• Sage Webb

Tropical Storm Beta, RV Maintenance, and the Joys of Other People’s Boats

With multiple alerts coming in on my phone, warning me of the potential storm surge and high waters of Tropical Storm Beta, the Bosun and I are wrapping up a multi-layered day of chores, work-work, and on-the-water fun.

First, the Bosun *needed* to update Traveler’s roof-vent cowling. The plastic protective cowls over Traveler’s roof vents (they help keep out rain—like the rain we expect from Tropical Storm Beta) have weighed heavy on the Bosun’s mind all week. So we started there. He shinnied up onto the RV’s roof, and I opened my laptop in her cabin, and we both checked pressing to-do’s off our lists.

Then we spent the afternoon on some friends’ new sporty trawler, taking in the splendor that is Galveston Bay in September ... and enjoying the loveliness of a boat ride on someone else’s boat. For as much as the Facebook groups ring with cries of “I want to buy a boat and live the dream,” the truth is that boats provide far more relaxation and enjoyment when one gets to disembark after the journey. Somehow, the frolic carries just a little less levity when one must wash down the vessel afterward, pay for the fuel, worry about the condition of _______ (so many pieces of equipment/lines/ropes/sails/doohickeys that can fill that blank), and take out the trash ... and worry about the vessel weathering a hurricane. Boat-insurance premiums on the Gulf Coast are high for a reason.

Now, with the day drawing to a close, I’m torn between working more, reviewing final proofs for my legal thrill The Venturi Effect that’s coming out in November, curling up to read for fun, or trying to get the Bosun to go for a walk. Because in the end, after all the chores and worries, not much beats a warm evening walk around a marina on a lazy Saturday night, with the colored lights and live music and drifting chatter of people who think boats might actually be fun.

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