Monday, August 3, 2015

Fireworks, Sailing, and Appeasing the Gods

Howdy again folks,

As I mentioned in the last post, we've had a busy couple weeks.  While it's great to catch-up on boat projects, we kept hearing rumors about folks that actually....(gasp)...left the docks with their boats and did fun things on them.  So instead of just talking about all the cool things we wanted to do, Kara and I decided to dedicate this last weekend to actually enjoying some time on the boat.

Kara was in Houston for work and had a hotel right next to our office Thursday night as a result,  As it turned out, all my meetings where all virtual on Friday, so after work Thursday night I loaded up the truck with boat stuff and drove down to join her in her hotel room.  We both had pretty busy afternoons but where able to leave the office around 4 and head down to Kemah (it's about an hour drive).  So Kara headed to the boat and kicked on the AC and fridge so they'd have time to cool down.  We hit the liquor store, grocery store, and Home depot for a new deck wash hose...way cheaper than West Marine for that kinda stuff.

Then we got down to the boat, got everything stowed, grabbed a bag of ice which the marina sells pretty cheap, reviewed the charts to figure out where we wanted to anchor for the fireworks, fired up the Yanmar, untied the boat and headed out.  We where pleasantly surprised at how much cooler it was once we got out of our protected marina.  The wind was a good 15+ knots and not as humid as we've come to expect from Houston, which was great.  We headed out through the Clearlake channel, under the the 146 bridge and into Galveston bay.  The wind had been blowing long enough that there was a pretty decent wind chop, so we opted to just head over about 1/2 mile off the kemah boardwalk and set the hook.  Once we got the anchor set and the boat settled into the wind and waves, it was pretty darn comfortable.  So we made a couple rum and diets, fired up the grill and cooked a few beef kabobs, which despite my hatred for our current magma gas grill, turned out pretty well.  I know I shouldn't hate something as simple as a grill and it's nothing against magma but I really miss charcoal and am so spoiled with my big green egg, that I find the lake of temperature control on this grill to be frustrating.  But by flipping the kabobs every 5 min or so, they turned out pretty well and we just had time to finish our dinner and make another drink before the fireworks started.  We've been talking about going out to watch the fireworks for so long, that it was really nice to finally be out, sitting up on deck with a cold drink just enjoying the cool(ish) breeze and a full (blue) moon.  It was also nice of the Kemah boardwalk to sponsor these fireworks which they seem to do every Friday night in June/July.  We can usually see them just by walking across the little street at our marina, but it's way nicer to enjoy them from the boat on the hook away from the dock...for a change.

After the fireworks we just sat and talked for a while and watched as all the boats went in.  Once the herd had thinned out a bit we pulled up the anchor and the deckwash and did our best to get all the chain back in without bringing up half of Galveston bay with it.  The bottom is a really fine black mud and it's almost impossible to get it all off in the dark.  We where thankful for our newly installed LED deck light which definitely made the job easier.   Once the anchor was stowed, we motored back to the marina and safely tied up back at the dock to conclude our first night time docking process with just Kara and I as crew.  Obviously this was a pretty simple little trip, but we really needed it and it felt great.  So did the AC and showers once we where back at the dock.

The next day we got up early, cleaned the remaining mud off the ground tackle and deck.  We then went out to pick up a few things for the day.  Jason and Autumn (Kara's brother and sister-in-law) had called and wanted to come join us for a sail and the renaming ceremony later that night.  So we picked up some champagne, snacks and got the boat ready to leave the dock for a second time in less than 24 hours...crazy stuff.

Once Jason and Autumn got there, we fired up the boat cast off the lines and motored out to the bay again.  This time though, we raised the sails and noticed how much easier it all was with our nice clean winches.  Yep, should have done that one a long time ago!  At first we only had 5-8 knots of breeze but it was enough that we where at least moving, so we where finally able to shut off the motor and enjoy the piece and quiet.  As the afternoon went on the wind picked up a bit and we where able to maintain a good 5-6 knots which was nice.  That in combination with good weather, great company, and some excellent beers that Jason brought along, made for an excellent afternoon of sailing.  We where out for about 4 hours and as the wind was dieing down, decided to head in and get ready for the renaming ceremony.

Once back at the dock, we got the AC cranking and got out of the heat for a while(100F / 37-38C).  While we where picking up food for the evening we heard from our friends Heather and Michelle and they wanted to join us for the festivities, which was great.  We all met back at the marina and as the sun was setting had our renaming ceremony.  Where we thanked the gods for taking care of our boat (previously known as Baboo) and requested they strike the old name from their roster and that she hereby be known as Vela...and may your watchful eye always bless her in her new life with us.  The full ceremony we used is here, it was the perfect combo of fun/silly/respectful that we where looking for.  In the process we got to meet a few new marina neighbors, who stopped by to share in the fun, food and cold beverages.

Welcome Vela - We're looking forward to many adventures together in the future.

All in all it was a great time and instead of being known generically as the boat, she will from now on be referred to by her new simple and beautiful name Vela.  Which we chose because we wanted a short simple and pretty sounding name.  It also means has several meanings.  One being Latin for the sails of a ship, which is where the name of the constellation comes from.  The other being "she who watches over" (which is the one I really love).  So for us it works on many levels, plus we just like the how it sounds and spelling it phonetically on the radio couldn't be much easier.

So, welcome Vela!  Long may we sail safely with her and may her new life with us take her to far away lands and be filled with love, laughter, happiness and of course adventure.

Of course first, we need new sails...and a few other things but more on time!

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