Living By the Compass

…And other wanderings by John and Becca

Life Onboard

Our wanderings on Halcyon. From artsy descriptions of picturesque beaches and exciting passages to candid reports of battles with rats.  

Life Onboard

Life at sea

April 12, 2021

I found this passage recently. I dog-eared the page (yes, it’s in a real book made of paper!) and I keep coming back and re-reading it:

There’s nothing...

Life Onboard


March 26, 2021

I would imagine that for most people “home” is a relatively static concept. It is a structure where you live – it is where you sleep, make meals, feel...

Life Onboard

Cruising in place: our approach to coping with the pandemic

April 21, 2020

John and I have been inadvertently training for the coronavirus. We are highly accustomed to spending long periods of time squinched up together in a...

Life Onboard

A thanksgiving thought

November 28, 2019

By John Guillote

The release of the latest UN climate report tells us, yet again, that our planet may be in worse shape than we had previously thought....

Life Onboard

To my favorite Halcyon Wandering VIP-subscribers…

October 31, 2019

Well, we have left Halcyon to fend for herself in the Marquesas for a few months. Right now, our squiggly path of life is pulling us along into the Arctic....

Life Onboard

Off the Beaten Tack

September 26, 2019

We tend to sail a little bit off the beaten tack.

Instead of leaving from Mexico to sail to French Polynesia,
we continued south to explore Central...

Life Onboard

Amateur anchoring, some hungry strangers and an unexpected crew member

August 5, 2019

A month ago, I was pretty sure we had anchored in every
situation. We have anchored with 2 feet of water below the keel and in 70 feet
of water. We have...

Life Onboard

Finding Paradise

June 27, 2019

Like most cruisers (and almost-cruisers) these days, we
spent hours on YouTube before we left, watching people just like us finding
paradise. Amateur...

Life Onboard

A day in the passage life: Part 3 – The Hole

May 30, 2019

That ideal trade wind sailing didn’t last like we wanted it to. As we tracked further south, we sailed right into a hole with no wind at all, and now that...

Life Onboard

A day in the passage life: Part 2 – the trades

May 23, 2019

We have finally hit the trades! The southeast trade winds
are a band of ideal wind and current that stretches from here all the way to
French Polynesia....

Life Onboard

A day in the passage life: Part 1, Settling in

May 16, 2019

Sailing across the ocean was an endurance event. Once all of
the preparations were done, all of the food was stored and all of the tanks
were full, we...

Life Onboard

Spoiler alert – we made it

May 3, 2019

How do you summarize something that demanded every ounce of your perseverance and patience for 36 days? Something that consumed every thought and decision...

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Boat Projects

They say cruising is really just doing boat work in exotic places. They’re right. A few accounts of the boat work we do on Halcyon on a regular basis.

Boat Projects

2018 Project List update

March 12, 2019

Another year of boatwork behind us, and it was a big one! We (started to) install a new engine, added more alternative energy, and completed a thousand little projects in between. Below is the highlights

Boat Projects

A new heart for Halcyon, and a new look for the blog

February 3, 2019

While we paced around the marina waiting for our new engine, I spent some time giving our website HalcyonWandering some new style. Will you take a look? I'd love to hear what you like or don't like, and

Boat Projects

Pounding through Preparations

August 2, 2018

This article appeared in 48 North last month, so it's a little bit out of order now - but I thought I'd share how those final weeks of preparation felt.


Like so many of life’s greatest adventures,

Boat Projects

Boat work! We do a lot of it!

January 27, 2018

I've updated our THE PROJECT page with what we did for Halcyon in 2017. But so you don't have to hurt your thumbs by clicking more than necessary -- here's what I added.
This was our first full year

Boat Projects

How to rebuild a transmission

August 21, 2017

During the passage to Zihuatanejo back in April, our transmission took its last breaths. Once we had sailed onto anchor, recovered from the passage, and had a beer or two, we set off in search of a mechanic

Boat Projects

A day in the life (chapter 2)

May 7, 2017

I awake with a start, anxious to know what time it is. We have an appointment this morning, so the time matters, but we don’t have to be there until 10. It is rare these days to have a timeline in the

Boat Projects

It’s a big day!

March 24, 2017

A momentous occasion, you might say. I’m waiting for someone to arrive with champagne to celebrate us. I’ve got the champagne glasses and the party hats all ready to go. They must be late...

If Halcyon

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Northwest Passage

In the summer of 2018, we joined s/v DogBark in their attempt to transit the Northwest Passage. Unfortunately, ice blocked our path and we were forced to retreat to Hawaii. Read about our journey here.

Northwest Passage

To my favorite Halcyon Wandering VIP-subscribers…

October 31, 2019

Well, we have left Halcyon to fend for herself in the Marquesas for a few months. Right now, our squiggly path of life is pulling us along into the Arctic....

Northwest Passage

Our Route

December 17, 2018

Well, in the end we didn't sail through the northwest passage. But we did have an incredible experience. You can explore our route here, including links...

Northwest Passage

The Tougher Choice

December 13, 2018

*This article appeared in the November issue of 48 North*

Sailing through the arctic is tough, there is no doubt about that. The winds blow hard and...

Northwest Passage


December 7, 2018

*This article appeared in the October publication of 48 North, and then I forgot to share it with you in November. So here it is, to answer the question...

Northwest Passage


October 5, 2018

We were, quite literally, in the middle of the north Pacific Ocean. It was 1,200 nautical miles backwards to Alaska, 1,000 nautical miles forward to Hawaii...

Northwest Passage

Day 5

October 2, 2018

Here is a piece I wrote while on passage from Alaska to Hawaii, but of course didn't have the internet to post it in real time.

It is the fifth day...

Northwest Passage

But what do you eat?

September 5, 2018

I’m not one to post glamorous photos of my most recent dinner on Instagram. While I enjoy cooking and consuming delicious and nutritious fare, I don’t...

Northwest Passage

Out of Order

August 30, 2018

This post is out of order, sorry for the inconvenience.

Usually, the stories of our adventures materialize here a few weeks after we have adventured...

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John and Becca Guillote

John is the photographer. He portrays the layers of history, emotion, spirit and culture in each moment through his application of light, perspective, and detail. He also takes pictures.

Becca is the writer. She tells vivid stories of authentic moments, highlighting the beautiful, dangerous, dramatic and hilarious with grammatically correct sentences and her tongue held firmly by her cheek.


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