We had a nice motorsail up the ICW from Freeport to Harborwalk marina near Galveston. What a great way to begin the end of our journey. This is a beautiful place. Great restaurant, great pool and we're berthed very close to both. On top of that, the slip prices here are less than what we paid last night at Freeport with very few amenities.
We arrived about 2:00 in the afternoon and after checking in, had a swim and a few drinks at the pool. Then an excellent dinner in the restaurant, followed by cigars in the cockpit and a little hot tub time.
Tomorrow it's off to Offats Bayou to anchor out. Our A/C has been acting up, so we may actually be more comfortable there than we've been in the marina with our A/C trying to keep up with the heat.
All in all, a spectacular trip with weather that couldn't have been better, Maybe I've finally lost my reputation for bringing terrible weather to every trip I'm a part of...
We decided last night to leave early and book it down to Freeport. Normally that would be a two day trip with a stop at Matagorda, but with the restaurant closed tonight and more strong south winds predicted (which makes it hard to get off the dock), we decided to go on to Freeport.
The winds allowed us to motorsail up the ICW, making great time. I saw 8.3 knots over ground. By 5:00 pm (at night) we were settled in our slips at the Surfside Marina. Another Great! day...
Another day with no destination...
We arrived at Costa Grande ahead of the group because we wanted a day to just putt around. We both launched the dinks after witnessing the Lakewood Yacht club exit the marina. Stories about power boats and their deportment will have to wait for another day - lot's of material this morning however...
About 9:30 we set off in the dinks for some exploration. Our main goal was to get up and close with a dolphin. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. We saw a few, but none as close as we'd hoped. As we puttered around the marina, we drove by a number of bird islands they've built as a part of the development. A number of them had birds nesting, but we saw one that didn't and a plan was hatched for lunch.
We came back to the boats and prepared sandwiches, beer and chips for a picnic, then off in the dink to the island soon to be claimed and named "Boudreaux Island". He had a ball there running free. Not so much the swimming, but we tested out his life jacket, and it worked fine. Wish we had pictures, but it was a wet ride out there and we didn't want to risk camera damage.
Sam declared it "Boudreaux Island" and 'engraved' such in the sand. I'm sure it will be there for eternity. Considering nothing here is charted, we wondered how we might make it official.
After that, we came back to the boat and welcomed in the rest of the tmca group from Rockport. There are about 8 boats here tonight.
Docktales at 5:30 and dinner shortly afterwards. Then perhaps another go at the saltwater pool at night...
Last night we lost power for a few hours. I wish I'd had the foresight to take a few minutes to look at the stars. When the lights are out, we're in deep darkness. But I didn't - I was focused on cooling off the boat a bit.
So, tomorrow, we're either off with the group to Matagorda, or staying another day just the 2 boats - we haven't decided as of now. Important decisions such as this get made late in the evening...
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.