Entries by Bo Bryan


I saw signs in the flight of birds. “Auspices” the ancient seers had called the signs, who had made their observations to advise emperors in leading nations. If they were crazy, the majority of mankind had followed lunatics. In the Bible, I could find no instance of the prophets consulting pelicans to lead them, but […]

What Independent Means

I was supposed to be independently wealthy. How else could I pay cash for a sailboat and afford to be without a job? Did I feel rich, spending all of my time cruising on the Inland Waterway across Texas and Louisiana? Looking into the future, I could see myself independently going broke. The only source […]


We anchored in Sabine Pass, among giant oil rigs used for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. There were a hundred of them—I don’t know how many—mothballed, standing idle in the shallows along the channel leading to open water. Raised up high on cylindrical steel legs, their platforms supported what looked like shabby apartment buildings, […]

A Man’s Place

For several days, I debated whether to swallow my pride and motor back to Clear Lake. I could tell the broker I’d bought her from to sell her, send me the money, and all this indecision would end. I could walk away with a pregnant wife and find some place to live without the effort […]

Deepwater Anxiety

We motor-sailed on to Galveston, another easy run, no wind to speak of.  At the mouth of Port Bolivar, where the giant freight ships came into the Houston Ship Channel, there was anchorage in a deepwater pocket well out of traffic.  It was not well protected from any direction, but the weather was fair, predicted […]


No amount of precaution and planning would keep Betsy comfortable for long in open water.  She had no experience of time in a seaway  All she had seen in the movies, or frozen on film, retouched for magazines and postcards, all of it intimated romance and natural glory, the majesty of the sea.  Only beautiful […]

Belly Up

Betsy was all for heading to the Caribbean or Central America, to the Rio Dolce, the “sweet river”, in Guatemala.   That was where I imagined delivering the baby, anchored up  surrounded by jungle, where a medical helicopter probably couldn’t land, even if there was one to call.  But that was part of the attraction.  […]

Tuning the Rig

We had not had sex since living together in the mountains.  Back then, we had had a lot of it for fun, not trying to get pregnant.  The fun had played out, the romance ended another failed experiment in bliss.  Now we were married with no ambition to be in love, only to procreate. Betsy […]

Name Change

We were hungover leaving the yacht broker’s house.  I asked Betsy to drive and opened the car door, letting her in.  Closing the door, I walked around to the passenger side, climbed in, and asked her to marry me in so many words,  “Do you still want to do this whole thing?  Have children and […]