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!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Heads Up!

for those of you that haven't already heard about our newfound infamy in these seas, here is Allen's fantastic account of how we made a name for ourselves (already!) in the Bay Islands.....


[December 24] - Cora and I came into a beautiful protected anchorage for two reasons, one, to be somewhere nice and close to other cruisers for christmas so we can enjoy a wonderful potluck again....
The other reason is that there is a norther coming down and is expected to bring 25-35 kt winds from the n-ne-nw on christmas and is expected to last 3 days give or take. so we are anchored in jonesville bight in roatan. very beautiful and there are four other boats here. Well protected and good holding.
so we make our way into the anchorage through a narrow gap in the reef , no problems, sun at our backs and perfect conditions. (on a website we check regularly, nwcaribbean.net, they told us that people monitor channel 66 in case we need help on the entrance, or for local knowledge, so we monitor this channel.) we come in and start to scout the anchorage trying to find a nice place to anchor and be close to the free wifi that is here. Cora monitors the depth sounder while I steer and check our location.
we motor around for a bit and then start to head towards the back of the bight. as we go around this floating bar we spot a local coming out in his boat. I assume he is here to guide us around a shoal or something. he comes out and says don't anchor right here, there is a cable crossing. I say ok is it right here? pointing to the water and waving my hand back and forth indicating an underwater cable. he smiles kind of a 'yeah stoopid gringo' smile and says yes.
Mind you cora addressed him first in spanish, but he spoke in english and told us to follow him, great, bay islands people speak a lot of english around here. he looks back at us and i assume he wants us to follow him. so I do. there is one other boat anchored in the back and and he begins to wave us to the left hand side of the bay, so I move over a bit to the left. Well he is getting in his dinghy and waving at us still to go left. I figure he is having us avoid a shoal. so I go left.
no problems, but dude is still getting in his dinghy and I am afraid he is one of those controlling anchorage guys that is gonna tell us exactly where to anchor, you know the type, "oh, I wouldn't anchor there but over here is really good. but don't anchor too close to me. only let out 49.5 feet of rode or else you will be in big trouble. I never use chain it is too heavy to haul in, I never drag." I don't want to deal with that so I tell CPC that we are gonna go anchor out in the other little bay. I also tell the local kid that we are gonna go back out front, he looks at me kinda weird but shrugs his shoulders and goes towards shore. the local cruiser hangout is very close by and there are a couple of people looking at us, the usual audience you get when coming into a new place. A couple of other local people whistle at us and wave us towards the now right side of the bay. ok we wave back and follow our track back out. no problems. We drop the hook, set it really good, get the danforth ready to go if we need it, make some food, watch a kung fu movie and go to sleep.
We wake up a couple times to check the anchor and get a great night's sleep.
during coffee we listen to the nw caribbean shortwave radio net on 6209, listening to the weather. right after weather is a section called information offered or needed, we sometimes listen and we did this morning. about half way through this boat comes on and says, in an incredulous manner "hey man you won't believe this but the boat came in yesterday to Jonesville and came right to the back of the bight and RIGHT UNDER THE HIGH POWER LINES AT THEIR LOWEST POINT. then like three more people came on and said yeah we saw that and we were waving wildly at them.
Cora and I both jumped up and looked at where he would be talking about and sure enough, droopy electrical wires that couldn't be much higher than 40 feet. specs on UTE are 38.5 feet from water, but she did drop about 4 inches with all our crap on board. After seeing the lines, Cora said this morning, "There is no f&%$ing way we would take our boat under those lines now that I've seen them."
Mind you not one person pointed or gestured to the sky, just waving back and forth like hello. the local guy who spoke english never pointed up and said 'yeah dumbass the wires that your 40 foot mast just missed by an inch'. no one then came out and said anything to us when we anchored. We actually drove within 40 feet of another boat, hailing distance, and he just waved. So i guess the moral of this story is, don't just monitor the depth sounder, keep an eye to the sky. The other is if you have the option call for local assistance.
So now we have to go to the local cruisers hangout and hang our heads in shame and be the butt of criticism and jokes for the next couple of days. oh well, I am sure our egos can handle it. At least with a few beers in me.
Now we have something else to celebrate, we didn't ruin all the locals christmas by taking their power wires down, we also didn't electrocute ourselves in the process.
Merry Christmas everyone!!


The update? We've since received a very warm reception by all of our neighbors, although they do refer to us not as Ute but as "Dances with Wires". We also learned that a couple of other boats actually did hit it and lived to tell the tale. So......we have plenty to be thankful for this holiday season!

1 comment:

ncareypaint said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR - LOVE YOU BOTH MORE THAN i CAN SAY. HUGS, LOVE AND MANY WISHES FOR MUCH LOVE, HAPPINESS, HEALTHA AND WEALTH IN THE NEW YEAR. NMC