2015: Year in Review

Whew! I’m glad it’s over! Here’s hoping for a better year this year!

It didn’t start out too bad. I was working steady for Ocean Rig, and no matter how much it sucked, it was still a job. That’s MUCH better than where I am now, with NO job! Or maybe I should say no money, I could do without the job if it didn’t mean no money!

Yeah, I hated their petty BS, they never really listened to me (or anybody else on the vessels) and insisted I repeat time wasting, un-necessary “training” instead of allowing me to enjoy my time off. I hate all the rules and regulations, but that’s something to deal with pretty much everywhere now. I keep hoping to find a small mom and pop company that does things the old way. Somewhere we all could really ENJOY work again (and not just do it for the paycheck).

Even so, I still loved the job for 1. the pay, that allows me to enjoy 2. the time off, and when I go back to work 3. it’s still out there on the water instead of in some dreary office cubicle!

drill ship

I really didn’t do much other than work last year. I did manage to go sailing a few times with the local meet up group Sail La Vie. I actually managed to finish ONE of my goals from last years New Years resolutions (post at least once a week). I SOLD an article! I uploaded a few photos to the stock agencies that were accepted (most failed).

Nothing really exciting til I took a vacation down to Central America in late July. I had been planning to go to a blogging workshop in Costa Rica for months and hoping I could make it work with my schedule. At the last minute, I was able to work over and so could make the trip.

I flew to Managua since it was the cheapest flight I could find. I went directly to Granada for a week long Spanish immersion class. From there I went to the blogging workshop in Costa Rica. I had been considering moving my blog to a paid site for a while since I thought I had to do that in order to ‘monetize’ it. I only started blogging as a way to earn money and yes, I still DO want to do that.

I wanted to find a way to get my photography out there, my writing out there, my experiences out there- PAST the editors and to the people who might enjoy it! So far, I am not making much progress in any of that. Yes, I have had a few people ‘like’ my posts, but nowhere near enough ‘followers’ to make it worth trying to put any sort of links or ads on here. So I moved the blog while I was at the workshop and had help.

That was a pure DISASTER!

For 3 months, I had a total of 3 new followers, 4-5 likes, a dozen or so views. I was so frustrated and discouraged. I still haven’t figured out what went wrong or how to fix it. I DID finally find out that most of my old followers hadn’t actually disappeared, they were still here, on my OLD blog and didn’t get transferred to my NEW blog like they were supposed to have been (automatically).

So, I have basically had to start BOTH blogs over again from scratch as far as finding an audience. I was about to just say the hell with it all and chalk it up as just one more failure. One more money making scheme that will never work. But then I thought about it some more and I really do like blogging just for the sake of blogging. It’s not all about the money. I like meeting people from all over the world, I like seeing what they’re all doing, I like participating in the challenges, and I also like seeing what I can do to increase my stats. πŸ˜‰

So, I will keep on blogging, still hoping to someday figure out how to make some money off it, but in the meantime having fun with it.

I did really enjoy the workshop and it was helpful (except for the screwed up blog move). I had a good time with all the other bloggers, but after it was over I was eager to get back to Nicaragua. Costa Rica was just too expensive for me!

I went to San Juan del Sur and stayed to see the arribada (the turtles coming to lay their eggs). That was really something! I wish I could have stayed longer to do it again, but I wanted to go back to Granada for the hipica. That was supposed to be something really special. Something like the running of the bulls in Pamplona but not as crowded, plus fancy horse carts and all kinds of celebrations. I was really looking forward to it.

I got back to Granada and found out they had changed the dates (without notice) and so I would miss the celebrations after all. 😦

My friend from high school was coming down and I was getting sick of the heat and humidity, so I decided to meet him in the northern mountain town of Matagalpa. That was a nice change. We went riding around in his rental car. We went searching for the town of the weavers which turned into a real adventure. I would never had tried to take a little rental car up in those crazy mountain roads, but T had no problems.

We finally found the place, only about 100 population, I’m still amazed we even got there. After that, we had to buy some fabrics. T did.

I went back home to look for work after that trip, Ocean Rig called and laid me off while I was down there. T decided to go take the TEFL course. He’s happily teaching English in Mexico now. I’ve been thinking about doing the same thing.

I’ve been trying to figure out what in the hell I’m going to do now. I’ve spent my entire life at sea, never really done anything else and now there is NO work out there. Now that the price of oil has taken a nose dive and the forecast is not looking good for the next year or 2 (at least).

I went to Phoenix for a conference on how to earn a living overseas. That was interesting, especially if you want to run a business, but I don’t want to work any harder than I do now. Β  I still don’t really have any great ideas on what to do myself. Not unless I can flat out ‘retire’ with enough money to last til I die (I can’t). I went to the Workboat Show in New Orleans, hoping there would be someone hiring at the job fair there (there wasn’t). I went to a writing workshop in Colorado, hoping to get my writing polished up enough to send in to magazines (still working on that).

I’ve mostly hanging around the house, filling out job applications, waiting for emails or calls about work, not feeling like doing much of anything, wondering what can I do to make things work out. How can I make a move? How can I motivate myself to just DO IT? or at least do something?

 

PS- This is my first post in Linda’s Just Jot It January challenge. Click the link if you want to join in. πŸ™‚

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12 thoughts on “2015: Year in Review

    • Thanks Todd! I sure do hope so. In the meantime I’m keeping busy. I’ll be working a lot more on my creative projects- writing, blogging, painting, photography. Maybe I can figure out a way to earn some money from those projects?

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  1. Hi Capt. Jill, It sounds like you are feeling dissatisfied with your world at the moment but by golly it all sounds like you’ve had an amazing year anyway! I’d love to see some photos from the arribada. All the best for a great 2016!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Sabrina. You’re right, last year was pretty decent. I should be grateful. At the moment, things are not looking too great financially. But other than that it’s nice to have some quiet time at home.
      I only got one good photo from the arribada. I was very disappointed that they only went at night and it was almost impossible to get photos.
      I think I still have one somewhere, but almost all of my photos from that trip got hacked soon after I got home. I was SO upset! Thousands of photos stolen and they blackmailed me to get them back (I did try, but by the time I got the money ready, they doubled the price and I just couldn’t do it). 😦
      I’ll see if I can find a photo and post it for you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Capt Jill, I’m so sorry to hear about the story of your photographs being hacked and you being blackmailed! What a terrible thing to have happen. This may sound like a strange idea to you, but would you like to be a guest blogger on my site to post the story of what happened? I think this is the sort of thing everyone should know about. You may have already posted on this on your site, but let me know if you think you would be comfortable working with me to get your story out a bit more as a warning for others.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sure Sabrina, I would like to do that. I think I did already write something about it on my blog, but not too much.
        I’m still upset about it, and mostly the fact that there is really nothing I can do about it, the police and even the FBI aren’t going to even try (yes, I did contact them).

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can certainly understand you being upset – it was a very upsetting thing to have happen.

        I have only done one guest blog so far (at https://thephotographicalist.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/anthony-brown-and-effortful-photography/) and I have another one in the works with a photographic artist.

        I propose you write your story at your own pace, and when you’re ready I’ll put it up with a bit of an introduction and conclusion. If you can find one or two photos that escaped this calamity we can put them up as well. I will look forward to hearing from you in your own time.

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  2. You are such a fascinating person to follow. You just have so much knowledge of seafaring, and you have visited the most interesting places. (I also share your points of view on government and freedom πŸ˜‰

    I hope that your new perspective on blogging gives you a positive outlet while you are dealing with these setbacks. I’ve been laid off before too, and it’s scary as hell. Sometimes really discouraging. But I’m confident that work will turn up, even if it isn’t immediately meaningful or as enjoyable. Eventually it will turn out for the best. Happy new year πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Tiffany! I appreciate your comments.
      Yeah, it is very discouraging. You know my views on what’s happening in the world, that is why I’m so desperate to get the hell out of here before the SHTF! I was getting so close to finally being able to just say the hell with it all, leave here and move somewhere else legally and with a few options. Now, I’m stuck in the rut again.
      I have made up my mind to do the TEFL course this year. That will give me at least one option. Since there’s no work, I might as well go spend a few bucks while I still have them to spend. Maybe I can earn enough to live on somewhere else and find something interesting to do elsewhere.
      I’m waiting to get repairs done on my property so I can put it up for sale. Selling it will clear up some large expenses and maybe give me some other options.
      I’m still hoping to hear from the recruiters, one of them told me he had a job for me leaving on the 14th. If that comes through, I’ll be good to go!
      Happy New Year to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Linda.
      Nope, not for lack of trying, there’s just no work out there right now and probably won’t be til they start drilling again (when the price of oil goes back up).
      I’m racking my brains trying to figure out something else to do!

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