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The $500 day trip

Experiencing some of Sri Lanka’s ancient cities was one of our goals during a month-long stay. Two of the outstanding examples are within day-trip distance of Trincomalee: the 9th century city of Polonnuwara, and the 1500+ year old fortress of Sigiriya. If you’re a product of the 80s (*cough*), you know these ancient sites- trust […]

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Sri Lanka’s wild side

Traveling Sri Lanka’s interior meant some long days on the road (or railway tracks). Between that, and the likelihood of many “educational” stops, we thought the best way to end our adventures on a high note with potentially templed-out kids was to splurge on a safari. This isn’t a big country- the land area is similar […]

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Exploring Sri Lanka

It’s very rare for us leave Totem to travel inland in countries we visit. This is mostly a function of money: we can’t afford the higher costs of living off the boat with restaurant meals and accommodations. It’s costly to buy the peace of mind of putting Totem in a marina instead of leaving her […]

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Beautiful Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has captured our hearts and minds: one month has flown by. There has been fascinating history, culture, food, and more for us to learn about and experience. But it was so much more than that: more than any country, it’s been about the people that we meet. You can’t walk down the street […]

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Trincomalee: from war zone to cruising port, II

We approached Trincomalee with excitement and trepidation. This port is run by the Navy; it’s new to cruising boats after decades of civil war: officials don’t understand our needs, any more than cruisers understand theirs. The first boats to arrive didn’t have the freedom they’re accustomed to at most cruising ports of call (such as […]

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Trincomalee, Sri Lanka: from war zone to cruising port

Trincomalee so far has been a feast of sights, sounds, smells, experiences. It has been both friendly and jarring, and I wake up wondering what each day will bring. But that’s getting ahead of things a little. First, we had to get here! For years, cruising boats pointing to Sri Lanka all called in to […]

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Iridium GO! + PredictWind for Totem’s Indian Ocean debut

Not long before leaving Malaysia, we purchased an Iridium GO!. This was somewhat unexpected because Totem has long been a radio centric boat. Since we started cruising in 2008 we’ve relied solely on our HF radio for long distance communications: it has met our needs, we value the community of an informal radio net at sea, […]

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Giving back: the best birthday gift ever

We’re just over one week in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. It is an explosion of new experiences: it’s so different, full of new sights and sounds and tastes and smells, which are taking time to process! But we are so happy to be here, relaxing into a familiar rhythm and learning about a new place…like walking […]

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Passage making: Malaysia to Sri Lanka, part two

Coastal Cruising has dominated the last couple of years in Southeast Asia. Our passage making skills are rusty. Before we left, I wondered: what habits would we have to relearn? What would come back like muscle memory? Read about the first half of the passage here – this picks up with the back half. Day […]

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Passage making: Malaysia to Sri Lanka

Coastal Cruising has dominated the last couple of years in Southeast Asia. Our passage making skills are rusty. Before we left, I wondered: what habits would we have to relearn? What would come back like muscle memory? Day 0 When you take off for a voyage, sometimes, it’s best just to tuck around the corner […]