Fourth of July on the water is an event we really look forward to each year. Not only do we get an extra day off work to spend aboard Kaleo but we love to anchor out in Galveston Bay to watch the fireworks. Last year we had a great fourth with family aboard and it was repeated this year with our good friends Maurice and Janay joining us for the weekend. Maurice had been aboard before but this was Janay’s first stay, though by the end of the trip she was a regular salt.
The rainstorm on the way down led to a beautiful rainbow for our marina arrival
The road trip down on Friday included our traditional midway pitstop into Buc-ee’s and we arrived at the marina after some crazy weather. Most of Houston was flooded due to Hurricane Alex weather coming up from the Gulf having us wade through water 2′ deep in our SUV to bypass some traffic. That evening we stayed dry at T-Bone Tom’s for dinner and then headed to bed pretty early.
The next morning we woke up to a beautiful day, cooked a healthy breakfast and prepared for a day on the water. There was a little cloud cover coming in from the South but it wasn’t anything foreboding. That soon changed as a squall set in between us and the channel to the marina. After a quick talk with the crew we decided to motor to the marina as no one was having a blast getting wet. NOAA weather predicted rains the rest of the day so we headed in for a few rounds of train (dominos), a boat project and to cook dinner.
The 4th of July dawned a bit too hot and sunny so we headed to the movies for a perfect retreat from the hottest part of the day. As soon as we returned to the boat, we made ready for sea and headed out in search of a suitable location to drop anchor for the show. We had a pit stop at another marina to put the name “Kaleo” on the back of the boat because the Coast Guard was hanging out at the Kemah channel entrance and we didn’t want any trouble from them. Since we are a USCG registered boat we are required to have the vessel name visible on the transom. However, we were between buffing out the old name and applying the new. The blue painters tape method looked a little shabby but it served its purpose for the day.
Working on the temporary Kaleo name graphic
Heading into the bay we quickly found a spot amidst the multitude of boats and watched the fireworks barge pull into place. Setting the anchor went very well and so did cooking dinner aboard. Moments after darkness fell, the sky lit up from all directions as the surrounding towns proceeded with their fireworks shows. And then BOOM!, the first of the Galveston Bay fireworks shot off and vibrated the hull of Kaleo. We were about 500 yards from the barge and had some of the best seats in the bay. A lengthy and colorful show ensused. Last year we spent over two hours in a traffic jam of boats to get back in so this year we decied to sail around for a bit to let the boat jam clear up a bit.
Well, sailing around a bit turned into an incredible night sail, returning us to the slip after 1 a.m. We had one of the best sails yet, hitting speeds of 6.7 knots. Kaleo slid through the black water like a knife with Maurice piloting her to perfection. He and I enjoyed some music in the cockpit, occasionally highlighted by laughter from the girls who were laying on the foredeck. This was all highlighted by the fireworks barge occasionally firing off undetonated rockets while it steamed back to its berth. This lit the whole sky and reflected a rainbow of colors across the sails. That was sailing!