Big Basin State Park

I took the kids down to the Santa Cruz, California area to see the ocean and some redwoods last weekend. I’ve been wanting to get back to this area for some time, it really is a beautiful place. For a short part of my childhood I lived in Santa Cruz and we would visit the redwoods occasionally, so I knew that my kids would enjoy the visit as much as I used to.

As is normal, I didn’t get to take as many pictures as I would have liked, but take a look at the ones I got and enjoy.

It’s still a strange sensation

I find it semi-humorous and very interesting just how strange it feels to transition between “boat” life and “real” life. I’m sitting here in the Seattle airport with a 3 hour layover and I’ve got nothing better to do but contemplate life, so here goes….

I spend a little less than two months living in a bubble where everything has it’s place. I could randomly open a calendar to any page and put my finger on whatever date, then within minutes I could tell you just about everything that would happen that day. Not that I’m saying I would know the minute details, but for the most part it’s very predictable.

Then I head home to a life with little or no organization what so ever. I do have to get my daughter to school, but other than that, I just do as I please, or as needed. It’s about as opposite of boat life as it gets.

So what have I been contemplating?

Why I like it so much. I’m not exactly the type of guy that needs to have his hand held all through life. Ironically, I don’t mind it nearly as much as I thought I would when started a life at sea. Maybe it’s because I have my place on the ship and so does everyone else, making it less like I’m being given welfare or something.

It also might be that it’s such a contrast from my everyday life, that it makes me appreciate my freedom even more when I have it. I can’t even begin to explain how nice it is to cook a good meal my first night home or to not have to explain to five people why I did something.

In the end, I’m hooked for life. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to live life any other way now. Life at sea is the life for me.

Lock toss mania

The above picture was used in the daily expedition report for yesterday, so it’s going to be viewed by hundreds of people. Thanks to my good friend Linda Burback for using it and making me feel pretty good about it.

So, what’s a lock toss? It’s somewhat of a game we play here, but it is serious work as well. Essentially what happens is that as the ship goes up or down in a lock it has to be tied to a floating cleat called a bollard in just one spot. So as the ship enters the lock the deck hand has to get a line around the cleat and tie the ship up.

Sometimes this is hard and other times it’s not, based on varying degrees of distance or other factors. Where it becomes a game is seeing who can get the line on the cleat from farthest away without missing. There’s an art form to the action of tossing the line, so it gets pretty interesting to watch.

So, how am I at it? Pretty good now, if I do say so myself. There’s others that are better, but it’s a fun part of shipboard life and I’m glad to be a part of it.

Just a few days left

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Just a few days left till I head home for vacation, and boy am I ready. I’ve been missing my babies quite a bit lately, so that means its time to head out.

Oddly enough I haven’t really made any big plans for this vacation. I’m thinking about a trip up to the desert now that’s it’s cooled off a bit, but nothing is catching my eye too much. I think it’ll be a matter of seeing how things go, mixed in with a bit of spontaneity.