Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Get Your Cruise On

Wand'rin Star at the e Pier party....The Longhorn Jamaican Pirate.

At least 15 + sailboats made the trip to E pier.

The Morning after.

A great evening Sail heading back to Corpus at Sundown.

Wand'rin Star in Port a for the Port A Light house cruise.

Pete at the helm headed back to Corpus down the ship channel after the Port A cruise.

This is I think a Green turtle, we saw lots of them on the South Jetty at Port A.

The Admiral almost to the end of the South Jetty.

I like the end of the Jetty best.

Someone left there engine and transom behind on the rocks of the South jetty.

The channel end of the South Jetty.

The Admiral got this Great shot of my favorite bird, the Least Bittern at the Port A Birding Center.

E Pier Party
Bay Yacht Club sponsored a E pier Dock Party in the interest of recruiting a few new members.

Whenever BYC goes on a cruise it is usually attended by an average of 8 -10 boats, mostly sail. But this cruise was a bit different, it was a membership recruiting party and all they had to do was cruise over to E dock ( this dock is reserved for 50'+ yachts). Since most of the docks that would be moored on this dock just happen to choose the Kemah/Galveston Bay area (think Houston $$) e dock is mostly empty. So when BYC wanted to take a lot of their boats over to a dock to hold a membership party the Marina agreed to let them have E dock for 1 night to do their thing on. Well, this happened to be one of the most well attended event of the last 5 years since no one had to cruise more than a couple 100 yards to get to E dock. It was an overwhelming success in terms of participation and partying. We got there 1st! So we had the choice of slips and of course I choose the primo slip so we were in the middle of the fun all day and night. I had a great time helping everyone else getting tied up. Since the winds were blowing hard it is always a challenge to get there even if it is just a couple of hundred yards away.

Evening Cruise

Later in the week the winds abated a bit and I invited a few dock mates for an evening cruise. This is what Spring on Corpus Christi Bay is all about, a nice 15 knot wind and a cool breeze.

Memorial Day Port A Cruise

We had reservations in Port A for a slip for the BYC/Lighthouse cruise. Unfortunately the Admiral had to go up and take care of her parents for a few days. I recruited Pete, a neighbor on the dock to help me get the boat to Port A to participate in the cruise. Pete is a new comer to sailing but he is learning fast. I took on a teacher role and made sure he had as complete a learning experience as possible navigating to and from Port A. Jim Clower and his Harvest Moon Regatta crew showed up in Port A so Pete & I forfeited the Lighthouse event to stay and party with the Crew of Apotheker. A great weekend but the Admiral was sorely missed as this was to be the new beginning of our Texas Cruising life. On Sunday when we left Port A I took a right out of the Port A Marina to head out into the Gulf of Mexico to give Pete a good look at the Gulf. Since it was blowin 20-30 the seas were building to 8-10 at the end of the jetties. I had the foresail ready to deploy if needed, when going out in these conditions you need every alternative ready to go. We motored out about 1/10 mile past the jetties to just get a good taste of the gulf salt. Since I have never had Wand'rin Star out in these conditions I was very interested in seeing how she handled. I was very pleased on how she managed the short wave period especially after being out in it on a 36' Erickson and a 42' Passport. The 66 hp Yanmar was not even impressed. We turned and headed back in, at this point I took the helm from Pete since he seemed to have become disoriented and was not sure how to turn 180 and go back the direction we had come from. As we progressed down the ship channel on a broad reach the winds decreased to about 17 knots. I furled out the head sail and we were moving along at 9 knots with the almost 2 knot current, no need for the mainsail or the iron genny. the winds begin to increase as we approached Corpus Christi Bay and I reefed the headsail increasing as we made our way across the bay and the wind eventually increased to 30 knots. The Gap or entrance to the Corpus Marina is usually plenty wide but today I was glad no other boats were in the area as I wanted all space I could to safely sail through the gap. Just as we got in the breakwater and I went forward to prepare the foredeck a 35 knot wind gust hit and I had to drop to my knees to keep from blowing off. Just shows what a few knots increase in wind can do to your day.

Women's On board Emergency Procedures

was the title of the third education seminar I organized for BYC. The Commodore asked me to prepare a seminar for this topic since we have so many Seniors sailing around the bay area and they want to know what to do if their skipper is suddenly incapacitated and the Admiral is suddenly in charge of the helm. We had great participation and lots of excellent questions. It was obvious that this 1 1/2 hour class would not be enough but it certainly pointed out to all of us that we have more to do, practice and ready ourselves to safely enjoy our favorite pastime. The link on the title goes to the BYC Website with pics of the class. More info on the topics discussed are in the education area of the BYC website.

South Jetty
The Admiral wanted to go out to the South Jetty in Port A to take some pics of the turtles. So we took our binocs and camera and drove down to the beach. Every time we had gone birding near the Jetty I tried to get the Admiral to walk the entire length all the way to the very end. She was never interested since a lot of the walk is a bit like a climb since you have to hike over large Granite blocks. But this time she had a purpose and there were lots of turtles to see along the way. She was also looking to spot a Magnificent Frigate Bird so she was willing to go to the end for the Frigate. I wanted to go to the end to see where I had sailed by on five previous occasions. This day was a calm day, the seas were flat and clear. A great day for spotting sea life and enjoying a long walk out and back. We spent 2 hours on the jetty taking pics and enjoying the turtles, Sheaphead, sandwich terns, but no frigates!


we get up early and join about 8 other sailboats on a cruise to Fulton, TX for the Rockport Music Festival.

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