Archive | July, 2013


Labuan: Borneo’s duty free haven

Our anchorage neighbors in Labuan: oil rig supply ships. cozy! Labuan has Duty Free Shops the way Seattle has coffee shops: in such excess you cannot imagine how they all thrive, and yet there they are. Duty free –> smuggling. Customs hid behind us to snag boats one day. We passed through Labuan twice on […]


Boatschooling, Part 2: learning on Totem

How to boatschool is one of the questions we’re asked most frequently. To try and offer a meatier reply, I’m breaking this out into multiple posts: thoughts on how to get started, how learning looks on Totem, and things I wish I’d known before. The first post offered thoughts on finding a path: Part 2 […]


Boatschooling: interviewed by The Sociable Homeschooler

Vivienne, of The Sociable Homeschooler “…Your children, and a willing heart”: the most important things you need to homeschool, according to Vivienne McNeny of The Sociable Homeschooler blog and radio program. I think no matter what path your choose for learning as a family, this is a beautiful fundamental to keep in mind. It’s not intended to […]


Boatschooling, Part 1: finding a path

“Are you homeschooling your children?” It surprises me how often we are asked this question, given that we have been away from home for five years with kids who are smack in the elementary/middle school window of learning. The snark in me is tempted to say “no, we’re not,” and watch the reaction. Partly because, […]


Back in pretty water again: Pulau Gaya

Resort life is great, but what we love most is to be anchored in a quiet bay, with a nice beach and clean water to explore above and below. Back at home in Puget Sound, it was a lark to anchor off the city for floating front row seats to a waterfront concert- but it’s […]


Racing, and not racing, in the BIYC

Jamie and I met racing sailboats in Long Island Sound back in 1988, on a J-35 named Peregrine. When we moved to the Seattle area for grad school and to be closer to my family, sailing took a back seat to hiking and camping for a while. Jamie was burned out from sailing professionally and […]


From Sabah to Sarawak with the BIYC

Taking part in the Borneo International Yacht Challenge was the perfect way to get ourselves north up the coast of Borneo. The event is a series of harbor races divided by two overnight passage races. It started from Miri, Sarawak- the southernmost of Malaysia’s Borneo provinces- and ended in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, to the north, after […]


Live Like Alex

News of the untimely passing of Alex Rust in May left us shocked and saddened. We met Alex in 2010, when he was crossing the Pacific on his boat Bubbles. Alex’s zest for life stood out among cruisers, a crowd generally notable for their joie de vivre. It made his death at 28 seem all the […]


Reconverging with a cruising fleet

There have been precious few other cruising boats crossing our path these last months. We’ve only seen a handful since we said goodbye to Nalukai and Muscat after our New Year’s Eve celebrations in Sorong, Indonesia. Wow, that was a while ago! Having an anchorage all to yourself is great…for a while In February we […]


Exploring the market: Miri, Malaysia

We scooted up the Sarawak coast to Miri to converge with the beginning of the Borneo International Yacht Race. Joining rallies hasn’t really been our thing on Totem. Generally speaking, being on someone else’s schedule and with whole lot of other boats in proximity doesn’t jibe with our style- but after being by ourselves for […]

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