Archive | May, 2015


Cruiser Paradise Found

What does cruising paradise look like? For some, it looks a lot like the Chagos archipelago, a remote spread of beautiful islands where cruisers enjoy tremendous freedom. Rhapsodize about Chagos and the uninitiated glaze over-what? where? But mention Diego Garcia, Chagos’ most famous atoll and one of the largest (or the largest?) offshore US military […]


Village vibe in the Maldives

Our days have a common flow here. Most morning are consumed with activities on board: reading, routine maintenance, writing, dishes, algebra, whatever seems to need doing. The heat’s not oppressive at dawn, but it doesn’t take long. I really didn’t think it was possible to be hotter than we were during our summer in the […]


Preparing for remote cruising

How do you get ready to be self-sufficient for weeks or months at a time? In just a few hours, Totem will be underway for Chagos. We have a four week permit for this atoll (populated mainly by coconut crabs), and we don’t expect to arrive in Seychelles until late June. Until then? No markets. No hardware stores. No […]

two boats at sunset

Preparing for a passage: making fruitcake

If I’m making fruitcake, it’s a sure sign we have a passage ahead. Our next passage isn’t a big one. Weather willing we’ll leave in less than a week to sail from Maldives to Chagos, about three days and two nights underway. But it’s crossing a bigger threshold than the jump between island groups, because […]


Shine a light: support conservation in Southeast Asia

Many of our most memorable experiences happened during the two-plus years we sailed through Southeast Asia. Most of them conjure the fascinating culture, rich history, or just plain beautiful places- like Komodo National Park, above. Unfortunately, a lot of what also sticks wasn’t so pretty: like radical deforestation for palm oil plantations. Reefs destroyed by […]


Weather watch in Maldives

For the duration of the season, it seems, we’ve been chasing the weather. It’s finally caught up to us. Boats headed from Asia to South Africa on a northerly route across the Indian Ocean, as we are, take off while the northeast monsoon gives a nice ride to the west. December is fine, although you […]

Male total by Shahee Ilyas

Malé, Maldives: the biggest little city

Most boats cruising in Maldives find themselves in the capital, Malé, at some point. The capital sits not quite halfway down the “necklace islands” of Maldives. More than 100,000 people live here, nearly a third of the country’s population; it’s denser than Manhattan.   Malé’s chandleries were one draw. They’re the best supplied we’ve seen […]


Cruising Maldives: freedom to roam

It was only a few years ago that visiting islands in Maldives was relatively restricted; tourists weren’t just funneled to resort islands, they were actually banned from islands populated by locals. Lifting of the tourism ban in 2009 meant that cruising boats were no longer restricted to uninhabited or resort islands, but can visit populated […]

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