Today was simply a spectacular day!
As we prepared to leave, the wind was blowing 15 to 20 , pinning Longhawk against a slip, and giving us more than enough trouble is we didn't get away cleanly.
We were sitting in a slip with the wind blowing us off our pier. Longhawk however was pinned to the pier being on the upwind side. As they prepared to leave, there were 4 to 6 TMCA members pushing them off the pier. That and their bowthruster allowed them exit with no damage.
We also made it out without hitting anything, although I'd not want to wager on how narrowly we missed hitting a piling...
From there we motored up to the ICW and once in the ditch, raised sails, turned off the engine and sailed up to Port O'Conner. It was simply an amazing day.I never thought I'd be sailing up the ditch, but it worked out perfectly, and there just can't be a better way to experience the ICW.
We got up and had a leisurely departure. The winds had slackened a bit making motoring off of the slip an easy time. Docking at the fuel dock was a bit of a challenge, but we managed fine and took on 25 gallons (about what we burned coming down).
Then we headed up the ICW in prefect conditions. I was motoring around in the Lydia Ann Channel waiting on Sam to get fuel, running the engine at 1000 RPM. Up the channel I was making 5 knots, when I turned around to kill some time waiting, I was going 1.8 knots. That current lasted all the way up to Rockport. We lazily sailied along with just the jib out.
By the time we got here, the wind was blowing 15 and we were to dock in the 2 slips closest to the jetty entrance. It was a challenging arrival, especially for Sam who wanted to back in. Seeing the troubles he was having, I decided to pull in nose first and all went well.
After a few beers and a shower, it wasn't long before we headed to the Rockport Yacht Club for drinks and burgers. Fine burgers at $5.00 ea.
Afterwards, a few drinks and cigars on Longhawk with their friends (and now ours) who'd met them in Port A from College Station.
Today was a great breakfast in town, followed by a short grocery run, and then some touristy shopping. Rockport is a really cool little town. I'd actually like to have seen more people around. It looked a bit dead, but it has a lot of potential.
Then a little beach time, and at 5:00, the Rockport Yacht Club Shrimp Boil. It's supposed to be quite a party. They do have a very nice facility, and if the burgers were a leading indicator, it should be great.
Nothing's definite till it happens, but the plan is to leave tomorrow, a day earlier than the group and get to Costa Granda a day ahead so that we have time to do some exploring...
Today was our first day with no place to be and no schedule. We decided to take the little trolley that circles island hitting the main 'attractions'. The brochure we had promised a 1.75 day pass per person. Sounded like a deal. When we got there, we found out that had been changed. Instead, it was a quarter for anywhere you wanted to go.
We just made the one hour loop to see what was on the loop. Disappointed to find out that the route had been shortened and we couldn't stop at the other marina on the island. We wanted to see it as that's where we'd likely keep our boat if we ever end up down here.
Sam and Pat had friends coming in for a visit, so we headed back to the boats to have lunch and wait on them. After they arrived, we took the trolley to the beach after determining that Boudreaux could ride along if crated. We all had an hour of beach time until the next trolley came by which I think was enough for everyone. The winds continue to be 25+ knots out of the south, so the surf was up and the sand was flying.
After getting back to the boats, quick showers (including Boudreaux), Docktales on Longhawk, and then out to dinner.
As we were arriving back at the dock, 2 boats came in from offshore. Watching them try to dock was frightening as we'll be doing likewise tomorrow. The first guy took 4 attempts to back in before swinging around and heading in bow first.
Tomorrow, off to Rockport.
We were away from the docks at Costa Grande by 7:00 am with no serious troubles. Can't say that it looked pretty, but no dock rash. The wind was blowing 20 knots already at 7:00 in the morning.
From there it's a long 9 hour motor to Port Aransas. No problems, but we were fighting a killer wind from the south the whole time. I shot some Flip video, but after watching it, it seems so tame compared to what we were experiencing. There were small craft advisories out, and we heard 2 conversations with the coast guard about overturned boats.
Once we finally got here, it's just beautiful. It's hard to believe these waters are in the same state as Galveston bay. We saw tons of birds and countless dolphins, including one in the marina after dinner.
Tomorrow is an off day and we all are looking forward to exploring the town and beach and just not having to be anywhere at any particular time.
We haven't really seen the town yet, as we ate a great little restaurant called Finns which was selected because it was the closest walk from the boat. No regrets, though...
Sleeping in tomorrow.No more getting up at 4:30 or 5:30 in the morning for at least a day or two.
I mentioned that it was a very nice waterfront complex...
As were were sitting up in the common veranda (or is it portico?) having cocktails, in comes a small jet helicopter. Out walks about 6 people who head down the the docks with a tape measure. They're measuring to see if their 65 foot motorboat will fit...
As they were leaving one of the guys came by and asked if those were our boats. He's the lawyer for the group that owns this (and 40 something other) waterfront developments. They have 700 lots here, ranging from 100k to half a million and he says that they've sold 600, although there's no building going on yet.
Today was a short, but early day. We stayed in Matagorda. We determined that the Colorado River Locks just west of Matagorda would be open just one hour beginning at 7:00 am. We wanted to be sure that we were in line to get through, so it was decided that we'd be away by 6:00.
Getting away was more difficult than one would like. We were laying against a dock with pilings that faced to the south. The wind was blowing about 20 out of the south.
Sam and Pat helped us off, but they were left to fend for themselves and even with a bow thruster they had troubles. By 6:00 we were both in the ICW lined up in front of a tow with 2 barges. He asked if he could go ahead, and we said sure. (Actually Sam said sure. my radio was giving my trouble, so I didn't hear any of the rest of the communications). As he was moving ahead and we were slipping being, one of his barges broke free. We had to back out of his way, spin on a dime and get through the pontoon bridge and the Colorado river locks.
After that excitement, we settled down for a 6 hour motor that was very nice other than dodging the shrimp boats in Matagorda bay. The number of boats out was unbelievable. They seems either to not care that we were headed down the North Channel of the ICW or actually want to get in our way. We were happy to be done with them and into some beautiful water for the rest of the trips into Port O'Conner.
We're staying this afternoon and night in a new housing development/Marina called Costa Grande. It's simply beautiful. I sure hope they start selling some lots and having some homes built. It seems really strange to be here with all of this beautiful common area and marina and no homes. Just hundreds of vacant lots.
Tomorrow, off to our furthest destination, Port Aransas....