nslavinski's blog

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…


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