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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Lessons in flexibility, nurtured by cruising

Last week we crossed into our eleventh year of cruising aboard Totem. Except we aren’t aboard Totem right now, and this summer has taken a different trajectory than planned. (Pictured today in Portland, Oregon; moving-in day for Niall at Lewis & Clark college.) Shifting plans isn’t unusual for our family, for our voyaging life. We’re […]

Then and now: sailing Baja nine years later

What’s your favorite place? We’ve heard this question a lot lately. Jamie’s current answer to the “best place” question is that he has 100 top ten favorites. His point (aside from the impossibility of picking just one) is that there’s context needed. Some places are favorites for the delicious food. Others are unforgettable for their underwater […]

Holiday gifts that cruisers want

As avowed minimalists, this feels slightly awkward putting a post of holiday gifts together. But the reality is that there are useful needs to meet in a life afloat. This peek into what works hopefully aids those anticipating a similar path: a personal look what’s worked for us, and what’s on our wish list, as idea fodder […]

We now return to regularly scheduled cruising adventures

Grenada brings respite to the Totem crew. The last five months have been crazy: bashing against conditions from Bahama to the BVIs, dealing with skin cancer scares in Puerto Rico, running south from hurricanes through the Lesser Antilles, and working the whirlwind of the Annapolis boat show. This frenzied roller coaster was well outside our […]

How cruising wrecks lives

It’s become profoundly clear that we’ll never be normal again. Is it unsettling? A little. We were a poster family for Normal, and utterly happy. Sitting in Totem’s cockpit from our mooring in the Mystic River, looking towards Noank in the fading light, that normal life—and the security that came with it—is lost to us. […]

The problem with cruising kids and socialization

“But what about socialization?” People unfamiliar but curious about cruising lifestyle often ask this about our children. We’ve done a few presentations about our travels during our first month back in the USA, and can almost guarantee the question of our kids’ socialization will come up in the Q&A afterwards. Tucked into comfortable chairs on […]

Voyaging With Kids: how to take your family cruising

How do families go cruising? What do you need to know to take your kids off on a bluewater cruising adventure? How on earth to you homeschool across an ocean? What happens when the voyage is over? When our kids were babies and Jamie and I were lining up our exit strategy, none of the books on […]