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Old 08-19-2009
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Tale from the ICW

Let's share interesting trips - adventures? - traversing the Texas ICW. I'll start off with one-leg of a trip down the ICW from Seabrook to Port Isabel.

The second leg of our trip from Seabrook to Port Isabel was somewhat eventful, here is a brief look at the trip from Port Aransas to Port Mansfield - sort of a halfway point between Port Aransas and Port Isabel.
Tim, Barry and I all arrived from differrent directions at the boat Thursday evening, had a great seafood dinner in Port Aransas and bedded down for the night. Next morning, we motored over to the pump out station, then to the fuel dock and took on fuel, water and ice to top up the two coolers and ice box that already had dry ice in them. Easy exit from the marina with a freshing breeze from the southeast - no chance of making the trip offshore with a SE wind. We headed for the intercoastal and Corpus Christi bay - motor sailing making over six knots. [/font]
A couple of hours later we were preparing to go under the South Padre Island Bridge with wind on the beam and having to pass a three boat tow (a tug pushing three barges) - we had just hailed the tow captain for a two-whistle passing when a floatable cushion blew overboard and as Barry reached for it, so did he. While radioing the tug captain that we had a man overboard and furling the headsail, we turned hard alee to get downwind from Barry, who was now comfortably treading water aided by the floatable cushion. Turning alee at about 6 knots rather than making a u-turn in close quarters, caused us to run hard aground in about three-feet of water on the lee edge of the intercoastal - in the meantime, Barry swam over to the now stationary boat, we dropped the swim ladder and he climbed back aboard - wet but otherwise no worse for the experience. Fortunately there was a major fishing tournament going on and one of the little flat bottom boats with a Johnson 150 motored over and pulled us off of ground. In short order we were once again underway.
Six hours later, we made the entrance to Baffin Bay and anchored about 200 feet from shoaling southern shores with good light. Put out two big Danforths each with 12 foot of chain and 100 feet of rode in case the 15-20 knot winds shifted during the night. After vino and tall tales, checked position - riding on one anchor, second rode slack - GPS indicates we are nailed in place. Up at dawn Saturday, made coffee on the SeaSwing stove, weighed both anchors and got underway - drug both anchors alongside the boat for a mile or so to clean them off. Turned back into the intercoastal under motor - wind still on the nose. About an hour later the wind becomes a beat, we unfurl the headsail and pick up almost 2 knots - rest of trip to Port Mansfield uneventful - light rain about half way, wind picks up and we are beating into small, but pesky 4-6 seas - spray over the bow - drowned rats all.
Around four pm we gently bounce over the sand bar at the entrance to Port Mansfield and motor on down to El Jeffe's Cantina and Marina. Take on about 10 gallons of diesel, add 20 pounds of ice and pull into a slip with water and electricity - in no time the AC is cranking and we are taking dock showers in anticipation of an actual meal at El Jeffe's - only burgers, but good ones. We are tied up about 10 feet from the cantina's outdoor patio and to our dismay, a band shows up about 8pm and threatens to play until midnight. Band was LOUDER than good - nonetheless, the crew enjoyed the show with wine on the fantail.
Dawn breaks way too soon, we have coffee at El Jeffe's Cantina, unplug the dock electrical, toss off the lines and back out of the slip. After a short trip up the Port Mansfield channel, we again bounce over the sand bar and head for the ICW, the Laguna Madre and Port Isabel - little did we know what was in store on this next leg.
__________________
s/v Paloma, Bristol 29.9, #141
Slipped in Bahia Marina, easy access to Corpus Christi Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Last edited by johnshasteen; 08-19-2009 at 09:41 PM.
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