ASA 103-Basic Costal Cruising: day 2
25 March 2015 | Galveston Bay
Boy, what a day! Amy and I were in desperate need of caffine. I could settle for a cup of coffee from the hotel attached to the marina, bit amy needed a "pop" as Midwesterners would say, but down in texas it's a "Coke". You want a Dew, ask for a coke. Want a Dr. Pepper, ask for a coke. People than ask, "what kind?" So we walked to the nearest gas station. To get amy a coke, an actual Coke. On the way we met speed walkers, who dance in the middle of an intersection, saw makers showing how high Hurricane Ike rose the water level (about 6ft), and found many interesting and old buildings. We returned to the boat and prepared to set off. On the way out we were escorted out by more dolphins. Captain Adel told us that we wouldn't see anymore when we return to the upper bay, "the dolphins only come up there when they are calving."
Unlike the previous day the wind was now at our back pushing us, a fact that would of been in our favor, if the winds were not 2 knots and just enough to fill the sails. The only fact that kept the diesel off was the current. I checked the tide times and was shown how to interpret them to find the current. With low tide in Galveston channel being earlier in the morning than that of Clear Lake, the water is moving that way. So we sailed on a Run (sailing with the wind at your back) wing on wing (the jib on one side and the main on the other. I will add a pic to explain) at 4 knots from current alone. We made it back to the Houston shipping channel and to the exit point (day marker 62) with little pressure from shipping traffic. The channel was closed for some reason. We found ourselves back near the entrance of Clear lake, when Capt Adel came up with her own form of torture, at least in Amy's opinion. We had to single handedly sail this 35 foot boat through all points of sail, that means tacking (moving the bow of the boat across the wind, and moving the boom and jib to the otherside) and jibing (moving the aft, or ass end of the boat across the wind and moving the jib and main to the otherside of the boat) with the winds now at 15 knts. This is a difficult task for two novice sailors, but single handedly? Amy looked at Adel and said, "are you serious?" She was, and we did. Amy elected me to go first, and I epically failed to the point Adel wanted me to watch her and than go again.
Now Amy's turn. She did great till she accidentally dropped the winch handle in the bay. She looked right at me, and I shrugged it off. Now this same thing happened to amy two years ago on Lake Red Rock, and I will admit that I may have flipped at that time. Since then, a good buddy of mine Steve Shaw gave me some advice, "never, ever yell at your wife on a boat, she will eventually hate it and you on it." My father-in-law would offer slightly different advice, "never, ever yell at my little girl." I don't very often, and am working to make it even less. Amy's eyes start to tear up until Adel and I encourage her to keep going and hand her a spare winch handle. I need to remember to get another one, just in case. Amy finishes the circle, and we go back to sailing. We decided to head in to finish the course requirements of docking. Adel explains that we will be docking in forwards and reverse. Now it was my turn to say, "are you serious?" She was and we did. Amy and I docked well forward, but Amy did much better in reverse than I. You could see the increased in her confidence in her smile alone.
We tied up our vessel and jumped in the car. We where headed to the boat resale shop for a replacement of the winch handle that was lost. We grabbed some dinner and figured we would stop at the Target down the street and buy some items that we could have used the night before (i.e. 2 pillows and a blanket, the school didn't mention that on the packing list).
Through my time dreaming of sailing away, I have read blogs of people who are currently living the dream. They talk about far away lands, blue waters, and the early hour of their sundowners (night cap drinks with other yacht friends). I always thought that these sundowners occurred so early because they wanted to get up early for the next adventure. That is not the case. They drink early, because they are dead tired. Amy and I's head hit the pillow and we were out. Hope tomorrow goes well and will up date the blog in the morning.