As 2021 comes to an end, I was reminded by a friend yesterday about how lucky I am to have found a passion and career that links my time as a dive instructor and sailing captain to my current life as a working mom and author. It seems like a different life when I reflect on our time living and traveling all over the world on yachts. During that time, I had a very unique perspective, literally working under the water as a dive instructor. I witnessed the problems of plastic and trash found in our oceans first-hand. I saw the littered shores in Patong Bay, Thailand and the coast lines of Malaysia. I saw more and more trash accumulating on reefs in places like the British Virgin Islands and even the shores of Figure 8 Island, NC and Siesta Key, Florida. I watched as a turtle tried to eat a plastic bag on numerous occasions, more recently, with my children snorkeling in the Dominican Republic. These experiences made a huge impact on me and inspired me to do something about it. One of the hardest things for me was figuring out what to do or how I could make a difference. I am very fulfilled knowing that I found a way to tie these unique experiences of my past to my now, in hopes of making a difference for our future. I can't wait to share these experiences through my children's picture books. So much good is coming in 2022!
*Picture above is of my oldest daughter in Siesta Key, Florida with a quote that really speaks to me. "The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it". -Robert Swan.
Photo above of S/Y Yanneke Too, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand, 2009.
In my years post-college, I worked on yachts all over the world. Honestly, the structure of daily life, the planning, the training, and the insanely hard work and long hours in the industry gave me incredible tools to take with me in my life. This picture is of my last “superyacht” home, S/Y Yanneke Too. We were based in Phuket, Thailand at Yacht Haven Marina and cruised through the Phi Phi and Pulau islands of Thailand and Malaysia. As chief stewardess and private dive instructor on board, standing watches as a licensed captain, things were always happening. And boy do we have some stories to tell.
So many ideas for my children’s picture books come from my time working on yachts, traveling the world, living among different cultures, experiencing new traditions, and learning to appreciate each moment.
This picture was a good moment. One of my final sunrises on watch. One that I’ll never forget. One where a little flying fish jumped up from the sea and landed right on deck after I took this picture. She flip-flopped around. We had a moment together before I saved her. I’ll name that fish Fiona in my next picture book, give her a voice, and help explain what is happening in our oceans from plastics to entanglement, all from her perspective. I can't wait to write it!
Blair has travelled extensively all over the world. She and her husband enjoy taking their kids on big adventures together. Blair writes children's picture books for all ages! Most of her stories are inspired by life events. They feature kid’s curiosity, love of the environment, laughter, and fantasy.