Boat show bound: see you in Annapolis!

Love Pam Wall and our two-day Cruising Women masterclass! The Annapolis boat show gathers the found family of the cruising community. Connected through shared goals and experiences, we relish the opportunity to play with like-minded souls without the need to justify or explain ourselves. Fundamental goals and shared values are difficult for our land-linked family […]

Shipyard list: refit for the South Pacific

Hot days pulling sticks on the hardstand, digital postcards from a dusty town in the Sonora desert, animal farm in the shipyard… anyone following our social media updates knows Totem is hauled out, and there’s a lot going on. Wait, didn’t you just spend a bunch of time hauled out? Last year’s extended stay at […]

Top reasons cruising is great for families

Over the years, we have run into many couples cruising as empty-nesters who expressed regret they didn’t go with their children. The reasons for waiting are individual, but tend to follow similar themes. Fears of missing out on the cultural rituals of an American childhood, perhaps wanting more savings to go, feeling intimidated by homeschooling, […]

Mail call challenges highlight cruiser priorities

The instant gratification of click-to-buy for next day delivery disappears faster than steak at a potluck when you go cruising. An hour’s drive from a mailbox at the US border drives this point home: whether it’s boat parts or a care package, getting a delivery overseas can be tricky. Shipping costs more, receiving is less […]

Cruising relationships are different

Group of adults hanging out in a small swimming pool

Familiar names come into focus on the hulls of sailboats as Jamie and I walk along the gravelly hardstand rows. It’s like seeing old friends after the space of time and distance; variations in the gap bring recollections for some in a heartbeat, others in just a few beats more. Remarkably, among the 70-odd cruising […]

Sea change

three people on the bow of a sailboat

Our language is full of words and phrases drawn from maritime origins. Whether you’re hoping to be on an even keel, can’t fathom what that is, or simply need Dutch courage to ask – terms with nautical roots pepper our everyday lexicon. The one most present on Totem lately: sea change. Thank Shakespeare for the […]

Challenging anchorages revisited

Miles and years slide by, but the feel of an anchorage sticks with you. Name a bay, and memories flood back: the quality of the holding. The way the swell could wrap around one end. The dogleg track to avoid a shoal. Returning to old haunts, the filter of experience casts a new light. Two […]

Migrating for hurricane season in Mexico

Cruising has seasonal rhythms; weather is the dominant factor, and for cruisers in Mexico it’s time to be in – or well on your way to – an area to spend hurricane season. From Mexico’s “Gold Coast” on the Pacific, the primary choices are south to El Salvador or beyond, north towards the Sea of […]

Murder in paradise: is cruising dangerous?

A few days ago we learned that a cruising family was attacked on their boat in Guna Yala (aka San Blas), Panama, with the tragic outcome of death aboard. We met the New Zealanders in the Bahamas in 2017: their uncommon boat (a sky-blue trawler) and friendly crew made for memorable anchorage neighbors during a […]

Tanked: mixology woes aboard

The dull thud of your heart sinking at that horrifying moment when you realize what you just did and consequences will follow: we all dread it. It happens anyway. Cruising comes with higher highs, and lower lows… pouring the wrong stuff in your diesel tank is one of those lower points. In mid-2012, Totem was […]