Archive | December, 2012


Helping out in the Hermit Islands: it takes a (global) village

Even without the incredible experience of swimming with whales, the Hermit Islands are indelibly impressed in our memory bank. We had a lot of fun in Bob’s company. His English is very good, and he’s happy to spend time talking- so we are able to learn a lot about the islands and the people who […]


Arriving in the Hermit Islands: typical of our PNG experience

Our arrival at the Hermit Islands was hardly auspicious. After two nights at sea with all the squall dodging fun the convergence zone has to offer, our morning arrival is darkened by thundercloud formations on several sides. Looking down at the main village: Luf Island, in better weather The Hermits are a group of volcanic […]

Reader questions: fair trading

When we were in Jayapura this past week, we were able to get online in a meaningful way for the first time in months. It was fun going through blog comments- some great questions that come through the here and on our Facebook page. Here’s an excerpt from one: “Being both a person who’d “give […]


Evening discussions at Tunung Island

We were grateful for Paul’s help finding the shipwreck in Three Island Harbour  and enjoyed his company, so invited he and his family out in the evening. Beautiful sunsets near New Hanover Island Paul paddled out to Totem after sunset; sitting in the evening breeze and eating dinner together, we talk about his home. He grew […]


Working around New Hanover, PNG

En route to the Hermits, we spent more time than we originally planned at Ungalik. But we feel the need to keep moving west, to try and get as far as we can towards Indonesia’s Raja Ampat before the seasonal northwesterlies set in. Still, we couldn’t resist the lure to linger a bit longer near New Hanover. […]

Zen and the art of not missing a field guide

My abundance of pumpkin and coconut got me started on that post about wanting a certain cookbook a couple of days ago, but while I'm thinking about the books that we wish we had on board, there's another that looms large. Or rather, it's not one book in particular this time, but a gap in […]

The Boat Galley Cookbook – all I want for Christmas

It's time to make dinner, and I'm looking around at the galley and wondering for the Nth time in the last few months, what I can do with pumpkin, coconuts, and ibecca (the mucilaginous leafy green that grows on the islands here). I'm running low on inspiration and it's not an option to tap ingredients […]


But where is the soy sauce?

After anticipating cruising for years, you’d think we have plenty of time to optimize space used in Totem’s various lockers, shelves, and other stowage areas. We’d know exactly where to store those things which fill out the essentials of life afloat, along with plenty of the extras which make life fun. Hah! Even after four […]

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