Our five year cruisiversary

In front of Totem

I look at this photo of our children at the time we embarked on the cruising life in 2008 and wonder- how did five years pass so quickly? It’s five years today since we backed Totem out of her Bainbridge Island slip and departed on cruising adventures. At the time, I really didn’t think that we’d still cruising five years later. A couple of years seemed achievable. I didn’t dare hope or think about more, and living in those amazing moments was enough.

Today we celebrated five years since departure from the Salish Sea. To commemorate the journey, Jamie pulled out the log and we all talked about those places where we were for each of those last cruisiveraries. It’s with immense gratitude that I can reflect on the beautiful places and indelible experiences.

2009: San Carlos, Mexico: Marina Real.  27 56.778N / 111 05.549W

One year in, Totem was parked in a slip in the the Sea of Cortez while we road tripped back to the USA for a few months of the hurricane season. Returning in early September, we marveled at the colors and textures of Baja’s Gulf coast, and pinched ourselves about the fact that we were living the dream.

Puerto Don Juan
2010: Vava’u Group, Tonga: uninhabited island.  18 40.600S / 173 55.400W
We were in Tonga for our second cruisiversary, anchored in a pristine spot at the southeast side of the island group, in the company of close friends on M/V Oso Blanco and S/V IO. Unforgettable, and a time when we keenly felt we were living a dream to be in such a spectacular and remote place. Truly, the dream come true.
Boys playing at Kenutu island
2011: Sydney, Australia. 33 49.101S / 151 13.364E
Sydney at this point had been our home for nine months while we stayed relatively stationary to refill the cruising kitty. The crew of wonderful people in the Cammeray Marina, from our fellow liveaboards to the marina staff, truly made it home. Camping trips to the mountains inland were a taste of the temperate terra life we’d not experienced in some time. Not to mention, polar fleece, our new-again friend.
Looking for Lyre birds
2012: Manly, Australia: Moreton Bay Boat and Trailer Club.  27 27.275S / 153 11.319E
Last August, we were in the throes of planning our departure. Within weeks, we’d sail north to Papua New Guinea. Anticipating months with few stores or services and certainly no marine chandlers had us in a preparation frenzy. But it was good. VERY good. Besides the excitement of being on the move again, we had our good friends on Oso Blanco to make more memories. Here’s Totem in front of Stradbroke Island on our 4th cruisiversary, taken from Oso’s flybridge.
2013: Sarawak, Malaysia; Kuching Marina. 01 33.531N / 110 24.309E
As our fifth year comes to a close, and we begin our sixth year (HOLY COW) of cruising on Totem, we’re anchored in the muddy Kuching river on the Malaysian side of Borneo. The kids, shown as we motored up the river a few days ago, are a mite bigger than that top photo. Niall is almost as tall as Jamie. Sad for this mama, there is no more baby fat to squeeze. 
Motoring back to Kuching
 It still feels too good to be true. I look at our children, marvel that they have been able to grow up this way, and I wonder: how did we get so lucky? I have no answers. Just immense gratitude to be able to live this life.

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14 Responses to Our five year cruisiversary

  1. Vivienne August 22, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    What a wonderful memory heritage you have given your children and yourselves. They do grow fast and the beauty of it all is you were there to share every moment! Bravo all of you!

  2. four2tango.net August 22, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

    Congratulations on five years! We are approaching our one year cruisiversary, and are really looking forward to the end of hurricane season and the dock rat life. I have to say thank you too for an old blob post of yours that clued me into a solar oven! I have a stove top (Omnia) oven, but it’s kind of limiting. Your picture of baking carrot cake on deck sent me off on an internet purchasing adventure.

    • four2tango.net August 22, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

      blog…I meant blog 🙂

    • Anne August 23, 2013 at 7:41 am #

      I am SO happy for all of you! It couldn’t happen to a nicer, more skilled family. Sail on!
      One of your many B.I. fans,
      Anne

    • Behan Gifford August 23, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

      Four2Tango, congrats on nearing your milestone too, that first year felt like such a big one for our family! I love hearing I get you onto the solar oven adventure! Have you used it much yet?

      Anne, thank you! I am grateful every day. Well almost every day. 😉

  3. Normandie Ward Fischer August 22, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

    Congratulations. Such great pics… Having fun, learning and living…

  4. The Ceol Mors August 23, 2013 at 1:08 am #

    Well done team Totem!!!

  5. Babs August 23, 2013 at 3:10 am #

    I am so happy for all of you. There is nothing better than living the life that you want! Pat yourselves on the back Mom and Dad!!! Take care.

  6. Mid-Life Cruising! August 23, 2013 at 3:41 am #

    Yep, the kids grow fast don’t they … congratulations! You are very lucky indeed, and so are your children.

  7. Rumila Marienau August 23, 2013 at 3:53 am #

    Congrats Totem! I am happy for you specially that wonderful kids of yours. More years to cruise and hope to meet you in the water one day soon. 🙂

  8. S/V Bella Vita August 23, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    What an amazing milestone Behan, fantastic! You guys have always been an inspiration for me and I’ve greatly enjoyed following your progress. Now that we are out cruising ourselves (and on the verge of our first “cruisiversary”) I still enjoy reading as we hope to make it that far in a few years. It really is a gift to be out here and giving that to your children is something they will have with them their whole lives. Well done! 🙂

    • Behan Gifford August 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

      thank you! I am really enjoying following your travels this year and reliving favorite memoris from our Pac crossing. We look forward to sharing an anchorage someday!

  9. Anonymous August 24, 2013 at 3:12 am #

    Congratulations! I hope you have many more happy times and smooth sailing ahead- John-Oz

  10. Anonymous August 25, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    Congratulation’s on your 5 year anniversary in Paradise! Look forward to following you blog.
    LouisAndNatasha – multihulls4us.com

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