Author's blog: fresh thoughts for adventurous minds

Interview on Books and Travel Podcast

A Speck in the Ocean
I’m a big fan of the Books and Travel podcast and was honored to recently appear there as a guest. Listen in as we discuss the joys and challenges of sailing across the Pacific as well why I chose Panama as the setting for my Novel, The Silver Spider.

Happy listening!

What’s the Rush?

One reason we went cruising was to escape the ticking clock. And we succeeded: looking back on our 7000 mile Pacific crossing, I can count the number of times we’ve had to hurry on one hand. So what were we rushing off to in Suwarrow, an uninhabited atoll 2,000 miles west of nowhere? Read more here

The Floor of Heaven

I spotted a lighthouse that looked as if it reached all the way to the floor of heaven…
That’s just one of many great lines in Jimmy Buffett’s romp of a sailing yarn, A Salty Piece of Land. And it’s absolutely accurate, as we discovered upon sailing to the Amédée lighthouse in New Caledonia’s magnificent lagoon. Read more here

Of Sharks and Shadows

At first, we thought those shadows around our son in New Caledonia’s spectacular lagoon were rocks. Then we saw that some had fins!
Read more here

Happy and Wise

We’ve all heard the poem: I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and sky; and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by. The romance of that vision is part of what inspired us to leave the familiar behind and head out to sea. But once we settled into the cruising life, we realized there was another side of it all that appealed as much as those grander things. Read more here

Canal Ho!

Thirty-one, thirty-two, thirty-three. My finger tapped the horizon. Thirty-four, thirty-five, thirty-six. What had started as a few hulking forms on the horizon became a dozen, and the dozen multiplied…
Read more here

Pirates & Pieces of Eight

At the heyday of Spain’s New World conquests, Panama’s Portobelo acted as a collection point for huge quantifies of gold and silver – the treasure chest of the Americas, so to speak. Read more here

On the trail of the Silver Spider, Part 5: weaving fact and fiction

Research was one enjoyable part of writing The Silver Spider, especially when it came to colonial times in Panama and the canal building era in the early twentieth century. Continue reading…

On the trail of The Silver Spider, Part 4: on location in Portobelo

Panama’s Portobelo is a gem of a place for modern-day sailors – in fact and in fiction. After visiting Portobelo, Panama aboard my sailboat in 2012, I wrote a magazine article about the “beautiful port.” Eventually, echoes of that piece worked their way into my novel… Continue reading…

The Benefits of Extended Travel as a Family

I was asked to write about the benefits of extended travel as a family for the Australian Camper / Campervan magazine, Time to Roam (February/March 2014 issue). In brief, some of the benefits are: perspective, the magic of family time, appreciating limited resources, exhaling (ie.relaxing) and learning to schedule free time. Continue reading…


In Search of the Polish Navy

A sentimental tribute to my dad, who inspired my sailing (among many other things).

My family always got a good laugh from my mother’s stories about the “Polish Navy.” That’s how she referred to the sincere but sometimes misguided attempts of my Polish-born father and his friend to launch their sailing dreams. Listing hulls, ugly figureheads, and unconventional ballast ratios: her stories were guaranteed to work us into side-splitting hoots of laughter. Now an adult and a boat-owner myself, I have a new appreciation for what the Polish Navy was all about - and I can’t help but wonder what became of the bold venture launched so long ago in New Jersey’s Raritan Bay. Read more here…

My German Engineer

Lucky me: I have my very own German Engineer husband. He’s very sweet. He never barks orders. He’s the man on hand for anything that goes kaputt – or doesn’t, thanks to his diligent preventative measures. Just what you need for cruising! Read more here…

Lockdown Learning, Part 2: the power of a DAILY ROAD MAP

It can be hard for students (and parents) to face a long day of schoolwork at home. All those hours of work looming ahead can seem endless. The key to overcoming this is a daily road map which lays out the tasks for the day. So today, this short series of “Lockdown Learning” posts will cover the POWER OF A DAILY ROAD MAP. I hope these posts help parents with basic strategies that will smooth out the process of remote learning. Read more here…

Lockdown Learning, Part 1: FEEDBACK & REWARDS

It’s not just you – lots of parents are struggling to keep their kids motivated during the corona lockdown, not to mention struggling to juggle other responsibilities. This short series of posts aims to arm parents with some basic strategies that will smooth out the process. In Part 1, we’ll cover FEEDBACK and REWARDS. Read more here…

Shakedown South

Getting reacquainted with the cruising lifestyle on an East Coast run.

The dream part of every cruise is exhilarating sailing and the anticipation of interesting places to visit. The down side, on the other hand, is never-ending maintenance work and equipment failure, a constant stream of problems that demand solutions. Somewhere in between is the reality: a balance of pleasure and effort to truly earn the privilege of the sailing life. After a long hiatus from cruising, my husband and I were reminded of this when setting off for a cruise along the northeast United States aboard our 1981 Dufour 35, Namani…


Interview - Cruising French Polynesia

I was recently interviewed by Linus Wilson of the Slow Boat Sailing Podcast about cruising in French Polynesia. You can listen in to the episode here to learn about our favorite places, words of caution, and more.

Island Escapes

There are a lot of places we dream of going back to in the South Pacific, but one my mind keeps wandering back to is Urupukapuka in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands. Read more here

A fun tradition

Putting a new coat of antifouling on the hull isn’t always fun, but we started a tradition that helped make an occasion out of the job. We paint the lat/long of our position at the time of painting onto the hull first and snap a photo. It gets covered over soon enough, but we now have a nice collage from all around the world! See blog post here!

The Floor of Heaven

“I spotted a lighthouse that looked as if it reached all the way to the floor of heaven.” That’s just one of many great lines in Jimmy Buffett’s romp of a sailing yarn, A Salty Piece of Land. And it’s absolutely true, as we discovered upon sailing to Amédée lighthouse in New Caledonia’s magnificent lagoon. *Read more here…

Magical Malta: the Crossroads of the Mediterranean

It’s hard to cruise the Mediterranean and miss Malta, an island literally at the crossroads of Europe and North Africa. There, it’s as common to meet sailors heading east for the Red Sea as those heading west to Gibraltar, as we were. From the very start of our cruise two months earlier, we had looked forward to visiting this small island that straddles the centuries, and when we arrived… Read on here!