Editor of the Iowa Soybean Review magazine

(Photo: Iowa Soybean Association / Joclyn Bushman)

Cruising into fall

October 1, 2023 | Bethany Baratta

I dug my heels — and then nestled each toe — into the white powdery sand of Half Moon Cay. The cerulean blue water — a color I had only seen in wax form in a box of Crayola crayons — waved for me to come take a closer look. Half Moon Cay, located in the Bahamas, was a port of call on a recent cruise my husband and I took to celebrate our wedding anniversary. The island is one of more than 700 in the Atlantic that make up the Bahamas.

As my feet made their imprints into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, the waves brought an abundance of seashells ashore. I couldn’t help to think of it as the crop of the ocean, though we did see some fish and coral as we journeyed below the surface of the water to snorkel.

Like harvest, this was a highly anticipated trip with several logistics to consider. Will the conditions be right for travel? (We luckily missed Hurricane Idalia.) Will our flights be on time? Will we still be able to connect with our 5-year-old back home?

Crowded beach

A million memories flood my mind while reflecting on this trip. We witnessed beautiful sunrises and sunsets (photos don’t do them justice). Our steward, Luki, made us a fun towel animal each day after cleaning our room. We completely relaxed in beach chairs, competed in trivia contests, ate too many slices of pizza and ice cream cones, and took in multiple shows while cruising from Galveston, Texas, to the Bahamas.

But it’s nice to be home as we cruise into fall and harvest. Cooler temps mean harvest is nearing; I’m changing from beachwear to ‘bean’wear.

I hope the visits to your ports of call (your fields) are just as pleasant this fall. I hope the corn and soybeans growing in your fields gently wave you in for harvest. As you dip your tires into the fields, I hope the waves are gentle. I hope your souvenirs — in the form of outstanding yields — are fruitful, like the shells I saw and collected on the beaches of the Bahamas.

Most of all, I wish you safe sailing.