Checking in at Puteri Harbour Marina

When engine issues took priority over adventuring, we needed a place at the southern end of the Malay peninsula to park Totem for a while. Puteri Harbour Marina, in Johor (just west of Singapore), made sense for a variety of reasons. It was a rigging job for Jamie that initially brought us there in June, […]

Tense moments and unanswered questions

Pulling out the jib was an unexpected bonus as we sailed south from the islands of Langkawi.It’s more than 400 miles from there to Singapore, and we hoped to break it up with extended visits in Penang and Malacca to experience the interesting food, culture, and history they offer. But service delays stole that time, […]

Safe passagemaking in the Straits of Malacca

There’s a long history of piracy in the straits of Malacca, and plenty of modern bandits too- this area currently has more pirate activity than any other part of the world. But those aren’t our concerns as we sail south from Langkawi toward Singapore. Unlike the Gulf of Arabia, the piracy is focused entirely on commercial […]

Adventures in Duty-Free Shopping: Langkawi, Malaysia

Life in Langkawi isn’t all waterfall hikes and beach barbecues. This island is duty free, and while it’s rustic, there are tempting offerings for our scant kitty.  A day of hard-core retail action began when we were handed car keys by a stranger. For 50 ringgit (about $16), we now had 24 hours with a […]

Everyday cruising life: Langkawi, Malaysia

The resort was a great interlude, but we’ve settled back into “normal” cruising life in Malaysia, and a decidedly different groove. We’re happily catching up on projects, books, and fun with friends in Telaga Harbour. A nice breeze often comes through the bay, keeping the boat cool outside the hottest hours of the day. Hardly […]

Tioman Island: jungles, beaches, and creepy crawlies

Tioman island was our stunning landfall after a slightly stressful passage across the South China Sea. I learned about the lures of Tioman Island beaches when backpacking in SE Asia in the early nineties. It has only grown in reputation, so we went with pretty low expectations. I just assumed that given the reputation and […]

Where headhunting and satellite service meet

New places, new experiences, old friends: lots to learn about and explore around Kuching. We visited the orangutan rehabilitation center outside of town. It was hard not to compare with our incredible trip to Kumai. While Semenggoh had the same majestic primates… …it was a pretty different environment. It was full of good information, though some […]

Labuan: Borneo’s duty free haven

Our anchorage neighbors in Labuan: oil rig supply ships. cozy! Labuan has Duty Free Shops the way Seattle has coffee shops: in such excess you cannot imagine how they all thrive, and yet there they are. Duty free –> smuggling. Customs hid behind us to snag boats one day. We passed through Labuan twice on […]

Back in pretty water again: Pulau Gaya

Resort life is great, but what we love most is to be anchored in a quiet bay, with a nice beach and clean water to explore above and below. Back at home in Puget Sound, it was a lark to anchor off the city for floating front row seats to a waterfront concert- but it’s […]

Racing, and not racing, in the BIYC

Jamie and I met racing sailboats in Long Island Sound back in 1988, on a J-35 named Peregrine. When we moved to the Seattle area for grad school and to be closer to my family, sailing took a back seat to hiking and camping for a while. Jamie was burned out from sailing professionally and […]