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, October 14, 2006

teachable moments

hey, now that we're back online we can answer all the GREAT questions that people have posed in their posts! (we love, love, love the questions. keep 'em coming)

Q. Why are ratlines called ratlines?

A. Because in the old days, when a ship would sink, all the rats aboard (and unlucky human crew) would scurry up the rigging as a last-ditch effort to avoid going down with it!

Q. What's an oropendola?

A. An oropendola is a large black and yellow bird found in Central and South America. Oropendolas build large hanging nests, and make a variety of really bizarre noises that can sound like a water whistle, a dripping faucet, or a cell phone ring.

Q. What's the difference between New World monkeys and Old World Monkeys?

A. New World monkeys live in the Americas, and some have prehensile tails (meaning they can use their tail like a hand to grab things). Old World monkeys live in Asia and Africa, and none have prehensile tails. (There are some other distinctions between the two groups, but that's the most notable one).

Q. Why are night monkeys nocturnal?

A. Not sure, but my guess is because it's just too hot during the day to forage for food when you're wearing a thick brown fur coat (not that that stops the other monkeys of course). I would say predator avoidance is a factor in being nocturnal, but there are plenty of hungry preds sneaking around at night, so it can't be that. I guess they just found a niche and settled in, like so many other weird jungle critters. Survival in the jungle is all about settling upon your gimmick and sticking with it. They do eat moths, but I don't know if they evolved to be nocturnal because they like to munch on moths, or vice versa.

1 comment:

JKB said...

A CELL PHONE ring??? Which tone? I am a huge fan of the Q & A section - keep it coming! Ok, here's my next question - what plant/animal(s) have you seen in Panama that you've never seen anywhere else?