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!)

Northern Lights

Toward the end of August the days were really starting to shorten and the nights were getting pretty cool.  We were finally getting some Northern Light weather!

We had a couple good displays - and every time the colors would show up my Captain would yell at me because he knew I'd want to take pictures.

We were usually on the water which mean we were rolling a bit.  Plus, the lights themselves are moving!  The shutter speed had to be so slow and the aperture had to be so large - it was pretty hard not to take blurry photos.  I fully intend to bring a tripod back to work with me to set up on the dock or beach.  

I posted a lot of these on Instagram but figured I'd share them here too.

northern lights

This wasn't the first light show we got but it was definitely our first brighter show.  A streak of very vibrant green right over the camp.  It stayed pretty stationary so we could really take pictures.

The second time I got the big camera out there was a little bit more ambient light which was exciting but, what was really exciting was all the purple!

The colors were swirling around each other and undulating and, you can kind of tell in the photos.  

northern lights

One of my favorite things about the photos is that the stars show through.  I love looking back and noticing that in the green photo over camp pleiades is a little cluster - and stuck into all this purple is the big dipper.  

northern lights

Seeing the Northern Lights has been on my 'at sea wish list' for years.  I seriously can't wait to go back and see more once the Arctic gets a little more wintery.  

If you're curious about the Northern Lights here is a good explanation.  

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. 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! 

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.

Resurrection Bay

When I last left you we were getting ready to cross the Gulf of Alaska.

We had careful timed our exit from the Inside Pass by hanging out in a couple small Alaskan towns waiting for the perfect weather.

We got lucky and made it straight across without having to duck into Prince William Sound to hide out from nasty weather.

When we got to the other side we had to head north into Resurrection Bay.  Seward sits at the head of the Bay.  Ironically, the Bay got his name when someone had to hide out from bad weather back in the day - when the storm had passed it was Easter Sunday.

We round the corner into Resurrection Bay and it was blowing 50-60 knots with steep chop.  We were bucking into it and trying to make our best time so we could dock in Seward during daylight hours.

I have honestly never taken so much spray on the wheelhouse windows in my whole career.  

I'm sure for the tugboat world this was a drop in the bucket but I was like, 'holy smokes'.  

Alaska is notorious for having fierce wind channel down through Bays and Passes.  Sometimes you'll hear the weather forecast and it will say something nuts like - 15 to 20 knots; 80 knots in Bays and Passes.  

I took a video so you could see!

Honestly, we were so lucky that we only had a few hours of the spray because by the time we were tied up we had a fair amount of ice accretion.  Accumulating ice due to freezing spray is one of the most dangerous things that can happen to a vessel at sea.  It makes a vessel very top heavy and destroys it's stability.  You can see in the video how iced up the railing is from about two hours of spray.  

Once in Seward we working on de-crewing the boat and then it was time to head home.

An eight day trip turned into thirty.  You seriously don't want to know what I found in my fridge when I got home *wink*!

Magical Rainbow Porpoises

There are these moments on the water where you look around and think, 'is anyone seeing what I'm seeing?!' and then you realize, 'nope...this is for me'.  These moments are pure magic.

On our way up the inside pass I had one of these moments.


It was drizzling and the sun was shining.  I was hunting for rainbows.  One cropped up and I immediately starting taking photos.  It stuck around a bit - so I started to try to get artsy.  Pictures of the wheelhouse combined with rainbow-y goodness outside.

Wheelhouse and Rainbow

We were in a fairly narrow waterway and the rainbow spanned the whole channel from Port to Starboard.

All of a sudden I noticed some splashes at the base of the rainbow on my Starboard side.  I start taking photos there.


Then I realize it’s a pod of porpoises!  

I’m going crazy.  I’m snapping as many pictures as I can.  I know you can imagine this.

They zoomed over to the front of the tug and rode the bow wake for a few minutes and then zoomed off.

Dall's Porpoises in Bow Wake

I was on cloud nine.  

A pod of porpoises - came out of a rainbow - and rode my bow wake.


They looked like baby Orca’s.  After doing a bit of research I learned they are called Dall’s Porpoise - and their behaviour was spot on.  

I took a video right before they dug out.


Please, flip through the gallery to enjoy some Magical Rainbow-y Porpoise Goodness.

One side note:  the photos and video were taken with my iPhone.  Please excuse some of the slightly pixelated images!