It’s time to go home

9 Dec
One of the hardest parts of cruising is being far away from people we love. It’s especially hard to be far away and during their times of need, when we can’t be present with support. But we also miss sharing everyday experiences: the laughs and events, celebratory or ordinary, that build memories with our faraway friend and […] Read More

Moving the boat, part 1: Noumea

28 Jun
It was tough to choose the first photo for this post. On the one hand, most of our time in Noumea looked like this:Not a holiday.But on the other, returning to Noumea felt strangely like going home. Exciting, but bittersweet. The girls and I lived... Read More

Communication Breakdown: Helping Family Let Go

7 Jun
Around about now, I expect I am somewhere on the East coast, dining out with friends.  Worried about exactly where I am? I'm used to that. Back in the day, some well-meaning family members got a little nervous about our whereabouts, too.Originally... Read More

Warning: sharks…card sharks.

11 Sep

In 2010, my cousin Claire came to stay on Totem in Bora Bora. Three years later she’s back again, with the unique distinction of still being the only relative to have trekked the miles to visit us (at least until next month, when my parents will meet us in Langkawi!).
photo: Claire Suni

Being far away from people we love can be tough. It’s almost certainly the highest price we pay for this lifestyle. Even though email and video chat make it easier now than the cruisers of yesteryear, there’s still no substitute for being able to be right there with someone. We were in North America for most of our first two years of cruising, but have put awkward "vacation distance" between ourselves and home since then.

Claire’s visit prompted the reprise of a favorite tradition. We play a variant of rummy; an annual tournament back in Bellingham, Washington, has been our de facto annual family reunion for many years. And so it was decreed: the POCRT (Pan Oceanic Chicago Rummy Tournament) would have a regional competition in Malaysia: a championship title with medals, and of course bragging rights for all eternity.

We take card playing very seriously.

Card playing is serious business

My Aunt Glenna had medals made up and delivered to Claire to pack along in her luggage to visit with us.

We needed to wrangle a few more players to get multiple tables going on a tournament, but that wasn't too hard- I think it's fair to say that cruisers are pretty active game players, be it cards, dominoes, or whatever! The good sports on Tahina and Utopia were more than game to jump in and play. They could appreciate the fine balance of friendly competition, salty snacks, and cocktails that are all important elements of POCRT.

We did decide to spare them the talent show, I did need to have a margarita.

Card playing is serious business

We had a warm up day, to get in the groove... and then it was all about the cards. Vicious, sharky cards!

Card playing is serious business

The fleet arrived at Tahina, where our gracious hosts Frank and Karen made extra ice to accommodate the revelers competitors.

the dinghy fleet

Cards were played; games were won; tears were shed.

Jamie was our emcee for the awards ceremony.

The Emcee

Does anyone care to identify the classic cruising movie playing in the background?

And those tears: tears of joy… mine, anyway. For the first time in umpteen years, I won!

I proudly wore my medal into town. Actually, I kind of had a hard time *not* wearing it for a few days. My crew mates on Totem may be seeing a lot of this medal, in fact. I'd apologize, but I'm too busy reveling in the glory of my new found POCRT champion status.
photo: Claire Suni

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Our five year cruisiversary

22 Aug
I look at this photo of our children at the time we embarked on the cruising life in 2008 and wonder- how did five years pass so quickly? It's five years today since we backed Totem out of her Bainbridge Island slip and departed on cruising adventur... Read More

Which Passage Were You On?

18 Jul
It is a banner day here on Papillon - we have completed our first passage since last January when the forestay parted and we made an unscheduled six-month stop in Whangarei.  This was only an overnight hop, but we were out at sea! and we got from ... Read More

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