GRIB School: Explaining this Ubiquitous Component of Modern Marine Weather

What is a GRIB File? Use of numerical weather model forecasts by individual mariners is an ubiquitous component of modern marine weather. Almost any navigation program these days connected to a wireless source on land or at…

Dinghy Decisions – Choosing a Tender for A Small Boat

As I moved to an anchoring mindset with my 1985 Pacific Seacraft Flicka 20, Sampaguita, I was going to need a dinghy. The main questions? What would it be, and where would I store it? At 20 feet, the storage space above and…

Chasing Rum on Puget Sound

Lucile McDonald (1898-1992) was an amazing journalist/historian/author on the prowl for Washington State history. Let's once more follow her trail through Puget Sound when she was beach-combing for tales of the rum-running…

Gear Review: Vesper Cortex after a few months

The Vesper Cortex is an AIS Class B+ SOTDMA transponder combined with VHF radio and remote monitoring. It shows amazing promise after the first few months of use. The Vesper Cortex has been one of the most anticipated…

Lazy days in Zihuatanejo

Looking skyward from our dinghy, I watch dozens of dark brown frigate birds whirl overhead in continually shrinking circles. They soon begin to dive all around the small cove, hitting the water with a splash, setting the…

Smooth running NMEA 2000 networks with smart universal terminators

Keep your NMEA 2000 network running smoothly with a universal terminator that has an LED showing bus voltage, and can be used easily at either end of the bus. NMEA 2000 networks can be frustrating as evidenced by the amount…

Insider ideas: Totem’s 2020 gift guide

Every year we put a holiday gift guide together, to help pick out something special for the cruisers and cruisers-to-be on your list. This year, the suggestions have a new source. We send an occasional newsletter to coaching…

How to Report Nautical Chart Corrections

One great virtue of electronic charts is their ability to be updated quickly by both NOAA's Office of Coast Survey (OCS), who makes the charts, and then the mariners who use them on the water. Electronic Navigational Charts…

Destination Manzanillo: Thankful for the freedom of cruising

In the month of November leading up to Thanksgiving, we have a running family tradition aboard Yahtzee to go around the table during a meal each day and share one thing we’re thankful for. A couple days after dropping anchor…

Adding a NMEA 2000 powered Raspberry Pi to your boat

Easy to install Raspberry Pi computer that gets its power from the NMEA 2000 bus — Great for SignalK, OpenCPN, and OpenPlotter. Running a Raspberry Pi aboard a boat has been a popular thing to do for a number of years. I’ve…