Congregation on Galveston Bay

On the Fourth of July, a couple from my church, Martha and Bob,  invited me, along with another couple, James and Bill, to sail on Galveston Bay.  James and Bill have been partners for many years, and they’ve sailed with Martha and Bob on the Fourth of July several times before.  Bills loves it.  Every year James valiantly finds better ways to fend off seasickness.  It was my first time sailing with Martha and and Bob.  Their sailboat is named Allegre (French for “lively, having joie de vivre.”)   She’s a 35-foot, seaworthy boat with one main mast and graceful lines.

It was a beautiful day to be on the Bay.  A brisk wind blew under blue skies and cumulus clouds.  With only the forward jib sail unfurled, the boat raced the wind, diving and lifting over the waves.  James did fine.  I was marginal but determined not to get completely seasick (or think too much about it, either.)  Finally Bob steered the sailboat back to Kemah to get a good position for the Kemah fireworks.   My photos show various boats arranging themselves at anchor – making sure they wouldn’t inadvertently drift into another craft as night started to fall.  From the galley belowdecks, Martha miraculously produced a delicious light dinner of cold grilled salmon and salads.   Perfect for the dicey stomach.  My seasickness went away.

Fireworks from eight or nine small cities on the edges of Galveston Bay shimmered and sparkled on the horizon.  Then the Kemah fireworks barge started sending them up and transfixed everybody.  It was a spectacle of ascending rockets and red exploding sparks turning blue;  explosions of yellow points of light that each trailed down like the petals of a chrysanthemum;  twisting rings of red or green sparks.  Dazzling explosions layered on each other.   Bright white flashes with booms that rolled across the water to thump your chest.  The response from all of us on Allegre was “Wow” again and again.  Clear firm wows, like  liturgical response – after all everybody aboard was Episcopalian!

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