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Clearing into Comoros

Comoros, an island nation tucked between Mozambique and Madagascar, is the landfall I have most anticipated among our planned Indian Ocean destinations. Comoros does not have published official fees or processes for private boats to visit; there is no tourism industry here. That’s what happens when more than twenty coups are attempted since independence from […]

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Self-steering on board

Autopilot? Windvane? Both, or hard-core hand-steering? Problems with our autopilot have caused some headaches on Totem. So why don’t we have a windvane for self-steering, instead of relying only on an autopilot? There are a lot of reasons to add a windvane. They don’t need any power, whereas running the autopilot 24×7 on longer passages […]

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Shelter from the storm

We thought we’d be in the Comoros by this morning, a string of islands between Mozambique and Madagascar; instead, we’re still 240 miles away and anchored. Exhausted from three rough days at sea, as our course passed in the lee of an uninhabited atoll in the outer Seychelles it was all too easy to decide […]

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Indian Ocean cruising bloggers

I love sharing our experiences sailing across the Indian Ocean. Along the way from Malaysia to South Africa, we’re hanging out with some other really terrific bloggers. I want to give a shoutout to a number of them for additional views into the places we’ve been visiting: they are a mix of thoughtful perspectives, good […]

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Southbound from Seychelles

Finally (FINALLY) we can leave: all the packages we’ve been waiting for are on board, after 18 bus rides and enough face time to be on a first-name basis with clerks in the post office, officials in the Seychelles Revenue Commission, EVEN a bus driver (total count: 18 bus rides). Clearance could have been done […]

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Voyaging With Kids: how to take your family cruising

How do families go cruising? What do you need to know to take your kids off on a bluewater cruising adventure? How on earth to you homeschool across an ocean? What happens when the voyage is over? When our kids were babies and Jamie and I were lining up our exit strategy, none of the books on […]

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Getting mail in Seychelles

Cruising is often described as routine maintenance in exotic locations, and like many turns of phrase is well-rooted in common experience. We’ve been mired in more of the fix/repair end of the spectrum lately, an occasionally more frustrating twist. While parts or consumables needed for maintenance can be pretty well anticipated, you can’t carry every […]

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How use less internet data

Before we went cruising, we took unlimited internet access for granted. Traveling full time means relying on pre-paid plans for internet, which is almost always metered data, and that data can be really expensive sometimes. [above: Jamie gives lessons on a new computer to islanders in Papua New Guinea. Computers and the internet are part of life, even […]

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Cruising Praslin Island, Seychelles

We spent much of our first month in Seychelles anchored off Victoria. With a watermaker on the fritz, it’s been helpful to be near the (very welcoming!) Seychelles Yacht Club and the drinking water tap at their boat ramp. Victoria is also the hub where we can do everything from buy locally grown produce to […]

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The best apps for cruising- part II

What apps do cruisers actually use on their ipad / android to make life easier, safer, or more fun? The last post covered navigation, weather, and other apps for sailing. This post is about everything else that we find useful to our cruising life. And despite the title, the objective here isn’t actually to list […]