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, November 05, 2006

getting there is half the fun...




here's a rough approximation of our planned route to Honduras.....don't worry, we use much more detailed nav aids than this to actually get there (!), but the Google family of brands has yet to offer a way to import our electronic nautical charts into Blogger. You can, of course, use YouTube to do useful things like watch drunk people singing karaoke in Topeka, or a Japanese girl pretending to eat her cat, but as for disseminating less useful information like our routing, well, hope is all we have.....

The trip should be about 700 miles total.....our first leg is from here to Providencia, which, despite its location off the coast of Nicaragua, is technically part of Colombia (don't worry Mom, it's just a technicality - Colombian pirates don't seem to recognize it as part of their jurisdiction). By all accounts Providencia is beautiful and a great place to stop and get a good night's sleep and hang out.

After Providencia, we'll hopefully be able to make it to Roatan without stopping again. What you can't quite tell from this map is that the path to Honduras is fraught with shoals and reefs... there is one, or maybe two, safe passages around the cape to the Bay Islands.

The first 400-500 miles will likely be the most challenging.....while the NE trades reputedly wane a bit in November, they don't go away entirely, so heading straight north in a sailboat in this part of the Caribbean is uneventful at best, and usually uncomfortable or worse. Once we make it around Cabo Gracias a Dios and turn left, the wind should be a little more cooperative, but anything could happen. It could be a beautiful, idyllic trip or a wet, unforgiving beat into headwinds and ugly chop, reminiscent of Nicaragua....experience tells us to prepare for a savory blend of the two.

It's a little intimidating that Cabo Gracias a Dios was so named by Columbus in 1502, when he spent so many weeks trying to get around the cape, and was turned back by weather so many times, that when we finally got around he dubbed it "Thanks to God" cape. uh, yikes.

We think the trip will take about ten days, including a night or two at Providencia, but it could take as long as a couple weeks if we have to wait out weather somewhere. So, don't worry if we're offline for a few weeks after we leave this Wednesday!

Most of our weather resources indicate we should wait out the cold front that's passing over the Caribbean this weekend, and then make a break for it mid-week. Hopefully we'll have a good window after that....if you like weather check out one of our new fave sites at
https://www.fnmoc.navy.mil/CGI/PUBLIC/wxmap_PUBLIC_area.cgi?area=ngp_troplant
(the numbers along the top row of the chart indicate how many hours out the projection is........click on "Surface Strmlns and Wind speeds [kts]" to see some truly beautiful maps!).

thanks for staying tuned!!

9 comments:

ncareypaint said...

Wow, what a great last trip to see yellow footed boobies and the mooring must be fun after the heat and bugs of the Marina. All the canvas work is done and you are now wealthy and ready to start out on a new trip to Honduras.
Know that I think of you every day and wish you fair winds and following seas and much good luck and a fine time. Yes, I would like to said with you some time. hugs nancy

CP said...

Via con dios and have fun. Will miss the updates.

Anonymous said...

Have a great passage guys. Sorry we missed you when you visited Shelter bay one last time.....!Hopefully see you somewhere in the western caribbean in early 2007! Catch a fish........
lol
G&G

Anonymous said...

Bon voyage, guys. You must feel rarin' to get your sea legs back on! While we're all giving thanks in front of poultry you'll be pullin' around Thanks to God?
-vesxbll

Check it out! said...

"In Honduras, the Lluvia de Peces (Rain of Fishes) is a unique phenomenon that has been occurring for more than a century on a yearly basis in the country of Honduras. It occurs in the Departamento de Yoro, between the months of May and July. Witnesses of this phenomenon state that it begins with is a dark cloud in the sky followed by lightning, thunder, strong winds and heavy rain for 2 to 3 hours. Once the rain has stopped, hundreds of living fish are found on the ground. People take the fish home to cook and eat them. Although some experts have tried to explain the Rain of Fishes as a natural meteorological phenomenon, the fish are not sea water fish, but fresh water fish; they are not dead, but alive; they are not blind, they have eyes; they are not big fish, but small; and the type of fish is not found elsewhere in the area. There is no valid scientific explanation for this phenomenon. Many people believe this phenomenon occurs because of Father José Manuel Subirana, a Spanish catholic missionary and considered by many to be a Saint. He visited Honduras from 1856-1864, and upon encountering so many poor people, prayed for 3 days and 3 nights asking God for a miracle to help the poor people by providing food. The Rain of Fishes has occurred ever since."

laura said...

hey you two! this first semester of teaching has swallowed me up, & I haven't checked Ute's blog in ages, but wanted to wish you well on the voyage ahead -- and look, I'll be (finally) living aboard a boat myself soon! still have Mouette the sailboat, but now also a 41' powerboat has been added to the mix, for living on full-time:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lawatt/286783343/

your travels are still such an inspiration!
hugs,
laura

JKB said...

I'll bet it feels good to get out sailing again. Good luck getting around that cape- Miss you guys and look forward to getting word that you get in safe.

Hope you are getting my other emails CPC with more newsy updates. Reply if you get a chance about those spring break dates. It'd be so fun to see you guys on your next leg of your trip. xoxo Jen

ncareypaint said...

Hey, Jen. How are you doing. Nice to see your blog entrance. When is your Spring break? How is the school system doing? Keeping you busy?

Allen & Cora - fair winds and following seas - do think of you every day and wish you much love and a perfect sail. Want to have a beacon finder on your boat and a receiver here so I can see where you are - all is well here. Beautiful weather for the fall. hugs.
nmc

Anonymous said...

Hi - sitting here after work waiting for all the cars to leave so I can go to massage with Shirley - she is 80 now. Wonder if I will be working when I am that old. Interesting thought - maybe a career change or just working with students so they know what old people look like - amazing how isolated we get in age groups. Missing you both. Wish you would magically arrive for T day. We will have many more together soon - maybe I will just show up in Honduras. Reminds me I have one of the custodians here at the school who is going to be in Honduras - San Francisco the first week of January. Are you going to be anywhere near there? Guess, I will look on a map. fair winds, following seas and many great days. hugs nmc