Boat jobs are colorblind

Most boats have a division of labor. How do we split responsibility along “pink” vs “blue” jobs, or  “kid jobs” for those of us with children aboard? Just hanging out looking manly, wondering what blue jobs to do Confession: I think this is a crock. It bothers me that “pink and blue jobs” rates as […]

But where is the soy sauce?

After anticipating cruising for years, you’d think we have plenty of time to optimize space used in Totem’s various lockers, shelves, and other stowage areas. We’d know exactly where to store those things which fill out the essentials of life afloat, along with plenty of the extras which make life fun. Hah! Even after four […]

Reflections on provisioning

Public market, Zihuatanejo, Mexico People everywhere have to eat. This is a lesson I seem to need to re-learn periodically. A lot of provisioning, I believe, is really just the result of over thinking things from a fear of scarcity- and as a result, buying far more than necessary. On the other hand, this is […]

Afraid of the dark

Plenty of people worry about plenty of things when they consider the prospect of cruising. Looking in from the outside, the fears we hear voiced from those who wonder about cruising are centered around a few themes. We mostly hear about about pirates and storms. Jamie driving off Cape Mendocino. Gales never look as bad […]

Totem’s boat swag

Our cruising mentors had helped us internalize just how important your boat name will be as a part of your cruising life. That name is your identity. Cruisers you meet- you will know them better in a day than the people you lived next door to for years, but odds are that they will never […]

Death, taxes, and laundry

Sometimes it really does feel that way: like one of the guarantees in life! August’s raft-up topic is about handling clothes and laundry on board. It’s a good subject for the group, since it’s a big question for pre-cruisers and based on questions we’ve had, I think a lot of people wonder how we manage this on […]

Sailor or Traveler?

There is a spectrum that exists between identifying as a sailor, and identifying as traveler. Who is cruising because living aboard a boat and voyaging are core to their being? And who is cruising via sailboat because it is a means to and end- a way to satisfy wanderlust, and just happens to be by […]

What do cruisers do all day?

What do we do on board, to keep busy and have fun? Does this get boring? Well…no. Navadra Island, Fiji It’s an understandable question from someone who hasn’t yet had the chance to dip into the cruising life. The way spend our days shifted radically once we started living on the boat. There were a few brief months […]

Drawn to the Ocean

What is this irresistible pull we feel for the sea? Where does it come from? Going for an evening swim – Makemo atoll, Tuamotus, French Polynesia Half a lifetime ago, I lived for a while in Bali. My Balinese family was fascinated by the attraction of the coastline for all the tourists. For Balinese, it’s […]

Reflections on the crossing from Mexico to the Marquesas

With a little time to rest and regroup, Jamie and I reflected on the passage this morning over coffee (J) and English Breakfast tea (B- thank you, Clauson’s Fine Teas!). First, some statistics: Total miles: ~2950Top speed: 12.2 knotsBest 24 hour run: 193 milesDiesel consumed: 40 gallonsHighest windspeed: 35 (ITCZ squalls, and one intense night […]