Archive | February, 2016

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Kicking out to the Atlantic: Caribbean or bust!

Pacific, 2010. Indian, 2015. 2016 is the year our little crew points across the Atlantic, and we couldn’t be more excited about it! Yesterday morning we left Namibia, bound for the island St. Helena – about 1,200 miles mostly to the west, and thankfully a little to the north as well (we’re ready to shed our fleece and […]

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Cruising Namibia’s Skeleton Coast

It’s only a couple of hundred miles from Lüderitz to Walvis Bay, but we broke the trip up to soak in some of the remote landscape. What started out cool and gray warmed up to… cool and sunny. At least it was warm enough to take off foulies, which Jamie and I wore even on […]

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Chasing ghosts in the Namib desert

The obligatory tourist stop while in Lüderitz isn’t actually touristy at all: it’s a ghost town called Kolmanskop, a 15 minute drive into the desert. It seemed as though only a couple of dozen people besides ourselves visited over the course of a morning. We started with a tour to get context and history before […]

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A week in Luderitz, Namibia

The weather always wins: we planned on just a couple of days in Lüderitz. We didn’t want to make Ty, crew arriving in the next port north- Walvis Bay- sitting around waiting for us to get there. But we also wanted favorable conditions, and ended up Lüderitz for nearly a week. We spent a couple of […]

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One Simple Question: what’s it like to go cruising?

I thought I knew what One Simple Question was about: it was the tale of an environmentally-focused expedition to give witness to global warming, by visiting a southbound iceberg in the north Atlantic. Well, not exactly. One Simple Question does address environmental issues, but this is the tangential vehicle for the focus of the movie. And […]

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Reading on board: ebook or print?

In 2007, Jamie added bookshelves to Totem. LOTS of bookshelves. We felt important to accommodate our family before moving aboard. At the time, ereaders were relatively nascent. Reading needs at our kids’ ages then—4, 6, and 9—better aligned with print books than screens. I could not justify what was then the equivalent of a month’s […]

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Last days in South Africa

Simon’s Town was our base for a month to power through pre-Atlantic preparations. There were rounds of maintenance catch-up, some new projects, and a few repairs. And then…there was a lot of fun, making memories with friends. Yes, we’re in Namibia now…but I want to hang onto these memories here! The Cape Town area is a […]

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Passage report: Cape Town to Lüderitz, Namibia

Totem’s anchor dropped late in the day in Lüderitz, the southern of Namibia’s two ports, three days after leaving Simon’s Town. Weather and boat readiness finally cooperated to help us extract from the magnetic pull of beautiful Cape Town. Even confident I will find the next port fascinating, it’s hard to leave a place where we’ve […]

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Passage prep: getting ready to depart South Africa

As our time in South Africa draws to a close, we’re focused on preparing for the big miles ahead to cross the Atlantic. Although I felt like we spent a lot of last year preparing for passages, given the significant legs crossing the Indian Ocean, there’s a lot to inspect, and re-inspect. This is the […]

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Iridium GO! with PredictWind for weather and more

About one year ago, we purchased an Iridium GO! satellite wifi unit. This was a big decision as it is a significant expense and we had been happy using HF radio for years for all offshore communications. Seeds of doubt about radio connections while crossing the Indian Ocean swayed our decision; we did not want […]

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