ASA 103-Basic Costal Cruising
24 March 2015 | Galveston Bay
Gene/Sunny winds S at 5-10
We woke this morning freezing. No, not from the cold weather found in iowa, but because someone has to run the AC on full blast whenever they stay at a hotel. That someone is me. We quickly got cleaned up, repacked and were on the way for our first of two sailing courses. First stop, the grocery store for provisions and than on to the school. Of course our instructor was running late like last time, but at least she told us the boat and we could load up. We completed paperwork and was soon on the way in "Gratitude" a 1985 35' O'Day. A big sister to our own boat.
Amy was first to take the helm. She maneuvered us out of Clear Lake, and on to Galveston Bay. The only problem, the north winds predicted by mister weather man shifted to the south, the direction we are going. I can now understand to a point the frustrations with weather "people" (don't want to be sexist) that other sailblogers on this site have described. We enter the Houston shipping channel, and immediately are surrounded by huge tankers, cargo ships, and large tug boats. All moving at speeds that seem impossible for such large vessels, but the wake they produce proves just how fast they can move. Frequently we find ourselves riding up and down waves 6 feet high. I was careful to watch Amy for any signs of sea sickness, not wanting her to have a bad experience. She handled it with ease. Several hours later we motored pass an old concrete WWII shipwreck. I have been told in the past that this wreck is a great spot to catch Redfish and Trout of the speckled variety. We continue to motor towards Galveston with the hopes of sailing with the next tack. Capt. Adel gives the word and we tack close to the shore of Galveston's north Shore and we watch our sails fill. We cut the engine, and finally have the quiet that makes sailing so enjoyable. As we are heading past the south jetties (found on the northern tip of Galveston, but the south side of the shipping channel) the wind picks up, we gain a little speed and start to heel. Not a great amount of heel; no more than what we would experience on our home lake, but heeling all the same. The problem though is we took so long to get here, and we had to head to our transient slip rented for the night in Galveston. On the way back were are greeted by several pods of dolphins who seem to follow us and watch us practice anchoring. With some amusement I imagine as we set our anchor in reverse and then retrieve it. We head to our slip, dock without issue, and head out to explore for a place to have dinner.
We spent a great day on the water, learning and laughing without any yelling. All anyone can ask for. Amy got her crab and jalapeño stuffed shrimp wrapped in bacon, I caved and had a crawfish po boy, and Adel joined us for dinner.
Hope the trip home involves more sailing and less motoring, but it beats being at work.