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Free range cruising kids

At the moment, we’re with four other kid boats including thirteen kids between our little fleet. All five of us are sharing an anchorage in the Maldives, bound for South Africa by the end of the year. They’re on Totem, Utopia, Ceilydh, Morning Glory, and Evita. The kids range from 9 to 16, and about […]

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Glorious underwater life in Maldives

Cruising in Maldives is ALL about the stunning water and marine life. Unless we’re in transit from one place to the next, we’re spending hours underwater on most days: jetting off to a reef as early as 7:30am, hauling ourselves back to the boat as late as 5pm. It started on arrival in Uligan, where […]

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Navigating with Google Earth

Moving south from Uligan, we used Google Earth in conjunction with our primary chart plotter (OpenCPN) to help navigate to our second anchorage in the Maldives. Google Earth a great tool for cruisers, helping when chart accuracy is in question, or to benefit from the different kind of information provided by satellite images. The big […]

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Maldives: the best international clearance ever

It’s a pretty good sign when your agent arrives to the boat with ice cream to share that clearing into the country will go off without a hitch. How do you get in and out of a country when you’re cruising? It can seem intimidating to the uninitiated. It’s not, really, and the process becomes […]

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Passage to Maldives

Why leave on a passage when there’s very little wind in the forecast? Having a breeze matters, when you have 700 miles to go. But the seasons are changing. It’s light, because that’s the shift in the seasonal pattern as the NE monsoon draws to a close. Waiting for wind isn’t necessarily going to bring us […]

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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 […]