A Friday in the Harbor, Books + Travel (Again), and an Evening at Anchor

Yesterday morning, Boat Dog and I rose quite early to get a jump on the day. We were hoping it would be a nice one and we could sneak out for a rowing break at some point. And it worked! With the breeze blowing in as it was, rowing out to the mouth of the harbor was a bit tougher than rowing home (a preferred setup), and as we pulled against the gusts, we got to wave at a few people taking boats out early for the weekend. Boat Dog even made an effort to retrieve some litter from the harbor.

After we returned and finished tackling the last of the week’s work (we thought), we enjoyed a bit of impromptu dock festivities with our boat neighbors, a crockpot of homemade soup on a neighboring sailboat, and a few fish stories for good measure.

(Boat Dog also assisted with laundry.)

(Our local osprey alights on the third mast from the right.)

Today dawned cool and bright and lovely, and I started Empire of the Summer Moon, S.C. Gwynne’s 2010 account of the Comanche Wars and Quanah Parker. Our desert guide in Big Bend recommended it when we were out there in Traveler in July, and I picked it up in Terlingua. As I’ve gushed a few times here: travel, especially a good road trip, really puts one in touch with stories and history. As Gwynne lays out the West and Texas of the 1830s through the 1870s, I’m back in the Pryde and headed to the Alamo for the commemoration of the fort’s fall (last March); I’m in Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountains in the Pryde this past spring (it seems Quanah was born near the Wichies); I’m in Ft. Worth and Dodge City and chasing the ghosts of the old cattle drives....

Seeing these places, driving across West Texas and up through the Great Plains all the way to the Midwest, has made the country’s heritage, brought forth in books like Empire, so much more real.

Now, we are anchoring to spend the night tucked into a cove near Houston Yacht Club. We cooked up a supper of pasta and garlic bread, I handled some work stuff (because I found more to do!), and we ferried Boat Dog to shore to do his business. (That’s one thing about boat dogs: there’s some inconvenience involved in having to take them to shore often. But they’re worth it.) The wind generators are sighing and pumping three or four amps into the batteries, running what we need for the night. So now we can all tuck into our books (Boat Dog just tucks himself into a pillow) and enjoy the bliss of idle time, a glowing orange moon overhead.

(Getting underway means I have to stow everything and get the cabin shipshape.)

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