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, June 02, 2007

a Barry wet night in Key West

So here we are, still in Key West on June 2nd...hard to believe...and not quite what we'd planned! We woke yesterday morning to hear the warm and wonderful computerized voices of the Wx channel perkily reminding us that June 1 marks the official start of Hurricane Season. Allen would have loved to be as far north as about Annapolis right now and I feel much the same way.....but what can you do? The last two weeks have been a total weather shutout in terms of northbound travel, and we know it's not just us as there are dozens of boats stuck here waiting for the same window as we are....

The plot thickened yesterday when, following a "cruising meeting" with Tim and Ariel and a weather check online, we walked into our favorite happy hour hole (we've been here long enough to have a favorite - yikes!) and found everyone in the bar riveted to the Weather Channel....where they had just announced the season's Second Named Storm: Tropical Storm Barry. I watched the color drain from Allen's face and heard him whisper, "Dammit, I knew we shouldn't have taken the time to go to Belize!". Mother Nature is wasting no time getting a jump start on this year's season. Tropical Storm Barry lay just 200 miles west of Key West yesterday evening, and treated us to pelting rain and howling winds for the entire night. Ariel told us today it was the first time she'd been seasick at anchor. We didn't sleep much, but we were happy to have not one but two anchors set out in a nice solid Bahamian moor (that's two anchors deployed from the bow, set 180 degrees apart from one another...a very solid ride).

Fortunately, Barry's main objective for his short life seems to be getting out of range of the Keys. at last check he was chugging N-NE at a very healthy rate, which we appreciate. The sky looks less ominous by the hour and the sun is even trying to shine. It looks like, amazingly, we'll be able to stick with our plan of leaving here early tomorrow morning, with the goal of reaching Miami Monday afternoon-ish. Sure hope it works.....

We have had a great time in Key West, all things considered. We've taken lots of bus rides to the shopping centers. One mall in particular has provided us with the Great American Makeover (on a budget) - we walked away with a cell phone, khakis, running shoes, a fixed front tooth, a haircut, pizza, some new herb plants, and new Craftsman tools in exchange for the broken and abused ones we brought in from Ute. Not bad! And we're always looking for a bargain in a town where we pay $5 just to park the dinghy every time we come to land, and $4 for a not very nice shower. Catching fish off the boat with a chicken rig is our new strategy for putting meat on the table at night: we've enjoyed fried feasts of yellowtail snapper and blue-striped grunt this week. We've taken advantage of the local park system and the beaches - and we've been reminded again of what an amazing and diverse state Florida really is. My childhood enchantment with Florida has been fully rekindled - I could definitely live here. But good jobs in the Keys are few and far between and we're hardly in a position to settle down until we've found either a buyer for the boat, or at least a safe place to park her that isn't in the path of hurricanes. So....the journey continues. Hopefully tomorrow. It will be nice to be underway again, for sure.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

Fair winds and following seas for your trip to Miami. Enjoyed the dingy video and your discussion of shopping at the malls. Ah, the joys of shopping. Went garage saling today and bought curtains, a cutting block table and other stuff for pennies compared to the mall. $5 for a set of new curtains - sounds right to me. No new storms - my weather prediction - moms are always right. more fair winds and following seas. hugs and much love nmc