A dose of salt.

I’ve just returned from a week of sailing down the Texas Gulf coast from Galveston to Port Aransas and back.   Monte and I joined Mike to crew for Lori on a shakedown cruise on Trident as she prepares for her cruising life later this year.  The week flew by, with the drive to the coast, 2 days of boat projects in Kemah, then anchoring overnight off Galveston Island’s Moody Gardens before sailing in the Gulf of Mexico for 450-ish nautical miles roundtrip, including an overnight watch while sailing each way, and a two night stay at Port Aransas Municipal Marina, and back again.  It was a fun trip – lots of laughs, sun and wind.  The weather was very different from February when we sailed across the Gulf – much calmer seas and weather this time, and MUCH hotter.

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S/V Trident – our ride
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Our route from Kemah to Galveston to Port Aransas and back
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Miles and miles of oil rigs
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Shrimpers & fishermen everwhere
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The Colonel paddleboat off Galveston Island
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Sunrise from the marina in Port Aransas
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Sunset out in the Gulf, tankers and fishing boats in the distance

The hunter.

I have some photos from our weekend in Port A that I may sort out and post.  Here’s a shot from one of the pre-dawn firmament beach photo sessions.  The constellation Orion.

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and a cheat sheet:

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Patience wins out.

I packed the tripod for our trip to the coast.  We went to the beach both mornings, while we were in Port Aransas, to once again try to capture a shot of Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus together.

Yesterday clouded up just before Mercury rose.  This morning the clouds threatened again, but danced between the planets.   I took this shot looking above the south jetty on the Port Aransas end of Mustang Island.  The lowest in this shot is Mercury, just above the seeping pink glow of dawn.  Above it is the pair of reddish, smaller Mars just below and to the left of larger Jupiter.  And then above them, and the brightest, Venus.  The other stars above and to the left of the ecliptic are stars in the constellation Leo.

The red and green lights on the horizon are some of the channel markers that guide the ships through the channel between the jetties.

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Gulf or bust.

I’m taking a vacation day today so that we can make a long weekend of it and take a road trip.   We headed south to the coast.

We stopped in Lockhart for lunch, skipping the amazing barbeque on this trip and ate at a lovely cafe on the town square called T&C Cafe – delicious sandwiches – right across the street from the Caldwell County courthouse:

IMG_9268Down past Refugio we spied miles and miles of windmills.IMG_9275

We took the ferry from Aransas Pass to Port A and have been enjoying the waterfront ever since.IMG_9283

It’s kind of rare to find a place to watch the sun set over the water … in Texas.  But our vantage spot from Port A looking west over the ship canal towards Corpus Christi afforded that kind of view.

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Surfdancing.

I love this pic.

When I got my Mac, I realized that it could only open the windows filesystem on my old USB backup drive in read-only mode.  Not great for doing backups.  I’ll need to reformat it to use it.  But I’ve been procrastinating, because i’m going to have to sort through what’s on there to see what to keep and what to get rid of.  So this week I took the first step – I copied most of what was on the backup drive to my mac to prepare to reformat the USB drive.

Consequently, the next time I opened Picasa, it found ALL the photos that I had just copied and loaded them into its library, which took a while.  But, once it finished, it makes for very easy viewing of many years of pictures.  So, I’ve been spending a lot of time this morning browsing through photos I’ve taken that I haven’t looked at for years.

When I got to this one I thought I’d share it with you.   This is a photo that I took when my sister, Colleen, and her son, Jacob, were visiting about 4 years ago.  We drove down to Port Aransas for the weekend, and stayed a place right on the Gulf-side of the beach.   This is a picture of Colleen and Jacob jumping together in the surf.   I used some piece of software, can’t remember what, to create a water-color effect — oh, and I edited out the oil rig on the horizon :(.  I later printed this and framed it for her.

I guess it’s kind of appropriate, too, because this is Mother’s Day weekend, and she’s a great mom.

I have to smile every time I look at this pic.