I am, finally, back home in New Orleans after a long jaunt down the East Coast. The crew and I were completely out of touch with the world for the past few weeks as we explored some of the more remote reefs in the Florida Keys and made the jump out to the Dry Tortugas and home to New Orleans from there. Now we’re surrounded by friends, airing out stale projects, re-combobulating the trappings of life on land. There’s a bicycle hanging in a wharehouse on St. Ferdinand, a few boxes from the attic of a house on Urquhart, some clean clothes.…
|Photos Courtesy of Mon Iker|
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
Vang Sheeting is a term that describes a method, on windier days, of controlling the up and down movement of your boom (mainsail twist) by setting the boom vang and then controlling the in and out movement via the main sheet – big puff = ease the main sheet. The alternative, traveler sheeting, uses the mainsheet to control twist and the traveler to control in and out motion – big puff = lower the traveler. Which is better? As with most sail trim questions, the answer is “it depends”. Here are some questions about the boat you sail that need to be answered before you can decide:
How effective/powerful is your boom vang?…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
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
(Tampa, Florida)- The second annual J/70 Quantum Winter Series hosted by Davis Island YC saw an enormous turnout of forty-seven teams eager to enjoy sailing in the warm, southern climate of Florida. While the weather looked promising, with sunny skies all weekend, it was the breeze that proved difficult for both competitors and race management. A waning cold front produced decent NNW breezes on Saturday’s racing, permitting DIYC PRO Judy Hanlon to squeeze in four races before the breeze diminished. However, Sunday dawned bright and sunny and no amount of praying by all was enough to summon the seabreeze by early afternoon.…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