Archive | November, 2013


What are the best field guides for cruisers?

What kind of field guides should you bring cruising? The question of on board references came from a reader recently. It’s a good one, and it made me think about how we flubbed it and didn’t have enough on board when we cut the docklines. Of course, everyone has different needs: some may not want […]


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 […]


Everyday cruising life: last days in Telaga harbour

Our watermaker is broken, so there are routine shore runs to fill up a jerry can and keep our tanks from running dry. We have a single five-gallon capacity jerry: wwhen it’s full, it’s too heavy for me, so Jamie bears the brunt of the burden. At least potable water that’s readily available from the […]


There’s this boat: Coracle

The schooner America was launched in 1851, and is best known for winning- and giving her name- to the challenge we all know as The America’s Cup. It’s arguably among the most famous schooners ever built. Pulling into Telaga Harbour, Malaysia, felt a little like entering a time warp. The craggy ridge covered in jungle […]


Great games for cruisers

Entertainment on our cruising boat is pretty low tech. Oh, we watch some of the movies and TV series, but a lot of our fun and games as a family are the kind that doesn’t have a screen or need a power supply. It occurred me this last week, as I watched our kids playing […]


Tips from an Unplanned Rewiring

Jamie and I co-author the cruising column for 48° North, a Pacific Northwest regional boating magazine. Our article for November is based on lessons learned while Jamie worked to help our friends on sv Tahina recover from a lightning strike. Flash, Crack! And Ozone Tioman Island in Malaysia, with its mountainous interior and great snorkeling […]


Pets on board

We’re a pet-free boat. Oh, we tried, once upon a time. Hermit crabs count, right? We needed a little education before jumping into that one, but… well, they have personality. Kind of. Truth be told, I really miss having a dog, and the kids to do. We know a few boats with cats, but boats […]


Adventures in Duty-Free Shopping: Langkawi, Malaysia

Life in Langkawi isn’t all waterfall hikes and beach barbecues. This island is duty free, and while it’s rustic, there are tempting offerings for our scant kitty.  A day of hard-core retail action began when we were handed car keys by a stranger. For 50 ringgit (about $16), we now had 24 hours with a […]


Everyday cruising life: Langkawi, Malaysia

The resort was a great interlude, but we’ve settled back into “normal” cruising life in Malaysia, and a decidedly different groove. We’re happily catching up on projects, books, and fun with friends in Telaga Harbour. A nice breeze often comes through the bay, keeping the boat cool outside the hottest hours of the day. Hardly […]


How to use social media to help in a crisis

Typhoon Haiyan ran a course of destruction through the Philippines this week, cutting through the middle of the country on a westbound track. It came with sustained winds of nearly 200 mph (320 km/h)- gusts were up to 235 mph. Can you even imagine what it feels like to be in that kind of wind? […]

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