Saturday, June 18, 2011

We Finished!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We have finished the Texas 200. High winds, big waves and lots of fun. The group is now at Seadrift Texas having a great shrimp boil and Shiner Beer has sent a few cases of Light Blond & Bock iced cold in some huge coolers. Ice cold beer and shrimp is so good, plus some ice cold watermelon.

Our last camp was up in Cedar Bayou which proved a challenge to all of us that sailed or had to walk up the bayou to the camp. We short tacked up 3 miles of bayou to get within a 1/4 of a mile before we ran out of water. We walked the boat the last 1/4 mile in knee deep water. Other that came in later had to walk the whole 3.25 miles since the tide went out, maybe 3-6" which was just enough to made the channel impossible to sail in. The camp was beautiful, the dune were the best I have seen on the Texas coast. Worth the effort to get there. We had a great camp fire and we all told sailing stories and fish tales.

The sail today was a lumpy day. The wind created some deep downwind sailing with following seas. We took it easy with the #2 reef & mizzen and still hit 11.2 mph one time. We stayed around 7mph with little effort but still had to be careful.

This has been a fantastic trip. Mik has been a great teacher and we have had the Goat Island Skiff flying all this week. What a great event with lots of great people and homebuilt boats.

That all for now.

pictures will come later, it's time for more shrimp and beer

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Camp 4

We have camped along the mouth of Corpus Christe Bayou. The camp is located in a nice protected cove from the ever blowing sea breeze. We are up on a old oyster reef with a small lake and a few very short bushes and trees. The beach area is not muddy. Some people sleep on therir boats while other pitch tents. Some boats carry so much gear compared to us. Since our harches are so small we have a whole lot of little bags that are gear fits in so it can be pushed thru the hatch. Other boats have huge hatches and they jusy use big plastic storage containers to store gear.

We stopped at Snoopy's Resturant at North Padre Island today for lunch and water resupply. The cool shade and some good crab cakes we a welcome break from the noon day sun.

We practiced sailing under mizzen alone today. We saw an average of about 4.5 mph in 20 knots of breeze and 12 inches of water. It shallow around here. WE poked along with the
#3 reef after a while and enjoyed a great sailing up a busy channel and to our camp. There is a full moon tonight and it's jusy now peeking thru the fast moving clouds. There is a forecast of 20-28 knots tomorrow. This will be a tricky day for navigating, and we have planned an alternate camp just in case the wind picks up too much.

Camp 5 in up in Cedar Bayou which is just a small cut thru to the ocean. We hope to make it up there before the wind get to high. Right now at 8pm the wind is a steady 15 knot. It going to blow I think reaally hard tomorrow.

Good night all.

The Goat Island Skiff if performing great, the mizzen is very useful and Mik is a kick to sail with,

JDG and Mik

Camp 3

No signal at camp 3 so this is from Camp 4 (36miles), Camp 3 was a quick sail, Not because of the distance of 30 miles, but because it was blowing so hard. We had a solid 18-20. Mik and I were plowing thru waves and screaming thru the fleet somehwat under control. We sailed by the lee most of the time which is so new to me, but the boat handled it great. Mik is a great teacher and as we blasted thru the waves I learned a great deal. With the Number 1 reef in, we were too busy to look at the GPS to see how fast we were going.
We lost a couple of boats, broken steering cable, torn sail, and one boat that nearly swamped after they ran aground on a lee shore. There are 3 boats that have spilt from the rest. 2 Gooses and a Laguna. The Laguna is a 23 foot boat designed and built just for this event and it is acting as the mothership for the 2 small 12 foot Gooses.

We have some good video of the boat racing along, but it takes to much battery life toi load them, so they will post later after we get back to dry land.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 1

What a ride. We were the last to leave and caught a few boats before we turned up into the Port Mansfields channnel. We surfed the boat under the full rig most of the day then put in a double reef. during the reefing the mizzen kept us head to wind and on station. We are camped with about 7 other boats, while some of the other boats are about 3 miles up the channel. It was a little rough and this group elected to park it and have an early evening.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Night Before

GIR in it's slip

Food rations

Mik with waterproof containers for cell phones & wallets

The cars have been delivered to Seadrift Texas and the group has safely returned to Port Isabell by our  charterbus driver Pat. We have spent the last hours going over the charts and programing the GPS and packing most of the boat. We just have our large green duffel bag and some odd and ends to get packed in the morning. Time to get to bed.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Packed, Well Almost

All the boat gear is packed in the boat and van. Just need to go thru the food again to make sure we don't take too much. It's easy to take too much food. So we will go thru it again on Friday night before the shuttle bus takes off on Saturday morning. The picture is of the boat building team, Dad, Dezi and David.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Test Fit of Gear

It's always a challenge to go thru the gear and find a place to pack it all in a small boat. This is most of the gear minus the food. Looking from the front of the boat to the back the picture shows:
Anchor, sleeping bags, inflatable pillows, and the red jug is for things like wallets and cell phones. All that fits in the front hatch minus the anchor which stores under the mast. In the fore ground is the oars and camera booms. The big wooden boards are the daggerboard and rudder which help steer the boat. Lots of water jugs and the black spray bottle is for taking showers. The red igloo and black box will carry cold and dry foods with some other gear. These boxes go inside a large duffel bag that is tied into the boat. If we capsize all the gear will stay with the boat. At the rear of the boat are repair kits for boat and sails, extra line and heavy food items and our sleeping pads.

Also within this post I am testing the wireless blog entry and photo posting. If every goes well we will have and great time and I hope to capture the spirit of the Texas 200 on film.

Best Wishes

Somehow all this fit in the boat last year, so it should fit this time around.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Getting closer

Finally leaving California to fly home and get the boat ready. Need to lace the sails on the boom & mast and replace a very worn halyard. The local Marine Store out at Seal Beach has some the best stuff for dinghy sailors compared to our local marine store.

Finalizing the menu and gear lists. After our camera failed last year I am taking 2 cameras, just in case. Both will have camera booms that we can play with. Look for our YouTube videos that are of Desi and myself sailing a few weeks ago.

Thats all for now.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Beginning

Why did I make my kids build a boat with me? Well, first I am just a little bit crazy, but mostly it was to spend some quality time. Some of the other skills I hoped to teach were long term planning, time management and that there is not really a reset button in real life as in their computer games, so do it right the first time.
Was it worth it? YES!!!
Just last week David said that some of the things he learned while boat building helped him dissect a frog in biology class. Go figure that! ;)
But the kids were able to see their work progress from a set of foil blanks to a finished rudder and daggerboard. Then getting all the little parts together, like gluing on the chine logs, before going 3D. Then after that getting the boat primed and painted. Each success brought those smiles to their faces and I was lucky enough to be part of that.
Foil Blanks

Fiberglass is done!

Gluing the chine logs.

All smiles because of a job well done.