"Yes. We'll anchor up in East Bay and I'll get the grill going for those steaks to go with that lovely wine."
"Anchor in the bay? I didn't see an anchor. Do you have one somewhere that will touch bottom?"
"You're funny, Ed. Except for the shipping lane, the
water is shallow, but we'll tie onto one of the anchor buoys that's unoccupied. I reserved one. We can't just drift."
"How do you reserve an anchor buoy? Who owns them?"
"In this case, it's the Port of Houston Authority, and I and other registered boat owners pay annual fees for anchor privileges. But while they have placed quite a few buoys, the practical number of such anchorages is limited, so a reservation usually is necessary. A POHA boat will check us out during the evening to make sure that I'm not a gypsy trying to freeload."
"They'll come aboard?"
"No. Just check my boat number. I assure you we will be alone all evening."
"Once a buoy has a boat tied up then no other boat can tie to the same buoy?"
"It's usually not done. Tidal drift could cause two boats to rub together and that's not good. If two boats tie up to the same anchor it's usually by design, the boats knowing one another, maybe partying together."
Partying together with Angela created a delicious image in Ed's mind.
They relaxed on lounges on the moonlit after deck, finishing the last of the wine when Angela announced that it was about time to turn in. Ed started to object that it was still early, he being a habitual late-nighter, but immediately realized that while Angela was speaking of going to bed, she was not announcing that it was time to go to sleep. He couldn't believe his good fortune, but to cover the awkwardness he was feeling, tried to joke about it.
"You should have warned me it was to be a slumber party. I would've brought my pajamas."
"PJ's not required. I never sleep in anything but an ankle bracelet."