It’s not all work…

We have been doing a lot of boat work, but sometimes you need a break.  Tonight was a full moon, and we decided it would be a great evening to go out for a sunset/moonrise sail with friends.  We invited Ed, Cindy, Bob, and Julie to come with us (the same group that made the Spring Fling trip to Port Aransas), and we went out for a really nice evening sail.  The weather was perfect – 10-15 knots of wind and only scattered clouds.

We met at our boat at 6:00 and soon cast off.  Laura had prepared guacamole (one of her specialties and my favorites) and fajita quesadillas.  She really laid out a good spread for our guests.  The guys let go the dock lines while the ladies finished cooking down below.  We left around 6:15 and got out of the Clear Lake Channel well before sunset.  Laura was busy supervising the galley proceedings and getting dinner ready while the guys were watching the dolphins swimming around the port side of the boat.  It was one of the best dolphin sightings we had seen in Galveston Bay.  We had 8-10 dolphins swimming around us at any given time, only 25 feet off our side.  It was great!  And yes, Laura got to see the dolphins!

We sat in the water eating dinner and watching the dolphins for about half an hour.  We then raised sail for a great relaxing sunset.  The sunset on the water was beautiful, with just enough clouds on the horizon to add character to the setting sun.  We slowly sailed around the bay waiting for the moon rise, and it did not disappoint us.  There were some low clouds on the horizon, so the moon started as a huge red crescent and proceeded to rise, growing impossibly large as it did so.  The color slowly brightened from deep red, through burnt orange, to pale white.  Once fully risen, it was incredibly bright, reflecting off of the water.  We sat and watched it while sailing along.

We continued to sail until around 9:00 when it was time to head back to the dock.  Our non-retired guests had to go to bed for an early Wednesday morning.  We came in with no problems, if you don’t count the time I got forward and reverse mixed up while docking, causing a minor ruckus and a few near heart attacks.  No damage done to the boat, but Bob may have pulled a muscle as he was skidding across the dock trying to stop us.  It looked like he was water skiing, holding onto a dock line and being pulled along.  Stopping a 50,000 pound boat is not easy!  After this little excitement, we were tied up in the dock by 9:30, then Laura and I enjoyed cool showers and after sail drinks in the salon.

All in all, a wonderful evening.  THIS is why we retired early.

Making more progress

Last week was very productive for boat work.  There was lots of bad weather all around us, but most of the storms seemed to stay to the east or west of us so we didn’t get a lot of rain.  Therefore, we didn’t get slowed down on our projects.

We are almost done with the holding tank installation.  I routed the hoses under our berth (and found Laura’s pillow in the process), drilled new holes in the bow for the holding tank vents, and ran the wiring for the macerator pump and level sensor halfway back to the nav station where they will eventually end up.

We have finished the drawers in the pantry, which greatly improved storage.  I will try to get a good photo to post.  My first attempt didn’t work so well.  The pantry is in a narrow “hallway” between the salon and our cabin, and I wasn’t able to get a good angle that showed the drawers.  Despite my shortcomings as a photographer, we are very happy to have the drawers completed.

We go back to Fort Worth this week for doctor’s appointments and to visit friends.  We are looking forward to a few days off to relax!

Website Updates

While Cory was here we sat down and figured out a few things.  First, I added a LINKS page.  The first link is to our good friend Charlie Springer’s site on University of Louisville athletics.  As a U of L alum, I check Charlie’s site every day to read up on all the latest sports news on the Cardinals.

We also found a good way to load the letters we wrote while cruising back in 1997-1998.  These are located on the page dedicated to that first cruise.  Reading these reminded me of the places we went, people we met, and experiences we had while cruising for that year.


U of L Card Game – all news for University of Louisville Sports

Distant Shores – A nice cruising couple we met in Horta, Azores.  They have a very interesting TV series on cruising.

Wave Dancer – Our good friends Ed and Cindy Lowrie who live aboard their Passport 42.  Ed helped us a lot prepare Orontes II for cruising with his woodworking skills, while Cindy helped with sewing and really strong, useful canvas shopping bags.

Mantis Anchors –  (Disclaimer – we are good friends with Greg and Deneen, but we were customers first.)  They make a great anchor that is our number one choice everywhere we have anchored.  The rest of their gear (chain hook, snubbers, swivels) are top notch.