Our Friend Michael

This week, I wanted to introduce Michael, currently the third engineer on the Manoa. Michael was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, where his family has lived for generations.  He has four kids, ages 12, 13, 23 and 26.  He has served in both the Navy, starting in 1986, and the Coastguard, starting in 1997.  Michael has always worked in the engine room; his first job for the Navy was as a boiler technician. While in the Navy, he was stationed in California, and while in the Coastguard, he was stationed in Hawaii. He has traveled all over the world, including the South Pacific, Far East and Middle East.  His favorite place he has traveled is Japan. He loves the cuisine; his favorite dishes include udon and sashimi.  While in the Coastguard, Michael received his second engineer’s license.  In 2008, he starting working for commercial companies.  He has worked on high speed ferries, research vessels, and now containerships for Matson.

In the past 5 weeks, Michael has become a friend and a father figure for us.  I can without a doubt say he is the happiest person I’ve ever met.  Every day at breakfast, he greets us with an infectious smile and wishes us good morning.  Day to day, he is always making jokes and keeping spirits up.

Michael loves the beach, surfing, warm weather (he thinks anything below 70 is cold), and bbqs. All of his kids are very athletic, and he loves coaching and playing basketball with them.  However, when asked what his favorite thing to do is, he said, “spending time with my wife!”

I think one of the most important things I’ve learned from my winter work last year and this year is that the people are what truly make an experience special.  Michael has helped make every day of our adventure fun and enjoyable.  He also shares his wisdom with us.  He reminds us to get as much education as we can, to live life to the fullest and have no regrets, to travel everywhere and not settle down until we are at least 30, and to appreciate every minute we have in this world.  Michael is truly an incredible person, and I am so thankful to have met him.

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