13 July 2014 | Clear Lake, Texas
We have been back in Texas for several weeks and are getting land legs back. We are starting to stand steady on land yet we don't make fast turns lest things turn clumsy quickly. Honest, officer, we have had noting to drink. The work on Why Knot is almost done and the mast was stepped yesterday. We admit to being out of shape dealing with the heat of the area so that makes boat work a little difficult for this old crew. So, we will take our time off loading additional cruise gear. The difference between near port and long distance cruising is remarkable. The clothing aboard shrinks to a few seasonal items as does the number of towels and bedding gear. There is no need for a spare jar or two of mustard. We no longer require a case of gizmo batteries nor cruising charts and guides for the North Atlantic. We might just see parts of the cabin not visible for four years.
Meanwhile, the crews we met along the way are mostly heading north now. Ruffian, the Brits, have made it to Nova Scotia if not to Newfoundland and Labrador, We wonder if they are heading back to the homeland. Who knows? Others are heading to New England if the hurricanes don't head them off. My memories of those waters is clear and I know in the near future they will take on mythical characteristics in our memories as we start to sail the coastal waters of Texas. The rugged headlands of New England and the mist of the low country of the Carolinas are part of us now. Although we did come home from time to time during the past four years of our cruise, we sort of stayed in the cruise mentally. When we were home, we were working on the returns to the boat and the waters in which she was swimming. I have to admit that the cruise last year to Maine happened almost accidentally. We left Texas thinking that the destination was the Chesapeake but somehow the call to see New England happened, In many ways, we are feeling as though we are just returning to our home waters after a four year absence, sort of the way it may have felt for the whalers of old when they made home port. Now, the mission is to settle back into the local coastal waters that started the whole thing. It was, after all, the lure to go out the jetties of Port A and just keep going someday; to cast off the need to turn around at the rigs and head home that fueled the dream that fueled the effort. I think it is safe to say that the bucket list is shorter and that the items now checked off were in the aggregate a double wowzer.
So, now we have a different sort of cruising in our future. We will get back into the the usual gunk holes of the area but there will be a difference: We have three complete log books of memories of waters deeper and way colder than CC Bay and the lower Gulf but certainly no better. The whale count is much lower but they are here. There are no lobster boats but the shrimpers are no less exotic, if that is the word. If anything, the anchorages here are as remote as the Basin in Maine. Unlike before, when someone walks the dock past us and asks " have you ever gone anywhere on your boat?" we can smile a bit and say that we did a little distance cruising. We will miss rounding an unfamiliar headland to see around the corner.