The Raven Log

The crew of sv Raven now on land.

26 September 2009 | San Carlos, MX
10 September 2009
05 September 2009
05 September 2009 | San Carlos, MX
11 August 2009 | Cheryl's Bag
09 August 2009 | Taos Solar Center
09 August 2009 | Taos Solar Center
08 August 2009
07 August 2009 | on the other side of the barbed-wire fence from our yard
07 August 2009
06 August 2009 | Our Wood Pile
05 August 2009 | Our Shoe Pile
01 August 2009
07 July 2009
07 July 2009
07 July 2009
07 July 2009
05 July 2009
03 July 2009

Boat Projects

18 March 2008 | Barra de Navidad, Jalisco, Mexico
Scott working on that engine oil pump-note all the oily rags in the garbage can

The Hol(e)d-Up

22 February 2008 | Mazatlan
The hole. Not good to have holes in your boat (even if they are on the toerail). So we must delay the voyage to fill the hole. 1st the water that's in the hole has to leave. Then we can fill said hole. Then we can put 2,000 coats of Cetol over the hole. Then we need to re-provision because we will surely have eaten all our provisions by then. Then we get to take our leave. Wish us luck.

Just Trying To Get the Weather Forecast

22 February 2008 | Mazatlan
this is how you get the weather forecast on a boat:

1st you spend lots of money on a SSB/marine radio
2nd you install the radio
3rd you install the tuner
4th you talk to everyone else about how they installed theirs
5th you track down all the parts you didn't know you needed
6th you install all those parts
7th you attach the power
8th you learn how to use it

you hope someone else in VHF range has a SSB

The Boat Maintenance Gods Smile Upon Us!

19 February 2008 | Mazatlan, Mexico
We managed to change out the main battery switch (felt like heart surgery)! AND it all went pretty well, as boat projects go. But we know we can't get too cocky about our electrical expertise because boats keep you humble. Everything went fine. Thank you very much. Oh, and now we can turn the power off, not that I can imagine why we would ever want to do that. AKA: battery selector switches don't last forever, in case no one ever told you.

AND the nuts on the bolts that we need to attach the copper grounding foil from the SSB tuner to the grounding plate actually came off without 3 weeks of WD40 and brute force!

The New Engine is Installed & Working!!

30 May 2007 | San Carlos, MX
by Cheryl
the inboard engine is working! but the outboard is not so we are back to paddling!


The wind died down a bit and switched direction (S - SE), at times, which made for a more interesting kayak paddle back to the boat since we have to paddle across the wind mostly (the kayak paddles easier into the wind than across it) now. Warming up to the high 80's (84-87o), enough to turn a fan on every once in a while and keep the hatches open all night. My new screen looks great and stores easier (since I made it so it folds in half) thanks to Dean, aka Jack & John. The water has warmed up enough to swim though I did get a little sting by a jellyfish already.

The anchorage was full of sailboats before a lot of cruisers took their boats out for the summer, we see the harbor seal 'couple' swimming by regularly - very cute & the big yachts are gone now.

THE ENGINE IS UP AND RUNNING!!!! There were only 2 small adjustments after turning it on the 1st time as well as with the electrical, which is up and running again too! We are relieved (after getting over the shock of it actually working)!
Up until then it went like this:
We continued on finishing up the engine installation: Scott learned that he can dislocate (well not fully) his shoulder and hand to get it up into the bowels of the boat all while undoing and redoing clamps and hoses with his thumb and middle finger (you try it), he also spent many days 'with his arse up to the heavens' (I have pictures), as Ian would say.
Scott spent 3 hours hacking dirt out of an air vent only to have it break off in his hands later but we actually found a replacement, luckily the other one the one that is even harder to reach and the more important one came off OK. Fun with boats, fun with boats. NOT.

While Scott was forcing himself to chip away at the engine project I had been hanging out on the fore deck enjoying the sun while doing some interesting sewing projects -cover's for everything made of wood on deck (I'm really just trying to get away from the noisy, smelly generator) and working on my boater's tan. Then I remembered I had made all that shade awning so I put one of them up AND we hung up the hammock and put out all the cushions (and took the day off) making yet another 'Harem Tent'. I feel like I have become friends with a MX charter fishing boat that goes by 5 times a day too. I think I am enjoying some summer before it gets really hot. Actually this is my first experience of a hammock on a boat. I do realize that way back when, they were what everyone slept in and now I not only know why but love them; they are self-swinging with the boat movements and you can even feel the wind vibrating the rigging as ours is attached to the rigging at one point. When you are laying in it looking towards the back (aft) of the boat, it really looks like the boat is moving and the hammock is staying still (which it is really). Hilo even jumped in with Scott & I one evening but the 'bird activity' made it hard for him to relax. As it got hotter we put up the 2nd awning making for a cooler boat and deck! I (with Scott's help) also did a bunch of little jobs that felt good to get them done; caulking- the grab rail, the forward hatch and the galley sink & counter and starting ordering stuff and making shopping lists for the summer before I finished changing out and hooking up the rest of the electrical wires in the engine room. Since our friend didn't show up to help us look over the electrical connects, we called Bud (the Westsail guy) and talked to other people and now I feel like I really know what is going on back there in the engine room (with all those wires)!

One afternoon our outboard died so I/Cheryl got to row the inflatable dinghy most of the way back to the boat from shore- took at least 45 minutes- it was a good thing it wasn't any windier than it was or it wouldn't have happened at all! We didn't have time to fix it while we were trying to finish up the engine project so we started paddling the kayak again, which was a nice change (and gave us some much needed exercise) back and forth to shore.

We were having 3 nights in a row of being attacked by mosquitoes while trying to sleep so the next day we made it a priority to clean same standing water out of the bilge, spray natural repellant and put all the screens down early - it worked! Sleep at last!

We are still re-balancing the boat- moving stuff around so it has been a little more difficult to find stuff lately and we spend whole days cleaning up and moving stuff around especially when we have people come over for dinner every once in a while.

We had our 1st (other than dental) Mexican health care experience; we got Tetanus shots, talked to the doctor about what medications we need have on the boat and I had my thyroid blood test done - what a difference from the states- we had to go to the pharmacy (next door to the doctor) to get the vaccine and needles then went to the doctor to receive the shots, my blood draw (at a separate clinic next door) took 2 minutes and cost $40 for the same test that cost $200 in the states (and I've had some bad experiences just getting blood drawn in the states; waiting for 45 minutes, no one being there for the appointment at all, etc.- in Crested Butte). Scott also had his crown redone so that's great!

We scheduled our pull-outdate (June 8th) to dry dock Raven for the summer - boo hoo, but you have to reserve space early, as this is the time of the season that the rumors of the yard being full start.

The following people left for the summer/to the states:
Cathy of sv Gertrude
Stephanie & Gary of sv LoneStar
Bruce & Steve of sv Far Fetched
Howard of sv Rubicon
Jim of sv Pochteca

Lorena (friend & owner of the Posada del Desierto) came back from Belize

We've taken to piling 10 people (most of them are from the San Carlos work yard) into 2 vehicles to go to a every other week pot-luck party at the Guaymas work yard where there is great food, new neat people and a more time with friends. The party host is Ted a neat guy who has been helping us a little and whom has a huge, old (1920's), neat wooden boat. Ted has a neat tempura wok set up (and 2 other grills/hibachis) that he makes tasty treats in. He is also the boat refrigeration expert down here.

We finally had dinner with Bruce and Steve on their boat Far Fetched - some nice yellow tale they caught in San Pedro and then they came over to Raven another night - all very fun (though it all made us all miss Randy & Tanja more). Had dinner with Lorena to catch up on her trip - great to see her. Ran into Jeff the owner of the 1st ever boat we looked at. Got to barrow Far Fetched's huge dinghy so we brought the Sandette crew (for a total of 6 people) out for an evening on the water. Helped Howard with some rigging.

Has been enjoying his free range of the bimini, when it didn't have the solar panels on it, it is his personal hammock and he included many games of 'Bimini Pounce' when he's not napping of course!
It's warmed up enough for him to go out at 3:30 - 4:37 AM (!) and then he'll meow at the screened companionway to come back in around 6:30 - impressively to use his litter box!
He has finally discovered the top of the bureau, a place I originally thought he would find right away but didn't. SO now Scott & I have become his personal/human elevator since he can't jump up to it w/o the v-berth all put together. He likes it more when the fan that is also above the bureau

March 29 - April 28, 2007

03 May 2007 | San Carlos, MX
by Cheryl
the new engine IN (but it ain't hooked up fully)

Tanja & I took a 3-day sailing class, which was fun, and very, very helpful - our instructor even went over engines with us.
4/3 - Cheryl on a 23ft Erickson
4/4 - Cheryl on a 50 ft Trimaran & the Erickson
4/5 - Cheryl on a 25 ft Catamaran
4/10 - we stopped wanting to go sailing this month because the engine installation taking so long was just stressing us out. We are maybe hoping for some sailing on Raven in May.
4/14 - Scott and Cheryl on sv Bombay for the Multi-Hull 'race'

The weather starting warming up enough to be able to sit outside in the cockpit in the evening, to make an hour of cooking uncomfortably hot down below and to need to wear tank tops again!

During Semana Santa we got to watch a lot of flashing blue lights from the many police cars chasing down speeding cars on the road up the hill from the comfort of our cockpit. There were more people, jet skiers, water skiers and Mexican Navy boats in and around the bay for the big holiday. Later in the month we saw a pair of dolphins swimming right by the boat!

We got Raven back in the water right before everything shut down for the holiday - it was so great to be back floating at our mooring but he engine installation turned out to be 'just a long stressful series of unfortunate events':
o Holes drilled in the wrong places on 2 of the 4 mounting plates
o For 2 days we thought we'd have to cut out a 4 X 12" section of the rudder (re-glass, re-barrier coat and paint it all w/o the proper supplies) because of the new propeller - but didn't
o Had to re-align the engine a second time because our mechanic did not compensate for the difference with the propeller
o Almost had to re-align it a 3rd time because a bolt wasn't fitting thru a machined hole properly (realigning the engine involves hoisting it up, re-drilling holes, re-bolting it and re-aligning it which takes about 8 hours each 3 times [24 hours] @ $40 p/h - you do the math)
o Scott found some 'extra' washers which he discovered weren't on the bolts -meaning the 300+ lb engine could feasibly pull through the fiber glass over time
o The muffler didn't fit in properly which could make it so sea water could back up into our brand new engine (seawater in a metal engine is instant death) - having to get another part made
o The mechanics helper managed to: break our companion way screen by putting an anchor on top of it and take numerous chunks of paint out of our boomkin and cabin top
All this meant extra time & money, getting other people to make new parts, numerous phone calls to the guy who sold us this '2-day installation project', numerous phone calls to the engine manufacturers, Scott having to re-do what we just paid the mechanic to do, heated discussions and negative feelings- this was Scott's emotional melt-down month, unfortunately. We learned a lot of lessons: mostly that we have to do things our selves, that it isn't better or faster to pay someone to do things for us and that there are huge cultural differences we can't ignore & have to learn how to deal with (or learn how things fix it ourselves). The battery trays & batteries & the engine instrument panel are in and Scott is continuing to work on the exhaust and fuel lines before adding the washers and lock nuts to the bolts. It should be up and running any day now.

Scott found someone else to make the battery trays and a box for our new engine panel - very exciting!

We got our summer organized: bought plane tickets, made phone calls, reserved hotel rooms and found a boarding place for Hilo (only for while we are in MD & IL). We are very excited to see everyone again soon!

John of sv Magus left for the states for a while
Stephanie and Gary of sv LoneStar are back to put heir boat away for the summer
Tanja & Randy of sv Dulcinea left on sv Far Fetched
Bruce & Steve of sv Far Fetched came and left again (with Tanja, Randy and their 2 cats)
Howard of sv Rubicon is back
Heather & Shawn of sv Om Shanti came back for a day leaving Om Shanti dry docked in La Paz for the summer
Paul & Tina of sv Sea Quill were back and left for the Loreto Fest
Nancy & John of sv Pranava were here for a week
Cheryl & Frank of sv Serendipity left for the summer

Semana Santa - there was um-pa & thump-thump music in the air and new little food stands popped up like mushrooms along roadsides. All the restaurants close, the little grocery stores got stocked to the hilt with all kinds of chips & snacks, the beer stores put in extra coolers and the regular taco stands added extra shade tents all in preparation for 3nights of young adult's roadside parties. Tanja and I walked around during the day, which was more of a family-like atmosphere while the nights are more of a young-adult party event.

It was fun for me to have Tanja around for a while- someone my age to chat, hang out with and to take that sailing class.

Met Kent on that Mutli-Hull race that has a boat in the next marina over (Marina Real) who is looking for people to go sailing with on his boat and we tried switching outboard engines with him since he needed a less powerful one and us a more powerful one. Scott spent 2 days of going to get it and getting it running only to find out it had some other problems so we gave it back for now so we can focus on the engine.

The Mutli-Hull race was fun (this is the one we accidentally got ourselves into the last time). We went on our neighbors boat Bombay. It was really fun and nice to go sailing on someone else's boat and we won our class - Bombay and only 1 other boat were the only 2 mono-hulls so it was a 50-50 chance (by multi- hull they mean any kind of boat can participate). After, we went to the raft-up party in Martini Cove with the 2 trimarans and the other mono-hull. It was fun to check out other boats, as this was our 1st official time on a trimaran. Met some nice people (finally got to hang out with our other neighbors Nancy & John of sv Pranava, drank some beer.

Some boaters are staring to leave for the summer already. We had a temporary neighbor who was packing up her boat to sell since her husband just died of a heart attack. We helped her get her boat in and with some paper work for the broker. Tragic situation that affected us all but it was nice to see a lot of people come forward to help her out.

When we first got back on Raven Hilo did his usual 'nap in every available comfy cat napping spot', but this time for 30 minutes at a time. Once he got his 'napping spot bearings' he got into his usual routine. He was good at avoiding going outside while the mechanics were here.

One morning Scott noticed Hilo was very interested in, what turned out to be, the reflection of an Osprey that was sitting on top of our mast. The Osprey was very interested in Hilo (which Hilo was oblivious to) so after Scott showed me the Osprey he shooed it off before it took a dive for a cat-
Vessel Name: Raven
Vessel Make/Model: Westsail 32
Hailing Port: Crested Butte, Colorado, USA
Crew: Capt'n Scott, Admiral Cheryl, Spirit Guide Hilo
About: Capt'n Scott - formerly responsible for the crews lives Cheryl - former Admiral, Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, etc., etc. Hilo - Spirit Guide & Protector (formally- Bug Catcher, Scarer of Birds, Lap Warmer, Provider of Unconditional Love (as long as his food bowl is full)
Westsails have an interesting history. They were designed after pilot boats, boats that were made very sturdy so they could spend hours in rough seas. They were over built with fiberglass so they are thicker than most fiberglass boats and are wider (beamier) than most other boats for their length [...]
Raven's Photos - (Main)
1 Photo
Raven anchored in San Marte, Baja, Mexico 1/08
1 Photo | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 25 May 2009
12 Photos
Created 23 September 2008
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 12 June 2008
1 Photo | 5 Sub-Albums
Created 13 March 2008
Yes,yes, yes we take a gazillion pictures of Hilo. We are told that's what you do when you don't have children to take a gazillion pictures of. I tried to keep it to just the sailing-type pictures of him but all you cat lovers won't care either way. Enjoy.
15 Photos
Created 7 October 2007
Finally! The inside is finished (well you know how boat projects are) so here we go inside our floating palace to share our surroundings with you. Enjoy.
10 Photos
Created 9 September 2007
Pictures of us actually sailing! We waited a long time for this. Day sails and our trips to Bahia San Pedro, Playa San Francisco and crossing over to the Baja side.
38 Photos
Created 9 September 2007
Life at mooring ball #28 San Carlos Marina, MX.
21 Photos
Created 9 September 2007

S/V RAVEN & HER CREW from 2004-2009

Who: Capt'n Scott, Admiral Cheryl, Spirit Guide Hilo
Port: Crested Butte, Colorado, USA
"God is happiest when his children are at play" - the Legend of Bagger Vance
"A riveting and exciting read, I can barely wait each month for the new entry". - Capt'n Halsey, the Yellow Submarine