Sunday, April 13, 2014

Matagorda to Freeport

When we arrived at Matagorda city Marina, The crew from Nightingale came over and assisted with the lines, which took quite a bit of patience because I was having a heck of a time backing into the slip I was attempting to get to.
I finally made it, but not before seeing all of the mud churning up from how shallow it was, no wonder why I couldn't rotate into the slip, I was likely plowing some mud with the keel.

After tying up, getting everything in ship shape and checking the water intake strainers for any mud, we were set to relax.  Deb fixed dinner and we had a bite to eat and then went up to the bar/restaurant at the Marina for a couple of drinks.  While we were there the crew from Nightingale came up and offered us a round of drinks, on them, for coming back and helping them get ungrounded the evening before.  I thought it was a really nice gesture, and certainly not the reason we did it, but it was nice either way.
Karen making Coffee

We had a good night sleep, and I must have slept sound because when I got up at about 6:45, I noticed that the shrimp boat that was docked 10 feet off my bow was gone and I hadn't even heard it leave.
We showered, fueled up, restocked a few beverages and were off the dock good and early in hopes that we may be able to make good enough time to make it all the way to Hitchcock.

As we started out into the next open body of water, it became apparent that we were NOT going to be making it all the way to Hitchcock.  This whole week had been filled with winds at 20-35 knots and today was no exception.  It was slow going slogging into the wind and waves for several hours which put us behind schedule a bit.   We decided that the best place to stay was going to be Freeport.   If you would like to see some video of the slogging into the wind, go to this link on Youtube for the Video.  Link to "Slogging up wind in the open Bay"

Mid afternoon, we happened to notice Nightingale coming up behind us.  They were making a few
knots faster than us and we talked on a radio for a while as they were passing.  We got some good pictures of their boat and sent them via email.  I am hoping they have some good ones of us as well and can send them our way.

They were also staying in Freeport but not at the same Marina.  I was concerned about a fixed bridge near the Marina they were staying at so we stayed at Seaside Marina (mainly a large fishing boat Marina for offshore fishing yachts).

At some point during the trip, I decided to troll a lure for a while.  I certainly didn't expect we would catch anything on the ICW since I was still rigged up for offshore fishing in deeper water.  I figured what the heck and we did troll for a little while but then pulled it back in when coming up on some more barge traffic.  What I certainly did NOT want to catch was the prop shaft of a tug boat.

We ended up going through a set of flood control locks on this leg of the trip as well.  We didn't have to wait too long, but the water coming down the
Brazo's River East Lock (on the ICW)
river was flowing at a pretty good pace into the ICW and had about a 3-4 knot current.  It felt like forever before we made it through that lock at about 1.5-2 knots over the ground.  When looking at the water, it looked like we were cruising full speed, looking at the locks we were crawling.  We went through the first lock and then had to circle in the river a few times to let some other traffic go through, they were heading West on the ICW and going north up the Brazos so we had to stay on the down current side of the intersection until he passed.  Once through, we were able to go through the second flood control lock and continue East on the ICW.

Tonight, I wanted to go out and grab a bite to eat rather than stay on the boat.  Last time we were through this Marina about 6 months ago, we stopped and had one of the best burgers ever at a little place called "Castaways" and I was determined to go back to this place.  We walked over for dinner and drinks and in a bout of crazy small world stuff, we met some folks there.   One of our guests/crew posted on Facebook that we were in Freeport.  Someone she went to high school with happened to reply to that post and said, I have 4 crazy aunts that are down there on vacation.  Sitting at the table next to us were 4 older women having the time of their life.  They were toasting drinks, dancing with each others and other people in the bar and Deb, in only the way Deb can, Goes over and asks if there is any chance they know "So and So".  As it turns out, that was his "4 crazy aunts".   The night went down hill from there.  Deb and Karen joined their table and next thing I know there were trays of shots and drinks, etc going that way.  

Jim, Kenny and I had our beers and just watched the girls have a great time.   While we were there, there was a gentlemen at the bar that had drank more than he should have to safely drive home.  The owner of the bar insisted he not drive.  This man was on a motorcycle and very worried about the safety of his bike leaving it out front.  The owner helped him wheel the motorcycle into the
bar/resteraunt and then got him a ride home.  That, in my book, was one really cool move.    I must admit it did allow for one photo of Karen on a Motorcycle :)

So now it was time to head back to the boat.   I am not sure what it is about my lovely bride, but when she has a few drinks, you never quite know what she is going to do/say.   On this particular day, apparently she thought she should talk in a British  accent the rest of the evening.  So the whole walk home, she rambled on in a perfect (or maybe it just sounded perfect to me after a few beers) British accent.  She even used the English words for things rather than what she may normally say, referring to the bathroom as the Loo and the elevator as the lift.  I do have some rather funny video of this, but I decided that I would not post it, but I must admit, I just had some pretty good laughs going through them all again while writing this blog.

So off to sleep for the night and tomorrow we are headed to Hitchcock.  That is going to be as far as we can get because the Waterways around Galveston, Houston Ship Channel and the ICW are all closed on the other side of Hitchcock due to the Oil Spill.  (At the time we were sailing through (on March 24th) not at the time this posts)