Archive | gear

Paddling in Guadeloupe

Holiday gifts that cruisers want

As avowed minimalists, this feels slightly awkward putting a post of holiday gifts together. But the reality is that there are useful needs to meet in a life afloat. This peek into what works hopefully aids those anticipating a similar path: a personal look what’s worked for us, and what’s on our wish list, as idea fodder […]

ring block dyneema

Low Friction Rings: like a donut, but sweeter

As the quotable quote demands, “ask not what your vang can do for you, ask what you can do for your vang”. OK, maybe that’s not exactly how it goes – but after a few months on a pace through the islands to relative weather security in Grenada, there’s time to catch up on projects […]

Off Samana on VHF with Akira

AIS and radar from the hurricane season stragglers

  Sunrise tinted the margins of Puerto Rico’s rugged profile with a warm glow. Making landfall on the west coast after a week of bumpy, on-again / off-again passage making from the Bahamas was a relief. Totem and her crew are the stragglers of southbound boats for hurricane season, long since expected to have the […]

downwind offshore ocean sailing sailboat

Safety on board: preventer setup on Totem

Boom preventer. Boom brake. Whatever you do, whatever you call it, having a way to prevent or dampen the force of the boom to prevent accidents while sailing deep downwind is important. A lot of cruising IS downwind, so thinking through a smart setup is critical! I’ll never forget learning about a boat some miles […]

Show your (neutral, water-based) colors with a yummy soft Totem Tshirt!

Introducing Totem merchandise

A little while back, two things happened nearly simultaneously. Friends and readers noticed that our friend Brian wore a Totem t-shirt in the opening sequence of videos in his popular YouTube channel, SV Delos. Concurrently, I got an email from Aurelia at 3 Tees, an eco-conscious screen printing company, reaching out to ask if we’d be […]

catamaran beach bahamas dinghies

Offshore Communications: Satellite or SSB?

Cruisers anchored off a small beach in the Exumas dinghy in for cocktails and chat while the sun sinks behind a distant cay. Most evenings in this idyllic spot new cruisers and old salts alike meet over plans to go fishing in the sound, the best time to avoid day-trippers in the Thunderball grotto, when […]

dsc_0809

Gifts that give a little more

Among the lessons cruising has taught me: that a frugal life brings returns in personal happiness, and that seeking simplicity results not in deprivation but in a feeling of abundance. Living in our floating Tiny Home, “stuff” is the enemy. Still… once the tryptophan effect wears off after Thanksgiving, there’s an undeniable pull for a lot […]

At left, under tensioned luff; at right, slightly over tensioned; notice the knuckle in the luff near the head.

Mainsail Trim: luff tension

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!.  Hey sailmaker. Tell me about luff tension. Hey dude, this isn’t Dear Abby. I won’t cover love tension or any other emotional instability you may have… […]

repair to mainsail head

Mainsail Features: headboard vs head ring

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!. Pictured above, Jamie replaced a corroded headboard with a ring on the mainsail of Solstice in Madagascar last year. Why does the head of a mainsail have a […]

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 […]

© 2007-2017 Sailing with Totem. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.