sunset

Inspect your sails: identifying UV damaged cloth

A dependable suit of sails to carry you towards the horizon is the basic tool of every cruiser. I’m sharing more of Jamie’s expertise as a sailmaker on the blog: most recently, about how to check the stitching in sails for UV damage.  This time- he’s going to tell you how to evaluate the cloth. […]

ladder looking down

Nearing the end of the shipyard grind

We’re in the back half of our stay at Phithak Shipyard (PSS) near Satun, Thailand, and it’s pretty exciting to see work progressing on Totem. As soon as we arrived, we went through our required projects and the wish list with the yard management. Based on their estimates and some help from home, we decided to […]

IMG_2191

Writing feeds my cruising soul

A few months ago, I kissed the back of an envelope for good luck before dropping it into a mailbox in Singapore. Tucked inside was a publishing contract with my signature on it. Although it’s been years since I had my first paycheck as a freelance writer, I’ve only now had confidence to fill in […]

sail eval

Inspect your sails: how to find UV damage in stitching

Cruisers flock towards the tropics, where all that sun exposure can be tough on sails. Short of alien ships on a bad landing approach, UV damage is the biggest culprit in ending the useful life of a sail. Jamie often checks sails on the boats we’re with, like Papa Djo next to us in the shipyard: in the […]

Totem GA reel02

The hardest part of cruising

I don’t want to be here right now. We’re living in Totem on the hardstand, on stilts in a Thai shipyard. There is a lot of noise, and a lot of dirt, and a lot of chaos. Chunks of Totem’s interior are torn up. We climb a wobbly ladder with a rise that must be double a […]

DSC_1250

Welcome to the shipyard

PSS Satun, a Thai shipyard just a hop over the southern border with Malaysia, sits at the edge of a small village up a winding muddy river. Because we can only enter the river at high tide, we spend the night before our haulout at a bend where the depth drops enough to keep water under […]

dolphins sea of cortez

What’s your favorite cruising destination?

With 71% of our planet covered by oceans, there is no shortage of places to explore by boat. So when I landed recently on a page for the latest campaign from LOOK, which aims to identify the world’s most exotic sailing location, well, I had two reactions. What’s their pick? And how could we possibly […]

DSC_1084

The cost of cruising: interview with SailLoot

How much does it cost to go cruising? How much / how long did you save in order to go? What do you spend every month as a cruiser? What about earning money while cruising? Questions along this line are among the most common that we get on Totem. We recently had a chance to […]

DSC_0929

Making a boat into a home

In the run-up to cutting our docklines, my friend Toast and I would meet for workday lunch breaks in downtown Seattle to talk about All Things Cruising. It was a much needed outlet during a time that we weren’t very public with our plans, and could only bore close friends with for so long. One […]

DSC_0194

Preparing for the Indian Ocean

Jamie and I co-author the cruising column for 48° North, a Pacific Northwest regional boating magazine. He lead on this piece for their for October issue, with ruminations about what lies ahead for us with a big year coming. The complete magazine is free on newstands around the Salish Sea, and available online wherever you are. Transition […]