Harvest Moon Regatta

Living ashore has by no means left us landlocked.

Since our return to Texas, we’ve been welcomed aboard an armada of sailboats. For us, this has really helped bridge the distance between cruising and landlife. Through former marina neighbors, cruising connections and newfound friends from this blog, it seems there’s always a sailboat shoving off from a dock somewhere nearby.

So, last week, we headed to the coast with plans for Matt to crew in the Harvest Moon Regatta, a 150-mile offshore race from Galveston to Port Aransas, Texas.

The Curmudgeon II crew, Post-race

It turned into a mini-sailing reunion as Steve, from Anchor Management, joined him on the boat, Curmudgeon II, out of the Houston Yacht Club. The boat’s owner, Terry, welcomed the seasoned sailors and the guys jumped at the chance to spend a few days and nights afloat. Throw in a little competition, near perfect sailing weather, a glowing red Harvest Moon and, well, it just couldn’t get any better (unless, of course, they would have taken 1st place).

A sea full of spinnakers

After a solid start, the fleet hoisted spinnakers and the crew on Curmudgeon wasn’t about to be left behind. Once launched, the “kites” ballooned full of air and the boats were off! Little did they know, they would be flying the spinnaker for the next 31 hours. In fact, the spinnaker didn’t get dropped until after gliding across the finish line.

As Matt said, this year’s Harvest Moon Regatta had all the makings of a great race:

  • Highs and lows (both wind and emotions)
  • Moments of intense sailing and hours of just slogging away at the miles
  • Debates about anchors, weather, and the best islands to visit
  • Stories shared about storms, fishing and past races (each most likely exaggerated)
  • And, most importantly, the camaraderie and teamwork that so quickly develop when miles from shore

My role in the race? While I would have loved to have been aboard, plans with family and the need for ground crew took priority.  So, I made the five hour drive from Houston down to Port Aransas (it’s a pretty big state) to pick up the worn out crew. After a bit of visiting, we pointed the 4-wheeled vessel’s bow north and crossed back into Houston around 4 o’clock the next morning.

Sunset on the last night of the regatta

Despite a middle-of-the pack finish, Matt relished the opportunity to watch the orange moon rise on a rolling ocean, feel the wind tousle his shaggy hair, and fall asleep to the creaking of the rigging when not on shift. All-in-all, a great way to spend a few days afloat.


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Category: Boat Life, Racing
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