Archive | April, 2016

<i>Ty reading at sunset...letting the chilled vibe of this passage take over.</i>

Crew’s view: joining Totem for a passage

This post is penned by our crew across the Atlantic, Ty Anderson. We’ve known Ty for a long time (backstory in this post); he’s also been aboard for legs in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. He wanted to share some of his perspective on life aboard Totem; this also seemed like a great opportunity to […]

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Passage notes: Ascension to Barbados wrap

Seventeen days (and five hours) after leaving Ascension, we made landfall in Barbados on a sunny afternoon. Impending arrival was heralded by small fishing boats: wooden runabouts with a small cabin and a miserable radar footprint. It made the first one a little extra exciting, as it barreled towards us at dawn about 50 miles […]

ocean garbage

Trashing the ocean: sending out an SOS

Carefully sealed into the wine bottle was a message from afar. Fisherman in Florida found and read the drift mail, learning that it was from a woman that sailed across the Atlantic Ocean the year before. They contacted the sender and after hearing her message was found, she joyfully related the story to a group […]

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Ascension to Barbados: notes from the passage part III

Continuing notes from the passage… installment three. We’re in the home stretch! Our crew, Ty, is working on a guest post: what do you want to know about life on Totem from his point of view? Ask in the comments here, Totem’s facebook page , or through the Contact form (they’ll both reach us on […]

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South Africa in hindsight

South Africa leaves an indelible impression. During our three month stay we fell in love with it for a multitude of reasons, but frequently felt uncomfortable. The answer I came up with, again and again, when asked by locals how we like it: “South Africa is a beautiful, complicated place.” Very complicated. In the “pro” […]

reef reefed main mainsail sailing

Mainsail Features: loosefoot versus attached foot

This post comes from Jamie, one in a series where he shares his knowledge as a tenured sailmaker. For more about Jamie’s experience in the field, see Sailmaker SAYS!.  My friend just bought a new mainsail and the foot isn’t attached to the boom. Her sailmaker said it’s the way to go, but I’m not […]

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Passage notes: Ascension to Barbados, part II

Continuing notes from the passage… from just beyond the halfway mark. Our crew, Ty, is working on a guest post: what do you want to know about life on Totem from his point of view? Ask in the comments here, or through the Contact form (they’ll both reach us on passage). Day 6 This passage […]

4-whats known as shit eating grin-ty and atv

A week in Walvis Bay, Namibia

A month in Namibia felt like a month less than we should have spent in this wild and beautiful and interesting country. But we went, and a lot of boats crossing the Atlantic from Cape Town seem to skip right by on their way to the Americas. In all fairness, we’ve had to make plenty […]

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Passage notes: Ascension to Barbados, part I

Totem has been heading west for five days now. So far it’s been a beautiful passage: more gentle breezes than squalls, more pretty sunsets than gray skies. Departure Day I make a last run to shore, to mail a few postcards, try to visit a few people we met, and grab a last hour of […]

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Weather and communications on the passage

If you’re following along, you know we left Ascension Island a few day ago. Now, most of passages over time seem to top out around five days. We’ve had a few longer ones (especially in the Indian Ocean), but that’s pretty typical at the high end, and mostly they range closer to about three days. This passage, from […]

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