Confession:  When I left on this road trip taking I-10 from Houston to Los Angeles (and then I-5 from LA to SF) I thought it was going to be the most boring trip ever.  I was so, so, so wrong.  I can't wait to do it again!  

I felt like I just kept seeing beautiful land and sky scape after beautiful land and sky scape.  I saw cloud formations that I've only read about in text books.  I saw plants and flowers that I had never seen before.  The colors of the rock formations.  The blue, blue sky.  Just all of it.

There was a point in Arizona and Southern California where I thought, 'more cacti?!  really?!  give me a green hill!!!!' but, other than that it was gorgeous.  

Next time I plan on making more stops along the way and taking my time.  I did this trip in two days which I majorly do not recommend.  I drove 17 hours the first day and 15 hours the second day (those times include stopping for gas and pee breaks).  I was on a mission!  Realistically, it wasn't very fun and too much to be considered a good idea.  

Somewhere along the way on day one I decided that I was going to stop as many times as I wanted to take photos - I decided that it was going to be an epic photo safari.  I've got tons of photos to share with you!

I'm settling into California and will get some pictures up here soon!

In the meantime...some Arizona Cacti!

Endings & Beginnings


What's an ending if not a beginning?  You really don't need to be an expert on life to have that one figured out.

When I was displaced from my vessel it felt like a premature ending.  Within days of getting the news I had a huge surge of energy and it prompted to me to start my own business.  I figured there wouldn't be a better time to put some of my energy into something that would belong to me in the long run.

I filed the paperwork to set up my LLC, designed a website for it and, told my friends throughout the industry that I was officially available for hire in areas other than deep sea sailing.

I set myself up to offer maritime consultancy, surveying, inspecting, training and a whole slew of other services.

It's pretty exhilarating (*cough* nerve racking *cough*)!  While it's true that experience is on my side there is nothing like a new venture to get your blood going!

As fate would have it someone actually hired me - to survey / inspect my own ship.

I boarded my old girl as the sun was rising and greeted the foreign crew with a cup of coffee and set off to crawl around the vessel.  

I inspected cargo holds, ballast tanks, engine spaces - you name it and I probably took a photo of it.

As I left the vessel to head home and write a condition survey report I said one last good-bye and then I got in my car and did a little happy dance.

I've officially christened my own company.


(to be clear - I'm still looking for a job that will take me back to sea - I'm hoping to develop this new venture further during my vacations and as the years go by)

Concrete Memories

My Step Dad is really into memory making these days.  I know that sounds a little goofy but, I actually mean that quite literally.  He'll say, 'Mei, I think you need to come help me do this....someday you're going to wanna say you helped....we're making memories!'.

The 'side-yard' has been an ongoing household project.  (When I say ongoing I mean....we've been working on it for years...)  Johnny (he'd be my Step Dad) has been making concrete pavers, he's been eradicating the 'yucky grass' and cultivating his favorite type of grass, he's been building rock walls and most importantly carefully cultivating orchids.  

Every weekend he makes three pavers - which is exactly one wheelbarrow full of concrete - and last weekend he absolutely insisted that I help him.  Which sounded like this:  'but Mei, you'll be soooo sad if someday you can't say you made some pavers....we're making memories!'.

Out into the yard I went to help shovel some concrete and then use the mag float to smooth the surface....but basically I just took pictures of Johnny making pavers.....

Concrete memories being made.

Concrete Memories In The Making.

Concrete Memories In The Making.


What is the hardest part?

 People often ask me, 'what is the hardest part of your job?'.  I'm often stymied however; over the last few days I've been thinking about this quite a bit and I have an answer....with a caveat.

Currently, the hardest part of my job is the unpredictable schedule.  I'm almost 60 days into my vacation and I literally Do Not Know When I'm Going Back To Work.  

Here's the caveat:  this is more of a problem on this particular ship - a container ship, a tanker, or a car carrier would have a much more defined schedule.  Granted, even on these types of vessels it can be difficult to commit to an event.  Perhaps your relief misses his flight, perhaps your relief quits at the last second and they can't fill the position, etc.  

Regardless, I currently don't know when I'm going back to work and it has turned me into a little stress ball.  There are so many things that require a schedule.  More importantly, there are so many things that require a BUDGET!  

Ummmm....Hold Up!  What happened to:  What would Beyoncé do?  


I'm keeping my eyes and ears open for new opportunities.  I'm embracing the everyday.  I'm working on some projects that I had previously put on the back burner.  I'm enjoying Hawaii.  I'm chatting with friends.  I'm drinking coffee.  I'm reading trashy romance novels.  I'm listening to Beyoncé's new album on repeat.  I'm eating as many fresh fruits and vegetables as I can stand.  I'm joloking (this is a new word...it means jog, lope, walk...).  I'm channeling my inner Beyoncé.

Sunny and Windy!  Power and Phone Lines down all around town.... 

Sunny and Windy!  Power and Phone Lines down all around town.... 

Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!

Happy New Years Nautie Friends!

My family had a small fire - and we all put in a piece of kindling and made a wish - and then I was in bed by 10pm.  The fireworks got crazy around 11pm and then I was up for quite some time listening to the booms and cracks and the never ending padacadacs.

I hope you rang in the New Year with style!