Monday, September 3, 2012

Sailing Galveston Bay in a Thunder Storm

This Labor Day weekend some of our friends came down to visit and we decided to celebrate the progress made on our refit work down below with a nice sail out on Galveston Bay.  We picked up some sandwiches from Subway and packed some drinks.  (The boat still doesn't have our galley stocked from all the work we were doing just before this trip)

We left the dock in Clear Lake TX and headed east out into Galveston Bay.  The wind was 12-18 knots or so and we had a really nice sail under full main and reefed head sail.  We were nicely making 5-7 knots or so and the sun was shining and it was great visiting and hanging with friends.  As we reached about 4 miles out into Galveston Bay and approached the Houston Shipping Channel, we could see the storm building pretty good to the west behind us.

Checking the radar showed that the storm approaching wasn't that bad, but there was another building that had stronger cells and lightning so we decided to turn back and head back toward it and toward our home port.

As we approached the start of the Channel Markers near Kemah, I saw a power boat trucking out toward the bay at a pretty good clip.  Deciding that I would prefer to ride it out just outside the channel where it was still deep enough was a pretty easy decision.  We just circled a quarter mile area or so watching for other boats that may be doing the same thing.  I did see another sail boat also hunkered down doing the same thing not too far away.

As the rain let up, and visibility started to improve we were able to easily see the channel and head on back.

In the end, we had a great sail.  Everyone got wet, but we were able to confirm that nobody melted.  The return to the slip and subsequent backing into our slip was near perfection if I do say so myself.

The best part of all of this is that one of our friends was taking video's on her iPhone to send to her daughter.  I used those clips to put together this quick summary of the day.

Now, for Deb and I, it is going to be back to tearing up the Salon as that is the next portion of the boat to be refit.