Friday, August 28, 2009

Palacios, TX or Bust!

July 25th has arrived. The day Pilgrim is to be launched. We leave home with 2 vehicles loaded with sailing gear, sleeping bags, provisions, 2 dogs and 4 humans. We had to drive both cars to Palacios, TX; reload everything into the Grand Prix, leave the Trail Blazer at Serendipity Bay Resort and drive to Rockport where we unload everything and my oldest son, Jason drives the Grand Prix back home along with the 2 dogs (it was way too hot for them). Wow! At least my oldest took it all in stride. Yes, that is him crashed with sleeping bags stacked up next to him.

We arrive at Rockport, check into the hotel, leave the boys and dogs in the air-conditioned room while Dave and I go to House of Boats to start getting the boat ready to leave in the morning. Did I mention that it was about 98 degrees with a heat index of about 105? It was hot! We get there and again there was Pilgrim with her new blue anti-fouling paint, the mast stepped, and shining new gelcoat swinging in that monsterous heart stopped, not again. I went to go settle the bill, I could not take seeing her swing in mid air. By the time I paid the bill, she was in the water and tied up at the dock. Thank goodness!
We packed and stowed everything into Pilgrim, made sure she was ready for tomorrow morning and left to go back to the hotel so Jason could get on the road. Later that night we went to Chili's to celebrate Cameron's 12th Birthday, again. With our bellies full and exhausted from the heat we all went to bed to prepare for tomorrow.

Sunday, July 26th we left the dock at 9:30 am headed North East into Aransas Bay, the wind was good and once into the ICW, we raised the sails and clipped along at 6 knots on a beam reach, there were some slow spots when we passed by land but most of the time we averaged 6 knots according to our new Raymarine ST40 Bidata system. Along the way we passed huge barges with tugs, a channel dredger and about 5 pods of porpoises. When we were in Espiriu Santo Bay it was really rough, the waves were disorganized and made it a little uncomfortable. Around 4:00 pm we started seeing buildings for Port O'Connor, our half way point, but things were going too good and just like that Dave grounded us in 2 feet of mud, good thing we were able to push ourselves with the help of the mainsail and diesel engine. We headed to dock the boat, find a hotel and get some food we were all exhausted. The Tarpon Hotel is within walking distance of the docks and was a pleasant stay, I believe we were the only ones at the hotel and the managers were very kind. I think because we were all pink from wind and sun burn, they felt sorry for us, probably thought we were crazy.

Monday, July 27th we left Port O'Connor heading into Matagorda Bay with just the headsail and headed towards the channel to "dip our toes in the Gulf of Mexico" like it was swimming pool and we were checking the temperature. Cameron was so excited, he was finally going to be able to try out his saltwater fishing set-up that he got for his birthday. I had mixed feelings, half of me hoped he would catch something and the other half was going "what are we going to do if he does catch something?" We only went out to the last buoy made a u-turn and headed back in, the depth finder was showing 89-100 feet, we saw a few shrimp boats scattered and another sailboat in the distance. I wonder were they were going, Mexico, Caribbean or maybe Port Isabel.
We made good time heading towards Palacios until we made the turn North and the wind was right on our stern and I had to go mess with the spinnaker pole, which was not fun. Lets just say that I almost dumped it overboard I was so mad. The only thing that stopped was Dave saying, "those cost $800 to replace", okay I guess I will keep it, the POS!
We made it to Palacios and docked Pilgrim into her slip by 2:00 pm and the hardest part of the whole trip was unpacking the boat and hauling everything up the dock to load into the vehicle. I could feel my brain pressure cooking inside my skull. I just knew that we were in hell and it was called Texas.
Fair winds....


  1. I love to read about true feelings in an experience. So much better than "the sky was blue and the water was wet." Very entertaining!


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