Monday, February 10, 2014

Weekend Get Away

We live in Texas by deliberate choice. My husband and I have left and returned three times. I love Texas. I usually love our winter climate, this year, we all know, is just too wintry. The Houston area has is its good qualities and my favorite is it's proximity to the beach.

This grey weather has me thinking I must have a touch of sad, S.A.D.  Seasonal affective disorder: The winter blues.

From Wikipedia: "Symptoms of SAD may consist of difficulty waking up in the morning, nausea, tendency to oversleep and over eat, especially a craving for carbohydrates, which leads to weight gain. Other symptoms include a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating on or completing tasks, withdrawal from friends, family, and social activities,...All of this leads to depression, pessimistic feelings of hopelessness, and lack of pleasure which characterize a person suffering from this disorder. "

Not all of these actually apply to me, just the oversleeping and overeating and no energy. It makes me crave visits with friends and to have something to do to make me want to get out of the house! These drizzly gray cold days leave me just wanting to snuggle with a blanket, eat, eat and sleep. Is this hibernating?  February is 25% over, thankfully!

This weekend, Molly was invited to a friend's sweet 16 in Galveston, so we decided on a road trip for a change of mood and scenery.

We picked up Max from school, checked into the Courtyard, thankful for points, and spent some time at the beach.

A choppy day, lots of fun sea foam to play with.

After dropping Molly at her party, we stopped at La Kings on the Strand, then to the Galveston Seaport Museum and the restored ship Elissa.

From website:
"Unlike some tall ships of today Elissa is not a replica, but a survivor. She was built during the decline of the "Age of Sail" to fill a niche in maritime commerce. Over her 90-year commercial history she carried a variety of cargoes to ports around the world, for a succession of owners. Her working life as a freighter came to an end in Piraeus Harbor, Greece, where she was rescued from the scrap yard by a variety of ship preservationists who refused to let her die. The story of Elissa's discovery and restoration is nothing short of miraculous, and is beautifully retold in photographs and a video presentation at the Texas Seaport Museum.

Today Elissa is much more than an artifact from a bygone era. She is a fully-functional vessel that continues to sail annually during sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico. Thanks to Galveston Historical Foundation and its commitment to bring history to life, combined with the dedication of hundreds of volunteers who keep her seaworthy and train each year to sail her, Elissa and the art of 19th Century square-rigged sailing are alive and well.

Elissa's wake is over 130 years and counting... Come experience her magic at Texas Seaport Museum, Pier 21, Galveston, Texas."

A beautiful ship with all kinds of sailing facts thrown in to the history lessons.
"To have someone over a barrel"
Before modern resuscitation techniques were developed, lifeguards would place rescued drowning victim over a barrel, rolling  it back and forth while trying to revive him. The victim, over a barrel, life was completely in the lifeguard's hands.

The stairs down to the captains' quarters are twisty and hard to maneuver to prevent mutiny. The captain could be waiting down below with a gun...

The girls sitting fancy in the captain's saloon.

"When one ship sails to windward of another, the first ships blocks the wind from the sails of the second, causing it to slow down and lose ground. Disagreement with or disapproval of someone's idea can definitely 'take the wind out of his sails.'"

Sailors before the mast
"Men of all nations served in the foc'scle of sailing ships. Some were there by choice for a voyage or two, but most were sailing as men who would have no other life and no other home."

Notice the top marker is the 1900 storm  that changed Galveston forever. The next maker down is from Hurricane Ike in 2008.
Back to the beach for more fun.

We went for a late night beach walk and Euly spotted a strange blue light lighting up on and off in the waves. I saw it and thought it had to be a reflection from lights somewhere, but it was a dark night and no neon lights around to provide a reflection. Watching longer it was coming from under the waves. So we did a little research and found out it was bioluminescence:
"It is generated by an enzyme-catalyzed chemoluminescence reaction, wherein the pigment luciferin is oxidised by the enzyme luciferase.
Ninety percent of deep-sea marine life is estimated to produce bioluminescence in one form or another.
Most marine light-emission belongs in the blue and green light spectrum, the wavelengths that can transmit through the seawater most easily."

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a very lovely get-a-away! We are not really having much of a winter in my Snow-Country. Nothing to get away from yet.....though I hope to see the ocean in the next couple of months.....