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!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

cleaning up our act

alright, so we still haven't made it out of Colon! we were going to try and meet danny and gabby in the san blas but...we realized that we really had no idea what we were doing sailing around the caribbean - reefs, shoals, and tradewinds are a whole different ball of wax from the Pacific - and as much as we love those kids, we promised each other when we left Oakland that we wouldn't do any sailing that felt unsafe or rushed just to meet a deadline. so...we will miss them which is a bummer but hopefully they will understand. We're doing our homework today so that we feel more prepared...adding waypoints, reading cruising guides, etc. etc.

cool thing is, we're at a MARINA tonight and I am going to take a HOT BATH...my favorite treat....woohoo!!! here's the conversation that brought that about as we pulled into Shelter Bay Marina [across the bay from Colon] to take on water:

Allen: so, we'll just pull in and fill up both water tanks and get going.
Cora: sounds good. I'll set up the dock lines.
Allen: you know, i didn't want to tell you this until after we left here, but there is a hot tub at this marina.
Cora: SO MEAN! you are so mean. well you know what? i heard that last night this marina had an all-night Red sox game-watching-marathon with free Guinness and steaks but I didn't want to tell you. so there.
Allen: alright, I guess it was kind of mean.
Cora: that's alright, you can make it up to me by agreeing to stay here for the night. Let's at least ask how much it costs. I heard it is right in the middle of a national park that is all rainforest with trails.

So we pulled in here and the guy that runs the place gave us a tour and we were pretty much sold. mind you there are actually TWO jacuzzis and there are two disco showers. If you are in the market for a fascinating and cleanliness-oriented vacation, I would recommend flying to Panama just to try the disco showers. They seem like the kind of thing that an entire cult travel following could be built around....each disco shower is a giant booth with two chairs, flashing lights in the ceiling, and a surround sound stereo. The water can be made to shoot out of the ceiling, the walls, the chair backs, the chair seats, or any recombination thereof. All while disco lights are flashing and salsa music is jamming out of the walls. On the off chance you get bored with the show, you can entertain yourself with the translated safety reminders on the shower walls, which say things like "aged persona, intelligence obstacle personage and the pregnant of women do not use this sauna of the vapour".

Two more shower rides and a cold beer, and I just may become an intelligence obstacle personage.

Alright, I was just told they need to clean up the lounge for a "cruiser chip-and-dip get-together". Who am I to argue? This might mean access to foods of the type found in refrigerators, especially in light of the fact that Ute is smaller than some of these boats' dinghies. more later hopefully some canal pics too. cheers, CC

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