Good morning everyone. Sailing aboard Elissa here in Texas has been fantastic. The crew of volunteers have once again made this a great experience and their dedication is beyond believable. After completing a series of daysails and an overnight trip offshore we are currently in Houston at the brand new Bayport Cruise Terminal. We brought the ship up the Houston Channel yesterday afternoon, probably the first square rigger in many, many years to sail (well…motor sail) carrying upper and lower topsails, a few staysails and our inner jib. They made a difference giving us another knot and a half of speed along with a helpful push from the incoming tide. The folks here at the Houston Yacht Club have been the best of hosts for Elissa.
Our night offshore was lit by the waning full moon. I took the 12-4 watch and had a crackerjack crew able to tack and ware the ship in the 20 knot breeze. The sloppy 4′ seas created by the shallow Gulf did not make things any easier so we found ourselves motoring dead slow ahead through tacks with our conservative “after dark” rig. Shrimp boats running offshore at night are well lit but do not seem to stand by on any normal VHF channels. Oil platforms are mostly lit… though we saw a few exceptions and some that were not charted accurately. All in all it makes for an exciting night and keeps one on their toes. We will be here for a few days before heading home. I sure do miss Jen and the kids. I know the crew at home are working hard to get as much of the shop work done as possible before we start down on the boat Monday morning. The docks are in and we are ready. I saw a loon swimming and diving near the ship today. Unless he is crazy he should be heading north soon…. real soon. Just like me!