Poti, Georgia :: An Abandoned Church

I reminisced about Poti, Georgia the other day while musing on the goings on in Sochi.  It made me rustle up some of the photos I took when I was there.

I was so timid while in Poti.  I literally told myself, 'go outside for thirty minutes and then you can go back to your hotel room'.  I ended up on a photo safari.  I took photos of house, churches, beaches, shells, bon fire remnants.  I snapped away.  

I happened upon an abandoned church and tromped all around it taking photo after photo.  I wondered how old it was, why it was no longer in use, who mowed the lawn...


This church was gorgeous.  It was stately.  It looked a little lonely.  It looked like it was a keeper of memories.  It looked like it hadn't been forgotten.

There are many, many photos of this old beauty.

Click through at your leisure.....

Noni + Nautie Mermate = LOVE

It's hard to travel and be comfortable and be stylish.

We've talked about this.  It's one of life's many challenges.

I have a solution!

Noni's Necklaces.

A simple, natural, elegant necklace.

four different beach days wearing noni's necklace!

four different beach days wearing noni's necklace!

Since I was gifted this necklace by Noni (she's an Auntie from the Honomu days....she may or may not have been the one to establish Uku Alerts!) I've worn it non-stop.  When I say non-stop I mean like the idonttakeitoffever kind of non-stop.

This necklace has survived beach trips.  This necklace has survived over 365 showers.  This necklace has partied in Vegas and sipped wine in Napa.  This necklace has survived a 127 day rotation at sea without fear of getting caught in heavy machinery or equipment.  This necklace gets compliments constantly.

Okay fine.  I have more than one of noni's necklaces but I'm pretty much always wearing my clear moonstone!

Okay fine.  I have more than one of noni's necklaces but I'm pretty much always wearing my clear moonstone!

Today is your lucky day!

You can win your very own creation by Noni!

Here's how you can make one of these lovelies yours:

  • Post a Comment.  Share your favorite quote!  Since we're currently on a Mettle Mission I'd love hear what quotes, poems or photos infuse you with Mettle!
  • Socialize that Media.  Twittify it.  Facey Spacey it.  Instaglam it.  
  • Tell your People.  You have a blog?!  Sweet!  Sharesies!

One week from now (that would be 17 February) I'll pull a name from a hat.  Think of it as a belated Valentines Present!  Posted a comment?  That's a slip in the hat.  Sent a tweet out into the twitterverse?  That's a slip in the hat.  Invited a new reader to the blog who is sly enough to drop your name?  That's a slip in the hat!  

noni's necklace.JPG

You can find me on Instagram @nautiemermate (sorry can't link up to Instagram on the ship) - I tweet away @nautiemermate - I'm alive and well at Megan the NautieMermate on Facebook.  

Travelin' Tootsies :: The Sea Biscuit 2

I really did mean to post this on a true Tuesday!  Between finishing cargo and leaving port it just got lost in the shuffle….lets just pretend that it’s Tuesday. I’ve talked about this totally cool Tootsie before – in fact I’ve published one of her letters before  (The Rubber Duckie’s Original Letter)!  Everytime I get one I let out a *squee* (on the inside...not out loud).  She is going to publish a book someday – and it’s going to be awesome – I just know it.  Her letters from sea absolutely ROCK.

Enjoy!  (p.s. The subject of this e-mail was:  The Sea Biscuit 2)


Family and Friends,

I'm rounding the bend of Florida this evening.  "Margaritaville" has been dialed into Sirius Radio, and I'm intoxicated with the thought that in t-minus three days I'll have a beer in hand.

The Virginia rounded the Strait of Hormuz at a full bell; it was a hot, oppressive evening with visibility lingering around five miles.  The smuggler boats scored the water like a hot knife through butter, full to the gunwales with booty...hash, booze, smokes, and maybe some Twinkies.  I encountered a small cargo vessel heading into the Traffic Separation Scheme (highway) the wrong way.  This guy was riding dirty up the 134 like a drunken Nicole Richie.  I made numerous attempts at hailing the negligent vessel…receiving several requests for bananas from the Filipino Monkey…no response from Nicole Richie.  A call to the Captain and some aggressive maneuvering, we dodged the bullet.  Nicole Richie continued to wreak havoc in the TSS…RADAR vectors could be seen going every which way to avoid her. At least four different nations tried to contact her.

Three hours, four nations, and 30 calls later…


OmanNavy:  “West bound vessel in “X” position, “X” course, “X” speed.  This is Oman Navy.  You are transiting the TSS in the wrong direction.  Alter your course immediately.”

Nicole Richie:  “Is someone calling…me?”


There has got to be Natural Selection for Mariners…ice bergs…that’s it.  I do recall that hundreds of professionals constructed the Titanic without much success; some amateur, with a lot of pets, built the Ark.  If only ice bergs thrived in the waters of the Persian Gulf.  I’m sure the Iranians are on it; they’re industrious folk.

I can’t say much was cooking between the Gulf and Sri Lanka this time around.  Sri Lanka is generally an enjoyable stay until you leave your bag of souvenirs in the taxi cab (No…I was not drunk).  I had purchased a most excellent t-shirt…there was an elephant with foot tracks…but the foot tracks looked like poop.  Nevertheless, it was an immense loss.  Back on the ship, the monsoon swells rolling into the basin kept the Mates on Watch busy.  The vessel would continuously surge for the duration of the port stay.  I was responsible for dousing the mooring lines with water and dish soap on an hourly basis; this prevents the lines from chaffing and eventually parting (breaking).  Parting lines are no bueno; they can sever human limbs in the blink of an eye.  This is not conducive for my Mexico vacation. All limbs aside, the ship turned around and headed west.  The monsoons continued to batter us until we reached the protected waters of the Gulf of Aden.  How is that for irony?  Anyway, on days like those, it makes me glad I have to sit down to pee.

Bouncing from waypoint to waypoint, the ship entered the Suez Canal for round two.  The transit is rather slow and dull, so I grabbed a pair of binoculars to see what the canal residents were up to.  Aside from parking their camels and staring back at us, there isn’t a whole hell of a lot going on.

Me:  “Mr. Pilot.  What are those bird house looking things?”

(These things are like three story bird house condos.)

SuezPilot:  “Bird houses…for sparrows.” (Go Ann)

Me:  “I bet they taste like chicken.”

SuezPilot:  “Yes.  They do.”

Me:  “No shit?”


I’d go for some sparrow nuggets verses the taco meat the ship has been pumping out.  The damn taco meat is so salty it has me retaining water for weeks.  If that isn't bad enough, it has been stored and reused…over and over.  I think they have a 55 gallon drum on retainer.  Spaghetti…taco meat.  Sloppy Joes…taco meat (sometimes the Sloppy Joes get into the Spaghetti).  Out of chocolate chips…taco meat.  The Steward’s Department checked out before we even hit the U.S. East Coast.

I think a lot of people “checked out early” towards the end of the Voyage.  The Third Engineer decided to stop bathing with three weeks to go.  His stink was heavier than air and would settle in obscure locations such as the video locker.  He was basking in his musk much like that of a ripe Djiboutian.

Back on the mainland, the half baked cookies of Savannah have me convinced that your children should all be sent to private schools.


Longshoreman (U.S.):  (After just speaking with him).  “What country are you from?”

Me:  “Huh?  I’m Wisconsinese.”


The ice bergs haven’t hit Savannah yet.


"A-Salting" the Taco Meat,

Rubber Duckie




Travelin' Tootsie Tuesday :: Meet Jen-Jen

I haven't forgotten about showcasing Tootsies!  This week I'm pleased to introduce my friend Jen-Jen.  I'm so proud of this chica!  She's shipped commercially (like me), made a seamless transition into shoreside employment, and traveled all over the world in mega style....she's had some major adventures! Must have’s

  1. Feather Pillow from LL Bean and Brookstone Nap Blanket - which was a purchase after a couple overseas flights and realizing that the airplane blankets were just not cutting it and I was freezing my toosh off.  Now it even goes with me on the short flights to New England.  Usually I always have a pashmina to work as a blanket and scarf as well.
  2. Empty water bottle -  I refuse to buy water in the airport and it always comes in handy at my destination, especially after a night of one or two drinks and you need to pound some water.
  3. I Pod/ Shuffle/ Headphones - half the time I don’t listen to it but it’s comforting to know that it’s in my bag for a long plane ride or for a jog while on vacation/business travel.
  4. Comfortable Shoes – flip flops in the summer; dansko clogg’s or Ugg Boots for the winter, and always a pair of sneakers for days of sightseeing or to get a daily work out in.
  5. A couple of purses – I usually have my large general purse that is a standard color, black, brown or red, but I always need a couple of clutches or smaller purses for the nights out on the town.
  6. Fun Reads – Always a good girlie book and trashy magazines ex: US Weekly or OK.
  7. Jewlrey Assortment – Couple pairs of earrings (studs and dangles), bracelets and a lot of fun or classic necklaces (certain occasions the pearls must come along).  My first business trip overseas (Greenland and Denmark) I had a different necklace a day, as the only women in a group of men they did notice I had several necklaces with me (they also commented about the amount of shoes I had as well).
  8. Plastic baggy that fits FAA standards – This is always max filled and breaking the Ziploc with the essentials: advil and advil PM, toothpaste, contact case, extra contacts, solution, mascara, perfume, eye shadow (which I hardly ever wear), daily face wash and moisturizer with SPF, shampoo and conditioner (hotel products don’t cut it), tweezers and nail clippers.  There are probably other miscellaneous items currently in my baggy and if I can’t remember them I probably don’t need them, but my reasoning is you will never know if you will need them or not - so pack them.
  9. Cell phones, cell chargers, camera, camera charger, and overseas adapter so I can stay connected
  10. Huge carry-on bag – Which a lot of the above things are packed into and I have two favorites, my red, white and blue striped LL Bean Tote Bag or my Ex-Large Vera Bradley overnight bag – both are huge but still squeeze into just about any nook or cranny.
  11. Clothing – Cute going out outfit with heels, along with a suitcase of several more outfits and clothes (half or more I don’t wear)
  1. Water/Beach – swimsuit, cover up and cozy dress
  2. Ski/Winter – Ugg boots, Down Jacket, lounge pants, own ski boots, sweater and jeans

Honestly I hate packing and I am bad at it, I am such an over packer!  It’s one reason I decided going to sea wasn’t for me.  A whole day of packing to go back to a ship, uck!  It use to cause a lot of turmoil between my significant other and I, and sometimes it still does.  I just say “I am carrying all these bags, so don’t bitch about what or how much I am packing”

This girl cracks me up!  I'm such an over packer too!  What also cracked me up  how similar my must have items are!  Now lets hear about some of her oh-so-fab trips!  I let her submit more than one :)

Though I don’t like to pack or unpack I still love to travel for either leisure or work, here are some of my favorite travel memories: I have been to some very exciting places in the world!

  1. One of the most relaxing vacations was a two week sail trip in BVI.  We chartered a 46’ Beneteau around Tortola and Virgin Gorda.  You can’t beat waking up to splashing waves on the hull, throwing on your swim suit and diving into the crystal clear blue waters, then sailing the day away from destination to destination with a cocktail in hand.  It was an amazing vacation and one that I hope to do again sometime soon.
  2. One of the most exciting, adventurous and learning/business trips was to Denmark/Greenland.  Shortly after coming shoreside I was informed I would be going to Denmark for my first training module, though to pack warm clothes, hat, mittens and long underwear.  It was January in Denmark what do they expect, I would come in flip flops; I am from the Northeast I know how to dress in inclement weather.  Any how I made it to Denmark and had two days to explore all by myself.  This was really my first time travelling overseas and having 2 days to entertain myself.  I had my guide of Copenhagen and wanted to see as much as I could.  I found the best brunch place where the locals go, shopped the strand and bought my first pair of tall black boots and just took in this walkable city.  After the two days on my own, I met my group for the first time, which I would come to know very well over the next two years, there in the Copenhagen airport it was revealed that I would be catching a plane to Greenland to spend the week of team building and bonding.  Today I cannot believe I have been given this opportunity, I spent two nights out on the fjord in a tent by myself at -20 degrees Fahrenheit, they gave me a woodstove thinking that would be best for the only girl (this doesn’t work if you don’t stoke it all night) I burned myself and have a scar on my hand to always remind me of this adventure.  Oh yeah we also got out to the fjord by dogs, a sled and dog sled driver, not to mention they put us all in seal skin suits to stay warm.  Out there it was unbelievable; I caught fresh halibut, played Inuit games and viewed the northern lights.   Finally after two days in the cold, we were united with our bags at the hotel and I could enjoy warmth and nice relaxing bath.  That week I learned a lot about myself, my values, and who I am and where I want to go in life, this was not only an unforgettable experience but a start to a new beginning and a life change.  I have included some pictures of this incredible experience, one that I will always cherish.
  3. My next big adventure was to Sydney Australia, this trip was for work again, but I made sure to take a couple days before and after to see this beautiful city down under.  I patted a Koala, held a wallaby, and had a steak on the barbie (found this great restaurant were you cooked your own).  Sydney was beautiful and I would love to go back there and see more of what Australia has to offer, maybe a real adventure in the outback.

I have a lot more travel memories but I will leave you with these three, three very different adventures but all three have a close place in my heart and probably why they are my favorite.

All of her work related travel adventures make me wanna go shoreside sooner rather than later!  I'm not sure I'd be quite so lucky!!

Travelin' Tootsies :: Get to know Lala a little better!

Last week I post Lala's 20 favorite things (which I happen to love as well).  She is currently on a charter and although I've been heckling her for a travel adventure she has just been too busy.  So, I've decided to post her bio and a photo (with her permission of course)!  Mega yachting is waaay cooler than I ever imagined!  When you see her favorite travel destinations I have a feeling you'll be interested in a career change.  If you have a zest for travel this might be the way to do it!  

Lala was born in San Francisco, California but quickly moved to Hawaii at 6 months old which is where all her family is from. After completing University in 2005, she was finally able to live out her passion to travel. Lala was constantly seeking out clever ways to make money while traveling, but her search was over when she stumbled across yachting. She has spent her time living and working abroad in London, Brazil, and Australia and has been lucky to have visited some of the most beautiful places in the world.

A few of her favorite destinations are Brazil, New Zealand, Mexico, Thailand, Lake Tahoe, Costa Rica, Italy, and Greece. Although she loves to be on the move, Hawaii will always be considered home. Though a bit out of practice, Lala has a touch of musical talent which she uses on the piano and ukulele. Other hobbies of Lala’s include yoga, surfing, cooking, camping, music and photography and she is currently learning to speak Spanish and Portuguese.




Travelin' Tootsies :: A Letter From Sea

Something a little different today. I just got this letter from a friend at sea. She is an amazing writer and I LOVE getting her emails! This one cracked me up because I got reprimanded for not boiling water long enough for tea in the Suez Canal too!! When we were in school we had code names that we used on walkie talkies when on the training ship. I was Pink Puma and she was Rubber Duckie. Thanks Rubber Duckie!! A Hoy Hoy Family and Friends, Salutations from “Sea-Hab.” It’s Betty Ford with 20 degree rolls and no Lindsey Lohan. Apart from reference to the crack whore in pageant make-up, the Western Mediterranean currently plays host to your author where she starts her rehab…uh-hum…email. As my desk chair sways with the continuous battering of beam seas and the smooth sounds of Ray LaMontagne waft in the background, I find this afternoon more reminiscent of a rainy, fall day in New England. The Cargo Planners were kind enough not to impede the view from my port hole, so I can stare longingly unto a thwarted horizon of thick stratus clouds and sheets of driving rain. I guess I could have saved time and carpel tunnel onset by saying, “I’m on a boat, and it’s raining.” Nothing compares to transiting the Suez Canal. A 20 hr transit through the desert with Egypt’s finest. It was 0540 as I hiked the steps to the bridge. Two decks below my destination, I was overwhelmed by a wave of Egyptian Old Spice and B.O….I was close. The fetid Egyptian was more reminiscent of the time Kirby got skunked behind the garden shed. Not only must we patronize these people to get them to do their job, but we must also feed and water them. They feel as though these services are owed to them, and they are very demanding. Though they are well versed with the English words “Marlboro” and “Coca Cola,” they have yet to master “Please” and “Thank You.”

Breakfast Time: Canal Pilot 1: “This tea isn’t hot enough. Water must be boiling.”

Me (Internal Monologue): “How about I pour it down your crotch? You may reconsider.”

Me (Real Time): “Sure.”

Canal Pilot 1: “I ordered four pieces of toast. There are only two!”

Me (Internal Monologue): “Listen up you fat manatee, by the looks of your waistline I feel you only need two.”

Me (Real Time): “Sure.”

As we continued our journey through the Canal, the pilot spent the majority of his time “talking” to his other Pilot friends via VHF or cell phone. I can only imagine the gossip was flying from the quantity of spit emitting from his mouth hole.

Canal Pilot 1: “Thwak, spit spit spit, Swack, spit spit, Tttthhhh, Hi-luk!” Translation: “Can you believe the bitch stole her Tupperware? Yeah…me neither.”

Later on, Mr. Pilot handed me the phone and told me his wife wanted to talk to me. Her English was far superior. I wanted to ask her if her husband ever hands his tea back to her. I refrained. Canal Pilot number two was far less agreeable than Canal Pilot number one. He and the Captain didn’t see eye to eye on many things. Mr. Pilot insisted our anemometer was broken (which it isn’t), and he complained when the Captain wouldn’t increase speed (we were a tenth of a knot away from the vessel ahead of us). The Pilot ratted on us, and we received a “nasty gram” from the Canal Authorities via SATCOM C stating we shall play nice...it is of the utmost importance. The Pilot was so disgusted with us; he refused to take his cigarettes. Victory! This brings us to the Red Sea. The weather has been so agreeable that I took in some Vitamin D on deck yesterday. I forget that white girls should use more sunscreen as my limbs pinked right up. Stick a fork in me…I’m done. The ship is preparing to set piracy watches this evening. The Somali Pirates have been extremely industrious in 2011 with at least 11 successful hijackings. We have reviewed our procedures to include our covert word if under duress. You speak the word within a sentence if you’re trying to gain access to a secure location while under duress (ex: Pirate has an AK-47 digging into your spine). I don’t know why, but they usually pick a word that’s absolutely impossible to place in a sentence.

Crewmember in duress: “Oh Shit. Fluffy Bunny? Fluffy Bunny…got into the life boat rations!!!”

Something like that…I also told the crewmembers if they say “Green Bay Packers” I wouldn’t let them in.

Well, I guess it’s time for me to get going. It appears the Second Engineer has been bitten by something from Arachnophobia in Hold 5. His upper arm has developed a softball size bruise with a hard, white center. Any ideas medical personnel? Hold 5 always harbors the really good bugs and rodents.

Fair winds and following seas,

Rubber Duckie