Caught Adrift Blog
"It is the inspiration of the Olympic Games that drives people not only to compete but to improve, and to bring lasting spiritual and moral benefits to the athlete and inspiration to those lucky enough to witness the athletic dedication" -Herb Elliott (Australian Olympian)
Image Credit: John_Brennan
Nantucket's own AJ Mleczko will once again proudly represent the island in the Winter Olympics, this year in Sochi. This will be the fifth Olympics she has had an opportunity to have a role in. AJ has enjoyed a storied hockey career and is now sought after as a commentator. Her ties to the island remain strong as she supports local budding hockey players and figure skaters. Perhaps her support will result in another Nantucket Olympian in the future. Until that day, Nantucket will celebrate AJ and her impressive career.
College and Olympic Career
As an All-American hockey player at Harvard she won the USA Hockey Women's Player of the Year Award in 1999. That same year, she made history as she went on to win the esteemed Patty Kazmaier Award, being only the second woman to ever do so. As a result of her illustrious college career, Mleczko was inducted into the Women's Beanpot Hall of Fame in 2011.
After graduating from Harvard, Mleczko became the driving force behind the USA's 1998 Olympic gold metal hockey team. She was once again the centerpiece of the USA Women's Hockey team when the USA took silver in 2002 in Salt Lake.
After one of the most prolific careers in US hockey history, AJ Mleczko -- a Nantucket Island Native -- has become the face of women's hockey broadcasting. This year, she will represent us as one of the broadcast center-pieces as she has for the past two Winter Olympics.
While Mleczko's hockey career was nothing less than historic in significance, Mleczko is probably equally recognized for the work as a commentator and color analyst at the last two Olympics.
In addition to her busy schedule as a broadcaster, Mleczko finds ways to support her hometown. In an effort to help Nantucket pay off the business loan it took out for the island's only hockey rink, she organized and has run ''Charity on Ice'' for the last seven years, an event that brings in professional hockey players for a fun game in front of what is generally a sell-out crowd.
The 2014 Winter Olympics are just a few days old and there's already been a major malfunction during the opening ceremony, a U.S. figure skater - Ashley Wagner - doing her own "McKayla is not impressed face" and plenty of medals handed out to boot. And the great news is that amid all the storylines and events that have already taken place in Sochi, Russia, there are plenty more notable ones on tap as these Olympic games roll along. Here's a look at the top 11 story lines still ahead in the games:
Curling has passionate participants and fans in colder climates but is still virtually unknown outside those areas. With the sport's inclusion in the Olympics and increasing pop culture mentions in television and films, that is starting to change. Is curling new to you? Here's our Introduction to Curling to tell you what you need to know.
Long ago men lived in boats and caves. Somehow we have never forgotten. What happens when the man cave meets the sailboat? Nautical man cave. This post explores the nautical man cave providing inspiration should you want to create your own.
Nautical Man Cave Essentials
A man cave according to Google is defined as "a room or other part of a home regarded as a refuge for the man or men of a household." Consider household another term for friends and you get the idea. A nautical man cave mixes in love of sailing and all things nautical, the ocean, the sandy beaches, everything. The essentials of any good man cave are space, drinks, food, entertainment, and fitting decorations. Variations on these essentials provide the style of man cave. For the nautical man cave here are some specific essentials.
Man Cave Space
Every man needs his own space, an area of the home where only his rules apply. This usually ends up being in the garage or basement area initially setup to throw under-appreciated things. The man is left to design this area and so the man cave is born. Although natural lighting is nice, consider having some adjustable lighting in case you need to reorganize any of your stuff from unannounced visits. Really a man cave is born anywhere there is enough space to hang out, drink, and be merry.
Man Cave Drinks, Food, and Entertainment
As a sailor or anyone nautically inclined you should always have enough rum on hand for 20 people just in case. All that rum means you better have some good snacks on hand and although beer-candied bacon certainly sounds pretty good, most of the time you won't have time to get or make beer-candied bacon.
Food in a man cave is much like having food on a sailboat, it is all about access and portability. Think about if you were to ever go on a long sailing voyage, what food would you bring? Take that list and keep only those things you can eat without cooking. Bread, crackers, cereal, fruit, dried meat, and lots and lots of snacks. When in doubt add more beer or rum.
For entertainment most consider a good sized TV essential. Beyond that you need to have some cards and other games that are easy to play. Anything with complicated rules should be used for display only.
Man Cave Nautical Decorations
Of course you need the regular man cave essentials like a comfortable couch and some easy chairs. Beyond the usual mixture you need some things to create a nautical look and feel. You need a ship's wheel, one or two model sailboats, and some signs. That's it!
Want some more inspiration? Check out our Man Cave for Sailors Pinterest board with over 50 pins.
"Only two sailors in my experience never ran aground. One never left port and the other was an atrocious liar" --Don Bamford
This weeks quote follows similar logic as last weeks Vincent Van Gogh's sailing quote. The sea has an element of danger one of them being running aground. Any sailor worth their salt is prepared for such an event by at least becoming familiar with what to do if your boat runs aground.
The off-season is one of the best times to use in preparation for upcoming sailing events of the summer. As any sailor knows, boat safety is something learned before you need it. Even just brushing up on knots can be a great way to spend some of the winter months. Other ways include some good sailing books such as Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum, A Voyage for Madmen by Peter Nichols, and Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian. Then when you run aground or hit a shipping container at sea you can live to make a movie about it.
Valentines Day is coming up soon. Although it is still winter you can celebrate Valentines Day at the beach! There are only a few items needed to help celebrate the day while taking a vacation from winter. If you follow everything below you will be celebrating without a care in the world!
Valentines Day at the Beach with Your Toes in the Sand
First off you need your toes in the sand! There is nothing like relaxing with the feeling of sand in and around your toes. The best thing is play sand. It isn't expensive, it's safe, and bug free! You can usually get a bag of children's play sand at the hardware store for around $5. While you are there if they have it pick up a Tubtrug but if they don't have it you can get one at Gardener's Supply for less than $14 here. You can just add your sand or you could warm it up a bit! There are different opinions on warming sand in the oven however you could warm a few rocks and place those in the sand. The rocks will transfer the warmth making taking putting your toes in a little more enticing!
Dancing to Music at the Beach
If you are going to the beach you need music! Now if you don't have a huge selection of beach music to choose from don't worry! There are plenty of cool playlists to choose from on Spotify or Songza. Some people enjoy a mix of tunes about the beach and ocean and for them they might want something like "Life's a Beach" playlist on Songza
Even if it's the dead of winter, it'll feel like you're relaxing in the sun on the sand when you crank up these beach-minded tunes.
Others might just want to chill for that you might try Chill Out Music - Ultimate Sunset Beach Playlist. Of course if you really want to dance go for the Beach Party mix with Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry and more. Whichever way you go there are tons of options or you could mashup a list of your own.
Clothes and Decorations to Make It
Getting decked out for the occasion is a must! Everyone has their own way of hanging at the beach. It should come as no surprise that we prefer going with seersucker, madras, or faded red clothes to stay both stylish and comfortable. Try either women's beach wear or men's beach wear or just hang with women's madras shorts or men's madras shorts.
Of course nothing is complete without a few decorations! Start out with a large glass heart bottle filled with rose pedals. Rest your head on the treasures by the sea pillow while gazing at the happy hour or summertime and the livin' is easy wood signs.
The best is for last, the smell of the ocean which usually just means reminders of the ocean. For that take out your sun screen and put some on your face and arms. No really, try it. Then put on some sun glasses, put your feet in the sand and crank the tunes. Oh and if you are still not feeling it, try the Smooth Sailing recipe:
1 1/2 oz vodka
1 1/2 oz triple sec
2 oz orange juice
2 oz cranberry juice
1/2 oz cherry brandy
Cheers! Oh wait, we didn't forget about love nor comedy, check it out:
The off season is one of the best times to spruce up areas of your home that are sometimes neglected like the stairs. One of the best ways to do that is with reminders of the ocean, sailing, and the beach. Here are a few inspirational photos and ideas for what you could do with that long bit of wall space heading up and down the stairs.
Using Rope and Cleats
There is a bit of fun from using a few simple cleats and rope. The images here consist of more elaborate practical setups however rope and cleats could be used in just a few places as a nautical accent.
Using Ship's Wheels
Ship's wheels are fun to use and easily recognizable. Unless your stairs are particularly narrow, a good size to use is between 30-42 inches. You may even be able to get away with using a couple of ship's wheels such as in this Pinterest image:
Nautical Art and Oars
Another really useful item are oars. When the right color and size these can be used as a way to frame other images. These would work best on a longer stretch of stairway. Here is an examples not shown in the stairway but could still work there.
Many people use frames in the stairway, to make it a strong theme use some nautical art instead of pictures. If you don't have something to use we have nautical wood charts, Rainbow Fleet painting, and nautical prints that would work well hanging in conjunction with nautical accents like ship's bells, nautical clocks and porthole shops. Here are some examples of frames used in the stairway.
Using Favorite Sailing Quotes
A little more involved but a lot of fun is using favorite sailing quotes. Each stair is painted with a part of the quote. The more successful of these use shorter words and quotes but it also depends upon the length of your staircase and patience in painting. Here are some examples of words used on a staircase. You could also go with just solid bands of popular nautical colors such as here. View our Nautical Quotes Pinterest board for inspiration.
You could also consider combining the use of quotes and frames on the wall such as with this example:
Whatever direction you go with creating nautical stairs decor it is fun to swap out periodically with something different. This works well for seasonal changes or to highlight different family projects. Let us know what you do with your project by tweeting with the hash tag #nbnautical. Check out our Stairs Decor Pinterest board for ongoing inspirations!