"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

July 26, 2015

Silent Sunday

July 24, 2015

Summer in Texas

I truly love Texas, but this time of year really test my sanity and reasoning for being here. Family…family is the reason it holds a special place in my heart and it’s the only thing that would make me spend July and August in this scorching environment. Most of the year it’s a very welcoming state, but we are smack dap in the middle of summer and this guy’s diary entries are very entertaining and very close to the truth. It made me laugh, but it also is exactly how I feel at the moment...who said living in Texas was easy?

Dear Diary: 
June 1st:
Just moved to Texas! Now this is a state that knows how to live!! Beautiful sunny days and warm balmy evenings. What a place! It is beautiful. I've finally found my home. I love it here.

July 1st:
Really heating up. Got to 100 today. Not a problem. Live in an air-conditioned home, drive an air-conditioned car. What a pleasure to see the sun everyday like this. I'm turning into a sun worshiper.

July 4th:
Had the backyard landscaped with western plants today. Lots of cactus and rocks. What a breeze to maintain. No more mowing the lawn for me. Another scorcher today, but I love it here.

July 21st:
The temperature hasn't been below 100 all week. How do people get used to this kind of heat? At least, it's kind of windy though. But getting used to the heat is taking longer than I expected.

July 28th:
Fell asleep by the community pool. (Got 3rd degree burns over 60% of my body). Missed 3 days of work. What a dumb thing to do. I learned my lesson though. Got to respect the ole sun in a climate like this.

August 1st:
I missed Lomita (my cat) sneaking into the car when I left this morning. By the time I got to the hot car at noon, Lomita had died and swollen up to the size of a shopping bag, then popped like a water balloon. The car now smells like Kibbles and ****s. I learned my lesson though. No more pets in this heat. Good ole Mr. Sun strikes again.

August 3rd:
The wind sucks. It feels like a giant freaking blow dryer!! And it's hot as hell. The home air-conditioner is on the fritz and the AC repairman charged $200 just to drive by and tell me he needed to order parts.

August 7th:
Been sleeping outside on the patio for 3 nights now, $225,000 house and I can't even go inside. Lomita is the lucky one. Why did I ever come here?

August 10th:
It's 115 degrees. Finally got the air-conditioner fixed today. It cost $500 and gets the temperature down to 85. I hate this stupid state.

August 13th:
If another wisea** cracks, 'Hot enough for you today?' I'm going to strangle him. Damn heat. By the time I get to work, the radiator is boiling over, my clothes are soaking wet, and I smell like baked cat!!

August 14th:
Tried to run some errands after work. Wore shorts, and when sat on the seats in the car, I thought my ass was on fire. My skin melted to the seat. I lost 2 layers of flesh and all the hair on the back of my legs and ass... Now my car smells like burnt hair, fried ass, and baked cat.

August 15th:
The weather report might as well be a damn recording. Hot and sunny. Hot and sunny. Hot and sunny. It's been too hot to do s*** for over a damn month and the weatherman says it might really warm up next week. Doesn't it ever rain in this damn state? Water rationing will be next, so my $1700 worth of cactus will just dry up and blow over. Even the cactus can't live in this damn heat.

August 22nd:
Welcome to HELL! Temperature got to 115 today. Cactus are dead. Forgot to crack the window and blew the damn windshield out of the car. The installer came to fix it and guess what he asked me??? "Hot enough for you today?" My sister had to spend $1,500 to bail me out of jail. Freaking Texas. What kind of a sick demented idiot would want to live here?? Will write later to let you know how the trial goes.

July 20, 2015

Friends


"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools." ―Martin Luther King, Jr.

We’ve met so many nice people since leaving Texas in 2011. I can’t begin to count them all. Some have come and gone. Some are now our closest friends. We’re all so different. We’re from different places, different social and economic classes and we have different types of boats, but we all come together as part of the boating fraternity. One thing we’ve noticed through the last five years is there’s a difference between boat friends and land friends. I read this list of comparisons on the Internet somewhere (sorry I can't remember where) and knew I had to share it with my readers.

1. A normal friend will respect your privacy and personal space. A boat friend grows comfortable being in such close proximity to you, they never stray more than a few inches from you at all times, even on land.

2. A normal friend carpools with you to school or work. A boat friend rows, dinghies, SUPs, or just swims over to pick you up.

3. A normal friend will watch a movie with you on a bad weather day. A boat friend will come over and help you strip off outriggers, antennas, running rigging, and seal around hatches, ports, and lockers. They’ll make sure cockpit drains are free-running, the bilge pump and switch work, and that the battery is topped up.

4. A normal friend considers talk about the weather to be small talk. A boat friend discusses weather intentionally. Your next night’s sleep may depend on it.

5. A normal friend prevents you from drinking and driving. A boat friend just makes sure you don’t fall off the boat (or the dock).

6. A normal friend would question bruises covering every square inch of your body. A boat friend understands how brutal maneuvering around a boat can be.

7. A normal friend will wait until after 5pm to offer you a drink. A boat friend will wait until you wake up.

8. A normal friend will help you in any way necessary after disaster strikes. A boat friend will prevent it altogether, keeping watch over the bay while you sleep, giving you a lift to shore when you run out of gas, regularly diving down to check your mooring line, or simply rowing over a fresh pot of coffee in the morning.

9. A normal friend thinks you’re crazy when they find out you don’t have electricity, refrigerator, running water, or a bathroom. A boat friend lives the dirty life too.

10. A normal friend will ask if you want to check out that new restaurant in town. A boat friend will catch a fish and serve it up with a side of pineapple they foraged earlier that morning and homemade grilled garlic bread. 

11. A normal friend might mention your hair looks like it could use some brushing. A boat friend will find your new dreads fitting for life at sea, if they notice the change at all.

12. A normal friend asks if everything is okay. A boat friend believes your mood is their mood. They know something is wrong and demand you talk about it, as they’re close enough to practically hear your thoughts. They can feel your moods and read your thoughts by looks alone.

13. A normal friend slams the door and takes a few days to cool off after a disagreement. A boat friend storms a few feet away to the opposite side of the boat and avoids eye contact.

14. A normal friend might be uncomfortable seeing their friends naked. A boat friend is the farthest thing from modest and completely unfazed by nudity in all forms, be it friends, neighbors, beachgoers or old salts.

15. A normal friend considers themselves rich when they have loads of zeros in their bank account. A boat friend considers themselves rich when they have enough money to buy food, beer, gas for the tanks, and most importantly, when they witness the sunrise and set each day.

Land friends
Boat Friends

July 12, 2015

July 11 - The Voyage

Rockport Harbor

Our voyage began 34 years ago today and what a wonderful voyage it's been. When we began this life together it was just Stan and I and now gathered round us we have our own crew. Life has been an amazing voyage and we look forward to all the adventures and new crew members to come.

"The Voyage"

I am a sailor, you're my first mate
We signed on together, we coupled our fate
We hauled up our anchor, determined not to fail
For the hearts treasure, together we set sail

With no maps to guide us we steered our own course
We rode out the storms when the winds were gale force
We sat out the doldrums in patience, and hope
Working together, we learned how to cope

Life is an ocean, love is a boat
In troubled waters, it keeps us afloat
When we started the voyage, there was just me and you
Now gathered round us, we have our own crew

Together we're in this relationship
We built it with care, to last the whole trip
Our true destination's not marked on any charts
We're navigating for the shores of the heart

Life is an ocean and love is a boat
In troubled waters, it keeps us afloat
When we started the voyage, there was just me and you
Now gathered round us, we have our own crew
 
The Voyage

July 11, 2015

July 10 – Temporary Home

Rockport Harbor

“One person’s craziness is another person’s reality” –Tim Burton

The John Uhr Memorial Billfish Tournament takes place in Rockport this weekend. The weigh in station is in the slip next to us, which meant six of us had to move to make room for boats coming in and out of the harbor. We've known about this since we arrived last November. This marina wasn't built to accommodate large boats so finding another spot was limited. Our new temporary home is at the beginning of the gated pier that is in the center of the harbor. The opposite side of this harbor from our normal slip is lined with bait stands. They sell all kinds of bait plus shrimp, crabs and oysters. It makes having fresh seafood very convenient. Each stand has their own shrimp boat that supplies them with a fresh catch daily. In our new spot we have a front row seat to all the action.

Looking across the harbor to our temporary slip
Views of the Texas Pearl in her permanent slip
Looking across the harbor to the Texas Pearl in her permanent slip
Our new view for the deck
The birds love the when the shrimp boat return to the harbor
Once the shrimp boats come in they begin sorting the shrimp and then sell it at their little bait shops. Fresh shrimp...almost every day.
He's looking for another free hand out
Our new temporary home

July 8, 2015

July 8 – Galley Floor Complete

Rockport Harbor

Stan finished the galley floor a few weeks ago, but time seems to slip away and I forget to update the blog. We love the new floor and it brightens up the galley, but it will be a challenge to keep it clean. This is the first time I’ve had a completely white floor…there is no hiding the dirty.  I’m glad the galley isn’t any larger! The next project is to build a wine rack between the refrigerator and counter.

Old galley floor pictures
The completed galley floor
Old floor
The new floor. You can see where we want to build a wine rack next to the frig

July 7, 2015

July 4 - Family, Fun and Fireworks

Rockport Harbor

“The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” —William James

We had a wonderful 4th of July weekend. Our oldest son and our grandson came for a visit. Bryt was on call all weekend and was unable to make it...we truly missed her company. The 4th of July is one of Rockport's busiest weekends. During the winter the town is full of winter Texans who are trying to escape the cold weather in the north, but summer is actually the busiest time...with every rental, B&B and hotel room full of tourist looking for a little fun on the water. Fishing, swimming and water sports are big draws to the area. We didn't want to get caught up in the traffic, so we watched all the action from the boat. We had a front row seat to everything.

Besides all the normal things Rockport has to offer, this weekend was the 46th Annual Rockport Art Festival sponsored by the Rockport Center for the Arts, located in the event field beside the harbor. It's a juried show with wonderful arts & crafts from around the country. Stan and I spent the morning wandering through the booths while we waited for Kyle and Graham to arrive. We found quite a few things we could have added to Texas Pearl, but resisted all but one temptation.

We spent the afternoon playing with Graham and catching up with Kyle. We took a walk on the beach, showed Graham the fish at the aquarium and watched the crowd grow in the area as we all waited for the fireworks. Some boats go out into Little Bay to have a better view, but we enjoyed the show from our top deck...no traffic jams, no worrying about our anchor dragging, no crazy boater and best of all we could enjoy our AC anytime we felt hot.

Rockport Art Festival
All the booths where under tents so everyone could stay in the shade
The entertainment and food was in an air conditioned tent, so everyone could cool off for awhile.
Graham having fun at the Rockport Aquarium 
Enjoying a walk
The crowd beginning to grow for the fireworks
Our little harbor just before dark...it looked like it might rain, but we were lucky and the cloud passed by
Fireworks over Little Bay
Sunday we spent a lazy day on the boat being entertained by Graham. I did take him back to the beach for awhile, he enjoyed watching the people, but liked the dogs the best. We then took another walk through the aquarium but it didn't take long before we were both hot and ready for the comforts of the boat. Sunday night's big event was our grand daughter third birthday party. She was so excited to have everyone there just for her. To see the joy on her face as she greeted her guests, opened gifts and listened to everyone sing happy birthday to her was priceless. Spending time with our little grandwonders is the highlight of our lives at the moment and although we'd enjoy being somewhere cooler for the summer...we wouldn’t trade this for anything. Our big event for this week is the arrival of our second little princess on Thursday. Our family is growing and we couldn't be happier.
Graham really liked playing on the boat
One very happy little girl
Bath time on Texas Pearl