Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall Break 2010

We had a very successful weekend of sailing and a great break in the routine at work. We have both been working very hard, so it was great to have a long weekend.

We drove down to Corpus on Friday and found the boat in reasonably good shape. Evidently, the short in the shore power that caused us to be without power on the last trip also fried our battery charger. We replaced that and had both DC and AC power. A tropical storm came through shortly after our last trip and there was evidence of several leaks around the windows. Most of Saturday morning was spent cleaning up all of that.

The weather couldn't have been better. All weekend, we had high temperatures in the upper 80s and lows near 70. The biggest treat was that there were no mosquitoes so we could leave the hatches open and did not have to deal with the air conditioner at night.

Saturday was a beautiful day for sailing with good consistent winds and an easy chop on the bay. The Bay Yacht Club was holding races and we got some nice pictures of their boats running "wing on wing."

This is another boat that we saw on that day with one of the brightest jibs that we have seen.

The plan for Sunday was to spend the day working on the boat and then go out just before sunset to try sailing after dark. The wind was high all day so we were hopeful that it would decrease by sunset - no such luck. We went out with one reef in the main and still had too much sail. After 30 minutes of 30-35 degree heel and heavy chop, we were ready to go back in.

Winds were high again on Monday but we were determined to have a good day. We went out with a double reef in the main and 2/3's of the jib furled. That worked for about an hour and then we had to fully furl the jib. Another hour and we had had enough. We went back inside the breakwater where we had protection and spent a couple of hours cruising around the marina and practicing some close quarter maneuvering.

The day spent doing boat work on Sunday and some more hard work Monday afternoon yielded some nice results. We refinished all of the brightwork (wood) and polished the the stainless steel lifeline stanchions. It is always nice to leave the boat looking great and anticipating getting back to it in a few weeks.

Here is a photo album from the weekend:

Monday, September 6, 2010

Not what we expected

Another busy summer and not much sailing but we finally made it to Corpus this weekend. This trip was somewhat special because it has been a while since we have visited the boat and it was also my 60th birthday. We celebrated by having dinner at the Water Street Oyster Bar which is, so far, our favorite Corpus restaurant (there are many more to try). We like sitting at the bar, drinking the draft beer, and eating the tastiest appetizers on the menu.

The weekend's surprise was discovering that the power was out for our end of the R-pier. That meant that our on-board battery was dead and more importantly, we couldn't run our little hatch mounted air-conditioner at night. We suffered through the first night but bailed at midnight on the second night. It turns out that it is hard to find a hotel room in Corpus Christi on Saturday night of Labor Day weekend. We ended up in a Hampton Inn 10 miles north of town at 2:00 am. It was bliss.

The sailing was good Saturday and Sunday. There was one relatively large adventure on Saturday. It was hot and we decided to anchor and go for a swim. But, we underestimated the wind and chop on the bay. With the boat pitching on the chop, we abandoned the idea of a swim. Then the problem was pulling the boat up to the anchor (against the wind) and getting the anchor out of the mud. We stuggled for an hour and a half but finally managed it. We were pooped and called it a day.

It was not the weekend we anticipated, but we never have a bad visit to Corpus and are already looking forward to getting back in October.

Monday, May 31, 2010

back on the water

Its hard to believe that I haven't made a blog entry since March 2009. But a lot has happened since then including a major change in job responsibilities, 2 months teaching in Spain, our son's graduation, and last but not least, our daughter's wedding. So, I guess that pretty well accounts for the last year.

We actually made one trip to Corpus last August but I didn't blog on it and now I don't have a ghost of a memory of what the trip was like. Last weekend was the first trip since then and it wasn't much of a sailing weekend. The wind blew at 30 mph the whole time and the two hours that we were out - I was seasick. We spent the weekend working on the boat and cleaning up a year's worth of neglect.

This weekend was an entirely different story. We did our first short three day cruise. After driving halfway down on Friday night, we made it into Corpus by noon. Kathy made a quick trip to the grocery store and I got the boat ready. Then, we made an easy 20 mile run to Ingleside Cove. The coolest part of the trip over was having a couple of dolphins chasing along beside the boat. It was clear that they were just playing - like dogs chasing a car.

Note:Click on the pictures once for a larger image and again for the full-size image.

We anchored for the night at Ingleside Cove- our first night at anchor. I checked several times through the night to make sure that the anchor had not broken loose but it was entirely uneventful.

Sunday morning, we took off across Corpus Christi Bay to Mustang Island. The wind was high and we were unsure about where to anchor but it worked out fine. Here is the view across the bay. The distant bumps directly behind the boat are the tallest buildings of Corpus Christi, half hidden below the horizon. That is the 20 miles we will have to go home.

We had a fantastic sunset that evening.

The next morning, the wind was very light but we started for home anyway. Right off the bat we ran aground in a 'spoil' area which is a submerged pile of sand that had been excavated from a cross-bay channel. We struggled for about 10 minutes but were able to free ourselves with the help of the motor. The rest of the way into Corpus was uneventful but slow. It took 5 hrs to go 20 miles. But now we are back in the slip and preparing to head for Lubbock in the morning. It was a highly successful 55-60 mile weekend in a boat - our first cruise!

Its been a long time getting back to Corpus but we had a great time. We have some travel ahead of us for the next couple of months but we hope to be back in August and several times through the fall. Now, we are no longer tied to the marina.

Here is an album with all of the weekend pictures: album