Monday, November 29, 2010

My Day

As I got set to do a little workout today I cranked up the incline on the elliptical, closed my eyes, and slowly marched up an invisible hill.  Soon I could hear the crunch of the leaves, feel the chill of the air in my lungs, hear the kids giggling…  I was in the woods in the coastal Atlantic, or was it the hills of New England?  Was Frank taking us “just 75 feet off the trail” again on the hunt for a geocache, only to spend the next ½ hour bush-wacking in circles?  I didn’t care.  It felt great.  Just as I thought I caught that smell of the leaves decaying beneath my feet the roar of an afterburner and the thump of a catapult brought me back to my reality.  Warm, stale air, water all around, and flight operations in full swing on the deck below.  It was a nice escape while it lasted.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A very thankful day

We're celebrating Thanksgiving out here on the 26th vice the 25th because of "the requirements of the service" and conveniently that means we're really celebrating on the same day as folks back in the states (it's a time zone thing--just trust me).  Though it's a holiday today I don't feel very different from how I feel every day--too far away from where I really want to be.  The kids and Frank are nearing the end of a 2-week stay in Maryland where Frank is taking a class and the kids are enjoying time with the family there.  I am able to admit that I am jealous.  I'm happy that the kids are having fun, but at the same time I'm hurt when I call and they have no interest in talking to me because of all the fun at the house.  I knew it was going to be like this, but it still stinks.

The Culinary Specialists ("CS's") that serve our staff made a remarkable meal of all the traditional favorites.  They were up all night baking tons of pecan, pumpkin, and sweet potatoe pies and prepping for the feast.  It was great and for the most part we were allowed to relax for the day--no meetings! 

I'm thankful for that great feast, for my wonderfully supportive family, and for the friends and family that have helped Frank, Katreina, and Trent in my absence.  It's a beautiful thing.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I've just wrapped my first visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain.  Like any good port visit, my time was split between eating and relaxing and little else.  The first night in town I went to an Italian buffet with some friends I used to work with in Mississippi.  This was not your Pizza Hut style buffet, but rather one with lamb, risotto, cured meats, cheeses, breads, calamari, pasta, and wine!  It was great! 

The second day was my "treat" day.  I lounged on the beach at the Ritz Carlton, sipping a beer and reading People magazine--a perfectly brainless afternoon.  I took a nice, long dip in the lagoon, too.  I could have stayed in there for hours.  With evening came another food extravaganza at a Rug Flop.  That's where a rug dealer brings a selection of rugs, teaches the group about them, then tries to sell them.  I learned a lot, but let's face it--fancy silk rugs really don't belong on a sailboat.  Instead I enjoyed the shwarma, hummus, and wine!

After a day of duty, my final day in Bahrain was a real treat!  I spent the day with my friend Sonja and her girls, Mia and Cecelia.  Mia and Katreina had been best friends back in Everett before they moved to Bahrain and it was great to reconnect with them.  We went to the mall and ate out (a rare treat for Sonja) and had ice cream.  Then back at their house Mia and I did crafts together and took pictures for Katreina.  It was such a great way to spend the day.  My visit to Bahrain was finished with a nice "girls night out" to dinner with Sonja.

It was a decent place.  I can't say I'd yearn to return, but it was alright.  Now, onward...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mail call, mail call!

A recent replenishment at sea brought us something like 115 pallets of mail, and I was a winner!  Got a box of magazines, drawings, and snacks from Frank and the kids that was barely in one piece when I got it, and I got some movies and music from my sis Brandi!  It was all definitely nice to see, especially as I've had some rough days out here.  The funny thing about mail out here is that every package gets sat on by an elephant at least 3 times.  These specially trained elephants work very hard to compact our mail so that more of it fits on the airplane or pallet that it's strapped to, therefore allowing us to get it faster!  Sure...

Today we have the group "Gloriana" onboard to give a concert for the sailors.  That's pretty cool!  Too bad I have a migraine and will probably try to stay as far away from the noise as humanly possible.  :(  I'm still just amazed that they pull this type of stuff off at sea.