Intracoastal Water Way mile marker Zero

The Intracoastal Canal is regreted by some and detested by others, I kind of like it.

I grew up on the Sabine River so running the river is an elemental part of my “good memory” bank.  I have great youthful memories of water skiing for miles on end with my brothers  behind my old 85 Mercury on a 17′ Glastron.  Narrow strands of water and boats have always been an intergral part of my life.  In the late 70’s a Hydrostream boat was all the rage.  I bought a brand new one…. “Loco Coco” brown with metal flakes the size of diamonds.  In 1980 I bought my first V6 outboard, a Mariner 200 “Gray Ghost” and hung it on my Hydrostream Vamp.  I have run a river full of gasoline through that rig.  Life at 79 mph was very good for a very long time.  My son still has the boat.

Mom and dad belonged to the “Rooster Tails”, a boat club in the 50’s that traveled and camped on the rivers of East Texas and Louisiana.  They had embroidered jackets and everything.  Hells angels on the water…..  only different.  It was a family affair that branded me with the love for the river.  Some of my first memories as a kid are riding under the bow of a boat and seeing the process of my dad building a boat in our garage.  On this one campout a thunderstorm approached as we were breaking camp on the sandbar, tents, lawn chairs…. adults loading the boat.  I remember a long bumpy ride with me and Mom cuddled up on the orange life jackets under that bow to escape the stinging rain and lightning as dad motored us home in front of that first big tall 6 cylinder mercury that was ever built.  It was an amazing engine, when you shifted into neutral, the engine stopped, as you shifted to reverse the engine started backwards, so there was no shifter in the lower unit, the engine actually ran backwards.

I guess my love of the river makes the ICW more than bearable for me.  I’m watching my boat go down the ICW right now on it’s way to Florida via “spot” and google earth.  My mind sees the familiar sights I have seen many times as we passed them on our multiple ICW transits.  The entry to the locks at different locations, moss in the trees in Louisiana, The Mermentau river basin, “stump alley”, and crossing the mighty Mississippi are all burned into my brain, easy to recall at a moments notice.

I’m still at work as my boat sees all those things without me, but soon I’ll be on her with my wonderful travel companion, my wife…. for a great spring adventure.  SYL is approaching the Harvey locks soon, ICW mile marker Zero.  My boat has seen the intracoastal from its beginnning at the Mexican border all the way up the east coast.  Sue me, I like a river………….

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