Bahamas cruising post-Dorian

In early September, hurricane Dorian slammed into the Bahamas and became the most devastating natural disaster on record for the islands. Savage winds flipped boats, leveled homes, and traumatized an otherwise peaceful corner of this beautiful country. On the cusp of cruising season, the dramatic headlines put plans in flux for many. Here’s what to […]

The measure of a year: 2019 reflections

sailing in the ocean

Totem rocks at anchor in the gentle swell off La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Mexico. We approached the end of the year on a mellow passage down the Sea of Cortez, sailing from Puerto Peñasco to our winter base in Banderas Bay. It was a little under five days – four nights at sea – to […]

Ode to a shipyard community

127 days of living on the hard are finally in the rear view mirror. Totem baked in the Sonora desert sun for more than four months of refit projects. Our boat is capable, but time and miles meant meaningful work in was due. Life on the hard is, well, hard. We shift from the natural […]

Bringing holiday spirit aboard

“But how will Santa find us?” our children asked with more than a little anxiety.  “He has his ways,” we replied confidently.  This was 2007: the year before we went cruising, we traded home fires on Bainbridge Island for a small cabin in Washington’s north Cascades for a getaway. It would be our last Christmas […]

Thankful cruisers

Waiting until they’re awake before cranking out the first round of Alice’s Restaurant may not be something our boat teens are thankful for yet, but give them a few hours. I contemplate this while watching the clouds lemon-tinted by sunrise, scudding across an uncharacteristically overcast sky in Puerto Peñasco. Eleven years ago we spent our […]

Holiday gifts: what cruisers use

The relative simplicity of cruising life changes the way we think about gifting on Totem. Living on a floating tiny home lends itself cautious acquisition; over the years, minimalism becomes internalized. In a holiday season that emphasize family rituals and experiences, however, there’s still very much a place for the thoughtful gift…and I love making […]

Facing fears: kid boat edition

Taking kids cruising benefits parents and children alike. I shared top reasons why recently: cruising instilled patience, confidence and independence in our kids while offering them a priceless education and family bond. But it’s a LOT easier to say with hindsight than it is looking in with an outsider’s lens. Asking parents what holds them […]

Time to skip Tahiti?

“Should we skip Tahiti?” A question I never thought I’d hear was asked seriously over sundowners last week as we discussed 2020 plans. The popular cruising destination is sending a strong message that cruisers aren’t wanted anymore. Last week, a local cruiser reported that police began clearing boats from the busy Taina anchorage in Tahiti. […]

Better than Bacon

Most of us don’t have a Bacon Number. This, of course, is the number of connections it takes to link an actor to Kevin Bacon. What does Kevin Bacon or the concept of six degrees of separation have to do with cruising? Proximity. Access. Friend-making. Ghost-touching. Being human. Proximity The worldwide population of sailors is […]

Intentionally Unplanned

Every journey to cruising is unique, but common themes abound. Our family shares aspirations similar to many who wish to strike out towards the blue horizon: seeking to change lives overfull with things that are urgent, yet unimportant, for a focus on what really matters. We feel the years flying by and hope to slow […]