Archive | June, 2013

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Top Ten Snorkeling Spots- Part 2

What are the top ten snorkeling spots we’ve visited? The last post covered our top five all time favorites; this is the next in line. They are also amazing underwater experiences, but didn’t hit on quite as many dimensions. Still, each one is a spectacular and unique destination that provided extremely memorable snorkeling. They’re all […]

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Top Ten Snorkeling Spots

What are the top ten snorkeling spots we’ve visited? Sitting in the cockpit as we left our anchorage at sunrise this morning, Jamie and I talked through our favorites. Remembering each one is like talking about an old friend: recalling good times, personalities, and what occupied our lives at the time. The reefs off Misool […]

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Our brothers of the sea: the Indonesian Navy

This is a story about a remarkable man, and an unforgettable experience we had as part of our clearance process from Indonesia. It is a reminder that human kindness is alive and well, and often waiting to surprise you from the most unexpected corners of your life. It is the point, and the counterpoint, to […]

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Summer Sailstice: celebrating twice on Totem!

Happy solstice- now, go sailing! This Saturday, June 22, is Summer Sailstice– a worldwide celebration of sailing held on the weekend closest to solstice each June. On Totem, we observe solstice and are passionate about sailing, so what serendipity to bring them together as we return from our 3 year foray to the southern hemisphere! The event […]

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Demystifying international clearance for cruisers

I have a new appreciation for how easily most international travelers are able to pass the gauntlets to enter a foreign country. A little form on the plane, a stamp in your passport, and you’re off to your hotel. Sometimes we are lucky to have a very simple clearance (record: 13 minutes, Cook Islands)… and […]

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Unexpected Kumai: a sweet side of Kalimantan

To our surprise, Kumai was delightful. Yes, it is a funny, dusty frontier town with absolutely nothing to recommend it aesthetically, but it was incredibly friendly. After our weeks in Bali, it was also really nice to be able to walk down the street without having 10 people try to sell us something. Here, nobody […]

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Up the river in Borneo, part 2: the drama

A reminder that we’re related We knew our trip up the river from Kumai would be a privileged experience, to see wild, exotic and endangered animals- the Borneo orangutan in particular. What we didn’t expect is how tangibly we’d find the evidence of threats against these creatures and their habitat.   What’s happening Orangutans in […]

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Up the river in Borneo, part 1: the wonder

We have heard such raves about traveling up the Kumai river in Kalimantan to visit orangutan rehabilitation centers that I almost expected to be disappointed. It was described with such glowing terms that I couldn’t imagine- and sometimes, with few words at all at all, from those who professed to be left speechless or at […]

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Bali memories

I’m still absorbing and processing the outrageous, unforgettable experience of traveling up into the river into a national park, looking into the eyes of our next-of-kin: the awesome “people (orang) of the forest (hutan)”, the endangered orangutans. While I organize thoughts… there are still parting memories of Bali I have to share. Staying through another […]

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Ships and squalls between Bali and Borneo

Leaving Bali was easy. Shades of light in Lovina  We pulled the anchor at dawn, and headed out past the canoes that had blasted by us every morning as they hauled their catch of tourists out to see the dolphins. We had a forecast for <10 knots winds from the east and were hoping for […]

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