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

these hills actually represent the continental divide, and the one on the right is Contractor's Hill...pretty cool.

our advisor, Ernesto, had us double back so we could take pictures. he was really into canal history and his heritage. A Colon native, he spent a good part of the day telling us about what a great city Colon is and how much he wished it could get cleaned up and enjoyed by gringos and sailors. It was really refreshing to hear from someone that loved Colon after having everyone tell us what a hellhole it is.....Ernesto, may your Third Bridge dream come to fruition.

Getting to know our advisor was a funny process. when you apply for transit, you sign a paper saying you will provide sunshade, a bathroom, privacy, bottled water, and a complete and balanced meals for your transit advisor. we had heard some stories of advisors who didn't like the food a yacht had to offer - and were therefore compelled to order a lunchh through the ACP and have it delivered to them on the boat - to the tune of $440, payable by the boat owners! so we tried to have a bunch of food available. mind you we were also trying not to go broke, and to have space to sleep 6 people. yikes. so when he boarded our boat and asked for cereal straight away - the one thing we'd not bought - I was forced to try and wow him with what we did have. luckily a blue cheese and vermont cheddar omelet, baguette, and hot tea seemed to make him happy enough. and lunch and snacks went over fine too.

after an hour on the boat Ernesto was already in one of our team t-shirts and he and Allen were swapping doggy baby pictures. I was cracking up. we really had a fun time with him. he was a great advisor - conscientious and helpful. two thumbs up.

sadly we don't seem to have any pics from Lake Gatun, which is funny we spent nearly 6 hours crossing it - that was the bulk of the transit. I think I got too relaxed and assumed someone was taking pictures. maybe Gabby or Bill will have some pics from the Lake....hope so. in any case it was beautiful: misty, rainy and lush. treetops poking out from the flooded forest. vines cascading everywhere. little sloughs and inlets just begging to be explored by kayak or canoe. sort of the mississippi with the amazon along its edges. when you are in it it is surprisingly difficult to believe that it's all manmade - that it all used to be uninterrupted jungle. crazy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Watch out, Cora, in Colon if you go out at night. "The Path between the Seas" reported that the prostitutes who entertained the canal builders were called American girls, and there used to be an ordinance against American Girls being out in the evening there...