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 […]

Holiday gift ideas: inspired by social side of cruising

   The cruising lifestyle shimmers with a wide social streak; gathering for cockpit sundowners or beach barbecues is routine, and comes with distinct practices. Using these rituals as a springboard for holiday gift ideas spurred a fun conversation (and opinions!) around the boatyard lounge this morning, one which will probably be reprised around the firepit […]

A cruiser’s Thanksgiving: twists on tradition

Harvest festivals are cross-cultural and found all over the world, but that held on the 4th Thursday of every November is uniquely American. Every family grows up with a variant, but there are themes — some make the leap to cruising, and others don’t. Preparations for a celebration! At home I’d probably have planned this […]

Thanksgiving while cruising

For the first time since 2007, our little crew on Totem celebrates Thanksgiving in the USA again. Over the years we’ve celebrated in destinations as diverse as the sunny bay at Isla San Francisco, Mexico, or a firelit rondavel high up in Africa’s land-locked mountain nation of Lesotho last year. But even away from “home,” this is our […]

Holiday decorations aboard: crafting a shell light

Cruising boats have finite storage space. While we haven’t gotten to the point of taking something off for every item that comes on, there are understood rules that acquisitions should have at last one function – or require serious justification! When we choose a souvenir and keepsake, it’s often carefully picked with an eye to how it can […]

Cruisey holidays in Thailand

Growing up in the northern hemisphere mid-latitudes, it still feels strange to have Christmas on a sunny beach, but it’s not too hard to get used to.  Annual decorations were stored in our garage in stacks of boxes at home, but they’re not missed. We keep our old traditions, just in simpler ways, and shifted […]

Twelve Days of (Cruising) Christmas

It seems that maintenance and cruising are somehow inextricably intertwined…so we giggled our way through a “routine maintenance and one exotic location” riff on a holiday classic. On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: twelve expired flares! Eleven rusting stanchions Ten volt batteries Nine frozen turnbuckles Eight mildewed cushions Seven […]

How do you decorate a cruising boat for Christmas?

Photo courtesy of Lindsey Paris How do you bring the holidays on board, adapted to the cruising life? When we sailed south from Puget Sound in 2008 to begin for cruising adventures, our children were in the thick of the “holiday magic” years at ages 4, 6 and 9. That magic was very real, and […]