Archive | October, 2013


Family visit to Totem

The last ten days have been a lush departure from normal life on Totem. There may not be a great deal of predictability in our lives, but there is a rhythm. That rhythm was happily interrupted when my parents came to visit. This was a big event, because it’s the first time they’ve come to […]


Camera gear on board

When we left to go cruising in 2008, we had a basic digital camera. It was fine: it captured the memories, which was the primary purpose: like buying our pastries boatside in Barra de Navidad. I really love taking pictures, and wanted a DSLR (my old SLR being a dinosaur that found a new home […]


Vignettes on the way up the Malay peninsula

Our journey up the west coast of the Malay peninsula was different than expected, but we made good memories with good friends. We’ve now got experience and opinions about the string of marinas. All the dock time was a little surreal after a year of mostly anchoring. Puteri Harbor at sunrise, top, and lit by […]


Plans, the little white cruising lie

It’s a standing joke among the cruising community that “plan” is a four letter word. Any cruiser can tell you stories about the plans made and then revised… again, and again, and again. We do better committing to a general intention than anything specific. It makes it harder to have visitors, but is a practical […]


Lessons learned when naming a boat

Our first cruising boat was a Hallberg-Rassy 352 named for the co-owner. “Andrea” didn’t mean anything to us, and we were eager to have a new name put a personal stamp on his boat that reflected our family. Deliberations focused on avoiding particular names, especially the common, the clichés (Second Wind), and the cutesy marine alliterations […]


Crossing Singapore

Singapore sits at the pointy southern end of the Malay peninsula. Less than nine nautical miles of water separate the island nation from Indonesia to the south, and a much narrower band divides it from Malaysia to the north. It’s a smaller margin all the time, based on the land reclamation projects we saw. Even […]


The source of inspiration

A boat we met during our Pacific crossing recently finished their circumnavigation. That happens more frequently now as we have gone slowly, and those with fewer diversions or specific goals to complete a loop continue their march to the west. I’m reminded of what Alex Rust posted in his final update to the blog of Bubbles after completing […]


The dog ate my clearance papers

Jamie and I co-author a cruising column for 48° North, a Pacific Northwest regional boating magazine. Our article for October offers anecdotes internet technology on board. Love it or hate it, it’s certainly changed a great deal about cruising. Puget Sound residents can pick up 48° North in boaty outlets, but anyone can read the […]


The sleepy village of Juara, Tioman Island

When we faced changing winds that would turn our anchorage on the west side of Tioman from placid to exposed, it was an easy decision to hop a few miles around to a beach on the other side. We even got to sail a little: bonus! Juara is typically exposed- in the northeast monsoon, it’s […]

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