Happy Birthday Sweet Blog.

Nautie Mermate is three today.  Three. A lot has happened in those three years.  I lived in Hawaii, tried out Maine for a bit, and then plopped a squat in Houston.  I've changed ships twice.  From the Persian Gulf, to the Med, to a worldwide tramper.  I made the move from tankers to heavy lifts.  I upgraded my license and dove head first into the waters of Chief Mate-ness.

This blog has become so much.  A sounding board for all my coulda, shoulda, woulda's.  A motivator.  A sweet escape.

Two years ago I celebrated Oct. 19th with friends in Maine - there were cupcakes.  Last year, I have no clue why I didn't celebrate and, this year I find myself at sea.  Eastward bound for the Panama Canal.

Today, life couldn't be sweeter.

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I saw an amazing sunrise.

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I sipped an orange goodness.

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I watered my plants.  

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I made a quinoa salad for lunch.

...and seriously, if this blog isn't about sunrises, orange goodness', shipboard gardens and quinoa...well then, I just don't know what it's about...

Nautie Friends, thanks for all your kind words through it all - the pep talks - the mettle making - the whip cracking - the virtual hugs.  I heart you.  Like...I heart you a lot.

I have one small request for you...de-lurk!  Who are you lovely readers?  Where are you from?  What do you do?  What do you enjoy most here in Nautie Mermate Land?

Here's looking forward!

 

Open Ocean and Persimmons

morning sky I woke up this morning and headed to the bridge – it felt good.  Nothing beats a pastel morning sky.

Nautie Friends, this good vessel has been in port for 18 of the last 21 days.  To say there was an audible sigh of relief as we cast our lines off yesterday would be an understatement.

Granted, gearing up for 20+ days of open ocean brings a whole new set of challenges.  Especially, when said sea time comes when the entire crew has over 90 days aboard.  The number one way to not go crazy during a long sea passage is to mentally gear up….and then stay busy.

I’m mentally gearing up.  I’m building to do lists.  I’m not letting myself make any plans at home (normally, by this time in the rotation I have my whole vacation planned).  I’m listening to music I enjoy.  I’m organizing photos.  I’m reading a good book.  I’m trying to motivate myself to resume my evening walks.  I’m dodging fishing gear in the Sea of Japan.

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I'm eating persimmons on the bridge wing.

Korean Magic

I left my second Korean port disappointed. I really wanted to love Korea and I was totally bummed that I didn't connect. Then I arrived in Masan. Masan is great.

It's sweetly nestled into the hillsides.

The port is thriving with a steady stream of merchant ships and an endless flow of fishing vessels.

The air is crisp and the mornings pastel.

The people are friendly and want to chat.

Most importantly the Longshoreman are excellent.

I'd come back here in a heartbeat.

*as I was sitting here typing this a longshoreman came up to me and said, 'Korean magic' and then began to perform a magic trick where I put a hammer into a strap and then he whipped away the strap.*

Like I said, I'd come back here in a heartbeat.

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Rainy Days.

I can't figure out if it rains all the time in Korea so they're super used to it and plan accordingly or if it never rains at all and they're confused about how to best proceed. Either way, it's misty and the hillsides look like the kind of Korean art work you see in people's walls. You know the kind I'm talking about. Cypress trees and rocks and misty low hanging clouds.

We're idle at the dock waiting for the rain to dissipate and I'm loving the 'catch up day'. So many in port days recently has left me quite a bit behind in the paperwork department. All the while I'm loving the rain I'm hating that its just adding days to this ever lengthening trip. I'm currently at day 85 and we haven't even started crossing the pacific yet. In fact, we're two ports away from being westward bound!

On that note I say, 'rain, rain, go away'!

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Korea.

I've wanted to come to Korea for a long, long time. Probably because I'm half Korean. I may be the whitest Korean with the bluest eyes you've ever met. Kidding. Although this was the joke growing up because my Step-Dad Johnny is Korean. We've talked a lot about Korea in my house over the years. I'm not exactly sure what I imagined buuuut I'm pretty sure it's not this.

Several notes.

No one speaks English. Normally, at least someone in the port speaks English. Nope. Not here.

This port is smelly. Like really rancid grain. I hate to say this but the smell is worse than the camel pier in Djibouti. Yes. That bad.

Their Kim Chee smells waaaay more pungent than ours. Also, there was no Kim Chee for sale in jars at the grocery store. I thought that would have been a given (and the perfect present for Johnny).

Highlight of my stay?

The Agent delivering me some Bi Bim Bap.

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