Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bayou life is pretty good.

Sunday Nov. 11th:
I woke up this morning with my boat nosed into the bank of the river. There are beautiful tree lined banks on both sides and the gentle flow of the river keep my stern lines tight. This is a beautiful place. I’d never really considered rivers a part of the cruising ground in TX, but this has changed my view towards the local cruising opportunities. On top of that, the TASS club had a showing of about 18 boats and probably 60 people. They deep fried turkeys and had an amazing Thanksgiving feast. There were guitars and campfires until late in the evening.

Now, as beautiful as the setting is this morning, getting here wasn’t so easy. The sail across the ship channel was idyllic. There was 15 knots out of the south that kept me moving at a steady 6.5 kts. All went really well until I started up the Double Bayou channel. The old Famet headsail furler caught the recently installed spinnaker halyard and wrapped itself up pretty tight. Not too major, but it took some time to get everything unwound and to free the halyard. Moving up the channel, the water went from 8 feet to 3 feet instantly. Yep, I was aground yet again. I spent a half an hour trying to work myself off without success. With the sun just dipping below the horizon I caved in and made a call to TowBoatUS. I love those guys. Amazingly, I floated free of the ground just a few minutes after I placed the call. I was using the prop wash off the rudder to turn the boat and suddenly she went in a full 360. I was floating and able to plow through a bit more mud back into the channel. Save the trip TowBoat. I thought all was well until I got boarded by the authorities about an hour later. Texas parks and wildlife hit almost every boat in the fleet. Since I was the last they certainly weren’t going to let me get by. They brought the patrol boat alongside and put a man aboard to check my vessel documentation. Luckily, I just got it all back about a month ago. No fines this time. I even got a tip, I don’t have to register my dink. If I’ll just put the same number on it as I have on the boat plus -1 it becomes a legal ships boat.

Ok, breakfast is cooking at the campfire. Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Nov. 14th: TASS is made up of an amazing group of people. Like all boaters they tend to watch out for one another, but this is more like a close knit family. This group has seen each other through both the good and bad in their lives and collectively raised each others children. I joined up and am happy to have done so. They take a lot of great trips. Let’s see what’s next.

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