Archive | gear

reading on passage

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 […]

PW5

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 […]

shiny red Honda generator in the background powering tools for the job

Portable generator benefits, and how to care for one aboard

We strive to be a green boat, and supply our power through sun and wind as much as possible. But the wants of five people can outstrip what our solar panels and wind turbine provide, especially during a time of grey skies or equatorial calms. Unfortunately, we had periods of cloudy skies and not much […]

Indian Ocean GE track

Indian Ocean lookback: the best gear over ~7,000 miles

Sailing across the Indian Ocean made 2015 a big year for nautical miles under Totem’s keel:  6,901 of them, in fact, from the time we left Malaysia in February until we arrived in South Africa in October.  It had a little bit of everything: light winds. Big winds. Really big current! Weeks among uninhabited islands, and […]

cobb in comoros

Gifts for sailors: ideas for the cruisers in your life

Who wants to cut into the cruising kitty for gifts that won’t work when you take off? It’s just about that time of year, so Jamie and I came up with a list of fun and affordable gifts based on our everyday cruising life. Maybe some of these will fit the sailor in yours! We […]

schooner 2

Sailcloth 102: a primer for cruisers

Jamie is a sailmaker; he periodically shares his knowledge on the blog, and those posts are under the Sailmaker tag. This is the second post in a two-part series to demystify some of the woo around sailcloth material; you can read the first post here. Anyone with questions about sails is invited to get in […]

Priests_traveling_across_kealakekua_bay_for_first_contact_rituals

Sailcloth 101: a primer for cruisers

Jamie is a sailmaker; he periodically shares his knowledge on the blog, and those posts are under the Sailmaker tag here. In this first post of a two-part series, he hopes to demystify some of the woo around sailcloth material. Anyone with questions about sails is invited to get in touch; Jamie enjoys sharing from his […]

Siobhan steering

Self-steering on board

Autopilot? Windvane? Both, or hard-core hand-steering? Problems with our autopilot have caused some headaches on Totem. So why don’t we have a windvane for self-steering, instead of relying only on an autopilot? There are a lot of reasons to add a windvane. They don’t need any power, whereas running the autopilot 24×7 on longer passages […]

tablet reading

The best apps for cruising- part II

What apps do cruisers actually use on their ipad / android to make life easier, safer, or more fun? The last post covered navigation, weather, and other apps for sailing. This post is about everything else that we find useful to our cruising life. And despite the title, the objective here isn’t actually to list […]

Ch6_11- tablets for reading

The best apps for cruising

What are the best apps for sailing? What apps do cruisers actually use on their ipad / android to make life easier, safer, or more fun? There are a lot of “best apps for sailing” type lists out there (I just looked. Trust me). Honestly? The first thing that strikes me after scanning a few […]

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