Archive | September, 2013


A year in review: from Oz to mainland SE Asia

We recently crossed the one-year mark since departing Australia, and a relatively stationary period in our floating life. It was a banner year and prompted some reflection I posted a few stats on our Facebook page… here’s an expansion we mulled today, as we headed north up the west coast of the Malay peninsula. Nautical […]


Tioman underwater: better than expected

We had surprisingly good snorkeling at Tioman Island by just jumping off the boat from our mooring near the village of Tektek. A controversial marina was put in here not long ago, against a great deal of pressure from environmental concerns and with the expected lack of transparency. The quality of the reef exceeded expectations. […]


Hey! Look, it’s a kid boat!

Back at home in Puget Sound, buddy boating with another “kid boat” always made things more fun for everyone. A twist on this dynamic is common among the happier cruising kid boats we’ve met. They tend to be flexible with their schedule, adapting it when they meet other boats with children- giving the respective kids […]


Keeping the kids in clothes while cruising

A blog reader recently asked: what clothes do kids need for cruising, and how much do they need? Before we cut the docklines in 2008, we were well supplied in clothes to take the kids through about two years of living in the tropics. In hindsight, this was serious overkill. We brought too much. The […]


Tioman Island: jungles, beaches, and creepy crawlies

Tioman island was our stunning landfall after a slightly stressful passage across the South China Sea. I learned about the lures of Tioman Island beaches when backpacking in SE Asia in the early nineties. It has only grown in reputation, so we went with pretty low expectations. I just assumed that given the reputation and […]


The last reef in Sarawak?

Before taking off across the S China Sea, we anchored out near the western point of Sarawak to give ourselves an easy, early morning departure. It also happened to be a spot with, shockingly, a sweet little reef to explore. We’ve gotten used to being anchored in a marine park while local boats actively fish […]


Speed machines and family cruising

Some readers may be interested in seeing images of Relapse under sail. Mark and family don’t have a great internet connection in Indonesia right now, but he was able to send some lower res photos. It’s unlikely they’ll change anyone’s mind about what makes a great cruising boat, but maybe at least give food for […]


Pirates in the South China Sea

Add caption Our recent crossing from Borneo to the Malay peninsula is probably the last multi-day passage we’ll have for a while. Breezes funneling up from the Indian Ocean give us a nice angle to reach across, so hopes were high for a good sail. We’ve had precious little of those here in the land […]


Warning: sharks…card sharks.

In 2010, my cousin Claire came to stay on Totem in Bora Bora. Three years later she’s back again, with the unique distinction of still being the only relative to have trekked the miles to visit us (at least until next month, when my parents will meet us in Langkawi!). photo: Claire Suni Being far away […]


What makes a good cruising boat? Mark responds.

Mark Edwards cruises the yacht Relapse with his family- the Young design featured in the last post. He’s on limited internet access cruising in Indonesia, but had some thoughts to share in response to the questions and misconceptions about the suitability of Relapse for cruising. I’d like to address the main comments from your readers […]

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