said:  you give good radio.

 

I rarely change my sheets at work.  One time, I ate chocolate chip cookies in bed and smeared chocolate chips into my sheets on accident.  It looked like baaad things had happened.  I still didn't change them.  On this last go around, I just spent three months on the same sheets.

 

I'm in Fujairah.  We've been anchored for a bit.  Spot market for tankers - Fujairah is popular waiting ground.  I've caught a launch in for some time at the Seaman's Center.  I have had a few too many Diet 7Ups.  It's time to head back towards the launch.  I may have 'escaped' my shipmates watchful eyes.  There may have been things shouted like, 'you're not the boss of me!'.  There is a flotilla of Dhows.  I hop on one and immediately scurry below deck.  I wake up the first sailor I see...and ask him to make me something to eat.  He is looking at me like I am craaaazy (and well....I guess that's fair).  I realize I'm maybe in the wrong place so I try again.  I run back to the main deck level and hop from one Dhow onto the next.  I scurry below deck.  I wake up the sailors who are all laying together around a stove.  'Hi!  Do you guys want to have dinner?!'  They're rubbing sleep out of their eyes.  I must have been the weirdest thing they'd seen in awhile.  'Miss Megan!  Miss Megan!'  I look up the ladder and there is a little Filipino man.  I've never seen him before in my life.  'Miss Megan you must come with me!'  He seemed so sincere that I start my way up the ladder and am on the deck of the Dhow with him.  'Miss Megan, we have to goooo!!!'  He grabs my hand and pulls me from the Second Dhow onto a Third and then we hop back onto a different pier.  'Miss Megan, these men are very, VERY dangerous!'.  I'm nodding like I understand.  'Miss Megan, you have to be VERY careful!'  He walks me back to the launch.  He exchanges rapid fire Tagalog with the launch operator and then the launch operator comes over and grabs my hand.  I look at my new friend and say, 'I have no idea how you know my name is Megan but, thank you Manong.'.

 

It's my first ship.  I left home knowing that I'd be at sea for Christmas.  I decide I have to take gifts with me.  I go old school and make cinnamon and glue ornaments.  They smell so good I figured people could use them as air fresheners.  I roll out the cinnamon and glue dough and cut out different sized stars and throw them in the oven to harden.  I've pre-poked holes and I string ribbon through them.  I take the time to package them in little gift bags.  I label each one for the specific individual.  I pack them all safely in a shoe box and throw them in my sea bag.  On Christmas Eve I sneak out and hang a gift bag on everyone's door.  Christmas morning I'm sitting at the galley table.  I'm just waiting for someone to say thank you for their present...and nothing.  After a bit I hear one AB say to another, 'Man, I don't know who left those cookies but that shit was fuuuucked uuuup....'.

 

I'm at the Farmers Market with my Mom and we run into old friends.  She starts catching them up on life and says, '...and who knew Megan would end up a Sailor?!  Doesn't she look like a pre-school teacher?!'.  This wasn't the first time she had said this.  We walk away from the friends and I look at her and say, 'if you ever tell someone I look like a pre-school teacher again I am going to freak.  the.  fuck.  out.'.  

 

I walk into the cargo control room.  The Bosun is sitting there with the Pumpman and the Chief Mate.  Things look serious.  I'm feeling nervous.  The Bosun says, 'Magpie.  We need to tell you something.'.  Now, I'm freaked.  The Pumpman looks like someone has died.  The Bosun, clearly the designated bearer of bad news says, '...you have the most annoying voice on the radio....now don't worry!  Your voice isn't annoying in real life!  Buuut, on the radio, can you try to lower your voice an octave?'  I don't say a word.  The Pumpman pipes up, 'Seriously, it's like a screech.  One octave.  Pleeeassee...'.  I now have a radio voice.

 

I'm on my first tugboat.  I'm getting to know a new Captain.  A week into our trip he looks at me and says, 'uuuummm....you're kind of alpha....'.

 

It's twilight.  I'm on the bridge.  It has been the longest watch ever.  I stood a six hour watch in the Persian Gulf.  Non.  Stop.  Traffic.  I finally call the Captain to assist me with traffic.  I have a traffic situation that's making me nervous  We normally do sanitary prior to daylight however; I have had one AB in hand-steering almost the whole watch - the other has had his face in the windows with binoculars.  I haven't made a fresh pot of coffee.  There was some sugar spilled at the coffee station through the night.  The Captain comes up to the bridge - sees the mess at the coffee station and freezes.  Then he flies forward.  He takes his hand and sweeps everything to the floor.  The coffee.  The creamer.  The sugar packs.  The carafe.  He whips around and yells, 'Megan!  Clean this shit up!' and storms off the bridge.  I turn around and say to my AB, 'hard right'.  I slow the vessel with the turn, let the two ships pass each other, complete my round turn and meet the third ship while getting over taken.  The bridge is silent.  My AB finally says, 'Mate, that was totally fucked up.'.        

 

I'm at work this past go around.  A dude from another boat says, 'I like your sweater'.  I look down and say, 'Thanks!  It's a good work sweater and pajama sweater.'  I realize that I haven't been differentiating between the two...and that I've been wearing it to bed and work...for three days... I look back up and say, 'I think I've had this sweater on for three days.'.  Dude says, 'You are a tow boater!'.  I felt kind of proud.

 

Someone sent me this prompt:  You might meet women who sail, but you sure won't meet no ladies.  I thought he wanted me to write about it but, instead he called it a prompt....or a psychopomp for the blog.  A Woman Who Sails or a Lady?  Is there even a difference?

 

 

Not so anonymous.

 
the cells

Something happened today.  It's something I always knew might happen.  In fact, it didn't actually happen today.  It began happening organically for the last few months.  This little blog o' mine lost its anonymity.  It came to a head today when work emailed me asking to use some of my blog content in their newsletter.

I immediately called my Dad to discuss.  As one does.

He said, 'you've been posting pictures of your feet and your coffee mugs for a long time...why don't you want them to know who you are?'.  To which I replied something like, 'Daaaad!!!!  All of the feeeeelllings!!!!'.  

I followed up the call to my Dad with a call to my Cousin, a call to my Bestie, a call to my Mom and, a few texts.  As one does.

In the end, everyone had the same question:  why does it bother you that it's not anonymous?

Most people said, 'just own it'.

The answer feels complicated but, really it's quite simple.  

It's a lot to own because it's just so personal.

Sure, there are things that get thrown into the mix because nothing is ever simple.  Things like, I started blogging at 26.  I wrote about things that I wouldn't write about today.   Some of my views have changed through the years - do I go back in time and delete content?  There are other things like, if some of the guys from work read about my feelings would they judge me harshly?  More importantly, why do I care...isn't that the bigger issue?

I ran across a quote from Steve Jobs that rang true.

That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.
— Steve Jobs

Do you want to know the truth?  Blogging anonymously was a bit of a cop out.  I could write my little heart out - rant and rave - and never be held fully accountable.  

In this case, simple is harder.  Not being anonymous is simpler.  It's also going to be a challenge.  I will have to work harder to get my thinking clean.  

Maybe, just maybe, having to 'own it' will be liberating.  

Neverland is home to Lost Boys like me...

 
  via

I was driving the Hamakua Coast today when this song came on the radio.  I loved it instantaneously.  I whipped out my phone and said, 'Siri who sings this?!' to which She replied, 'I think it's Ruth B'.  She was right.

This isn't a case of me discovering this - it's already been on the Today Show - I mean really, when it hits Hilo Radio Waves you kind of know it's mainstream unless it's Jahawaiian.  

Man, these lyrics.  I love them.

I'm not sure if they're universally appealing or, even if they're innocent but, I think there is something in this song for everyone.

I'm on my way to work today and, I can't help feel like a Lost Boy heading to Neverland.  

Neverland is home to lost boys like me
And lost boys like me are free
Neverland is home to lost boys like me
And lost boys like me are free
— Ruth B

I'll keep you posted as I settle back in to work.  This trip will be a little different because I'll be bringing a new build out of the shipyard (which tends to be a little tricky).

Neverland, I love you so...

A Few Things I Learned In March

 

1.  Sometimes mistakes are the best.

Let's use this photo (seen above) as an example.  It was an accident that I found on my phone later.  I was at the beach.  I was taking lots of photos.  This one had a big blurry arm in it.  But, gah, the shadow of my favorite tree!  I love this tree.  I can also see the shadow of the beach umbrella my step dad brought for the Ladies.  We're all a little sun sensitive if you know what I mean.  I can see the sarong my Mom bought me when we were in Bali.  A little crop and it's good to go.  Sure, I can see that there is a little smudge in the corner but, hey, life.  It's a perfect mistake.

2.  The Bullet Journal is amazing.

I started Bullet Journaling.  I actually started in February but got a better handle on it in March.  It has solved a lot of problems for me.  I've been planning a longer post.  Stay tuned.  In the meantime if you want to know what I'm talking about check it out here.  If you want to chat back and forth with me about it you can find me here: @nautiemermate on instagram and twitter!

3. Shingles are basically the Chicken Pox....but only for adults who have already had the Chicken Pox.  Techincal name:  Herpes Zoster.

I mean, isn't that total bullshit?  You are lucky enough to have had the chicken pox as a kid so now you're eligible for shingles!  How is that fair?  Also, the fact that the technical name has the word Herpes in it just totally pisses me off.

4.  Chicken Soup really is magical and good for the soul.  

There is actual scientific evidence to suggest that Chicken Soup is effective in treating colds.  (You can also read about it here.)  All I know is I really do feel like I'm on the mend.  Thank you lovelies for all your get well soon wishes!

5.  Adding some bling to my house makes me happy.

I started adding things that are sparkly or shiny around my house.  Turns out:  I really really love me some well placed bling.  I bought these O.K. vases from the Oh Joy! Target collection.  They are seriously fun.  (You can also check things out on her blog.)  Isn't it interesting what we learn about ourselves as we get older?  I never, ever thought I'd be into bling.

6.  Sometimes you have to just let things go.

I could NOT remember how to spell woe for yesterdays post.  I knew it was its own word.  How it was spelled was another story.  I just went with 'whoa'.  I knew that was like, 'whoa!  nellie!' but, I went with it because I thought, 'do you want to think hard about this right now?'.  The answer was definitely, 'nope'.  So I moved on.  I was laying in bed this morning and I thought:  w-o-e.  Out of the blue.  I kind of wondered why I didn't just look it up.  But, there was this tiny (admittedly very tiny) part of me that was proud of myself for just letting the mistake happen and letting it go.  I make a lot of mistakes around here that I don't notice but, this was a mistake I knew was a mistake and let fly.  Yep, strangely pretty okay about it.  Let it go!  

 

This post was inspired by one of my favorite blogs:  Modern Mrs. Darcy.

Living on my couch.

 what my ottoman currently looks like...

what my ottoman currently looks like...

I've been laying on my couch taking herbal remedies and blowing my nose for about 48 hours.  Now, I know this sounds a little whoa is me...and trust me...it is a little whoa is me because, seriously, being sick absolutely blows.

The good news is that I'm all caught up on my shows.  I really love Naked and Afraid.  I also just started The People v O.J. Simpson - it's actually really well down - and why am I so surprised the Kardashians are involved?!  My Granma was absolutely convinced that O.J. was framed.  Convinced.  I dunno....it kind of seems like he did it...also, a little suspicious that the show starts and then they find another piece of evidence....(imagine me coughing while saying bullshit)...

My Mom came over yesterday and made me chicken soup.  Then she hung out with me all afternoon while we watched Hoarders.  Best.  Mom.  Ever.  You know what Marie Kondo says?  All storage experts are hoarders.  That officially makes me a hoarder.  Baskets?  I got baskets.  

The good news is I had made and frozen a bunch of soup in mini portions so:  I.  am.  set.  

Hope you're all facing spring with your colds behind you!

Here's to healthy immune systems!