It Takes a Village

Ni'ihau and a Rainbow

I'm gone from home a lot.  Maybe even a little more than the average sailor.  I rarely turn down work (this is a good and a bad thing).  While I'm away from home I have a whole bunch of people who help me.  My Mom, she takes care of a lot of my bills that come in the mail.  I have a 'mail lady'.  She'll scan things to me if they look important and she forwards things that need to be handled to my Mom.  I have someone who helps me keep up my house.  I have a lawn service.  I have friends who message me when I'm gone.  

I recently got called to work for a short trip.  It was unexpected but I didn't mind going because it was only supposed to be for three weeks.

I show up to the boat - and I learn that there wasn't any internet.  I was furious.

I know how that makes me sound.  Pre-Madonna Sailor?!  Spoiled Brat?!  First World Crybaby?!

Here's the thing, I haven't been on a boat that didn't have internet - even just the slowest connection ever to be able to check email.  My life wasn't set up to be away from the internet.  I was hoping to be able to transfer money from account to account, check email, and I mean lets be to instagram...

While I knew I had a bunch of people who helped me when I was gone I never realized what a village I had.  It was an eye opener.  I didn't realize how much got done for me and how much I was supported.  

My cousin immediately got the logins to all my email accounts so that she could deal with important things as they popped up.  

My friend immediately was the contact person for all things house related (I rent it out as a vacation rental).  

My Mom was more on point with finances than ever before.  I am in the middle of a construction project - she was now responsible for paying the workers on Fridays.

My three week trip ended a bit early - so work was kind enough to fly to me a training on the Mainland two days later *eye roll*.

A whole new round of support was required.  My Mom came over to help me pack - and approve outfits - obviously.  I had zero food in the fridge but it was silly to buy some.  Aunties and Uncles hosted me for dinners.  I needed pick ups at the airport.  I needed drop offs at the airport.  I needed someone to watch my car.

I've been home for four days and I leave again in two.  It's moderately stressful.  Except, I have a village, and they've got my back.

Thank you.  All of you.  I couldn't do it without you.  I wouldn't even want to.

Poop Tanks Before Sunrises

A while back the office asked for some of my photos.  They wanted to use them in their newsletter - and then they wanted me to write a little article to accompany them.  They specifically requested photos from my sunrise series.  I did write a little article...but it was pretty boring...and someone called me out on it before I sent it in.  They recommended that I tell a story instead.  In the meantime, while I was re-writing the article I started to get pissed.  

The whole thing just felt ridiculous.  Like no, you can't just have some pretty sunrise photos.  We do more than that out here.  I wanted them to have to tell the whole story.  You can't just get the good parts.  Those parts are for us.  We earn the good parts.  The good parts get us through the other parts.  The best parts are the people that we share the good parts with after we get through the other parts.

I sent in the following article...needless to say it was not approved for publication...



Sometimes, when you get on a boat for the first time it takes awhile to find your footing.  There are new people to develop a working relationship with, new systems to learn, and new vessel-specific idiosyncrasies to identify.  It’s been my experience that when you truly bond with a shipmate or a vessel it’s because you’ve just come out on the other side of a ‘situation’ unscathed.

Which is exactly how Donny and I bonded: we had a ‘situation’ and spent an afternoon elbow deep in the MSD a.k.a ‘poop tank’.

After flushing the head I noticed that a lot of air bubbles came up in the head across the passage way.  I say to Donny (the Chief Engineer), ‘ummm…just an fyi…I think something bad might be happening with the heads…’.  Twenty hours later we realize that due to sitting in the yard for several months waiting to head to Red Dog the poop tank wasn’t ready to *ahem* be used so heavily.

We popped the top off the tank and rigged up our de-watering pump to clear it out.  It ’s an all hands on deck evolution - with crew monitoring each critical point of the operation.

The jokes were endless.  The smell was eye watering.  We laughed and laughed and laughed.  

A crew might enjoy a gorgeous sunrise together but, that’s not where you bond.  You bond in heavy seas, gale force winds, and twenty hour days: when the going gets tough and you laugh your way through it.

Here’s to pumping out poop tanks so you can enjoy a sunrise with your friends.


*I was going to title this post shit tanks an sunrises but well, I decided I couldn't swear in the post here's to poopy sunrises!

Back at it.

I'm back at work. The time home flew by and now I'm hoping the end of our season flies by too. 


It's cold but not as cold as I thought it would be. I'm sure I'll be on a barge hating life in the cold before I know it.  

We had a little reprieve - those of us who relieved others - we're down for weather so we slipped into anchor watches and are coming up to speed slowly. 

I got a new float coat!  I figured once I was bundled up I wouldn't want to wear a work vest. It's bright orange and ummm...puffy. I've been told I look like an Oompa Loompa.  I knew I should have packed my green and white striped tights! 

Here's to being back at it! 


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.  

Autumnal Equinox

Today the sun will rise nearly due east and set due west as it crosses the celestial equator.  Day and night will be equal.  

I always wonder when, as a collective society, we stopped looking up and marking movement across the sky.  Sun, moon, stars.  We use our phones, our watches, our computers to mark the passing of time and end up missing the magic and the meaning.  

A time of harvest, and thanksgiving and gratitude.  It's a time of preparation for colder and harder months to come.  Although the day and night is in perfect balance change is in the air.  It's a time to consider your place in nature.  Equinox marks the second harvest - the final being at the end of October.  It's a time to look at what you've worked towards, acknowledge what you've accomplished and, remember that there is still work to be done.  It's a time to make a plan.

I went down to my favorite morning coffee sipping location.  During the summer months the sun comes up almost dead center of those palm trees and by winter it'll be casting long shadows into the water.  I tried to remind myself that there is still work to be done.  

Happy Fall Friends!  Get outside today!  Make a plan for some hygge come winter!  Give thanks!  Acknowledge your accomplishments!

p.s. Here's a great article if you'd like to know what else is going on in the sky these nights.

p.p.s.  A previous equinox post if you'd like more.  

One Hundred Nautie Mornings

Back in April, I was just starting to outfit a tugboat.  I was maybe a little bit out of my element but, ultimately, super excited to be part of a project from the ground up.  I happened upon the 100 Day Project - I had read Elle Luna's book The Crossroads of Should and Must and followed her on Instagram.

I don't necessarily make things but, I do try to stretch myself creatively.  I think ultimately, it's good for our mind as human beings.  I love the morning.  It's definitely my favorite time of day so, I decided to document one hundred of them.  One Hundred Nautie Mornings was created - #100nautiemornings (many of you followed along on Instagram).  It ended up being a really fun project!

First of all, these mornings tell a story.  I could not have picked a better three month period of time to document.  I really dove head first into tugboats.  Documenting my mornings was incredibly satisfying.  

Without further ado, here is what I ended up with!

100 nautie mornings 1


Finding the best laundromat in Portland while I was working at the shipyard and living in a run down hotel.  

getting new pens for my bullet journal - that thing kept me grounded in the yard.  The details!  Yikes!

100 nautie mornings 2


The stacks got installed on the tug - it made her look like a real tug boat :)

I installed shelving in my container and organized all my 'gear' for the boat.  It was so much easier to get around and I started feeling like I might be able to pull it off...maybe.

It was my birthday!  I turned 33!  I took the train up to Vancouver, B.C. for the weekend and sipped coffee on Rhiannon's lanai - always a favorite past time.

100 nautie mornings 3


Sea Trials were completed!  We took this beauty North and christened her.  Proud Mama Moment.

100 nautie mornings 4


One of my Besties came down to the boat to visit me.  

Then my Dad came down to the boat to visit me.

I hopped on a different tug!  Built in the 70's this little tug has some major character.  

The Inside Pass!  I love this trip.

100 nautie mornings 5


Sea Days Northbound for the Arctic Circle.  Days are getting longer.

100 nautie mornings 6


Getting into a groove up a the mine.  It was fun - and challenging - to learn a new operation.

The looooong days.  The sunrises and sunsets that went on and on and on.

Friends who put podcasts into a Google Drive for you :)

100 nautie mornings 7


Tugboat shenanigans.  They. Are. So. Fun.

Moana The Tugboat Dancer.  I love this lady who resides on the dashboard.

Truly, the ultimate highlight was just the daily practice of finding a bit of joy to document in my mornings.  I love them anyways and so it was fun to capture them.

When my one hundred days ended I was seriously let down.  I wasn't ready for it to be over!  I decided to try to complete a year.  I created #100nautieevenings and have plans for #100nautieafternoons before switching back to #65nautiemornings.  One year?  Once a day?  Kind of fun!

(A confession, the way I got all these photos together was by searching my hashtag on Instagram and taking screen shots.  I apologize for some of the formatting mistakes, some of the doubles and some of the missing ones!)