Some people are exhausting. Really taking notice of how much I’m enjoying my time in isolation.

Happy Hour at Home

Happy Hour at Home

Photo journal from a few weeks ago — happy hour coconuts and card games with the love of my life.

I’m rocking this cool hat that belonged to Gabby’s late grandmother, which she got in Tahiti many years ago.

Quarantine Diaries Day 66-70

Quarantine Diaries Day 66-70

Quarantine Diaries — May 14-18

Thursday, May 14 — After my morning yoga sesh, I was looking for Yodi and walked out to the beach where she normally likes to try and catch fish. I couldn’t find her, so I asked my neighbor who was just about to head out on the paddle board if she had seen Yodi. She pointed out to the silhouettes in the distance where her sisters were kayaking and told me that Yodi jumped on their boards to join them on their morning adventure. I laughed and felt grateful for my sweet silly water pup.

Friday, May 15 — Sunrise yoga with Jabs out in the treehouse, while the pups demanded our attention. The sun burst out from the east, shining on us while we got our sweat on.

And later: got in the water for a small flotilla Friday to celebrate our neighbor Sabrina’s birthday in quarantine, and then went to her place to play board games, watch virtual concerts, and eat all the choc cake that Tamiano made.

Saturday, May 16 — We repainted our fridge with a new layer of blue because the old paint was starting to peel off. And I polished our cutting boards with my homemade wood butter. Also, how amazing is the grain on this cutting board? It’s locally made and sourced from a fetau tree, and we had just bought it from our friends who made it.

It started raining; the perfect cue to relax in bed, but the skies cleared just in time for Char to come over for a little girls day with Gab and Traci at the beach. I hadn’t hung out with Char since quarantine started so it was nice to catch up over pizza and wine, and get in the water to watch the sunset.

Sunday, May 17 — I’m so stoked that our house is finally rat-free, or at least, I really hope so! We spent all morning deep cleaning our home, and did a lot of random home projects and chores. Ian installed our new shower rod and toilet paper holder. I cleaned the microwave. Ian got the stickers off all our reused jars we now use as drinking glasses and ran the robovac in the house while I swept the balcony and porch. We also had some papaya and celery about to go bad so made some juice! It was one of our most productive mornings all quarantine.

Convinced that the day was still young, Ian grabbed our SUPs and I grabbed our snorkels and we paddled out to the deep “blue hole”. I was curious to see how our corals were faring in the midst of a coral bleaching alert level 2. Ian and I did a quick site survey as we drift snorkeled back a ways, and spotted 10 small patches that were bleached.

We showered, played cards, enjoyed a bevvy and some bbq thanks to Traci and Ano, then binge-watched Hollywood, Michelle Obama’s Becoming, and re-started Avatar: The Last Airbender on Netflix. It was a solid great day.

Monday, May 18 — Thankful for another incredible sunrise worthy of sun salutations.

Today is Day 70 since I started quarantining. There have been ups and downs throughout this whole isolation/lockdown/grounding, but thankfully for me, there have been more ups than downs, and I owe a lot of that to my best friend for keeping me creative, and my fiance for keeping me sane and loved.

Code Blue activities

Code Blue activities

American Samoa is still under Code Blue, which means we have 0 confirmed cases of coronavirus — thank God. It also means that we have some freedoms to roam, albeit very limited, and not necessarily encouraged nor recommended. I’ve mostly kept to the confines my home and village peninsula for the last, what is it now, 70 days… ?! But on this particular day last week, I did some field work, and got treated to my first meal out at an actual restaurant in more than 2 months!

Last week, my Code Blue life looked a little like this…

Fogama‘a national marine sanctuary is one of my favorite little hideaway beaches. I went with a few coworkers and Gabby tagged along so we could capture some future outreach media.

Snorkeled for a bit and the science team checked the reef for signs of possible bleaching. Based on my sight surveys, there were some small patches of bleached coral, but overall it looked like it was doing well despite the heat stress.

After spending the whole morning at Fogama‘a, Gabby and I went back home and hung out at our beach for a couple of hours. We were super hungry after a long day under the sun, and decided to eat out. Big thanks to Gabs for treating me and Ian to dinner out at Sadie’s by the Sea… our first meal out of the house, and it was so lovely! So grateful for her, and so glad she made it back home from her travels in time before the borders were shut.

My website has a new look!

My website has a new look!

As a very visual and sometimes indecisive person, I play around with new layouts and designs here on my website a lot. It’s taken me ages to design something that I feel is representative of my aesthetic, and even though it’s not all there just yet, I’m happy with what it looks like right now… and so I’m excited to share

my new website design refresh!

I mean, no big deal. It’s actually been live for the last two weeks already. I just haven’t had the energy to write a post about it and share it with friends. I did however, want to share the screenshots of the Home/landing page here—a very different look from the last design. I will likely continue tweaking little things here and there whenever I feel like it, so it’ll keep evolving as I do. I cherish this personal website as a way to share my thoughts, photos, and life work, and it feels so good to have a pretty place on the world wide interwebs that is fully me, you know?

One of my favorite things is the quote randomizer I’ve included on the home page. If you click more, the quote will refresh with another one, and it’s fun to look at and toggle when I need a quick boost of inspo. Other things I’ve updated are my About Me page, a new scroll to top shortcut, new navigation menu layout (which is now a hamburger icon/full-screen menu), and created a new Privacy Policy page(!). It’s not something I originally thought about, but I’ve learned it’s so important to have so I can protect my copyrights, especially as a freelance photographer, and outline the terms of use for my website. I’m still thinking about other ways to refresh my Photography Portfolio and Web + Design Portfolio pages because it’s boring right now, and I’d like to display my work more attractively.

If you have any suggestions, or even any comments or feedback on my website’s new look, I’d love to hear them!

xo, Nerelle