Archive | March, 2014


Your most valuable cruising equipment

Important pieces of cruising gear aren’t always obvious. A reader who hopes to go cruising emailed recently to ask:  “When you look back at your years of sailing, what are some pieces of equipment that you brought with you that you never realized how important they would become (e.g. handheld VHF, specific spares, etc.)? “ […]


Staying in touch while cruising

What a gift it is to be so far away, but so readily in touch with people we love. Just today, we were able to Skype several times, to see and hear familiar faces and voices. Early in the morning we connected with my parents back in the USA, while they got ready for dinner. […]


Making instead of buying: fizzy drinks

Making our own lotion lends itself nicely to cruiser self-sufficiency, but is mostly born from my skepticism about common ingredients in commercial products. Fizzy drinks are a little different. I like a nice sharp Reed’s Ginger Beer, but I haven’t seen one in a store shelf since we left the US. Making our own has […]


Facing fears about raising kids on a sailboat

I was not programmed to be different. If anything, my life until we left to go cruising was a careful series of practical steps designed to fulfill the American Dream. Why would we choose such a different life for our growing family? I know that the way our children spend their days, or the way […]


What do cruising kids do all day?

It seems that the everyday life of the Totem cruising kids is somewhat opaque in recent blog content (thank you reader email for pointing that out!). They’ve been pretty busy- just a little differently than the normal ways that a 9, 11 and 14 year old are busy. Here is a smattering from the last […]


The cost of cruising: the rest of Totem’s maintenance list

The roundup of our current maintenance projects isn’t complete without a look at the work we’ve recently done. Totem is just one case, but a reasonable stand-in to consider the kind of work that a well used cruising boat goes through after five plus years in the tropics. It’s a different perspective than offered by the […]


The cost of cruising: Totem’s maintenance list

Totem is just a sample size of one, but it’s not a bad proxy for the maintenance you might expect on a well-found boat after a handful of years of tropical cruising. It’s one thing to talk in theory about how to account for the cost of maintenance while cruising; hopefully this look at what […]

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