Seal Baby

I was on the stern when I saw a little baby seal.  This is actually the second time I've seen this seal.  Of course it happened to be the exact moment I was dumping the card on my digital camera so I run back there with my phone.  By this time the seal has seen me coming and has gone under.

...so I did what anyone in their right mind would do... I banged on the side of the hull with my hand and called, 'seal baby!  come back seal babbbbyyy!'.  The fact that no one saw me doing this is probably a good thing however; seal baby came back!  He checked me out and I took a quick pick with my phone.

Fast forward to later in the afternoon - seal baby is back and sunning his (her) face.  My camera is up and running and I start behaving like a paparazzi.

Seal baby was quite a ways out but, lucky for me he slowly started drifting towards my boat.

Doesn't he look blissed right out?

He kept getting closer and closer.

By this time Seal Baby is CLOSE.

....and then he spots me and opens his eyes....

 I'm in LOVE.

I mean seriously, you gotta love this face.

I hope Seal Baby comes back for more adventures!

The guys on the boat think we should name the baby Lucille.  Get it? 

Here's to Seal Baby and the reminder to keep our faces to the Sun! 

Heaving Line Arms

This post could also be called:  What I currently suck at (i.e. what I'm determined to ace)

Time for a little real talk around here, yes? Yes. I'm struggling hard with one thing at work. Throwing lines. Nailing it I am not.

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Sports? Could care less. Throwing a ball? Meh, I think I'll watch. Catch something? MmmKkkkk...if you're lucky.

I was totally the kid at the neighborhood Easter baseball game who was allowed unlimited pitches. I remember one year being mortified and just wishing they'd strike me out....see ya later I'm outta here. Except no, I had to try again and again until I finally hit it and made it to first.

Needless to say, throwing mooring lines (which are a decent amount of heavy) and snagging a bitt on the dock is not coming easy. Throwing a heaving line that actually makes it up the the barge? Also not coming easy.

I'm determined that by the end of the summer (preferably way freaking sooner than the end of summer) I start acing it.

I work on it every day...and my arms are killing me...hahahaha!!!

Here's the training program:

I currently have a 'heaving line arms' exercise routine because truth, my arm muscles are almost non existent.

I also throw the line every time even though someone is standing behind me because the odds are good I won't make it. I have made it. For the record, when I made it the whole crew cheered :). Since I made it once we know it's possible and now I'm working on refining my technique.

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I have a practice line on the stern. Sometimes I go back there and just wing it around a bit to build strength and see if I can figure out what's going to work for me.

The struggle is real friends, the struggle is real.

It's also invigorating to have a challenge.

Here's to making the toss more often then not!!!!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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!

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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. 

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Even strange little canning towns make you want more.  

Playing Catch Up.

 
tug boat insides

Sometimes I just don't know where the time goes....It's time to play a little catch up....Let's start with the basics....

Who:  I'm still Megan.  

What:  Well, I'm at work.  I'm outfitting a tug boat.

Where:  I'm on the Columbia River.

When:  I got here at the beginning of April and I'll probably be here until the beginning of June.

Why:  This boat is brand spanking new and is scheduled to be commissioned in June.  I'm here helping put the final touches on her.  I'm literally ordering everything that goes inside a vessel.  From sheets, towels, blankets to mooring lines, tow cable, sledge hammers to fire fighting equipment to televisions to printer paper and sharpies.

How:  I make lists upon lists upon lists.  Then I email everyone I know to ask them questions.  Once I have an idea about what I want / need I send a Purchase Request to my company.  They in turn issue a Purchase Order and items are shipped to me.  I receive the items and stow them in a big container.  Once the vessel is actually ready for things to be inside it I'll unload my container into the boat.

The Good The Bad The Ugly:  I'm very new to tug boats and I haven't ever done a project like this.  It's stretching me.  I'm learning tons.  It's pretty darn fun.  Unfortunately, I probably won't know what I didn't order until we need it.  The ugly?  I'm living in a Comfort Inn.  Yikes.

A Hawaii Morning By Tug

About a month ago I got to head out first thing in the morning on a tugboat from Honolulu.  It was an incredibly enjoyable morning.  First off, it was a gorgeous day.  We left before the sun rose and then got to watch it slowly light up Diamond Head and Waikiki.  It was fun to watch a crew I don't work with (and don't really know) complete tasks that are semi routine for me.  The subtle differences are always interesting from a professional point of view.  Coming back into the harbor in daylight was semi nostalgic.  There's something magical about Aloha Tower.

I was with a friend who is also a peer so, it was fun to get back in the car and discuss the evolution.

It was also kind of fun to see a lauhala basket sitting on the galley table.  Ahh...the subtle nuances of Hawaii...

All in all, a fun, scenic morning!

Flip through some pics at your leisure.