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, October 11, 2006

seamy lifestyles

funny.....immediately following that last post about how great onboard wi-fi is, our internet connection went down and stayed down for all but half hour of the last eight days....ah well, that's what we get for getting used to the cushy yacht club lifestyle! just another sign that it's time to move on and put some wind in these sails again....lately, we pretty much work all day and into the evening and then spend our nights scouring a multitude of resources and talking with other sailors here and around the Caribbean to try and figure out the next move for the good ship Ute.....

The big decision on the table right now is where to spend the winter (Nov. - June) season. And while there are plenty of factors to take into account, the legendary weather, wind and current patterns that make the Caribbean the Caribbean are far and away the biggest influences in our decision-making process. Due to the fact that a trip north (which is the direction we're generally, slowly, vaguely headed) requires facing the famous NE trades head-on, the only safe and sane time to even consider pointing our bow towards Disney World is in either November or June - the two somewhat reliable transition periods between hurricane season and winter. Historically, these two months offer at least a slim chance of being able to outwit the trades if you really scoot (not that Ute is exactly known for her scoot).

So, we either get outta here in early November or we're "stuck" here until late spring. I can think of worse places to be stuck, and we've got a nice little setup here and some good job offers, but we're both feeling awfully restless...we need to do some sailing, for god's sake...it's been waaaaay too long!
So now that we're sure we're leaving Panama in November (ah, how we will miss this funny country), the next question is, where to? Florida puts us within slightly closer reach of family and friends, and in the path of potentially high-paying boaty jobs, but is also ungodly expensive for boaters and, well, not that interesting. Roatan would be great - we're feeling out the work options there and finding out about the canvaswork scene so we don't step on someone else's turf. The Rio Dulce in Guatemala is a popular choice for lots of cruising boats, but it just sounds too busy.

One of the FUN things about the decision making process is being dialed in to this incredible community of sailors....when we have questions about the wheres, whens, whats, whos, hows of doing all of this, we can take advantage of a fantastic bunch of resources: salty neighbors, sailor friends scattered throughout the Caribbean and Pacific, cruising guides, shortwave radio nets, dozens of great websites written by other cruising sailors, nav charts, pilot charts, weather guides, and more.....we are lucky. While I admire the folks that did this type of sailing before all these resources existed, I don't mind taking the wimpy way out at all (especially when we see all the shipwrecks along this coast!).

It's looking more and more like the verdict will be the Bay Islands in Honduras, but we'll let you know as soon as it's official. I mean, we'll have to vote on it and everything.....

And for those of you that ask about our long-term plans, well, six months is pretty long term if you ask me. Come summer 2007, we will either A) head up the ICW and see where it takes us, B) sell Ute and move back to California, C) shoot up the gulf stream to New England and resettle there, D) get pregnant, live in a trailer park in Florida and work at Wal-Mart or E) take some sweet job we haven't even heard about yet in a place we've never been.

We can't wait.

In the meantime, we are keeping busy here in Bocas working on a re-seaming job for a big, fancy, very unique boat that rolled into the harbor last week. We'll try and get some pictures of both the boat and the job up on the site later this week...we've been to busy to even take any! The captain had big rolls of velcro flown into Bocas this morning so we could replace all the velcro on their cockpit enclosure....the panels to which we are attaching the velcro are so large and so heavy that Allen and I have been working side by side for five days getting them through the sewing machine.....fascinating stuff. Imagine playing Twister while trying to put a tent through a typewriter, and you get the gist.

the Captain is telling me it's bedtime for this tired old seamstress. so maybe pics tomorrow. cheers, Ute

1 comment:

JKB said...

I want to see a picture of these panels!! You guys are serious hard core seamers. I can't wait to hear what will happen next as the decisions evolve. Not that you're asking, but I'm rooting for any choice but D (and I'm trying really hard not to be selfish because you know I'd reap the most benefits if you all picked choice BBBBBB!!!) but I'm excited for you guys as you're figuring it all out. So, leaving Panama... so sad.. but a NEW CHAPTER which is fun. If you are in the Bay Islands will you be there through June? Will you need visitors over say.. spring break?? love you guys and thanks as always for blogging! xoxo
Jkb