Wednesday, January 11, 2012

First mate...Last trip

Since the last post, I have started working full time on the Gumbo motor yacht. I am so grateful for all that has happened on this journey because I finally feel like I'm on a boat, accomplishing what I set out for. I'm working on a 74' yacht with just the captain and owner. So many people were nervous for my venture on to this boat because it sounded unsafe...just being on board with the captain. I was hesitant at first, but the experience has been great. The captain couldn't be more professional. Truly, he just likes to talk a lot about his floozy escapades while we are driving the boat. I still keep my guard up all the time, since I can't trust anyone, but at least Im finally on a boat that doesn't do the same thing every day. I am actually the first mate on this boat because there is only two crew. I sure am learning a ton. I love the fact that I learn new things each day. I even steered the boat under a bridge the other day. It's pretty awesome! At Calavera, I always enjoyed driving the huge white van because I felt like a child molester....just kidding! I liked it because I liked the control I felt of large objects :) but this is way better. I'm also learning how to navigate and work in the engine room. Truly all things that I would only need to know if I were to become a captain, but no thanks. It is fun just learning it for the time being.

so the itinerary for this boat is to go from key largo to charleston in south carolina. From there, the boat will stay for six months. Well for the past month, I've realized how important and meaningful it is to be surrounded by those you love. It is useless to spend the time by yourself if you have a community of love already set in place. I guess earlier, I didn't understand what I had until the light bulb went off. Because of that, I've decided to help take the boat to Charleston, get the boat set up with everything for a week or two, then head home. I feel like I've completed my adventure. This adventure was more of a journey to find the importance in life. I've taken trips to build my character, and trips to learn, but I figured this trip would be to see more of the world. In actuality, this trip helped my become confident in my life at home and what is truly important in life. Prior to this trip, I always believed that I should travel the whole world and gain experiences through wild adventures. Now I know that experiencing the most beautiful of places doesn't mean as much as it could if you have someone to share it with. Some people will read this and think, duh...thats what everyone says to begin with. Well, now it means more to me than just listening to someone's words. Now I know 100%+ that I should be listening to my heart, and go home to fulfill a new adventure of living life with love. I've always made decisions with my head, now they're going to be made with my heart.

I hope my decision is taken well. I am very excited to know that I am coming home to spend time with the many important people in my life. At this moment, I am sitting on the top deck, watching pelicans dive face first into the water to find fish to eat, while the sun is setting in the distance. These are the images that I'll never forget. At least I know that my future nights like these will be spent with people I love.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I'm officially referred to as a bad blogger!

Hello friends who like to keep updated on my crazy decisions of life. I am so sorry I have been such a bad blogger. It has been almost a month! Well at first I wasn't entering blogs because my routine was basically the same each day. I would clean the crew lounge and laundry room, then move to cleaning another section of the boat or run errands. Exciting, I know. Well some days were nice when I'd go venture to the nature park and spend time searching for hidden animals. I once saw a bright green caterpillar the size of a fat hot dog! It was to turn into one of those really annoying moths, which I heard all the time in Costa Rica. But I like the ispy things when I'm bored and by myself :) anyways, work on boardwalk was good. The crew was warming up more...we'd have game nights and good dinners. I was getting super excited because tons of good things were coming up; Kayla was going to be living in tbe yard next door to me until january, Kathleen was visiting in the next week, I was going to be spending Christmas with Alfredo, Michelle, and their family, the Dodge family would be here the week after that, I'd have a weekend with nothing, then SACHI VISITS!!! The upcoming weeks were going to fly by. Then I heard that the boat was supposed to stay in the yard till February. Gross! I wish I could up load pictures, but still can't with an iPad. Yep thats right :) but ya if anyone has any words of wisdom, let me know. Last week was great. I was so excited to finally have a friend to hang out with after work, and to show someone from back home what I'm doing and working on is super! The night with kathleen and her sister was great. We went out for a drink after they met everyone I worked with, where we discussed life and teaching side effects ;) and all that jazz. Friday, the day before I was to meet Michelle and Alfredo, I made another crazy decision. Well, as I was talking on the phone with Sachi, I went on to check my bank account with my pay that was directly deposited. Unfortunately the number was very low. Too low in fact to keep working for the wage when I could make more at home. I was frustrated with myself because I knew that this number was said, but I don't know why I didnt fully comprehend how I was being screwed. Everyone else was doing loads better than me in that sense and they were already traveling. I have been in contact with a captain that I did day work for previously, who was in the process of highering a stewardess, and always told me that he'd give me the job hands down. I always declined, but now I was seriously considering it. I'm not going to be doing this much longer, and I'd rather be with a boat that actually travels. If I'm only going to be here a bit more, staying in the yard was a waste of time. Why would I have left home and all that is important to me, to clean the same thing every day and mope. Sachis input was really important to me. He said that to come home now would have left a gap in what I went out to originally accomplish. Captain dano "surprisingly" supported my decision to leave the boat and join his. He knows about sachis trip out here and made it a point to work around his visit. That really means a lot to me. So Friday night, I made the decision to give my captain notice of my resignation. On Saturday, I woke up early to bAke bake bake. I wish I could post a picture of what I made for Alfredo and Michelle, but oh well :). Meanwhile, I talked with mike about the situation I was presented with. He told me that I should definitely do whats best for me, and this job didn't sound like it was best. It was so nice to see Alfredo and Michelle when they came to pick me up. Anyone that doesnt mind talking or telling me about Sachi is my cup of tea. They are super lovely people, who care so much for Sachi and remind me what a great man I have back home. They were supportive of my resignation from boardwalk. They said that I would need to send the email ASAP. On Christmas eve, I met so many amazing people! Their families are the nicest, most welcoming people. This was my first Christmas away from my family, and I couldn't have been more blessed to be able to spend it with these amazing people. I felt so included. I learned so much about Cuban culture and tradition. Primarily that their Christmas eve is spent around a roast pig. Alfredo taught me where the best, most tasty parts are. He is a big fan of the crunchy skin. Me, not so much...but at least I tried it. We also ate la abuela de Michelle's turkey. It is the best I've ever eaten. I also became a fan of Yuka. After much time spent with Michelle's family, where her niece fell asleep on me, we went back to alfredos parents house. There were t least fifty people there in celebration of Christmas and being together. It was the sweetest thing to see all of the love. Truly made me feel so lucky and blessed to be a part of everything. I always say how grateful I am to have met Sachi. Because of him, I have met so many amazing, kind, welcoming people. Once it turned about 10pm, drama struck. I sent the email, which was very professional. I offered to complete the list of tasks, then find a temporary stew to help with the daily cleaning. I kindly said that I have been given an opportunity to work for a boat that would provide me with more of what I'm looking for. Honestly, if I'm only going to be doing this a bit, why would I want to be wasting my time on a boat that is staying in the yard. I came out here to experience a different side of life because I was lost in regards to what I was supposed to do with my life. Especially after the weekend spent with the Iglesias family, I know that in the precious time that each of us have, it should be spent doing what you enjoy. I enjoy being with my family, friends, and Sach. I always have, but life is short. I've always been consumed with the travel that can I do to experience all of Gods wonders, when in reality, I can experience these wonders with the people that matter, while we are all still together. I still want to go to Alaska with my dad, Mexico and India with Sachi, Vietnam with Sylv, and maybe South Africa with the girls? Moral of this entry, enjoy life with those that are important to you. Everything happens for a reason, and time is precious, so realize what is worth it to you. Make a list of five things to accomplish in 5 years and make it happen. You never know what is going to be thrown your way. This looooong post looks like word vomit.

Friday, December 2, 2011

December in Florida...

Another entry written on my cell phone...I want to purchase an iPad soon as a present to myself, but let's have that first paycheck come in before I do that! December first was a lot better of a day in comparison to my emotional little pity party on the last day of November. Who would know that a simple phone call from the love of my life could make it turn so positive. I am very lucky to have someone who is so supportive of everything I am doing. Makes it a bit harder to stay away from him, but I know that the experience will not only be worth it for me, but for us as well. The next morning I started my "brainless" work, cleaning the crew lounge and laundry room. Seriously, this place is so clean. If I had bad dust allergies, I would seriously work as a high end stewardess because you vacuum dust every day, so really you aren't dealing with heavy dust bunnies, but little dust particles. I know its ridiculous to say, but you should see how clean this place is! And I'm helping keep it that way of course, but it really is spotless. Is it bad to say I take give myself a little "woot woot" when I find dust in a crevice that the previous stew never got? Hey you know, when you are doing work like this, you have to make it fun. That's like any job really. On that topic, I've been trying to figure out what I want to be my career. Wait, let me finish about why December is going more pleasantly than the last day of November. Well it started with the captain seeing me in the morning and saying, after I apologized about the night before, that it was my first time and not to worry, I'll get the hang of things soon. That was really nice. I was afraid he would be a little perturbed like the first mate Ryan, but he wasn't. That day, Ryan also apologized to me for overreacting. So ya, the day went by quickly, and once I got off work, I did an awfully workout on Michelles netflix account in my room...Haha dance away those calories! Then ate rabbit, that the chief stew Asia cooked. This morning went by so fast. I went a got drug tested...let's hope I pass! Then did basic cleaning and Christmas decorations! Christmas makes everything better right? Time to celebrate the best big guy ever! I got off work today at 3, so woohoo! Early weekend! Even though it doesn't mean I get to leave and visit with friends. Unless I want to keep paying for taxis, I am basically tied to the boat. Oh well, it has a lot of entertainong things to do on it. Ok so back to my dilemma of a career! I know for certain this isnt what I'll be doing for the rest of my life. It is only a short adventure to explore a new way of life, and meeting new people. When I get back home to the man of my dreams ;) I am so curious as to what I will do to support myself. I don't want to teach high school right now. I still love tutoring though. By the way, another captain asked me to tutor him. Who knows maybe I can still be involved in the yachting industry, but the mathematical side of it...boy is there one! Well I guess that is the next adventure. It's funny because when I was at the crew house, I was so busy, but now when I get off work, I don't have much to do .... So get ready for those blog posts!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

In the spirit...

So I've moved on the new boat I work on and since I don't have a computer, I have to use my phone! Let's see if this works will be lacking pictures I think :) Well in the spirit of Thanksgiving I wanted my post to be towards everything I am so gratefully for. In the past few weeks, I have been so blessed. I got a job! I work on a beautiful boat that is going to be staying in the fort lauderdale for another 5 weeks. They are getting their helicopter pad extended. So I'll definitely get to know the boat. In reality though, I know the areas at the moment that I need to, which won't change for the next month. So its my Thursday day and I'm already put on watch for the boat. This means I wake up, turn the boat lights off, raise the flag, and throughout the day, I keep things clean and do security watches. Mind you this is my third day and I'm on watch. Sunset has past, which means I failed my last duty. I'm supposed to take the flag down and turn on the lights. Woops. Want to know what I was doing before I got in trouble? Watching the food network. Damn Paula. :) well I'll never forget that again...I hope. But geeze, I was informed about this on Monday. I'm just venting. I know its my fault, all I can do though is apologize and say it won't happen again. Anyways, the boat is nice and so are the people. Even if the first mate just got mad at me. Well we shall see how the next months pan out. I'm then headed off to Texas. This is the experience I was looking for right? What I'm also super thankful for is the fact that I didn't have to start this job until the 28th! So I took my week off and went home! When I bought my ticket Friday, mom said don't tell Sachi...make it a surprise. Boy was it a surprise! He thought I was in Miami the whole day, so when he saw me, he was so confused! But the week was absolutely amazing. Getting to spend time with my family and every second I could with Sachi. I do love how well he gets along with my parents. Besides all the fun things we did in Carlsbad, Sachi and I went to las Vegas for a couple of days. It was great! I had so much fun, but it was hard to leave Sunday. The whole goodbye thing is super difficult. I also keep thinkin about how my holidays are going to be spent completely alone. Oh well I guess :/ its what I signed up for, and I always finish what I start. Geeze I'm definitely getting homesick right now and I was just in Carlsbad! Blahhhh. Well I'm going to go take out the trash. Maybe next blog will end a bit happier.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'm how old!?!

Sorry for the old posts...I know it is the week of November 14th, but let's get filled in on what has happened previously :)

I completed a Megayacht Interior Operations course in my second week here. We learned how to fold toilet paper! I know, don't be jealous of me. I now know how to toilet paper, towels, napkins, make a bed, take out mother always said before I came out here, that she couldn't believe I was leaving to be a maid. Oh well I am :) Hey I'll be a maid that gets to experience new places and environments every day, and I'll be making much more than a teacher would come close to. I also learned how to tie lines which is fun, its like I'm in boy scouts or something. Best of all, I got to do some flower arranging!
This is my final result!
Overall, the course was interesting. I did learn many new things, so there isn't a drawback.  I'm happy as long as I am learning/experiencing something new. During this week, one of the stewardesses in the course asked if she could bring my CV to her chief stew.  She thought that I would get along very well with the crew. (Unfortunately, it is now the two weeks later and I have yet to hear anything!) Oh well, it was a nice gesture.  I also started tutoring a man Adrien in his Masters of Stability course. He is a captain, who heard that I am a math nerd, who can tutor him with the math concepts.  I loved it! It always feels amazing tutoring because the person is taking an interest in determining their own success. It was quite funny when I realized I kind of treated him like a teenager when he would approach problems wrong or make errors...but he really appreciated it.  It was awesome to see his confidence in the subject grow.  And hey, I learned so much about what you have to do to a boat to stabilize it when extra weight is added to it.  Well I know how to calculate it anyways. IYT has been a great training center. I'm really glad that I went with them because of the knowledge they have about the subjects and the opportunities that will develop from going there.

Proabably the funniest thing that happened this week occured when I got off the phone with Lauren.  Mary, my coo-coo landlord knocks on my door and proceeds to tell me that she likes my flowers that were outside on the table.  I had told her that I got them today, but ommited the fact that they were from the flower arranging class.  She says, "Ya I know, your boyfriend called me last week to get the address, so he could send them for your birthday!" Haha woops Mary, ya I made those :) Aw but yes, the next day, Friday, I came home from my last day of training to see a beautiful arrangement of flowers on my dresser.  Sunflowers are my favorite :)
I love Sachi so much! The flowers were such a wonderful present. He really does make me miss him though! ;) It was sad to be without my friends and family this year for my birthday.  I mean, last year, I was at a math conference for my woo! But it definitely would have been nice to spend it with all the new wonderful people that I've met in the last 4 months. Especially Sach!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fort Lauderdale Living

     So I have survived my first two weeks of training/life in Fort Lauderdale.  It was definitely an I opener to get off the plane and realize everything I left behind.  I felt like Homer Simpson "Doh". Was this a good or bad decision?  I actually love the saying, if it is good, then its great, but if it is bad, then its an experience.  That's exactly how I am approaching this adventure.  No matter what, the experience will be worth it.  Hopefully I will meet nice people, make some money, and travel parts of the world I've never been before...all before I settle down.  :)
     So, it has definitely been the hardest thing I have ever done, leaving Carlsbad this time. I had to completely drop/leave everything for this random job I am venturing into.  Luckily the life and atmosphere of Fort Lauderdale is really receptive.  First off, the crew house that I am staying in is amazing! The owner of the house is definitely off her rocker.  She is an emotional wreck, but a very smart business woman. I live in a house with seven other girls, all of which are unbelievably nice and helpful.  They answer all of my questions regarding the yachting world. They really are the nicest things. We have Janet, Rachel, and Kate from South Africa, Liz and Holly from American, and Kayla and Magenta from Australia.  They sure know how to party.  I tend to go out with them and just order coca-colas :)  But hey I still have my fun! The first week, I went a toga party where one is "supposed" to network.  I just ate lots of good food...just kidding, I ate and networked over the eating.

At this party, I met some nice guys who got me tickets to the National Party.  This is a invite only event with 6,000 people attending.  I wore my Queen of hearts costume and danced all night...and again ate really good food.  There were these beef brisket sandwiches that had favorite!  I left around 1 am because my feet were killing me, but it was a crazy, fun time.

I also rode a bull with Kayla.  It was definitely a fun night.  There were tons of yachties just having a good time! I couldn't keep up with the partiers as they went out downtown, but that's ok because I got to talk with Lauren back at home, and Sachi.  It was his birthday weekend, so he was out with friends.  His friend Andrew surprised him with getting Sachi's Halloween costume.  Guess what it was? A yacht captain.  I thought that was the cutest thing.

On Halloween, I took the Australians Trick or Treating.  They had a blast! I'm glad I got to reconnect with my youth.  Geeze, some of these houses/neighborhoods are insane.  So fun.  I felt like I had to be more gruesome like my roommates, which is why I chose the alternative Alice in Wonderland.

   Ok so in between the parties and networking, my training for the STCW '95 consisted of some boring classroom informational sessions, and days that were unbelievable.  How many times can you say you jumped in and out, and in and out, and in and out of a fireman's outfit putting out crazy big fires!  I was taken aback by how amazing this experience was.  The craziest part was being enclosed in a small room with a huge fire, and being able to see the progression of stages a fire takes on.  It got insanely hot, but the whole experience was awesome.
That's me!

Emily and Rae, two friends I made in class

We were also trained in how to handle "abandon ship" scenarios. These pool activities were definitely a work out, but they trained us on how to deal with fires in the water, swimming in Immersion suits, and flipping over massive life rafts. Really crazy experiences.

So this week of adventures is definitely keeping my mind busy, not focusing on what I have left at home.  I still miss everyone so much, but just in this week, I'll have stories, that few people get to share, to tell my future grandchildren.

But I do miss this guy terribly!
                     (The one on the left ;) is my captain!)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

First Feelings

So I've decided to write a blog to keep everyone and myself up to date with what I'm experiencing, where I'm located, and what exactly is going through my head regarding these adventures.  Sort of like a diary that is open to the public :)
Well, I started packing yesterday.  I leave in eleven days and I couldn't be more excited, nervous, happy, sad, jittery, or emotional about the whole move.  This is something I have wanted to do since I first heard about the lifestyle from a fellow traveler in Nicaragua.  Working as a stewardess on a yacht and being able to see the world while I sail.  I am expecting hard work, but isn't the saying, "Work hard, play harder"?  Who knew I'd actually end up buying my one way ticket a year later.  God sure works in funny ways.  I know He wants me to explore.  There have been so many signs as to why I need to experience this.  I can't believe that I will be leaving so soon.  I'm looking forward to the emotional breakdown I'll have on Saturday I leave.  Time for some tears!  My family is used to me leaving for months at a time, but never with such an adventure as the one I am about to voyage on.  I will definitely miss my friends, but that is what this blog is for, and email, and Facebook! Keep up to date on each others lives.  Sachi is definitely who I'm going to shed some tears for.  God is definitely funny like that.  Make me fall, like I've never fallen before, for a wonderful man after I made the decision to leave.  Oh how lovely this will be :-/ But I know I am leaving something amazing, but gaining something beautiful.
Until next time.