We kicked off 2014 at Watergate Marina in Kemah, Texas watching the fireworks.
We joined the crew of Antares for our first racing experience during the Galveston Bay Cruising Association Icicle Series Regatta.
Meanwhile I was installing what has been our favorite upgrade to Gimme Shelter, a new 12000 BTU Flagship Marine air-conditioner and heater.
As usual, we stopped by the spring Clear Lake boat show where we met this guy who dances with sharks. (FYI, all sharks in the show were sharks that had been rescued from research facilities and could not be returned to the wild. They were used in the traveling educational show until they could be placed in aquariums.)
After that, I headed across the pond for a few days for work. My first trip to London, England. I met a very interesting guy named Leon McCarron at the Globetrotter’s Club, and I managed to fit in a photo walk with some friends from the Leica Forum.
While I was off in London, Mary’s family came to visit, and they took Gimme Shelter for the first sail of the season.
But with a new season of sailing came the usual necessary boat repairs. We had to repair the drain system on the anchor locker and run new lazy-jack lines.
Then we met another set of adventurers who we’ve admired for quite some time, Pat and Ali Schulte, better known as the Bumfuzzles when they stopped by Waterford Harbor Marina on their way through Houston.
We didn’t do as much sailing as usual this spring and summer because in June it was off to Mary’s hometown of Hamilton, Illinois for our wedding. Despite the torrential rains and a collapsed tent at the reception, it was a great day.
Then from Illinois, it was off to Belize for our honeymoon where we spent three nights in the rainforest along the Hummingbird Highway.
Then we spent three nights on the beach in Hopkins.
Shortly after Belize we were back on the road to visit my parents in Independence, Kansas for the 4th of July. We found the thousands of lightning bugs more entertaining than fireworks.
Meanwhile, our friends Tina and Ray had purchased a beautiful 56′ Carver, so we got to spend the summer cruising on a big boat and witness first-hand the process of a family selling their house and moving aboard for the first time.
We started August with a sailing trip to Moody Gardens in Offats Bayou, Galveston.
Mary also made a trip to New Orleans, Louisiana with her girlfriends.
We then ended the summer with new bottom paint and a compound wax.
In September we met my family for a long weekend in South Padre Island where we learned about sea turtles at the Sea Turtle, Inc. rescue center.
Then in October it was off to the Texas Renaissance Festival where we spent most of the day drinking at the Barbarian Inn and most of the night singing with the pirates.
Of course, Halloween came and went. Somehow we missed all the parties this year, but we did take the time to carve a pumpkin.
In November we hosted an open mic jam and pot luck at the marina. While it was well-attended, we only had one musical participant, so it was more of a concert than an open mic. However, we still had a great time.
The mild weather in November also required more boating — much more boating. In fact, we made multiple trips to Galveston aboard the Tina Marie Too and our first trip into the open water of the Gulf of Mexico.
As Christmas approached, we found ourselves in Tallahassee, Florida visiting Mary’s sister. We made trips to Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park and to Bald Point State Park. We saw lots of wildlife, but not a single manatee.
And that brings us back to the present. Tomorrow we head back to Houston where it’s back to work before we ring in the new year.
Who knows where 2015 will take us.