<![CDATA[  Nauti Styles ⚓ - Nauti Blog]]>Sun, 30 Apr 2017 03:47:28 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[I dream of Sail Swag: complete your Nautical look]]>Sat, 27 Aug 2016 18:45:26 GMThttp://nautistyles.com/1/post/2016/08/i-dream-of-sail-swag.htmlAccessories are not to be taken lightly: they can make or break the outfit. Accessories are an extension of your style, an exclamation point at the end of your “statement”, a cherry of top! 
Today I'm featuring the new styles by one of my personal favorite Nautical Brands - Sail Swag... 
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Sometimes I just need a classic and stylish polishing detail for my outfit and the Cruising Collection is just what I'm looking for. It's traditional, subtle and elegant at the same time.
The Regatta Collection is perfect for that “statement” detail I was talking about. It's clean, but bold look is timeless and compliments any outfit. 
Get your Sail Swag on! Use my Code NAUTISTYLES15  to GET 15% OFF  till August 29th! Shop HERE
<![CDATA[How to get lost and kiss a Baby Whale - Part II]]>Sat, 13 Aug 2016 08:16:08 GMThttp://nautistyles.com/1/post/2016/08/i-kissed-a-whale-part-ii-or-the-whale-land.htmlThe Land of the Whales met us with desert-brown scenery and never-ending-forks-on-the-off-road all leading back to the same path. As we pulled into the Kuyima Eco Camp lost oasis of civilization (well, sort of), the vast San Ignacio Lagoon opened up in front of us. 
The Eco-camp has a couple of options: “glamping” and “bring your own tent”. We chose “glamping”...
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so a very nice tent was all set up for us with cots and sleeping bags when we arrived. The grounds are well maintained and are right by the beach. Since there are no restaurants or simply anything at all around for miles, the camp has a full kitchen and a chef preparing all of the meals. 
    Before our first “meet the whales” trip we grabbed lunch at the nice dining room palapa. All the seafood is locally caught and truly delicious, and the staff is ready to accommodate any diet restrictions and preferences.
    As I have mentioned before, only a small section of the Huge San Ignacio lagoon is open to the whale watching and you can only get there by 10-passenger pangas (small boats) operated by the licensed guides. There can only be 16 pangas at any given time in the lagoon with a 90 min per trip restriction.
We get our full orientation:
Guide: “Do not touch the flukes (tails), blowholes, eyes or pectoral fins (flippers)! And have fun!”
Me: “uuummmm...anything else? So the rest is ok to touch?" 
Guide: “Sure! Pet them, hug them and if they come up for a kiss...Kiss them as much as they want!” 
Me: “Ha! Good one! Thanks for getting our hopes up...I will be so lucky if I just get to touch one whale with at least my pinky!”
We suit up: water shoes, windbreakers, life jackets, hats, dry bags, go pro sticks, water proof phone cases...ready for a photo battle, off in the little panga we go!
    A short ride and we are in...I see the first blow! “Blow, Blow!!! Blow at 2 o'clock!!!” Our guide is giving me a “oh-you-poor-thing-is-this-your-first-time” grin, but I just can't stop...the excitement is spilling over...we all keep announcing every blow we see like total immatures. Not even 7 minutes later, our first caw/calf pair turns in and heads directly towards us. The mom wants to make sure “we are cool”,so she is the first one to come up right next to the panga! “Touch her, touch her!!” our guide yells out. Oh that's right, we can touch! Her skin is not like hard-rubber-cold-fish I have imagined: it is warm and very soft, almost squishy like a fat baby butt! The most ridiculous sounds come out of my mouth: a mixture of a scream and a laugh...I just touched a WHALE!!! 
    She comes up again and again with the calf beside her positioning herself perfectly to blow right in my face. If it wasn't for the windbreaker, I would have been soaked head to toe. As I turn around covered in whale-breath-glow my jaw drops: I see the calf spyhopping (head straight out of the water) next to my husband...like in slow motion I see his hands around the mouth of the baby (well, the baby is the size of our panaga boat) and his lips on another mammal...for faaaar tooooo long!:-) There was no guessing needed, it was not his “fault”, this beautiful “baby whale” came up to steal a kiss from him.
    It's “all downhill” from here: we spend at least 30 min with that pair...sweet talking, touching, petting, scratching bellies and chins while they are both rolling on their backs with their eyes closed. Suddenly, the big Mama jolts her whole body and speeds off as if she has forgotten she had to be somewhere...Rico says: “she is going to breach!” and a second later her whole 45-foot-40-ton-post-baby-body leaps out of the water and lands creating one giant splash! Time to go little one, enough fun for one day! Will we see you again tomorrow?
    With currently 88 caw/calf pairs in the lagoon and still over 300 whales total there is no shortage of interaction...we immediately “get picked up” by another pair that is all about scratching their bodies against our boat and using us as a “rubber-ducky-toy”. This big Mama really enjoys getting us wet, so she comes up and blows at us at just the right angle. Or maybe she just gets a kick out of my "laughing screams" that kind of become a norm at this point. 
    On the bumpy ride back to the camp I keep thinking about the TRUST these magnificent animals were displaying towards us – humans...Orcas and Humans are the only predictors they've got...after everything we have done to them!!! Drove them to the brink of extension...TWICE...20000 to 200...hunted and killed the moms in these same lagoons - the “safe havens” they came to give birth...left the babies motherless with no chance of survival...we, humans, did all of that!!!...and just 70 years later this huge-45-foot-dinosaur-of-a-mammal, that could have killed us with a one wrong move of it's fluke, just closes her eyes, rolls on her back and TRUSTS us, humans, AGAIN. We have to do better! we must do better...we owe it to their trust! No human nation or a race has been capable of such forgiveness...”Save the Whales” have never resonated with me more...holding back the tears while reflecting on one of the most humbling experiences of my life, I realize it's not over and I will get to do it all over again...tomorrow. 
    Back at the camp it's dinner time and we decide it would only be appropriate to freshen up. Part of me wants to keep the-trophy-whale-breath on me for as long as I can, but my husband doesn't find it that attractive. The camp has a solar panel water heater and shower rooms, but no running water so we take our “sun heated water” with us in the provided bucket with a cup to rinse off. It works great and we all share our surprise “that a half of a bucket was more then enough to shower”.
There is no WiFi or cell service...No IG, no FB, no news, no emails...kind of liberating, since in this day and age there are not too many places on earth where you are completely and officially “off the grid”. 
    We end up sharing our photos and videos, and talking about whales for the rest of the night. The entertainment after dinner is to have an ice cold beer while watching the most amazing star-and-milky-way filled sky, and going to bed around 8pm...falling asleep to the sound of the waves and dreaming of the hundreds of Friendly Gray Whales of Baja we are going to meet tomorrow. 
    Over breakfast I set a personal goal for today: Kiss a Whale! I put it out there, into the universe...I get greedy...Today or Never!
    We “suit up” and find out that since the wind chop is pretty high today, we will be shuttled by land to the area right next to the whale watching spot. It's a pretty bumpy 10 min ride in the van, but upon arrival we are rewarded by the beautiful and calm mangrove with our panga awaiting us. Let the adventure continue, what will today bring?
    If you are an experienced whale watcher, you know that the weather and the sea conditions completely change the behavior of the whales. In my personal experience, watching the Grays off the Southern California Coast, the windier – the more breaching and the high energy behaviors we usually see. Well, today is no different...we are seeing breaches all around, pec slaps (flippers slapping the water) and the most “alien-like” behavior of all: Spyhopping. It's hard to describe the feeling when suddenly-and-slowly submarine-like a giant, long head comes straight up out of the water just enough to show it's eyes...turns to the right, turns to the left...and slowly submerges beneath the surface...and now imagine, like in synchronized swimming, 4 or 5 of those heads popping out of the water like mushrooms...are they looking at each other? Are these aliens watching us? are we on another planet called “water world”? It's very mysterious and spooky an the same time. 

    Today we are not alone in our panga, we actually have another group of the first-time-”lagoonists”, and we have to share our space and “our” whales. We are definitely acting like the Pros: teaching them how much calves love the splashing, yelling at them: “touch it, touch it!” The interactions are endless...and suddenly we see a familiar face (well, two)...our pair from yesterday that so generously kissed my husband...they are back and they are coming over for more love! Hey, “newbies-on-board”! I have been nice and all, but these whales are MY friends, they are coming to see ME, so hands off! 
    After a very long petting session, the big Mama picks up the calf with her rostrum (nose) and pushes him up to the boat, to ME!!! All I hear is “KISS HIM!” all around me. Oh, you don't have to tell me twice! I lean over and put my lips on his soft, warm head. I just kissed my "hubby's baby whale"! CHECK! I'm good...we can go home now!
    Not so fast, the Whale Land is not done with us. We are followed by another pair...no, wait a minute...that's two calves! Where are your mommys? They are playing and chasing each other and us, we hear a much louder blow...yep, the Big Mammas are here and watching us. Before we know it, we are in the middle of what the pros call “whale soup” - multiple whales rolling around together and all you can see are the giant whale parts being thrown around: flukes, pecs, bellies...this is overwhelming...the amount of Love and Joy I'm experiencing is just overwhelming...I stop touching them and I stop taking photos...I'm just silently taking this in...I feel like such a tiny person and so unbelievably fortunate. I'm wishing everyone I know and love would be right here right now just to experience this priceless moment... This is The Whale Land and they have allowed us to partake.
    The ride back is the very opposite if smooth...it's rough, we are bouncing on the waves like that “rubber ducky” and that extra life jacket i'm sitting on is saving my butt right now, literally...but nothing can mess with my happiness – a true bucket list experience I will never forget.

    We grab lunch, we watch videos, we swap photos, we talk whales...we don't even notice the lack of the WiFi.
    It is kind of sad to leave the camp...one more night under those stars would be perfect. But it's time to go, it's time to share with the world what we have just experienced. On the ride back to the civilization we almost don't talk...it's like an understood silence...this place is magic, this place is like no other on Earth...I can be honest with myself, I'm Victoria and I'm a complete-head-over-heals-Whale-Addict...and I'm not ashamed.
    I'm really looking forward to getting some cell service and WiFi, so I can already book the trip for the next year and this time we are not coming back alone!

Who is with me?

<![CDATA[How to get lost and Kiss a Baby Whale - Part I]]>Sat, 30 Jul 2016 21:55:33 GMThttp://nautistyles.com/1/post/2016/07/i-kissed-the-whale-part-i-or-the-journey-to-noland.htmlI'm getting goose bumps just thinking about that trip...since I was a kid touching a whale has been kind of a “untouchable” dream of mine...kissing a whale?! Well, that's just silly!
What if I told you there is a place on Earth you could have such a close encounter (legally and safely)?

Well, do you believe in fairy tales? 
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As many of you may know I'm a complete, hopeless, forever-lost-to-the-cause Whale Geek. Once I have discovered that we have whales in Southern California and you can actually see them, there was no turning back...I was forever “hooked”! 
I joined the Whale Watch Program and became a Certified Naturalist. I became a part of The ACSLA Gray Whale Census: a volunteer based program that counts the gray whale migration sunrise to sundown from December to June every year (and it has been for over 30 years!). I started planning my world travels around the whale watch seasons and destinations...we even bought a boat, so we can go out anytime and Whale Watch...well, you get the picture! 

For a few years I have been hearing from my fellow “whale geeks” about the Friendly Whales of Baja and seeing the shameless “photo parades” of the incredible encounters they have had.
Gray Whales make one of the longest mammal migrations on Earth every year: Alaska to Baja, Mexico and back...almost 14,000 miles round trip!!! 
There are a few lagoons in Baja, Mexico where the gray whales migrate to have their calves and mate. One of them is San Ignacio Lagoon...an hour and a half from the closest tiny town of San Ignacio. During the peak season there are over 1,000 whales down in the lagoon and there is not place on Earth like it!

San Ignacio lagoon is heavily regulated and there is a small handful of tour operators that are qualified and have permits to operate in that area. And I know what you are thinking...nooo, you can not take your own boat down there...sorry!

You have to stay at one of the Eco camps and take the small pangas operated by guides to see the whales. Sounds cool? Oh, you have no idea!!!

This trip was officially put on my bucket list and later became our “honeymoon trip” to be.

It's not an easy place to get to and there are a few different ways to experience it:
  1. If Money is no object
    Go with a tour company. They will take you by bus from San Diego, CA to Tijuana, MX, where you will board a very small plane (yes, kind of scary) and it will land on a tiny runway (well, more like a dirt road) in San Ignacio Lagoon. From there you will be shuttled to their camp. (The closest to the whales!)

  2. Long Road Trip Lover
    You rent a van in San Diego, CA (from a rental company which will allow you to take it to Mexico, and drive 14 long hours down to the Lagoon to the camp of your choice. You can make a stop at one of the other lagoons on the way and check out the whale watching there.

  3. Our way - the perfect way! (well, I might be biased)
    Fly into Loreto, MX and pick up a rental car at the airport (the last 20 km of your journey are not paved, so choose your rental car wisely:-). Have lunch at one of the cute beachside restaurants of Loreto, then drive 2.5 hours north by the scenic road which will take you through the highs and the lows of the Baja Peninsula: through the mountains and by the stunning beaches of the Sea of Cortez.

Get ready to want to stop at every vista point and spend way too much trying to find the World Tallest X-rated shape Cactus. You will pass by so many RV campsites (one prettier then the other), that it will make you wonder why you have never done this before and maybe it should go on “The things to do when I retire” list. 
Arrive at the old mining town of Santa Rosalia, make a quick stop at the market to buy some cold beer or wine (wait for it...I promise it will all make sense soon) and check into Las Casitas, probably one of the best budget hotels I have ever stayed at...on top of the cliff with giant private patios overlooking the Sea of Cortez...you see where I'm going with this? Let's just say the Private-Sunset-Happy-Hour you will never forget!
Get up early in the morning (yes, you will not want to leave Las Casitas after watching the Sun come up over the Sea of Cortez), but it's ok...the adventure awaits and you will be back in a couple of days. Make a 2-hour track inland to a quaint little town of San Ignacio, passing a beautiful dessert Oasis town on the way.
Oh, wait...what about breakfast? Grab a table outside at Victor's at the town plaza and devour the local cuisine while your eyes are enjoying the view of the San Ignacio Mission towering over this tiny seven-street-town. Well, you also might be tempted to snap a few pics in between your Huevos Rancheros and another cup of coffee. This is goooood...but your journey is not over yet! Check in with the eco camp office, get a handmade map and the proper directions to the camp. Now you are ready for the last leg of your trip – road into the San Ignacio Lagoon.
This off the beaten path road will pass by the dessert salt lakes, giant cacti forests and small “mountains” of scallop shells. Warning: the anticipation and the excitement will make this part of the trip feel like a dreamy forever, but it is just about an 1 hour and 15 min drive...and it will all be worth it! 
You are in the Whale Land NOW!!! 
The BEST is yet to come...                                                                                to be continued

<![CDATA[Hooked on Loly in the Sky]]>Sun, 26 Jun 2016 18:49:57 GMThttp://nautistyles.com/1/post/2016/06/hooked-on-loly-in-the-sky.htmlI have not met a girl yet that doesn't have a shoe addiction. I love shoes! Heels, flats, wedges...all of it! But the Nautical Lifestyle has definitely had a major impact on my shoe taste. I now have many pairs of cute flats and boat shoes in every nautical shape and style: stripes, anchors...you name it! These Blue-Anchor-Beauties just recently stole "the Shoe corner" of my heart. 
So In this post I'm featuring them and one of my fav shoe brands: Loly in the Sky
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Handmade in Mexico, Loly's are so comfy and beautiful! The attention to the detail is what makes them really stand out: from the cool packaging to the extra soft insole. The designs are unique and they continue to surprise me with every collection! 

Here are some of the styles I own:
But it comes with a warning: “You can never have just 1 pair of Loly in the Sky! Prepare to be hooked!”
Get your Loly Fix! Use my Code NAUTISTYLESSUMMER to GET 10% OFF till July 15th! Shop HERE
All opinions are my own 
<![CDATA[Yachting? Practical advise on how to pack your Nautical Tote]]>Sun, 12 Jun 2016 00:21:29 GMThttp://nautistyles.com/1/post/2016/06/yachting-what-to-pack-in-your-nautical-tote.html
The summer is here and the boating season is officially open. It's always kind of a mystery what to expect and what to pack for your day out on the water. I think this list of important essentials might just put your mind at ease.
Are you Yachting this weekend?...
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  • Jacket or a Windbreaker 
No matter how hot it is at your house or even in the marina when you arrive, once you get out on the water the weather could be drastically different or it could change on a dime. Better be prepared!

  • GoPro & Phone charger: wall, car (12 V), USB and a Battery Pack
Always bring your own charger. The bigger the yacht - the more likely it would be running a generator and you would be able to use your regular wall charger. If the yacht is smaller then 50ft and you are not sure, it's a great idea to bring your car charger (12V), because the wall outlets might not be on when you are out. Also take USB cable with you for the newer yachts. Complicated? To take away the headache and to make sure you have enough battery life for all those IG pics and Periscoping bring a Battery pack, like this one HERE by NOMAD. These guys make every gadget you need for your Phone and GoPro to stay mobile and charged. 
  • Bikini
Well, unless you are out there whale watching in the middle of the winter or there is absolutely no chance for a nice day, throw in a bikini in your tote. It doesn't take much space anyways:-)

  • Boat shoes (easily removable or white sole shoes)
I know you have your eye set on a pair of nice high heels to go with your outfit! 
Sorry, but heels on a boat is like a gown in a night club!
If you are lucky to be going out on a Super or Mega Yacht (at least over 100 ft) you could get away with a pair of comfy-looking wadges, but I guarantee you will not be comfy onboard! You can arrive in style and bring some boat shoes to switch into or something with white soles, and be prepared to be asked to take your shoes off: so make sure your pedicure is looking good! ;) 

  • NO Red Wine (White or Rose is great)
It's a nice gesture to bring wine, but do your yacht hosts a favor and steer clear of the Reds - fiberglass and teak decking's worst nightmare. Play it safe and stick to the Whites and Roses
  • Sun glasses (polarized)
Don't forget about the sunglasses! Fashionable is important, but remember, it has to be functional. I highly recommend using polarized sunglasses to protect your eyes and you will have a much better chance to see the marine life. Read more HERE.

  • Hat and Hair Tie
Most of you probably think of a big floppy hat, when you picture a yacht...well, it's the glam-magazine conditioning talking. Considering the wind, a baseball cap is much more practical. I know, I know...that's not my hat of choice either! But there is hope...there are plenty of beautiful hats out there (floppy, fedoras, etc) which have a build-in inner drawstring to help you stay fabulous and comfortable at the same time. I don't have this problem with my short hair-do nowadays, but all you ladies with long beautiful hair, make sure you bring a hair tie. The wind is cruel, and it's really hard to enjoy yourself with mouth and eyes full of your own hair.

  • Seasickness pills (Bonine) and Ginger Chews
I have written a whole post on Seasickness HERE. Make sure you throw in some Ginger Chews into your tote, they really do work wonders.

  • Sunscreen (NO aerosol bottle)
Well, "that's a no-brainer", you might think. Obviously, make sure to bring some sunscreen, but here are some important points. Go up with SPF number by at least 10, for example if you normally use SPF30, you should use a min of SPF40 or 45 on the water. The ocean and the light boat deck creates a strong reflection and you get a lot more sun exposure then you used to. Also, avoid using spray/aerosol sunscreens. The wind makes it impossible to use it on the boat and it ends up all over the fiberglass and not your body, not to mention the real safety hazard (slippery surfaces) it creates. More about Safety HERE Another must have is a Sundicator bracelet (bring a couple for your friends) to help you stay on top of how much sun you are getting. It changes colors to let you know when it's time to reapply or to get out of the sun. Learn more HERE.
  • Lip balm with SPF
The combination of the Wind and the Sun could really abuse your lips. Get some moisturizing lip balm with a min SPF15. Once onboard, put it in your pocket to have it close by.  

  • NO sharp zippers and buttons, or clothing that might stain
We all know how devastating sharp buttons or jean dyes could be to a light color car seat, well...yachts are no different. Stay away from anything sharp on your clothing, especially on the back, butt and pockets. Also consider the often light or white vinyl cushions onboard and clothing that might color them. See dress code ideas HERE.  

  • Phone Safety (case and good pockets)
Your phone is your life, make sure you protect it from the elements and yourself ;) A good grippy case is a must if you are planning to use your phone onboard. Some cases allow you to attach a wrist strap to keep it safe. Another issue that I see all the time, is the shallow pocket clothing or the lack of pockets. When you plan your outfit make sure you are thinking of a safe “phone pocket”, or an outer layer that has one.
Have an amazing time on the water! Stay Safe!
<![CDATA[Between the sheets of my new stateroom decor]]>Sat, 27 Feb 2016 08:22:38 GMThttp://nautistyles.com/1/post/2016/02/between-the-sheets-of-my-stateroom-decor.htmlYour bedroom might have the world's best mattress, but your bed is only as comfy as your bed sheets are...and a stateroom bed should feel no different!
Nautical style, comfort and functionality...where do I turn to?
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Of course my favorite brand comes to the rescue...Nautica! Great patterns and styles to choose from, beautiful colors and yes, you guessed it  - Stripes! Our master stateroom wouldn't be complete without this comfy set!
Featured in this post: Nautica
<![CDATA[Focus! Graduating to a Real Professional USCG Captain]]>Sat, 30 Jan 2016 10:06:43 GMThttp://nautistyles.com/1/post/2016/01/graduating-to-a-real-captain.htmlThe “nearly to impossible” test is over...just a sec, I'll be right back (I have to do the happy dance)...ok, I'm back!
And now I just have a few items to check off the USCG application list...
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   1.  go to Captain School - CHECK
   2.  pass the US Coast Guard exam – CHECK
   3.  get a TWIC card
I made an appointment at a TSA office, 20 min later the card will be in the mail in a week – CHECK

   4.  get First Aid and CPR Certified
I did that already when my husband had to get his (I just wanted to learn), so – CHECK, CHECK

   5.  pass a Medical exam
   6.  pass the drug test
Walk in, do some tests, pee in the cup, pass an eye exam, wait for the tests to come back – CHECK, and CHECK 
  7.  collect and organize all of your Sea TimeWell, this is a fun one. And, speaking from experience, probably the second reason why many potential captains never actually get their licenses. This step takes patience, time and organization. I'm pretty organized, and it still took me a couple months to put it together. But finally – CHECK 

   8.  fill out an application - CHECK
   9.  turn it all in to the Coast Guard 
Seems like this would have been the easiest step, but I even had a hiccup there. My super secure TWIC card was so secure that the Coast Guard could not pull it up. Ha! But finally it's a CHECK!

All is left is to seat and wait for my cute-red-passport-looking-booklet to arrive in the mail. I know I said it was not about that, but it kind of is.

Captain V – now that actually sounds right, V is for Victory!
In conclusion
No matter what your reasoning is for getting a Captain License, and trust me when I say this, it's not going to be an easy ride. And even if you are going to have the best training, like I did with Advanced Maritime Education (by the way, Robert has a few courses coming up. Classes fill up fast so don't wait to sign up www.SmartCaptains.com), you are going to wonder a few times though out this process if it is going to be worth it. But It will be! Just stick with it, learn, “trust the system”, put the time, effort and patience into it and “Aye, Aye Captain” you will be!

Your Girl Captain V

Featured in this post: Advanced Maritime Education 
<![CDATA[Revealing my USCG Captain School challenge secrets]]>Sat, 23 Jan 2016 09:41:29 GMThttp://nautistyles.com/1/post/2016/01/my-captain-school-diary.htmlDay 1:
What a relief...I'm not the only girl in my class! Our instructor Robert is super nice, funny and definitely has his Sh*t together. I'm sharing the overall excitement of my classmates...This is gonna be fun!

Day 2: 
We started on the Rules of the Road today. After my husband's stories I was prepared for the worst, but it's really not that bad. Piece of cake! Also, I think the Chart plotting might really be my thing.

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Day 3: 
Lights, shapes, sounds...this is kind of a lot of stuff...well, Robert said it's gonna be fine, so I trust him...it will be! Still loving this Chart plotting thing! I'm kicking butt! 
Day 4: 
Crap, it is pretty hard, more rules and more madness. Why couldn't they just keep it simple, streamline it...same thing means different things....gggrrrr, it's gonna be ok...just remember some of the “captains” you have met...how did they pass this?..it can't be that bad...
Day 5: 
Oh it's BAD, it's real, real bad! Robert said to “trust the system” like 3 times today, I'm really trying. These damn Rules of the Road are officially starting to make no sense. And now the Aids to Navigation are in the mix as well! Do I actually need this Captain's license?

Day 6:
Today I'm trying to focus on the positive. Chart plotting is fun! Chart plotting is really fun! Why can't it all be this easy and fun? Robert's got a joke and a story for everything and his lighthearted teaching style has been brightening this gruesome and dry material. But I think for at least half of my class the initial excitement has been permanently replaced with fear of the Rules of the Road Exam. 
Day 7: 
Well, when I'm wrong – I'm wrong. This Captain's license has officially taking over my life. I have spend the whole last week practicing the Rules. Robert's system is definitely working, I'm doing better, but I'm really starting to despise the Coast Guard. How mean can they be? I mean, International vs. Inland? Is this really necessary? 
Day 8: 
Robert told us all today that we can stop studying the Rules of the Road, we are not gonna get much better at this point. But we have to get 90% right...and I'm only getting 85-87% on all of my practice tests...Why am I doing this again? What am I trying to prove? Maybe I should just tell my husband he was right and let him laugh at my face? Tomorrow is a new day, it's all gonna get better!
Day 9: Yeah, it's official: There is NO way in hell I'm gonna pass this test. I emailed Robert last night that I'm freaking out and I feel like I don't know anything! The test is tomorrow, Kill me NOW!!!

Robert replied with:  
Using your mouse - sweeping from left to right - highlight the blank space immediately below this sentence to reveal the hidden solution…

Breathe. =;>)

Not funny Robert (well, just a little), I'm seriously freaking out!

Today just to toy with us, Robert showed us our Certificates! “Check out what you have to look forward to tomorrow!” he said. I think that was supposed to inspire us...yeah...good stuff!
Exam Day:
4 exams in 4 hours...Breathe...I mean what if you actually pass?! You got this, you are ready! Breathe, Breathe...
Rules of the Road first...first 7 questions are NUTS! Yeah, I really do not need this captain's license...my husband is so much smarter then me...hhhmm, it's getting easier, or maybe I'm just conditioning myself at this point...this is gonna be a close one. As I'm turning it in, Robert is laughing at my constipated face...kind of making me feel better about this whole thing...I mean, he offers a free spot in the next class to loosers like me...do I really have to do this all over again? I don't think I can!

Deck General, Navigation, Chart Plotting...oh my Favorite Chart Plotting, don't let me down!!!  

Is it really over? Am I done?

 I'm so hungry, but I can't eat anything...my stomach is a knot...a rope knot...an Ashley Stopper Knot to be exact!
Robert is grading the exams....feels like this wait will never end...I can see now why so many people do this once and if they don't pass on the first try - never come back...I have so much respect for all the captains out there! It doesn't matter actually if I don't pass, I learned so much...it's starting to sink in...I actually know so much more now compared to when I walked through that door 3 weeks go...I know the right-the-ways (well I guess the Exam will show), the fog signals, the day shapes, the markers, the fire fighting technics, the ropes, the charts...man, forget the test...captain or not, I felt a lot more confidant about being on board right now...I think I'm gonna buy myself a captain's hat either way. Ha!

The results are in, Robert certainly enjoys this drumroll torture. “I have passed the Navi, the Deck General, the Aids” he says, “but on the Rules of the Road (Damn Rules!..aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh) I only got 94%”. Oh noooooo....Crap!!! Wait did he say 94??? What??? Robert is holding my certificate of completion in his hand...I think I might be hugging him, yep I'm definitely hugging Robert.

“Trust me, trust the system!” he said...”Breathe!”...I can't believe it actually worked...”Look at me! I'm the Captain NOW!”

Well, not so fast...again!

to be continued...
Featured in this post: Advanced Maritime Education 
<![CDATA[The truth about becoming a USCG Certified Captain]]>Sat, 16 Jan 2016 08:55:43 GMThttp://nautistyles.com/1/post/2016/01/what-does-it-take-to-become-a-uscg-certified-captain.htmlWhen you spend as much time on board as I do, you start wondering what would be the next step? What would be the ultimate goal that separates the recreational boater and a professional? Well, Captain comes to mind...CAPTAIN...hmmm, it's like trying on a new last name or a royal status...Captain Victoria, Captain V...that has a nice ring to it!
But can I do this? Can I really become a captain? Do I have what it takes? And what does it really take?
Read the full story
Well, it took a little research, but the steps seemed pretty straight forward:  
  1. go to Captain School
  2. pass the US Coast Guard exam
  3. get a TWIC card
  4. get First Aid and CPR Certified
  5. pass a Medical exam
  6. pass the drug test
  7. collect and organize all of your Sea Time
  8. fill out an application
  9. turn it all in to the Coast Guard
and Vuala! Captain you are!
Well, not so fast...
Since my goal was not to just get a cute-red-passport-looking-booklet in my hand and I actually wanted to learn and expand my horizons per se, I have spent the next few days researching my options for a Captain School: I read, I called...In Los Angeles Area the options were actually very limited, only a couple of schools...no one returned my calls, so I had to expand my search radius: San Diego, Newport Beach... After finally speaking to a few schools on the phone, I felt like a piece gum on a conveyor belt...everybody wanted me...to chew me up and spit me out! None really stood out: some were too far away, some were way too expensive, some had an impossible schedule and some did not seem to care about my needs what-so-ever...I pretty much gave up!
And then I got a call back from Robert with Advanced Maritime Education. Robert was like a breath of fresh air: he cared, answered all of my silly questions and actually made me feel excited about this whole thing.
Advanced Maritime Education is based in San Francisco and a few times a year the school is available in Long Beach (Los Angeles Area). It's definitely very affordable and the Fri-Sun schedule worked great for my busy life. Check and check!
So I signed up. My husband told me that the Coast Guard Exam is really hard, and I should prepare to put my life and the blog on hold for the next month because all I'm gonna do is study. Blah, blah, blah...He did it, I'm smart too...I'm good at tests! How hard can it be, right?


to be continued...
Featured in this post: Advanced Maritime Education 
<![CDATA[The spotlight on the World of Nautical accessories]]>Sat, 09 Jan 2016 08:06:06 GMThttp://nautistyles.com/1/post/2016/01/the-world-of-nautical-accessories.htmlAccessories...no outfit is complete without it. Anchor bracelets, belts, nautical stacks & watches...these amazing brands are taking Nautical into Stylish & Fashionable!
So here are some of my recent favs...
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Morgan Kate Jewelry                                               Shark & Anchor
Featured in this post: Sail Swag, Maris Sal, Nautica, Hollis Hayes Jewelry, Morgan Kate Jewelry, Shark & Anchor
all opinions are my own