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, June 26, 2007

Fernandina Beach

..this hot, sunny Tuesday night finds us anchored next Amelia Island - one of our last stops in Florida, we think. Heavy afternoon showers - luckily with no lightning in attendance - passed over quickly and gave way to sunshine (and mosquitoes).

We spent all of this last weekend in St. Augustine, which was a blast! Tim and Ariel drove up from Melbourne to visit us and also their old friend Jim from California, who we hadn't seen in years, so that was fun. They also had a British friend Mark visiting - Tim and Ariel volunteered at a bear research station with him in Ecuador last winter. I know all of this only makes sense to us, but I had to post it anyway because we had so much fun, and we are constantly thrilled with the strange and random connections we make in all these different places, with all these different people. we have had such good fortune to cross paths again and again with some pretty cool folks!

Speaking of, we also got to see our friends on Minke, and boat we met almost exactly a year ago in Colon, Panama. We knew they were coming up the east coast this summer too, but weren't sure if or when we would run into them. We were already parked for the night last Thursday when we heard good' ol Minke come over the airwaves on Channel 16 to request a bridge opening just a mile or so down from where we were. We jumped up and said, "Was that Minke?!" in an overjoyed sort of way. sho' nuf! we didn't get to hang out with them too much as we were busy being squatters at Jim's house for most of the weekend, but we did catch up with them for a little while before we took off. the fun part is, they wrote and edited the ICW chart book we are using right now, so they are THE source for nav advice. Thanks Minke! hopefully we'll catch up with them in the Carolinas.....

After leaving St. Aug Monday morning, the ICW got even prettier than before! The terrain has changed subtly from barrier islands to sprawling wetlands and huge seas of marsh grass, threaded with meandering tidal creeksa. The bird life is nothing short of spectacular. We've seen so many wood storks and roseate spoonbills (these guys are pink, like flamingoes) that they almost seem commonplace. Along with the usual dolphins and manatees, tow sea turtles said hello yesterday. Last night we anchored next to Ft. George Island, which is home to a wildlife sanctuary and a very old slave trader's plantation, which is now a NPS site. One of the things we loved about being on a boat in Central America was having access to places we'd normally never get to go, and it looks like that is holding true for North America too - the park was closed to traffic and visitors for the night but we were able to pull the dinghy up on shore, tie it to a tree, and go exploring. The local family or barred owls was none to pleased with this, but we enjoyed it. It was super jungley in a very mossy, Southern sort of way - gorgeous. The dinghy also allowed exploration of a near-hidden watery trail through the marsh grass. Even after 18 months it's still amazing to me that we can park our house next to spots like this and stay the night! We are so fortunate.

We'll probably stay here for a couple days as we are still waiting on the return of our repaired autopilot. I'll spare the details but suffice to say that next time I hear anybody complaining about lousy customer service or disorganized businesses in Latin America, I'll set them straight with a few stories from the last couple weeks in the U.S......

Hugs to everyone, UTE

No comments: