Cruising Namibia’s Skeleton Coast

It’s only a couple of hundred miles from Lüderitz to Walvis Bay, but we broke the trip up to soak in some of the remote landscape. What started out cool and gray warmed up to… cool and sunny. At least it was warm enough to take off foulies, which Jamie and I wore even on […]

I love South Africanisms!

It started during our first road trip: picking up on sayings, food, treats and more that stood out to us as uniquely South African. Our expat family in Jo’burg helped further our education: a host of uniquely South African sounds, sights, tastes, and more. Animals If there’s one thing everyone knows about South Africa before […]

Land cruising in Africa

We dreamed about the iconic wildlife we’d have the chance to see in South Africa. But when we sketched out our plans to sail across the Indian Ocean, seeing them for ourselves in the vast parklands of South Africa felt dubious. Safari prices, at first blush, were well out of our reach. We’d be there […]

Mail call: especially pawsome deliveries!

Mail! It’s something we rarely get, unless it’s brought by visitors; our changeable routing and backwater destinations make it difficult. Spending a more extended time in one place (wow, almost two months already!) means we’ve had a chance to actually have things sent to us. That alone is kind of a novelty, but two special […]

Win a trip to Thailand by defending Asian elephants

We won’t be riding any elephants while we’re here in Thailand. If there’s a code to our travels, it’s to try and leave a positive trail in the places we visit. It’s not always easy to know how to make a meaningful contribution. Here in Thailand, it’s a snap, and anyone reading this has the […]

What are the best field guides for cruisers?

What kind of field guides should you bring cruising? The question of on board references came from a reader recently. It’s a good one, and it made me think about how we flubbed it and didn’t have enough on board when we cut the docklines. Of course, everyone has different needs: some may not want […]

Up the river in Borneo, part 1: the wonder

We have heard such raves about traveling up the Kumai river in Kalimantan to visit orangutan rehabilitation centers that I almost expected to be disappointed. It was described with such glowing terms that I couldn’t imagine- and sometimes, with few words at all at all, from those who professed to be left speechless or at […]

Oh yes, whales in the lagoon! Oh no, whales in the lagoon…

On our second morning at the Hermit Islands, Jamie went ashore to meet with Bob, the village elder who is shepherding us during our visit. He came back to Totem bubbling with information, and after reeling through what he learned, saved the most interesting for last: a pod of whales was in the lagoon! Not […]

Love them. Can’t stand them. But still, love them.

I should hate the destructive cockatoos, but now that we’ve taken down our headsail (so they can’t shred the sail cover!) removed all instruments from the top of Totem’s mast (since they wrecked the wind instruments and expensive weatherstation anyway!)- leaving little left for them to demolish- well, they are kinda fun to watch. At least, until […]

The continuing saga of the marina geese

A few weeks ago I wrote about the heartbreaking state our resident marina gander, Peter. He was in deep mourning for his longtime mate Paul. The crew in the marina and shipyard decided something needed to be done, and new geese were acquired in a mission that included the children, who trekked to a farm well outside […]