From Cape Town to Connecticut: Totem’s 2016


Looking back on the milestones, adventures, and misadventures of 2016: what a year it was! Jamie’s a database guy: thanks to him we have some serious metrics and some silly ones. We closed out with 3,057 days as cruisers, one of our biggest mileage years yet, and a host of unforgettable experiences.

Logbook stats

14 – countries/territories visited in 2016: South Africa; Namibia; British Overseas Territories of St Helena, Ascension, Montserrat, and Bermuda; Barbados; Dominica; overseas departments of France: Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Saint Martin; territories of the Netherlands, Saint Eustatius and Sint Maartin; USA

11,027 – miles in 2016 (9,582 NM)… a daysail less than our 2010 miles sailed.

50,244 – miles total (43,661 NM), yeah, we passed 50k!

266 – miles of best 24-hour run (231 NM), Ascension Island to Barbados

3,570 – miles of longest passage (3,102 NM), Ascension Island to Barbados completed in 17 days

Somewhere in the Atlantic. March or April


1 – number of kayaks lost at sea, between Bermuda and USA – big waves + broken stanchion = sad day!

1 – number of medical events, when a barefoot Siobhan stepped on a cactus on Ile Au Cabrit, Guadeloupe. Spines removed and patient remains a staunch barefooter!

8 – bells tolled for Totem’s beloved first hamster, Jiaozi, who joined us in Thailand and ended her watch in Martinique

Ghost town of Kolmanskopp, Namibia. February

Crew adventures

90 – kilograms of propane (198 lbs) for cooking…and some cabin heat, late in the year

13 – presentations given from Cape Cod to the Chesapeake

66 – fieldtrips! – epic hikes, rich museums, fascinating people, incredible experiences: a mid-Atlantic BBC relay station, Napoleon’s (first) tomb, JFKs birth home, sea turtles laying eggs at dawn, the White House’s West Wing, science lessons from The Global Dude for starfish, ghost towns in the desert, etc. Lucky humans we are.

1 – number of boats we watched sink for an artificial reef in Barbados

What a kid! Guadeloupe. May


11 – cuteness rating (1 to 10 scale) of baby goats on cactus-laden Ile Au Cabrit that certain barefoot girls liked to chase.

0 – number of elusive f@&#ing whale sharks seen in St Helena, at yet ANOTHER place “everyone” sees them (that’s four hotspots now)

500ish – number of visitors on Totem in 2016. Total speculation, and probably low, between a couple of open boat parties and a general bias for socializing with our fellow humans

Legal capacity? Noank, Connecticut. August

Local conditions

55 – degrees Fahrenheit (12.8  C) of the Benguela Current along the edge of the Namib Desert made for amazing animal life: sea birds, whales, dolphins, sea lions, PENGUINS, and jellyfish

3.9 – depth in feet (1.2 meters), the least we’ve been ever (by far!), is the marina we’re now in – dock master said we may touch at low tide with Totem’s draft of 6.0 feet – he was right…

3.6 – number of feet (1.1 meters) by which we did NOT fit under bridges Totem was required to pass under, engendering creativity to squeeze beneath.

Rooftop drinks with Mike & Kim before the White House. November

This is about the numbers… but the year was really about people. The new friends, like Mike & Kim (above)  and fellow traveling souls Matt & Wendy & family (below) who gave us indelible memories along the way.

Veterans of the full-time traveling life! Charleston, December


It was about the many reunions with familiar faces, and thanks to the internet, all the “old friends” we could meet for the first time.

Manhattan. September

The data on 2015– 365 days, 7,988 miles, 2 oceans, 1 boat–is posted here for giggles and judgment.

South Carolina. December

13 Responses

  1. I am so pleased to be among the 500, give or take, visitors to Totem in 2016. Also to be among one of the virtual friends that met face to face. I will cherish our friendship for years to come.

  2. Carol and I express the same feelings as Suzanne M. above. It was indeed a honor and privilege to meet you and your family on board face to face and glimpse if only for a moment a bit of the cruising life and spirit of true world cruisers. Happy New Year to all of you and a hefty rabbit’s foot full of luck tossed to Niall and his college quest.


    Rob and Carol

  3. Wow! Great stats from your resident database keeper. That 231nm 24 hour run must have been a great ride. This really underscores the point Jamie makes about the advantage of a performance hull in passagemaking.

    Cute little kid Siobahn has there. Almost small enough to be an onboard pet?

    Hope you are enjoying Fl weather and freedom from the cabin heater. Now that Cuba is next would be interested to hear the protocol for entry and island cruising.

    Best to all for 2017!

  4. Love living vicariously through you!! Are those latkes in the last picture?? Brings back memories from the hannukah feast in punta mita way back when (-:
    Happy 2017!

    1. Very well spotted Jane, yes, those are latkes! 🙂 Most special ever where those you served in Punta Mita though, will never forget that.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing with all of us out here. Loved to hear about the success of the year. Well done, indeed. Wishing you a great 2017!

  6. Always amazing to look back at all the baby steps and see the giant leap. Love all the numbers summing things up. Happy 2017!

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