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, May 21, 2006

still here at shelter bay

alright i think that's enough canal pics for now. suffice to say it was a great experience....even though it went by in a blur. lots of hurry up and wait, lots of anxiety and excitement. Thanks again Rick, Bill, Danny, Gabby for being The Best Panama Canal Crew Ever....we owe you one!!!

and now we're here at the cushiest marina yet, decompressing. it's a bit surreal. in a good way.

we were going to leave this morning, but we got a little sewing job - hopefully the first of many this summer! we had mentioned to the marina manager that we were headed to Bocas del Toro for the summer to park the boat and make some money doing canvaswork and lo and behold he had 4 or 5 jobs lined up for us just a couple hours later. So we're making a sailcover today and tomorrow. Can't say no to a job that pays our rent and then some at a place with two disco baths. oh, yeah, by the way, the baths are disco style too. so you can soak while blasting the tunes and flashing red and blue lights. I found this gives you a vague sense that you are about to be arrested. also if you fall asleep in the tub you run the risk of waking up thinking you passed out naked in a latin american disco. very peculiar.

so we will finish the sailcover and then see what's up.....our only schedule is we need to be in the San Blas islands around June 2nd because our friends Craig and Evvy are coming to visit from Oakland and meeting us there (yeah Craig and Evvy!! can't wait). so..who knows...we may have time to do a couple other sewing jobs.

We have a really nice little setup for the sewing machine in an old machine shed. The marina employees hang out with us and wonder why one silly sewing project is taking us so damn long. any one of the Kunas working here could probably make a sailcover with 44 intricate molas of endangered species and US presidents on it in the time it took us to cut out the first piece. so they think we're a riot. I taught them the expression "must be about beer-thirty by now" in spanish today. it was a big hit.

we learned today that the land around here is not just any abandoned US army base but the one and only (former) U.S. Jungle Operation Training Center. aka the Guerrilla Warfare training center where not only the US but also every scary Latin American dictator, revolutionary and counterrevolutionary sent their best men to learn some really scary shit. we haven't explored the grounds extensively yet but I guess there is a group of buildings that are set up like every kind of prison and torture chamber imaginable. they also had what they called the "zoo" which was a bunch of cages where they held various kinds of jungle animals so trainees could learn which ones they could eat and which ones woudl eat them while at the same time building up their immunity to snake bites et cetera. The cages are all still there. You can bet some pretty freaky stuff went down here. Ah, the wonders made possible by the CIA. The US is so generous in sharing it knowledge and technology with all the right people. check out http://junglefighter.panamanow.net/ for more info.

what's fun and funny is to walk around now and see the jungle reclaiming the place. nobody lives here. and the jungle doesn't waste any time taking over again.

1 comment:

Ben Kiblinger said...

A & C, How often do you think you will have internet access at dsl type bandwidth over the next few months? I was just pondering how you might be able to make a few bucks with your laptop. u can email me at bkiblinger@gmail.com.

Love to hear you're sewing sails. That's good karma.