welcome to our blog!

This blog tells the story of our 22-month sailing journey from Oakland, California, to Bristol, Rhode Island, aboard our beloved Bristol 32 sailboat, Ute. Please feel free to browse through the archives (partway down the sidebar to your left) to see pics and read stories of our adventures in North America and Central America . (Sorry the first 3 months of the trip are missing - they vanished somewhere in an internet cafe in Mexico - but all you're missing is CA, Baja and Western Mex).

If you're trying to track us down now that we're landlubbers, try us at uteatlarge at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Mike Gets one on Tim

Mike your ill will got to Timmy just fine. He says Thanks!

Finally off to Acapulco

We are setting off to Acapulco Monday the 30th. We may stop at one place on the way (or we may head offshore to where the Dorados supposedly are hiding) so we should be there in 2-3 days maybe four. We are not motoring at all so we can preserve our raw water pump, it is our backup and a friend is hopefully bringing us parts in a week or so for our main pump.
Zihuatanejo has been great and we would recommend it to anyone wanting to visit a decent size town in Mexico. Not Ixtapa but Zihuatanejo.
Thanks to everyone to for their help with Tim and Ariels Fuel injection pump. Love Allen and Cora

Friday, January 27, 2006

this one is for you Mike

since Hebe has some time to kill we decided this would be a good port to get started on putting together the sail rig for their dinghy. luckily zihuat has a nice big basketball court that's perfect for lofting a little sail....

underwater fun!

i thought i should post some sort of "everyday" pics...us running errands and stuff like that...since that's what we do here in zihuat. it's really a gorgeous town - and there's a lot going on. Tim and Ariel sure know how to pick the right town to be stuck in - in fact i don't think they coudl have picked a better one.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

me & the honey next to a 400-plus-year-old cactus. this outsized shrine to photosynthesis was encountered the day we rented a car and drove out into the countryside, which was a rare treat for us - much as we love the ocean, and sailing, it was really fun to head inland and see a different side of things (thanks Mom for springing for the rental car!). We spent the day touring some areas of archaeological interest (Olmec, Mixtec, Aztev, Zapotec, Maya) with a couple great guides - more on that later (I'm hoping to fire up the ol' laptop tonight or tomorrow and write a proper blog entry - it could happen).

mom swimming to Ute.....and the delectable bounty of cheese that sprang forth from their thawing luggage. yum!

so , i know i mentioned this before but you can't imagine our excitement when we figured out we could anchor right smack in front of mom & paul's hotel. the first pic is Ute (and neighbors) as seen from their balcony ....the second is the hotel as viewed from our cockpit. perfect!

we were cozily settled in on the anchor a day before they got in.....at some point I looked up at the hotel and said, "honey, what do you bet that two things will happen when they get here: first, they'll walk out on the balcony by the pool, see us, freak out, and start waving, along with 4 or 5 other people from wisconsin that they somehow magically met and befriended on the plane from chicago, and second, my mom will jump in the water and swim out to us just as quick as she can get her swimming suit out of her suitcase."

man, did i call it......it turned out to be four fellow friendly cheeseheads that congregated poolside (one even loaned Mom his binoculars, a real boon to daughter-finding), and mom didn't waste any time getting in that water and into our cockpit. needless to say, I was pretty proud of all of us.

on a lighter note, i'd like to share a handful of photos taken around zihuatanejo and during mom and paul's visit....

here's one taken sailing into zihuat bay.....

this little guy is the housing, or assembly, depending on who you talk to, (I now can identify all the parts in spanish, but still don{t have a clue in english). call it what you will, but this is on end of the big thing in the other pics, and this one end contains the faulty valve that is keeping the whole engine from working.

the part we have everyone looking for is the whole pump as seen in the other pics. but this is the part of it that really matters. so if you can find either - just this part or the whole pump - it would work.

another stunning view of the whole injection pump assembly. (i bet when y'all got us the camera, this isn't exactly the type of scenic vista you were expecting to see on the blog....)

here's a pic of the part we're looking for. how this photo would actually aid anyone in finding it is beyond my scope of understanding, but it can't hurt to have a visual i suppose?

the silver, vaguely rectangular thingy is the part itself - the bronze-edged plate attached on the right side of it is just a platform used to attach the pump to the diagnostics at the "lab" (some nice mexican guy's shop).

more pics to follow....

from tim and ariel

P.S.The Volvo part number for the pump is 840061.I believe the part number for the pump part we need is 840102.Thanks againTim and Ariel

Saturday, January 07, 2006


hi again everybody...just a quick update...made it safe and sound to Zihuatanejo around 9 this morning....actually we were basically here at around 4 AM so we spent a couple of nerve wracking hours circling around and trying not to run into fishing boats outside the harbor as we waited for the sun to rise. Rise it did and now we´re happy on the hook in little Zihuatenajo bay. and the best news is - Marti and Paul are on their way to visit! well, not exactly on their way yet, but soon - they´re scheduled to arrive Monday. great timing Mom!!! can´t wait!!!

A-dog, if you read this, clue us in on some of your choice spots in your old stomping grounds please?

not much else to report....except we made soft pretzels last night underway.....best sailing snack EVER. yum, yum. a new item for the menu at Cafe Ute....

Hull Cleaned

Here is the wiffle paying field. So nice. UTE is in the background. Wiffle is so good on the beach minus the biting bugs at sunset and it would be perfect. Hopefully Zihuatanejo will be bug free.

Cora and I cleaned the bottom of the boat while in Tenacatita. So we can go so much faster. (1 knot) It was very fuzzy. A small crab lives in the port scupper and the creepy crawlies that live on the rest of the boat are freaking gross. It took us most of two hours to scrape all the gunk off the boat.

True love is when you get done cleaning the hull and are spraying yourself off and you ask your significant other to ´Check my ass crack for bugs´

CONGRATS SETH AND ELIZABETH!! yes sir, those two happy kids you saw in one of the pics below got engaged before returning to chilly Washington. way to go guys!!!! I think marriages that start out in tropical latitudes are bound to be good ones....

tenacatita beach was the perfect place for beach wiffle...... we even recruited the brothers speedo to play with us.

(the third pic is Marco Antonio, wiffle pitcher extraordinaire, showing us the baby octopus he caught on the reef).

v-berth view


anchored at tenacatita

whale encounter

during the sailing race allen caught a cloe up glimpse of a couple frolicking humpbacks....and the cool thing is we heard these same whales while we were snorkeling that afternoon....it´s really neato to hear whale songs while you´re just snorkeling around...

hi everybody....and happy new year, again!! here are some random pics..on the left is a shot of the soldering workshop we had aboard Ute before leaving Barra....for those of you that don´t know, Ariel is (are you sitting down) a level II solderer as certified by NASA. yes, NASA. out of control. and she´s not just brainy, she´s a benevolent teacher to boot. we resoldered our VHF antenna connections as part of the workshop and consequently tripled our VHF range. sweet!

the first pic is me swimming to Hebe...that´s right, I jumped ship....it was an easy daysail from Barra to Tenacatita, and Allen wanted to have a sailing race. I on the other hand wanted to just get there already and get in the water, because the only thign better than being on it, is being in it. Luckily, Bill was willing to race Allen (read: willing to kick Ute´s ass as usual) and Hebe wanted to lead Team Snorkel. so we swapped crew mid-sail! I was a little hesitant to jump in as we had just sailed through a swarm of weird, chainlike jellies the size of Wacky Noodles, but they either weren´t around or I dodged a gelatinous bullet on that one.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Hope you all had a great New Years!!! we did!!! photos will follow down the road - no working CD drives here in La Manzanilla. Tenacatita is gorgeous - although I think we're getting way spoiled as we all agreed that the visibility for snorkeling is only "fair" and the water is "a little chilly". life is tough. new year's was spent on Ute, surrounded by a school of baby flying fish. very nice.

can you believe it's 2006???? unreal.

we're very likely departing for zihuatanejo tomorrow morning - tides and weather look auspcious for that leg - it will be about 250 miles which means 3 to 5 days depending on winds. of course we may stop along the way to get some swimming in, as rumor has it the water in the zihuat anchorage is too smarmy for swimming....

hugs to everybody and thanks for all the posts!!!! keep 'em coming!!!! CC