Just another day on Totem

My parents recently asked for “normal everyday” pictures of what’s happening with the children on board. It’s hard to say what a normal day is, since they change as often as the scenery around us- but there are common themes. Here are a few snippets from recent days on board Totem.
Niall has been working on knots and splicing with Jamie.
knots and splicing
The girls crafting designs from popsicle sticks. Siobhan made a pretty spiral and announced it would be the top of our christmas tree (not sure exactly how that’s going to come together, since December is summertime in Australia). Flotsam from the morning scattered about the table- a book of Greek myths, biology lab projects, and a field guide for fish identification.
just another day on Totem
Niall is an excellent teacher to Mairen and Siobhan- ask them, and they’ll tell you, he taught them how to swim. Siobhan loves her dinghy lessons.
the teacher
OK, so this isn’t “normal everyday” stuff- it was a special treat- but it’s the kind of cooperative learning that happens all the time on board. We have some packaged science projects stashed, and I broke out the owl pellet dissection kit on a flat passage day recently. They had a blast going through the pellets, guessing what might be inside, and using the tools in the kit to try and identify the skeletal remains of different critters within.
science project day!
When we’re in a pretty bay, hardly a day goes by that we’re not swimming. One of our last days in Fiji, Mairen and I snorkeled from the boat to shore and did some beachcombing. Siobhan has the eagle eye for cowrie shells, but Mairen amazes me with the natural beauty she finds.
crab shell
Resting in the evening on our new-from-IO hammock, strung up on the bow. They were all belting the classic “Lollipop”… Siobhan just couldn’t stop!
She's singing

4 Responses

  1. This is pretty seriously off-topic but I was wondering if you had a sense of what your average anchoring depth has been throughout the S Pacific…average and then perhaps the deepest. I hear such wildly different estimates of “how much chain” you need and in our “smaller” 35′ boat we want to watch our weight.

    Thanks in advance, really enjoying reading, Livia

  2. Hey Livia, it’s misleading to give you an average- common depths we’ve anchored in tend to cluster around 25-30′, or 50-60′. And, of course, exceptions are the rule- yesterday we were in 10′, and there are places you’ll miss if you’re not comfortable in 90′. Email me (sail at sv-totem dot com) and I’d be happy to share more specifics.

  3. A message to the kids from Maura, our ten year old:

    Hello!I’m nervous about cruising. Are there sharks?If so,what if 1 eats me?!Please look for sea glass.It’s REALLY fun to collect it in a mason jar. Your friend,Maura 😀

  4. Hi Maura, before we went cruising we were also afraid of sharks. You actually get used to them after a while. Sharks are also a sign of a healthy reef so it can be a little relieving to see them sometimes. Reef sharks a huge part of the reef ecosystem and reefs get unhealthy without them. We have a small collection of sea glass but we mostly collect shells. Thank you for the comment and I hope you get cruising soon!
    Niall, age 11
    Oh, and you can email me at niall at sv-totem dot com if you want!

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