Sailing, sailing… over the ocean blue.

I like this place….  The water is nice, there are several very nice sailing destinations within a 2 to 3 hour sail.  Again my only downer is the distance home.

The July 4th week will be a big sail for us.  I say big sail… we are used to sailing locally now so a 150 mile trip seems like a distance.  When we were coming back from the far end of the Bahamas we made 100 miles in one day sun up to sun down.  Traveling from Kemah to Corpus we made 160 miles in 24 hours!  Nowadays a trip over 3 hours is long I guess.

This weekend we are taking SYL as close to the Mexican border as I hope to ever be – South Padre Island –  Mexico will be 7 miles away.  I’m anxious to see the area, I have heard good things about the Laguna Madre and SPI itself.  I guess it’s always fun to find the end of any road, especially a waterway like the “big ditch”.  SPI is truly the butt end of the mighty Intracoastal Waterway.  After this trip we can say we have run the ICW from Mexico to Georgia.  I guess if we ever do our East Coast run we can touch the rest of the ditch and claim it all.

I’m sure SPI will be a zoo for the 4th of July, no problem though…. if we get “peopleoverload” we can always get on the boat and float off the beaten path.  It’s like going to the circus for us… “it’s fun but you wouldn’t want to live there”.

Saturday evening my plan is to beach the boat on a sandy bank 15 miles South of Baffin Bay along the entrance to “9 mile cut”.  I talked to a fisherman here at work, he said it’s a nice spot.. a good camp…  and I love Google Earth……  I have planned more trips on that tool than with any guide book in existence.  I plan on doing a mere 40 miles per day so we can take the time to stop and lounge around on any likely sandbar we choose during the heat of the day. 

Sunday we will probably motor-sail to Port Mansfield.  That will give us 2/3 of the trip and a new option.  The trip from Port M to SPI can be made offshore if you choose.  If conditings are sweet we will go out the Port Mansfield cut and look at some blue water for the last 50 miles.  If we are liking the Laguna Madre or there’s too much wind offshore we will stay in the Laguna Madre for the last leg.

The trip down is almost dead into the prevailing winds.  Saturday may provide a 25 or 30 degree point, but it won’t be much.  Sunday is likely to be on the nose.  Luckily the wind is normally lighter as you gain South from Corpus Christi.  This is one windy bay!   Hopefully our face in the wind trip won’t be too bad on the way down.  The good thing is we have as much time as we want going South, and will be riding the wind and waves back home when we need to hurry.

I talked to the dockmaster in Port M and it sounds like a good stop.  I expect Monday we will cruise from Port M into Port Isabel / the sister city to South Padre Island where my anchor will taste the bottom at the end of the ICW Monday night…..

Arriving on Monday night will give us 3 full days to explore the Southern reaches before the fireworks on Thursday.  I expect we will find a nice anchorage for the” big show” just off SPI.  So we will have 6 nights in all.. to explore South Padre and Port Isabel before the sleigh ride home.

SYL is looking spiffy, we had her compounded, then polished then waxed.. she looks like a new penny!  I bought new SYL decals to replace the faded ones.  This week I’m having all the rope clutches replaced and changing the house batteries.  Getting 4 full years on WalMarts best lead acid batteries is mighty acceptable to me.  They still reach and stay at over 13 volts, but won’t hold the load like they used to.  When they were new they (and the big inverter) would hold up the 16K btu Air Conditioner.  Now the batteries do good to play music all day without a charge before bed time.  It’s amazing how much better you enjoy a boat if she’s all shinny!  Our goal is to get everything and anything we want to do complete on the boat soon. 

This weekend we made a local trip and stayed Saturday night at Engleside…. it was fun to have folks over on the boat until all hours and have the boat in her best dress.  Linda and Erin spent all day yesterday deep cleaning so SYL is ready for South Texas!

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