Happy Family 05/03/2013



Imagine packing up your young family, three kids from 4 to 8 years old, kissing the jobs good bye and heading off on a sailboat around the world.  That is what the S/V Totem family did five years ago. I first met them in Mexico where we all nervously awaited our ocean crossing or puddle jump as we called it. Behan organized the HF radio net and all participated in the seminars and parties that the sponsors arranged.  I discovered they were from Bainbridge Island, very close to my original home.  I kept seeing these bouncy “toe head” blonde kids merrily dashing about the docks.  A long friendship started here, now we are in the wilds of Indonesia cruising together after spending time in Mexico, the South Sea Islands, Australia and not Asia.

We rendezvoused on Bali and did the fast catch up. I laughed that they had traded in the old kids on bigger ones; Niall is now a full-fledged teenager, almost 14. We spent some time together and planned joining them in Gili A. I offered Niall to make the crossing with us and he came aboard.  Having him with us for two days was a complete pleasure. The crew took right to him and he helped in the galley and me with some boat stuff. He seemed to like this power boating idea. He helped the girls learn some knots.  I had a blast teasing “mom” via facebook chatting with quips like, “ if you get here late Niall will be hanging out in the bar with me” to which she replied, “so which bar do I find my kid in” and added, “I cannot believe I am asking such a question”.

With Totem moored next to Furthur again, it was like old times, they joined us when I jammed at the Freedom Bar with my good friend Agu. My crew and the kids were inseparable, Sam had two young girls to braid her long hair and play games with.  The perfect name for the Totem family came from my guitar playing, pot smoking and star bright smiling, Rasta looking Indo pal Agu. We finished one of the songs and he welcomed the “Happy Family” and that is what they shall be called for ever more.

The name is well earned; we laughed that if they could make the young girls in pill form it would cure all forms of depression.  Niall is the perfect older brother always attentive with his sisters and they truly look up to him. Jamie and Behan should write the book on parenting, period.  We had to chance to see them out alone last night, sans kids, when I played again at the Freedom Bar. Sam made the comment, “they are really in love”. 

Although the “Happy Family” are amazing, they are not alone. The cruising world if full of happy families living in tight quarters raising multiple kids on the run. The results are families that really love each other, kids that are independent, well behaved, inquisitive, precocious and really fun.  Many young guys read my blog and tell me “someday” when the kids are grown and I always show them the S/V Totem blog, http://sv-totem.blogspot.com/.   Make that someday today.


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 Adam Smith  7/31/2015

Congratulations, great to find a partner in crime to share the adventure with.  I wish you both much happiness.

 Chris French  6/24/2015

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 Fauzi Hanif  4/9/2015

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It was a great story, right up to the point where the ping pong story gets introduced  (female crew taken along ). From that point forward, the story becomes watered down, repetitive, exploitive ( so much for Buddhist values ) and lacking the kind of character the story had through the first few years.

Women are more important than whales, yet whales in this adventure obviously get top billing while women seem to be a source of entertainment. Something to have along to please the eye, satisfy urges, make good photos, cook and clean. At least that is how it reads as time goes by.

As for value in other nations (boat work). I find it difficult reconcile how one is willing to pay low labor rates in countries/people we claim to love so much, while paying high labor rates in countries we are not so sad to leave (Oz). Could it be we love those who we can exploit, filling our "needs box" easily? What is not to love? Imagine if we paid those we love the same high rates in other lands? How much better would their lives be?

While it started well, this is now less a story of adventure and a great boat and crew, "usual suspects" and exotic places, dinners on a beach. Sadly the story has taken a turn. One that no longer holds my interest, for reasons stated. No need to read the book.

Should have continued on to the Med.....

 Sparks  1/6/2015

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 andew wazowski  1/4/2015

A very well written story ourhigh sschool teachers would grade it a A. Gladto see you going 

FURTHUR   AND SAFE  RECALLED all our high jinx  God  blessed to you ROY

 Roy Christopherson  12/31/2014

Nice Article I like this blog. I also have a blog my latest post is <a href="http://satriokeyong.blogspot.com/2014/11/contoh-cv-bahasa-indonesia.html">Contoh CV Bahasa Indonesia</a>

 Ane  12/17/2014

Very concerned for you Brother, the Typhoon has wrecked havoc all around you, it looks like.  Hope you are dry & floating my friend.

 SaltyDawg  12/9/2014

Enjoyed reading your adventure. 

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 unknown  12/1/2014

Brian and Christie, Really v glad to meet you both at Kota Kinabalu with Dive Below yesterday and thanks again for showing me onboard Further. Being a "city-person / corporate-warrior", your experience and attitude towards life truly inspires me... It takes a lot of courage and a "dare to be different" mindset to embark on this incredible journey. I m very humbled after listening to your story and amazed by how you managed to touch the lives of people that you meet at the various ports. Wishing you all the very best for all your trips + Rescue diver course and may you always be safe and joyful. Will be following your blog and maybe we have a chance to meet again somewhere , somehow .... Cheers Justin

 Justin Lee  11/16/2014

Great article in Sea Mag. Congrats !

 Kerry  9/20/2014

So glad you were there to celebrate with us--I loved your speech :)

 Lua  8/30/2014

Cap't, it was a pleasure to share the journey with you, and I hope for a time again to be in your bright and energetic company. Derek

 Derek  8/7/2014

Love it man! It was great meeting you in Madison and wishing you all the best! Flowpoetry

 Flowpoetry  8/5/2014

Brian it was wonderful meeting you in Madison at the first Furthur Test in over 50 years. What a ride!!! Looking forward to the adventure of life and I have a feeling that our paths will cross again. Doc and Bertha Bus Productions would love to work with you when your ready. Stay in touch! Hope to see you at Phases!

 Spiritmentalist (Ashlee)  7/28/2014

Well done (Pops)! :)

 Jonas Lundstrom  5/19/2014

Ulterior motives! Nicely done ;-)

 Ken  4/13/2014

I have friends and family similarly afflicted. Your message brings hope. Thank you.

 unknown  3/19/2014

Wow, Brian! Thank you for sharing your life story! I stil think you should write that book, and I no more think you should "drop the anchor" to do it; you are doing excelent writing under way! Radoje MY Kitri, Selene 5498

 Radoje Micic  3/18/2014

I would of loved to engaged the aux.

 troz  10/22/2013

Brian I have one question for you, Is there ever NOT a smile on your face ?

 Kerry  8/1/2013

Thanks Brian for the lovely tribute. You were a good friend to him and he loved the fact that you shared the same birthday. I am so glad we got to see you at Pangkor Island...what can I say it was just such a shock. He was not complaining of feeling ill and was so happy that we had crossed the Singapore strights. The night he died he said to me "the adventure begins tomorrow." I know that he is still with me even though my life has changed drastically. I am presently back in Melbourne staying with my best friend but will go back to Malaysia in a month or 2 to sort out the boat. I truely hope that we meet again somewhere along the track and he really loved you Brian xxx

 Lorraine  5/17/2013

Hey Brian! Wish we were there with Totem and you at the Freedom Bar! Very cool you got the privilege of hanging with Naill, an amazing guy. The girls are fantastic, too -- I'm sure they'll be Furthur crew in due time! Big hug to you! A2

 Alison and Allan  5/13/2013

Hello Captian Brian! Loved reading about your most recent journey. Thank you for all the details about the different marinas and the shopping. Bonne journèe

 Brenda  4/4/2013

Brian: Linda and I have enjoyed your blog this past year since meeting you at Seattle Opening Day last year. Are you coming back again this year?

 Tom Pickens  3/25/2013

Brian, I will forward your latest post to my American friend JonLee who is currently teaching in Salalah, Oman. She has some insights re the Muslim women, their attire and life style. She also taught in NE Thailand for quite a few years so has that experience to compare and contrast. Thank you for the thought provoking blog and beautiful photos. Keep strumming!

 Brenda Prowse  3/20/2013

Happy Year of the Snake, Pappa hero!

 Brenda Prowse  2/11/2013

Excellent account, Brian. I really like the way you related your experience to "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance." Robert Pirsig would be proud!

 Brenda  1/23/2013

que impresionante ju!!!!!!!que hermosa experiencia!!!!!

 unknown  1/10/2013

I've said it before but I'll say it again, YOU ARE ONE LUCKY DUDE !

 Kerry  1/2/2013

Awesome blogpost & story Brian! We are coming for our first visit in Thailand early November & will use some of your dive blogpost for ideas. Cheers, enjoy and will meet on the road someday. That's us if you are interested www.free-to-dream.org

 David  11/13/2012

Hola July!!!!!!! Estoy con Mari y con Adri en mi cumple!!!! te estamos viendo estas hermosa y felíz te quiero Muuuucchooooo!!!!!!! Un beso enoooorrrmmmmeeeee te mandamos todas

 Silvia  10/20/2012

Idea for you, Brian: drop the anchor for a while and write the book! Me be the first in a list of pre-orders! Radoje, wanabe in your wake

 Radoje  9/19/2012

WOW just WOW ! That was scary to read, I cant imagine what it was like in person. Stay safe.

 Kerry  8/26/2012

Kitty from Thailand remember me Brian and me work in chalong

 Kitty  6/27/2012


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