Weather waffling: the passage departure decision

I watched from Totem’s cockpit yesterday as friends sailed out of the La Cruz anchorage. Their next stop: the Marquesas, French Polynesia’s nearest island group to the Americas, around 3,000 miles away. This week’s weather window spawned the first wave of South Pacific-bound departures from our corner of Mexico. When a big passage looms, evaluating […]

Trashing the ocean: sending out an SOS

Carefully sealed into the wine bottle was a message from afar. Fisherman in Florida found and read the drift mail, learning that it was from a woman that sailed across the Atlantic Ocean the year before. They contacted the sender and after hearing her message was found, she joyfully related the story to a group […]

Reefing, by and large

When do you reef? How should you reef? What are some excellent ways to screw it up? A few thoughts from Jamie (filtered through fun with salty sayings and his fondness for puns). Many witty phrases stem from seafaring and sailing ships of yore. It’s a wonder that so few truly help while sailing. Three […]

Watch Captain

Our friend Ty has accompanied Totem on significant passages . We’re very excited that he’s booked a flight to Namibia next month, and will join Totem again to cross the Atlantic to the Caribbean. A little backstory on Ty and our history together seems appropriate: this is a piece Jamie wrote about our indomitable seafaring companion. […]

Friendships and cruising

Ponnusamy, or Sam as we call him, prepared chicken curry at his home in Penang, Malaysia for us to share on Totem recently. He called it “a simple curry” although was anything but simple, with so many different spices that even chili-fueled fire didn’t overwhelm the complex flavors. Other than love of good chicken vindaloo […]

Preparing for the Indian Ocean

Jamie and I co-author the cruising column for 48° North, a Pacific Northwest regional boating magazine. He lead on this piece for their for October issue, with ruminations about what lies ahead for us with a big year coming. The complete magazine is free on newstands around the Salish Sea, and available online wherever you are. Transition […]

Giant Map of Dreams

If a picture tells a thousand words, then a map is a portrait with countless stories to tell. Consider Cape Disappointment in Oregon, whose name on a map barely hints of the great and perilous journey of Lewis and Clark’s expedition. When it came to naming the place, a deflated Clark must have considered names […]

Tips from an Unplanned Rewiring

Jamie and I co-author the cruising column for 48° North, a Pacific Northwest regional boating magazine. Our article for November is based on lessons learned while Jamie worked to help our friends on sv Tahina recover from a lightning strike. Flash, Crack! And Ozone Tioman Island in Malaysia, with its mountainous interior and great snorkeling […]

The dog ate my clearance papers

Jamie and I co-author a cruising column for 48° North, a Pacific Northwest regional boating magazine. Our article for October offers anecdotes internet technology on board. Love it or hate it, it’s certainly changed a great deal about cruising. Puget Sound residents can pick up 48° North in boaty outlets, but anyone can read the […]

What makes a good cruising boat?

In our home waters of Puget Sound, traditional boats predominate. The longer we’ve been gone cruising and thought about the qualities that matter to us, the more we wonder why people don’t break out of the mold more often. A family we met on Borneo on a decidedly racy boat, Relapse, inspired the monthly cruising column […]