Archive | June, 2014

2014 incidents of piracy near Singapore. Source: IMB Piracy Reporting Centre

Engine woes in the Singapore Strait

The engine failed our test run, but it at least had the grace to wait until we were beyond the worst of the shipping traffic. With a few miles left to our intended anchorage the needle began to steadily tick up again. This has been the pattern: it’s fine, right up  until it’s not, and then the overheating happens […]

979 targets in Singapore

Testing day: mechanical and technical

Today’s a day of tests, in two very different ways- Totem’s Yanmar engine, and Totem’s blog! Mechanical: the engine With a clean bill of health for our overheating woes, we are heading out today for a trial run. We want to make sure it behaves as desired before we departing on the ~3 day passage across […]


Engine trouble and kidnappings

There’s a Yiddish proverb: “Man plans, God laughs.” The cruiser’s equivalent is to say that our plans are written in the sand, at low tide. Yes, we still make plans. Usually, they’re weather driven: designed to avoid hurricane/cyclone/typhoon seasons on the grand scale, and pick days for optimal sailing on immediate front. The current “big […]


Tense moments and unanswered questions

Pulling out the jib was an unexpected bonus as we sailed south from the islands of Langkawi.It’s more than 400 miles from there to Singapore, and we hoped to break it up with extended visits in Penang and Malacca to experience the interesting food, culture, and history they offer. But service delays stole that time, […]


Safe passagemaking in the Straits of Malacca

There’s a long history of piracy in the straits of Malacca, and plenty of modern bandits too- this area currently has more pirate activity than any other part of the world. But those aren’t our concerns as we sail south from Langkawi toward Singapore. Unlike the Gulf of Arabia, the piracy is focused entirely on commercial […]


Maintenance on board: how mechanical are you?

We just had a crazy stretch of boat work on Totem, and knocked several big items off our list of essentials for maintenance or repair as we anticipate next year’s Indian Ocean passages. Sometimes it was just a matter of paying a vendor. Sometimes it was work we did ourselves. Typically it was a combination, […]


Enter to win a flag- just two days left!

I’m looking forward to picking a name out of the virtual hat (OK, so actually, it’s randomized event executed with a mouse click…), and going through pictures of flags. If you haven’t entered to win yet, you’ve got two days left- that’s two more chances to enter! Well, as long as you have a US […]

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