This is a story about a remarkable man, and an unforgettable experience we had as part of our clearance process from Indonesia. It is a reminder that human kindness is alive and well, and often waiting to surprise you from the most unexpected corners of your life. It is the point, and the counterpoint, to our last post about navigating clearance bureaucracy. It is the story our departure from Indonesia, wrapped in the embrace of kinship and friendship.
Totem arrived in Singkawang, West Kalimantan, to clear out of Indonesia. A short trip to the immigration office educated us that it ... Read More
Adventure: Mangroves to Tall Grass
“Indy, come on!” Read More
“I don’t want to go into the tall grass.”
“Fine. I’ll go by myself,” I said. The tall grass was really sharp. Then I noticed a small grass tunnel. “Indy,” I said, “come over here.”
“What is it?” said Indy.
“Maybe it leads to the mangroves?” I said.
“Let’s go!” said Indy.
As we walked and crawled through the grass tunnel we saw a spider’s web blocking our way. “Indy,” I said, “pass me a stick.”
I used the stick to take down ...
Written by Ben Ellison on Jun 21, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
Last week I had a long conference call with the Fusion Marine product management team in New Zealand. I came away even more impressed with how committed the company is to integrating its entertainment products with our boats and mobile A/V sources in every way possible. But I also got a deeper understanding of what a complicated mess their innovative ways has created! I’ll start with the new MS-Unidock Universal External Dock (above). It solves the problem Apple created by putting a new and entirely different ... Read More
Happy solstice- now, go sailing!
This Saturday, June 22, is Summer Sailstice– a worldwide celebration of sailing held on the weekend closest to solstice each June. On Totem, we observe solstice and are passionate about sailing, so what serendipity to bring them together as we return from our 3 year foray to the southern hemisphere!
The event was started in 2001 by John Arndt in the SF Bay Area. John is passionate about sailing, and just wanted to share his passion with others while bringing the diverse factions of sailing together. Ultimately, Summer Sailstice is all about getting out ... Read More
Ouest wore a polka-dot shirt today which prompted what has become my favorite word out of her mouth—poke-a-knot. Grandmas, next time you’re buying Ouest a dress, please look for poke-a-knots.
Went in to Guaymas this afternoon. Not much to say really. It’s a city. It’s got Home Depot, McDonald’s, and all the rest. All we did today was eat and grocery shop. These kids of mine are really ridiculous with the eating. I mean, they’re kids, they’re small, they shouldn’t eat ten dollars worth of fruit a day should they? When I was a kid I ate ten dollars worth ... Read More
You usually don’t think of a hole in your hull as being a good thing, but sometimes a properly organized one can save you a lot of trouble. Back when I owned Crazy Horse, my Alberg 35 yawl, a boat with a full keel and very deep bilges, I wished I had a bilge drain like the one pictured above every time I hauled the boat. There was always a fairly large pool of water at the bottom of the bilge that pumps couldn’t pick up and that I could never reach to bail out by hand, and ... Read More
I have a new appreciation for how easily most international travelers are able to pass the gauntlets to enter a foreign country. A little form on the plane, a stamp in your passport, and you’re off to your hotel. Sometimes we are lucky to have a very simple clearance (record: 13 minutes, Cook Islands)… and sometimes, we’re not (record: 3 days, Indonesia).
This is the next installment as I tick (slowly, yes) through questions that came in response to my query post, What do you want to know about? from a few weeks ago. Cidnie asked first, but it turns ... Read More
I was talking to a local lady today that had—up until a few days ago—owned a bar here at the marina. She told me they decided to sell, in part because business sucked, and in part because the cartels had slowly been moving in. In fact, she told me, the big boss of such and such cartel lived right here in San Carlos. And the only thing I could think was why in the hell would anybody want to risk their life to make millions and millions in drug money if all it meant was they could own a big ... Read More
To our surprise, Kumai was delightful. Yes, it is a funny, dusty frontier town with absolutely nothing to recommend it aesthetically, but it was incredibly friendly. After our weeks in Bali, it was also really nice to be able to walk down the street without having 10 people try to sell us something. Here, nobody tried to sell us anything at all! It was something of a study in contradictions, with the massive shipping traffic and relatively modern vessels and structures next to very traditional boats like this one (he’s waving, of course). Read More
Before we went up the river, we ...
So it turns out finding a beach in San Carlos isn’t that easy. We got in the dinghy and zipped back out the way we had come in but realized that the shoreline everywhere was just rock. The beach out front of the actual town is sandy (I believe), but over here near the marina is not, and we didn’t feel like a three mile dinghy ride. The only semi-normal looking beach we saw was situated in a tiny cove with a bunch of houses crowded up around it. Eventually that’s where we headed.
We swam and played and explored. ... Read More