Well, what do you want to know about?

So, we’re still kicking around Lovina. I’d really like to get moving on to Kalimantan / Borneo, but honestly? It’s fine. Not just because of the easy access to yummy little restaurants (goat sate, delicious, trust me!). Not just because we have caught up on so many little projects around here. After a bunch of months, I finally having the blog in sync with our life. The gaps between internet access, and my desire not to skip some of stories between access points (I can update via radio, but no internet = no photos), meant it got spread it out for a while there.

There are a few more Balinese vignettes to share, but meanwhile, I’ve got a bunch of non-location-specific posts that are partly done. So I thought I’d ask… what do YOU want to know about cruising on Totem?

Here’s what’s rolling around in my head, or half-written. Maybe one of these will grab, maybe you’ve got something else you want to hear about. Let me know in the comments, by email, or our Facebook page…whatever’s easy.

  • Sunscreen / sun protection
  • Essential oils on board- cleaners, lotions, and more
  • Dealing with seasickness
  • Power management: wind, solar, batteries, and use
  • Passage meals
  • Wearing…what? Cruising friendly clothes on Totem
  • Favorite DIYs: from acidophilus cultured milk (yogurt!) to kombucha
  • Not tourists, not expats, not locals…how do we fit in? (thank you Gary!)
  • What’s in Totem’s medical kit (thank you Naomi!)
  • What we use for navigation
  • Onboard communications
  • Getting and using water
  • Beating the heat in the tropics
  • Dealing with the bugs
  • Trading
  • Getting exercise aboard (aka: I love Boat Pose!)
  • Trashed (well, dealing with garbage)
  • Green boating
  • Staying safe
  • Boatschooling
  • Kid-specific questions
  • Clearing into countries, with and without an agent (thank you Cidnie!)
  • ? you tell me!

…and with that, I leave this image from yesterday’s Not Really Fun squall. Totem’s freeboard is about 5′, so you have an idea of the kind of hobbyhorsing that was going on.

28 Responses to Well, what do you want to know about?

  1. Seven C's May 17, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    Well, since you asked – here goes!

    1.Dealing with the bugs
    2.Beating the heat in the tropics
    3. Dealing with Immigration

    As you know we are relocating to an area a bit different than Oregon. I was thinking to ask you what you do about dealing with bugs. We hate the thought of using DEET or anything like that. We have used Atun (spelling?) which worked well enough and is natural. There are bugs where we are going!!! Lots of Bugs!!!
    High humidity and 90F + temps makes me ask about how you deal with heat. We should end up right on the ocean so there should be a bit of a breeze they tell us.

    • Behan Gifford May 23, 2013 at 10:06 am #

      So excited about your family’s plans. We avoid DEET. I’ll email you some ideas since I’m not sure I’ll get to this post before you take off! Ocean breeze helps a lot… but then there are times you don’t have it, even on a boat.

  2. Nita May 17, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    Not tourists, not expats, how do we fit in?

    • Behan Gifford May 23, 2013 at 10:05 am #

      Nita, you might write that one better than I can! but I’ll give it a shot…

  3. Brandon Ford May 17, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

    They are all good subjects. Here’s what caught my eye:
    Dealing with seasickness
    Power management: wind, solar, batteries, and use

    We’re trying to decide if we want the expense and hassles of a water maker. The Sea of Cortez is coming up in a year.


    • Behan Gifford May 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

      Brandon, thank you! Quick feeback on the watermaker- not sure how we could have managed w/o one for our months in the Sea. There aren’t a lot of places to tank up. If you’ll spend a hurricane season up there, it could be tricky without a watermaker unless you are radical water misers or can tie yourself to a place with access to a supply…compute what you use vs what you can carry to think about it more.

  4. Andrea from 4-PACK May 18, 2013 at 12:02 am #

    DIY kombucha!
    And: How’s Jamie? How’s boatschooling?
    Love your posts!

    • Behan Gifford May 23, 2013 at 10:04 am #

      thanks Andrea! you are so sweet to ask about Jamie- gosh I do neglect him, but he is our rock! school is next.

  5. Anonymous May 18, 2013 at 3:08 am #

    +1 for dealing with seasickness!

  6. ihatebreastcancer May 18, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    you have been to some of the least traveled places in the world (http://www.garfors.com/2013/01/the-25-least-visited-countries-in-world.html)

    Did you ever have regrets…an out of the way destination you wouldn’t care to re visit? Conversely, what places have surprised you?

    • Behan Gifford May 22, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

      I loved that list of least traveled places. We may just hit some in the coming years- good daydream fodder for sure! And, an excellent question…

  7. Erik May 18, 2013 at 7:16 am #

    My wish list:
    – Dealing with seasickness
    – Power management
    – What we use for navigation
    – Onboard communications
    – Getting and using water
    – Trashed (well, dealing with garbage)
    – Staying safe
    – Clearing into countries, with and without an agent

    I’m sure Emily would be interested in:
    – Passage meals
    – Favorite DIYs: from acidophilus cultured milk
    – What’s in Totem’s medical kit
    – Getting exercise aboard (aka: I love Boat Pose!)

    Thanks, Behan!

    • Behan Gifford May 22, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

      so really, you don’t have many questions? LOL -thanks Erik!

  8. boatbaby May 18, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    Favorite DIYs: from acidophilus cultured milk (yogurt!) to kombucha (Of course, right?)

    Also I always wonder how to manage keep growing kids clothed and shoed (I made that word up!) Do you swap with other cruisers? Shop locally? I feel like my kids grow so fast and wear their clothes so hard that I have to keep a constant supply in our bow lockers of the next size up everything. But we mostly get hand me downs, or consignment (or home made for the little one). So how do you get them clothes and shoes when they outgrow?

    • Behan Gifford May 23, 2013 at 9:39 am #

      LOL- of course! And the clothes question… it’s a good one. thanks Cindy!

  9. Catherine VK4GH May 18, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    I would like to read about
    – Suncreen and sun management
    – Beating the heat
    – Laundry in exotic places
    Thanks, Behan

    • Behan Gifford May 23, 2013 at 9:49 am #

      Catherine, the sun protection in particular is a big deal for me. Thanks for suggesting Laundry, too! I’ve written about it before: http://sv-totem.blogspot.com/2012/08/death-taxes-and-laundry.html
      The bottom of that post connects to The Monkey’s Fist, where you can see what a bunch of other cruisers have shared about how they handle laundry on board.

  10. Joe Chin May 18, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    I would like to hear about:
    – Sanitation
    – Visas and agents
    – 2 years in Australia, how?

    We are currently looking at boats to go cruising next year and the hold tanks seem tiny compared to the freshwater and fuel tanks; 8-15 gals. I know when you are offshore you can dump the water overboard but now that you are travelling around the islands I don’t see a lot of docking. Also, what do you think of compost toilets?

    We are a franco-american family so I don’t think we’ll need all the requirements a typical cruiser needs to jump through in the French Polynesia, but Indonesia and PNG it may be necessary.

    I’m in love with Melbourne so I’d love to travel around the cities and GBR for a while.

    I’ve spent the last few weekends reading your blog from start until now. Great job!

    • Behan Gifford May 23, 2013 at 9:51 am #

      Joe, good questions. The short version on composting toilets is that when we looked into them, there wasn’t one that could keep up with the volume five of us would produced. Another cruiser we know found they fostered bug problems on board (ew). I love the idea, but not sure they’re a good solution- yet? I’ll cover clearing into countries with an eye on your situation. thanks!

  11. judith May 18, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    They are all blog worthy subjects! I’d love to read about your DIY yogurt and Kombucha.

    • Behan Gifford May 23, 2013 at 9:51 am #

      I love yogurt, and I love kombucha. Count on it, Judith! 🙂

  12. Stacey May 19, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    Homeschooling stuff for sure! I love to read about how (and what) boat-parents are teaching their boat-kids.

    • Behan Gifford May 23, 2013 at 9:53 am #

      this has become the most popular question of all… I’ll cover it soon. there are so many different ways to go about learning on board!

  13. Jenny Ruth Yasi May 19, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    Long passages! How do you divide up your watches on long passages? What’s the longest you’ve ever been to sea, and what sort of life raft/emergency beacon etc do you carry? What’s in your ditch bag(s)? Do you ever worry about general bad guys? Do you just avoid places with unsafe reputations, or when you might need to go to a less safe place, how do you lock up and secure your boat, dinghy, and yourselves? Do you carry bicycle on board? What about in the water safety? IE, how do you find out about the unknown natural dangers of a new place? IE, how do you know where there are problem sharks and where it’s safe enough to swim? How do you know where there might be vandals and where it’s a safe place to anchor?

    • Behan Gifford May 23, 2013 at 9:52 am #

      Thanks for asking about watchkeeping (and everything else!) these are great questions. OK- passages, safety, bikes… coming up. 🙂

  14. Kim Pearce May 21, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    Thank you so much for your blog. I check it and read it everyday!! We are a family from Vancouver BC preparing ourselves and boat for a long term cruise. I look forward to reading about all the topics you have listed but would also like to know about the books you have with you. What would be your top 10 books with regards to info about the ecology around you and interest books for the kids.

    Thanks so much


    • Behan Gifford May 23, 2013 at 9:53 am #

      piling on the books is part of our overall approach to learning for the kids… this will be fun! thanks Kim!

  15. Behan Gifford May 22, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    Thanks everyone for all the input- some great ideas, and interesting to see what you want to hear about! I’ll start ticking through these based on interest in a given area.

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