Many questions, all the time. For some reason, the cruising lifestyle is
so alien to most landlubbers that they just can't quite grasp it. One
stunned young woman asked Signe, "You mean all your clothes
for the whole year have to fit into that little closet?"
Simplifying our lives does have some attraction . . .
So go ahead and email us your questions.
We'll do our best and post the answers here. When we get a chance, that
is. We are cruising, you know!
Where do your boat's name and logo come
We named her Raven because of our longtime
interest in, and respect for, the cultures of the Pacific Northwest Indian
tribes. Those cultures are deep with mythological traditions, and artistic
styles that are strikingly 'modern' to Europeans. Raven is the central
figure in the tribal stories, and among many other adventures he is
credited with stealing the sun. You see, an old man had kept the sun
locked in a cedar box, so the world was dark. One day (shortening a story
that lasts hours, when told with masks and dances!) Raven stole the sun
from the old man, but as he was flying away he dropped it. That's how the
sun took its place in our sky. In fact, the red ball in our Raven's mouth
is the sun, a very traditional way to show him.
Raven's logo was drawn by
our friend Tom Fisher, a Tacoma graphic artist. It's very loosely based on
traditional and contemporary designs by artists from the powerful Haida
tribe of British Columbia's wild and lonely Queen Charlotte Islands ("Haida
Gwaai" to the natives). Jerry Petteys, another friend and Tacoma graphic
artist, designed our website. No, we don't sell our Raven T-shirts.
When you're on a long bluewater passage, say
to Tahiti, where do you go at night?
There ain't nowhere to go when
you're in the middle of the deep blue sea. You just keep on truckin',
24/7. Besides, if you stopped at night, you'd lose a half-day of precious
forward progress. Remember, we're a fast boat and we'll be happy to
average nine or ten miles an hour across an ocean! For safety, we have to
keep watch 24 hours a day, so the night is just about like the daytime,
except it's harder to see the tankers!
When you're anchored for days or weeks in
some cute little Mexican cove, what do you do all day?
This is the cruisers' favorite question.
Friends back home usually think we're just on an extended vacation where
the most strenuous thing we do is to shout "Waiter!"
Mostly, we work on our
boats! Remember, the best definition of cruising: "Fixing your boat in
exotic places." A boat is a combination of a house, a couple of cars, and
a ton of electronics, sitting in a warm pool of corrosive salt water. We
spend our lives keeping our boats from dissolving! There are always
several things broken, some of them essential, like the fresh water pump
or the bilge pump. (Another definition of cruising is "Traveling from one
pump repair to the next.") Then, of course, we have the local bureaucracy
to contend with. Mexico is one of the most fun: we have to check in an out
of each port we visit, which entails a half-day's work each way, with
visits to the Port Captain, Immigration, the bank, etc. And then most
simple household jobs take far longer than at home. Grocery shopping takes
several hours, involves both of us and goes something like this: launch
the dinghy, hop in and motor to shore, beach the dinghy and lock it up,
walk a quarter mile to the bus stop, ride a bus to the Gigante
Supermercado, load up our eight canvas 'ice bags' with groceries, and
reverse the previous steps.
Do you feel sorry for us
yet? Didn't think so. We do find plenty of time to swim, read lots of
books, have potlucks with friends, play Mexican Train dominoes (all the
rage down here), even to have a few fresh-lime margaritas. It's not all
For more perspective on
these critically important life issues, go to our
Cruising Life page and listen to
Eileen Quinn's song, "What Do You Do All Day?"
So the two of you are together in a boat the
size of a big walk-in closet,
for months at a time, with nowhere to get away? Just the two of you? 24/7? Ya gotta be kidding! Any attempted murders yet?
Yep, but she missed. No, seriously, this is
one of the toughest issues for most cruising couples. Anyone who goes
with the idea of fixing a shaky marriage is delusional. Every couple has a
different way to cope with the ultimate togetherness. Ours is to be
together most of the time, but also to have plenty of personal,
'tune-it-all-out' things to do, too. We each have cruising friends to
visit, a zillion books to read, absorbing projects to work on, boat jobs
to do, and so on. Yes, most of the time we really are as happy as we look
in the photo.
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