A New England summer aboard


DSC_9688Our summer in New England is half over: flying by! Dangerous, as we have a long list of projects and repairs to do on Totem…but before digging into them, we had a few people to visit, places to see, presentations to give.

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It was a great experience for all of us to share our stories at Falmouth Academy to a mix of people, instead of a more exclusively “cruiser/sailor” audience. The questions are great! It also afforded our kids an opportunity to get in front of a crowd, one of the ‘normal’ kid experiences ours don’t often have. But the pressure of getting up and speaking in front of a roomful of strangers is something just about everyone needs to learn, they’ve now had three chances to do that since we got back. Each time, it’s a little smoother – a little easier – a little less stressful.

For us, the loop around this corner of New England and our first busy weeks have been about much more than speaking opportunities. It was also a great way to meet up with old friends…those we’ve known from our pre-cruising lives, and those we only knew through email/blogs while we were away…like Rebecca from the catamaran Summertime Rolls, who set us up at the Nantucket Yacht Club.

Backyard lounging at the Vaughans with Rebecca & Brian, and SV Calico Skies’ Grace and Bill

We’ve been lucky to see some of the best of the region, iconic names and places.

Nantucket’s ridiculously picturesque lighthouse
Looking towards the mainland from the high point of Cuttyhunk

The Mata’irea family treated us to a spread from the Cuttyhunk Shellfish Farm’s Raw Bar service. Call them up on VHF 72 for boat-side delivery of the sweetest oysters!


There were two different tours at various Woods Hole institutes–coordinated by our friends at Falmouth Academy. Inspiring for anyone, and pure gold for the ocean lovers on Totem.

BIG resident stripers outside WHOI’s Marine Biological Laboratory
This isn’t even biologist humor! Only at MBL.
Totally lucked out: ALVIN was in residence, preparing to ship out. ALVIN!!

The spin up to Massachusetts gave us another chances to be in range of my brother and his family for an additional round of “cousin camp.” Another is already planned!


Last night, we picked up a mooring near Noank again. We’ll be here, in/around the Mystic river, for another month—hunkered down to projects done now.  Watching the Poet’s Lounge sailing charter go out for sunset cruises in the evening, while we welcome our own from Totem’s cockpit.

poets lounge


And at the core of it all, time with family and friends. Jamie is originally from Mystic; much of his family is sprinkled between southeastern Connecticut and Rhode Island. I’m so glad Niall can get schooled on how to shuck oysters and clams from his great uncle Lance – I don’t think it’s something he’ll ever forget.

Family time. #1 reason we’re here.


Jamie’s aunt and uncle are here from South Africa, and we’ve been out on Totem with cousins who flew in from California.

Jamie’s cousin Hillary (who I swear could be MY cousin) and her son Noah

And there’s something great about circles coming around, being out with the adult kids of dear friends… who are now some years older than Jamie was when he met their parents. DSC_9797

It will be nice to slow down for a few weeks, where morning walks with Jamie’s sister and her dogs are one of the few things scheduled.


lets meetIn a couple of weeks, we’ll host an open boat party on Totem in the Mystic area. I don’t expect to post the location here, so if you’d like to join us (August 13, anytime between 3pm and sunset), get in touch! Low key hanging out, trading stories, enjoying a sunny summer afternoon.

Maintenance and repairs will keep us busy enough otherwise: we’re dogged by charging problems that started in the Caribbean and have only gotten worse. The broken stanchion is still broken. The “clears” on our dodger…aren’t. And then there’s the matter of kayak replacements. I need to replace all my Nikon gear, two bodies and three lenses, because it has a fungus that has twice defeated a professional servicing. ouch.

Come September we’ll begin our southbound journey, by way of many stops along the US east coast. Maybe by then we’ll have a better idea of our route for wintertime and beyond. At this point, it is still best summed up as “Cuba sounds great!”


9 Responses

  1. I am so insanely jealous of your New England summer, you cannot imagine. Missing those very much. 🙁

    Pleased to note that my being in the DC area is actually increasingly looking like a thing in October, week of the 10th or so to visit my very pregnant (by then) sister. I will let you know if it happens. 🙂

    1. These NE summers really are special. I’m so glad to be here! We’ll hope the stars align (unintended pun for the astronomer!) to meet you in Oct.

  2. You’re coming to Annapolis!!!! Awesome! You will probably want to be near the action down town but if you want to spend a little time in a quieter environment come stay on our mooring in the South River near Liberty Marina or anchor in one of the creeks. Maybe you’d enjoy a field trip to the Mountains to hike and/or fly? I’m pretty well hooked up for marine parts and supplies so feel free to take advantage of that as well.

    1. George, very cool! We’d love to meet you and I’m grateful for offer of a mooring. It’s a great help. And hiking sounds fantastic! I’ll drop you an email.

  3. Ken & I have never been to the East Coast … looks gorgeous! Glad ya’ll are enjoying your trip back to the US, and wish we were on the East Coast for the get-together!

    Hope you go to Cuba!

  4. I have not gotten the chance to read your post for a while. I really am sorry i missed you whenxyou were in the caribbean i live in trinidad. Did you guys visit? If ever you guys are down this way again drop me an email i’ll show you guys around and i’ll love to meet some real life cruiser. I hope that some day i can do the same.

    1. Hi Resheed- thanks for reaching out. We’d love to visit Trinidad, thanks for the offer to show us around! It’s possible we’ll be there next year, but we don’t know yet. Keep in touch!

  5. Oh wow, a boat that delivers seafood! Yum!!!!! We had two very enterprising teenagers about 3 years ago who cruised around the lakes in their boston whaler selling KFC to anyone who wanted it. For some reason there is NOTHING better than fried chicken out on the water. Nice seeing you guys catch up with Family and Friends. 🙂

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