Archive | living simply

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Easy bread to feed a hungry crew

A well-fed crew is a happy crew: this is no secret. Food is a love language for many, myself included. Feeding people, seeing their pleasure in something I’ve made, makes me so happy. I dug the minor challenge to create a yummy and totally gluten free dinner from our dwindling provisions for friends last week […]

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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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Canning meat on board

At some point, canning food makes sense for a lot of long-distance cruisers. Totem is a boat full of omnivores, and with five people on board, canning meat has been a useful skill to acquire. For those times we need to boost our provisions with canned food, doing it yourself is cheaper and tastier than […]

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Shine a light: support conservation in Southeast Asia

Many of our most memorable experiences happened during the two-plus years we sailed through Southeast Asia. Most of them conjure the fascinating culture, rich history, or just plain beautiful places- like Komodo National Park, above. Unfortunately, a lot of what also sticks wasn’t so pretty: like radical deforestation for palm oil plantations. Reefs destroyed by […]

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There’s this boat: Mary Powell

It takes many years of diligent saving and personal sacrifice to afford the boat of your dreams and cruising adventure. Or, you can limit your selection set to what fits into a ready budget, and trade years of anticipation for years of cruising. That’s what British Columbia native Steve Dolman did. His modest sloop, Mary […]

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DIY: essential oils on board

We try to keep life simple on Totem: if we can make something ourselves, that’s always a better option than buying. Less waste is created, something on board is usually reused, and there’s probably more cash in our pockets. A lot of the everyday things I use have been made with essential oils. Because, hey, if you can also make something smell […]

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Thankful to be cruising

Celebrating Thanksgiving on Totem this week, we sat around the table to talk about all the things we’re grateful for. Earlier in the day, the children had each made a list to share- going around the table, there were many overlaps. We’re all so thankful for our floating home. Totem might be cozy living, but […]

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Halloween on a cruising kid boat

How do you keep holiday traditions alive while cruising? I worried about this before we took off as a family. I was afraid that our kids would someday feel cheated, like they’d missed out on the cultural rituals of an American childhood. We’ve now celebrated the last six Halloweens in six different countries (I have […]

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Getting around Brisbane

Brisbane’s orientation around a winding river is great for the boaty folks like our family. Public transportation is a breeze, but the things we can do via dinghy is gratifying. Visiting one or another of the weekend markets by dink is quickly becoming a favorite part of our routine. In the Brisbane core, there are seven […]

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Feed the body, feed the soul

Something I’ve missed about living on land is having a garden. Oh, sure, you can put pots on the deck for boat style patio gardening- but that’s highly impractical while cruising. Aside from the harsh environment (salt spray is foe to the hardiest!), quarantine in most countries generally won’t welcome live plants. Thanks to a […]

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