03/06/2012, Intercoastal City
We left Lake Arthur at approximately 8:15 and were back in the ICW by 10:15. We reached the Leyland/Bowman lock at about 3:15 and had a long wait due to barge traffic. We ran aground while trying to find somewhere out of the way of traffic and had an interesting time getting off. Fortunately we made it before it was our turn to transit the locks. We arrived at the Shell Morgan Landing in Intercoastal City at approximately 3:45. This is another little gem in the rough. Diesel/power/water are available and service is great - all for 20$.
03/05/2012, Lake Arthur
Left Bow Tie Marina at about 8:00 and enjoyed our trip down the Calcasieu as much as we did the first time. The Calcasieu lock (VHF 14) was open and there was no wait for traffic. The tide was coming out and it was a little bumpy going through the lock but Martin handled it like a pro. Right after the lock we transited the Black Bayou Pontoon Bridge (VHF 13). We had no wait at this bridge either - it was down for repair. Our plan was to go up the Mermentau River, stay at the City Marina in Lake Arthur, and have dinner at the new restaurant there called Regatta. I would highly suggest that if you have the time, you take the trip up this river. It is absolutely breathtaking and we had depths that ranged from 19 ft to 39 ft all the way. We arrived in Lake Arthur and couldn't find the city marina - they haven't built it yet and the Regatta is closed on Monday - hmm. We tied up at the end of the Regatta docks and walked to the police department. We let them know who we were and what we were doing and they said just go ahead and stay where we are. Extremely quaint and friendly town. There is a lovely city part adjacent to the Restaurant where the future City Marina will be started sometime in May??.
03/04/2012, Bow Tie Marina
Left Port Arthur at approximately 7:30 and ensured we had booked passage through the Ellender Lift Bridge (800-752-6706 or 337-437-9100) for 2:00 (they require 4 hours notice). We had an easy passage with beautiful scenery and wildlife. We checked out a couple of anchorages around Shell Island just past Sabine Lake that were listed in Active Captain (https://activecaptain.com/index.php) for future reference and found that they would have been excellent places to stay. We took a side trip up the Calcasieu River to Bow Tie Marina (25$ includes power and water) and arrived about 4:00. This is a great little marina located just south of Lake Charles on a very private bayou. We took a cab to a little Mexican restaurant called Casa Ole and had a good meal. The cab ride is very pricey for the length of the trip but the meal was good. We filled up with diesel, water and ice and emptied the holding tanks all without leaving the dock. This marina is truly a little gem.
Left Stingaree at approximately 12:30 - see above for reason and arrived in Port Arthur at about 7:30. Our original intention was to tie up at Peggy's on the Bayou but it was after dark when we pulled into Port Arthur and we didn't want to go any further so we found a very conveniently placed jetty that is part of the University and tied up to the end. Because they have a no wake zone there was very little problems with the ships and barges that were passing. We had a great night's sleep.
03/02/2012, Kemah, Texas
Left Waterford at approximately 08:30 and tied up at Stingaree Marina/Restaurant at approximately 2:30. We had some trouble finding this one but the service and the meal were worth the trouble. Leaving in the morning was delayed due to being stuck in the mud - a combination of low tide and North wind at approx. 20 knots.
02/29/2012, Kemah - but not for long!
Scene:- Recently arrived 'alien' (human kind) in Houston talking with Texan about sailing......
Texan - 'Yunnow that you can put you boat on the Eyeseedublyah and go all the way from Mexico to Canada'?
Alien - Thinks ' Ah - the eyeseedublyah must be a train that you put your yacht on to move it around the country - wow! they have everything in the US - what a place'
So I searched the internet for the 'eyeseedublyah, yacht, train' - I got no hits! Then Bingo - the ICW = the Inter Coastal Waterway (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intracoastal_Waterway) - now I get it.
Well, if I thought I had trouble working out what the eyeseedublyah was - I was in for an even bigger surprise when I tried to talking with the barges on the radio - with statements like 'comeonbyand Iwillseeyouontheone' - translation = 'You are free to pass me on my port side' - Oh, by the way, don't even try to call them on the radio with a British/Australian accent - they don't understand you! Thanks God for my Kathy - she is multi-lingual and can speak barge and a form of English called American! (I will pay for that last comment!)
Anyway - 2 more days and we be making our epic first voyage on the eyeseedublyah, with a distance of 28 miles, to a seafood restaurant where will spend the night, before heading off on the next taxing leg of the journey!!