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!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

one of the first things we did with the girls was check out the Smithsonian labs here in Bocas del Toro. As I've mentioned before the Smithsonian has a huge research presence here in Panama so pretty much anywhere you turn up, the Smithsonian will turn up to - dreamy for geeks like me. The enormous, shiny, gorgeous lab facility here in Bocas has an open house every Friday, but for some reason we got lucky and that particular Friday they were having a super duper open house extravaganza. so we got to meet most of the researchers there (most of them American post docs) and hear about some really fascinating projects. My favorites were the frog dude that studied chemical defense mechanisms in poison dart frogs, and the guys that were sleuthing out a mysterious new coral disease in the area.

there are poison dart frogs all around Bocas - they may be cherry red, line green or sky blue depending on which island or beach you visit - each spot has its own unique frog subspecies! a couple days after we met frog researcher dude we were lucky enough to spot some lime green dart frogs in the forest on Bastimentos Island. (don't worry, no licking).

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