Log Books






Cruising Life

Press Clippings


Cruising Tech


Cruising Plans











FAQ (Frequently-Asked Questions)

Questions. 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!

  Jan & Signe

Q: Where do your boat's name and logo come from?

A: 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.

Q: When you're on a long bluewater passage, say to Tahiti, where do you go at night?

A: 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!

Q: When you're anchored for days or weeks in some cute little Mexican cove, what do you do all day?

A: 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 hard work.

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?"

Q: 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?

A: Yep, but she missed. No, seriously, this is one of the toughest issues for most cruising couples. Anyone who goes cruising 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.

This page was last updated on 04/13/04.


                                                                              Home | Log Books | Photos | Videos | Raven | Crew

                                                                          Cruising Life | Press Clippings | ChartsCruising Tech | FAQ