As I may have mentioned, I am in the midst of getting Lunacy ready for a run down to the W’Indies. This is always a fraught process, what with the normal anxieties of worrying about whether the boat is truly ready to go offshore, putting together crew, and watching the unruly fall weather unfold. Historically for me this anxiety has always been compounded by my fussy insurance company, ACE, which insists on vetting my crews and making me fill out lots of forms before they’ll give me an endorsement for a passage to the Caribbean.
Marine insurance, of course, is how the whole concept of insurance first got started.… Read More
PSS Satun, a Thai shipyard just a hop over the southern border with Malaysia, sits at the edge of a small village up a winding muddy river. Because we can only enter the river at high tide, we spend the night before our haulout at a bend where the depth drops enough to keep water under the keel through a full swing. Surrounded by mangroves, we watch fishermen wade knee-deep in the mud at low tide, pushing boxes and collecting something- crabs?- from the flats.
Crossing into Thailand to this spot retraces the same route that brought us here nearly a year ago.… Read More
With 71% of our planet covered by oceans, there is no shortage of places to explore by boat. So when I landed recently on a page for the latest campaign from LOOK, which aims to identify the world’s most exotic sailing location, well, I had two reactions. What’s their pick? And how could we possibly choose just one from among our favorites? I asked the question on Totem’s facebook page and had a slew of interesting suggestions… so we started thinking more about ours.
As we’ve done a interviews for podcasts or print, the question of a favorite place typically comes up.… Read More
How much does it cost to go cruising? How much / how long did you save in order to go? What do you spend every month as a cruiser? What about earning money while cruising? Questions along this line are among the most common that we get on Totem.
We recently had a chance to do an interview with Teddy J from SailLoot, and talk about ALL those issues. To listen in, you can stream it below, pick up on his site, or check out the SailLoot itunes channel.
Teddy has his eye on living aboard and cruising with his his wife, Megan, and their dog, Barley (yes, he likes beer!), and is asking all those questions to fuel his own planning.… Read More
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Last year I decided to sail across the Atlantic.
I previously had spent 3 months learning how to sail in South Africa and figured that learning should be put to good use–otherwise there’s no point, is there?
After some quick research, I decided to join the 270 boats crossing the Atlantic with the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) in November 2013:
“Every November since 1986 the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) has set sail from Las Palmas, bound 2,700 nautical miles westward across the Atlantic to the Caribbean.”
Nearly a year later, I can say this trip exceeded my expectations by far. … Read More
Part 1 of the World Cruising Club ‘Ocean Sailing Forum,’ live from the Annapolis Sailboat Show. Andy moderates a panel including SAIL’s Charlie Doane, Paul & Sheryl Shard from ‘Distant Shores,’ and Jennifer & Scott Brigham of the Valiant 40 ‘Pendragon.’ They discussed all things ocean sailing, from boat selection to watch planning, seasickness, fears, joys and more! Check for Part 2 later this week.… Read More
Photos courtesy of Jolyn and Ken Zielesch, aboard cruise ship Rhapsody of the Seas
Bill Edinger, founder and President of Spectra Watermakers (and my boss), set out earlier this year on a five-month sailing sabbatical to French Polynesia aboard his Norm Cross-designed 45-foot trimaran, Defiance. He, family, and guests sailed to the Marquesas, Tuamotus, Society Islands, then up to Hawaii, all in a very seamanlike manner.
On the final stretch from Hawaii to San Francisco they hit the edge of the Pacific High, as returning sailors are wont to do, and motored for a day or two. This is when disaster struck.… Read More
Jamie and I co-author the cruising column for 48° North, a Pacific Northwest regional boating magazine. He lead on this piece for their for October issue, with ruminations about what lies ahead for us with a big year coming. The complete magazine is free on newstands around the Salish Sea, and available online wherever you are.
Transition then Monsoon
Southwest monsoon season is active here in the Malacca Straits. Intense squalls with cold, biting rain, and streaks of lightning that are always too close divide the day’s oppressive heat. It is extreme weather – eerily calm, blindingly bright or catastrophically loud.… Read More
Well, that was unpleasant.
There are the beautiful days of white sandy beaches and gin-clear water, and then there are the days when you have your ass handed to you by the weather.
We spent just over a week knocking off a list of projects from rig tuning to galvanizing in Penang. It’s probably our last marina stay until we arrive in South Africa, more than a year from now, and some things are just easier to do at a dock when the boat is relatively motionless and the fresh water runs freely. But we were ready to get out and back in our happy place, rocking gently at anchor.… Read More