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2belize&back 11-13-2012 09:33 PM

jetty hopping:south texas coast
 
barefoot sailing the texas waters offshore and along the icw,in the warm winter months was awsome,amongst the dolphins,herons,pink flamingoes and sea turtles. my first coastal run was @130 miles,from the port mansfield jetty(that has a beautilul anchorage just inside(whit a beach)to port isabel.heading out into the gulf,and the sail south was uneventful in light winds.things got interesting the next morning, waking up to a smooth rolling 6' swell,and the thick fog that rolled in with it.i could hear the surf,but not see it breaking on south padre island.once underway, useing the depth sounder to keep the boat in @30' of water and parallel to the beach,it was anxious moments waiting for the jetty to pop up out of the fog.it did,and the quick turn to port was made.now,the rocks as my guide,i went out,around the tip and into the channel,with boats errily fading in and out view.relaxation came, with the lifting of the fog. the second, @130 mile 3 day jaunt, was from the port aransas jetty to the matagorda ship channel.on the last day,the south winds had been steady all day. on my jetty approch,from a distance, the waters did not look too bad.the closer i got the bigger it got and in the mouth i was surfing down 8' to 10' almost breaking waves,working the tiller hard to keep the 22 footer straight.intense!i was amazed that no water came in the boat and it felt good to have even more confidence in what this little boat was capable of....2 b cont...

2belize&back 11-13-2012 09:38 PM

Re: jetty hopping:south texas coast
 
correction.the first run was @35 miles-not 130.

AKscooter 11-15-2012 07:17 AM

Re: jetty hopping:south texas coast
 
keep posting bro!

tapske 11-18-2012 08:14 PM

Re: jetty hopping:south texas coast
 
Nice area to sail 2BEL.

Just South of Port Mansfield is the Northern most point of South padre Island. Beautiful place (for Texas coast), and usually fairly secluded.

I just got Back from a 140 NM hop myself.

Planned on leaving Freeport Marina (Bound for Port Aransas) about 3 AM
Last Thursday Morining. Got everything ready, did a little pre-trip double check Wednesday night......and NO power to starter switch, turn the key... and nothing... Several hours later...(with a little frustration), I realized that when I checked my air filter I popped loose trhe ground wire from the cellinoid. Sooo.... Didn't get out till about 10:am Thursday morning.

And the cold Front from the previous days played HAVOC with the usual wind direction. In that area it is usually out of the Southeast (which would have been great). BUT....for the entire trip the wind was out of North east, putting me barely 5 degrees off of a dead run if I went the direction I needed to.

Since I was singlehanding this trip, I am not yet brave enough to attempt a solo spinnaker.... I beat myself up with a wing on wing for a little while, till the swells got past 3' and the 3rd almost accidentle Gybe. (ARRGH again)
It was becoming more like work than a quick little jaunt down the coast... So I took more of a broad reach for a few hours, and relaxed a little.... Then after a little recalculating, I realized this course of action was going to put me in Port "A" too late to catch my ride back home after I get Tied up at my new marina. Soooo.... With great reluctance...and cursing the fact that I still have to maintain a "schedule".... I rolled in the jib...dropped and made fast the main.... and started the diesel.
As I sulked a little, I thought well screw it... if I can't do everything....then I wont do anything.... so I flipped on the GPS and did a split screen with Naut. Chart, and RADAR ( I set the radar to look out 6 miles)... this gives me 2 mile radius circles and Way more time than I need to mke any correction. I then turned on the Auto-pilot, and Let her do everything. Through the rest of that day.. and the entire night, I only had to glance at the radar every 30 minutes or so to make sure no big "red" blips were in my path...
Not exactly Sailing.... but in my mind a some similance of experience.

I did learn 1 very important thing about then 100's of oil rigs out there. Firstly not all of them are on the newest chart, and more importantly several of them (I counted 5) have NO lights at all..pitch black. My RADAR was picking up BIG structures less than 1/2 mile away.... these were invisible to the naked eye at night.
This is a scary fact. If I didn't either have a radar or Know the exact GPS route I was tracking.... There is no way you could get me out there on an overcast night.
At any rate due to the wind direction and swells....my boat (Luna Sea) got to surf quite a bit on the way down. My usual 4.5 knot chug-chug speed was topping out in the 7's and averaging well past 6... So, I still made it TO Port Aransas by 3-ish on Friday afternoon.... soaked in the maraina hot tub... grabbed a quick bite.... slept like baby (having been up for about 40+ hours).
Freeport marina was nice, but for a day sail or a weekend sail, you had the choice of The Gulf or the Gulf. Port A island is a much happier place, much better beaches...not all industrial like Freeport, + in 30 minutes I can be in the
Gulf or I can play around in the Huge Corpus Christi Bay.

**** Still working on my "black water tank and tubing" refit..... then will finish up cleaning the bottom I started in Freeport.... And a few more little this and thats for about the next 6-8 months.... till i make the jump to Progresso and back might do Isla Muheres havent decided 100% yet).
If I end up single handing that trip I am going to invest in some sort of Collision avoidance system I can hook up to the radar....... I must admit barely missing those invisible oil rigs put some fear in me...and I have gone over 50 hours without sleep before but I can't make 4-5 days to Mexico without a little shut eye..... and those little 30 minute cat-naps dont do much for me...

Sorry for rambling too long..... Just got back home yesterday.... already ready to go back..... truth be told....was never ready to leave the boat.....
oh well.....Jobs are very inconvenient for my extracuricular timing.

---Fair winds...

---tapske...
NIF

tapske 11-18-2012 08:24 PM

Re: jetty hopping:south texas coast
 
2BEL,

Forgot to tell you, I had the same type of Jetty chop coming in to Port Aransas around 2 ish on Friday. It went from 3' swells everywhere else, but about 3/4 mile squared in front of the Jettys, it got HUGE. 8' ers and up.
It was tossing around my 32' Columbia, I can imagine in your 22' er u had quite the "grip" on something.
I definitely got wet for the first time during that trip.
And, when the biggest one hit me, I glanced over and saw my port side toe-rail just touch the water.
I was never really concerned (in that boat) it was very exhilorating !!

If I had been more rested at that point......hell.. I just might have turned around and done it again.....though probably with my PFD on this time :D

---tapske...

tapske 11-21-2012 08:51 PM

Re: jetty hopping:south texas coast
 
Just finished the 140 NM hop from Freeport to Port Aransas.

didn't eant to run up the spinnaker single handed (my 13 yr old son was there... but he has less than 2 days experience so far... so i call that single handed).

So with the wind almsot exactly on my stern (for the heading I needed) I fought a too broad reach for a about 7 hours, till it started to feel to like work. Then brought in the cloth, started the diesel, engaged the auto pilot.. and headed on. vid links here show the broad reach (which was putting me 45 degrees off my heading, and would have made me 14 hours late for my ride back) 2nd video ends with a nice little shot of auto-pilot doing her thing.... love it.


---tapske...
NIF

2belize&back 11-21-2012 10:37 PM

Re: jetty hopping:south texas coast
 
hey taps thanks 4 the footage texas kicks as... did not know if i cud put #2 "s" w/out gitin arested,...ain't it grand;more time on ur boat=more learning>experience=trust nif...except...maybe...universe wiill stop outing and start ining and a big crunch.but maybe,,,,,,,

AKscooter 11-22-2012 02:45 AM

Re: jetty hopping:south texas coast
 
What 2belize&back said........

WTH?

mdbee 11-22-2012 02:48 AM

Re: jetty hopping:south texas coast
 
2belize/Tapske

Just curious if either of you checked the tides before trying to enter the jetties? I believe the jetties at the Matagorda ship channel have the fastest currents in Texas.

2belize&back 11-22-2012 10:48 AM

Re: jetty hopping:south texas coast
 
mdbee-did not check tide,just came in.but at port arthur jetty i had to wait at anchor for hours before i was able to come in.it had rained alot to the north so that had an effect aswell. scoot- the "nif" is a tapske saying;"nothing is foreever"


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