South Padre Island

Day 3: Monday


We left Port Mansfield at 8:30 on flat calm water.  We motored the full 30 miles from Port M into South Padre Island.  The only help the Yamahas got was from the jib.  There was not enough wind to raise the main.. but it was over the port beam so I rolled out the jib for balance, it probably made ½ a knot difference.


The Lower Laguna Madre is wider than the upper.  There were times we could have ventured out of the channel and sailed (if there had been wind to do it) but we putted along at a leisurely pace, not having a long run to make.  Linda took on the chore of cleaning out the 90 quart cooler we use for storage.  It was a dirty job.. she scrubbed the chest out and I knew she would be ready for a swim when she was done.  I scoured the edges of the channel for a spot with no grass to pull up on and bob.  When I found it she was just finishing the project.  We were both ready for a core temp adjustment.. the cool Laguna Madre was just the ticket.


We turned up the music and bobbed under the boat with drinks for about an hour… then loaded up and finished the trip.  Today I found something weird… in the upper Laguna Madre you stay in the dark water… because the shallows are lighter colored.  In the Lower Madre it’s just the opposite.  The channel is light and the sides are dark and grassy… weird huh?  Yeah I only went aground once today to find that out.  Not bad…. The color change was indeed confusing so I approached the dark water (outside the markers) at 2 knots.. so it was easy to back out and say… OK…stay in the light colored path now.











Sea Ranch harbor on SPI is a tight little place.  Boats are packed in here to almost capacity.  We took the last available tee head.  The island sports the same tourist attractions that all coastal tourist towns have.  7 miles away we could see the tall condos, an airplane pulling a banner over the beach, parasails’ in the bay.  When we coasted into Sea Ranch harbor… there they were… the dolphin tours, deep sea fishing guides, all crowded into the little harbor.


We ate dinner at Dirty Als’.. here in the marina.  The establishment is highly touted… we found it good.. more hype than substance but the food was really good for the price, 10 to 14 dollar combination platters and worth every penny.  There are two more eateries here in the harbor.. the “plan” after sleeping in not having miles to make in the morning is to get a map of the island from the local marina and sample another restaurant within walking distance.  That’s about it.. our plan is a lazy day tomorrow.. but you know how plans are…… ours are always drawn with a stick in the sand at low tide.  The best thing is.. we are on vacation and don’t have to do anything on a schedule.  We are on the boat.. life is good.


Just before dark I jumped in the dink and made a 2 mile ride.. I went out of the harbor and back up the bayside quite a ways.  The water was dead calm save boat wakes so it was a fun ride.  If tomorrow is as calm I’ll do more reconnoitering in the dinghy.  She sure is running nice…. I cleaned the avocados out of the carb…. Man whoever thought of putting corn oil in my boat gas is truly my friend.  I don’t know what I would do with all my time if I didn’t have to clean one, two or all three carb on this boat so often.  I changed the fuel hose, screwed new plugs in the little 9.8 Tohatsu… charged the battery and man she runs sweet.


Lots of dolphins today too….  When we were bobbing under the boat 6 of them porpoised by within 15 feet of me and Linda.  Linda yelped at them trying to draw their attention (so they would come see us) according to Linda.  I would have much rather heard them blow and pass in silence.. but Linda’s “call” was apparently more important… too bad it didn’t work… who would have thought.


Tomorrow is a new day.. it’s 10:19PM, and since I’m still vertical you can rest assured that I AM on vacation.  Up.. but not for long.  I haven’t shaved since I left work Friday.. I’m interested to see how white my beard is.  Not papa smurf yet… but getting there.  Time to turn off the XM “love channel” and go to bed.  The cabin is a nice cool 70 degrees…again life is good.

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