Sailing Totem

The Sailing Totem blog chronicles the sailing life of the Gifford family and also offers tips and advice for new cruisers.

Behan Gifford has sailed more than 60,000 miles while circumnavigating with her husband, Jamie, and their three children. Seeking a family-focused life afloat and a different kind of education for their kids, the family set off from the Pacific Northwest in 2008 aboard their Stevens 47, Totem. Since then they’ve visited 48 countries/territories from Mexico to Madagascar to Martinique. With their eldest fledged to college, the reduced crew of four are currently cruising the Pacific. 

Behan has long chronicled the rewards and realities of life afloat on the blog, Sailing Totem. She’s a co-author of Voyaging with Kids, the acclaimed guide to cruising as a family, and is published widely in boating magazines. She seeks to encourage and inspire with her writing about the cruising life: to make it relatable and informative and help others visualize their own future afloat. Jamie is a recovering racing sailor; circumnavigation was his therapy. As a sail designer, he was behind winning campaigns for events including the Americas Cup and Vendee Globe Challenge/BOC; now he consults with cruisers looking for the sails, rigging, and systems aboard. Together Behan and Jamie offer coaching services to cruisers looking for help to make the leap to the cruising life.

Jamie Gifford sanding in his boat

State of Our Totem

Although there are days when progress feels minuscule, we’ve crossed major milestones in our refit.