We had never even crossed the Houston Ship Channel before, so we were a little anxious too. We had a wonderful crossing, boy were those big tankers scary looking!
Dolphins followed us for part of the trip (how cool is that?).
We were on top of the world. We had never sailed so far away from our slip and we were thrilled that we actually found what we were looking for.
Thanks to the Campbells Cruising Guide we made it safely into the bayou. We were amazed at the peace and quiet. We made our way up the east fork of the bayou and tied our boat up to a tree!
The serenity and peace and quiet were indescribable. I can't remember the last time that I could relax and listen to the sounds of nature without hearing one man made noise. We watched a beautiful sunset and then the most amazing moon rise that I have ever seen. It was a big, giant full moon rising over the bayou - incredible.
It was Troy's birthday and I gave him an MP3 player with some of his favorite music already loaded. Troy still says: "It was my best day ever, and I've had a lot of good days". We sat in the cockpit enjoying the moon rise until the mosquitoes drove us inside.
The next day we took our boat as far up the bayou as we could go. We were amazed at how far that turned out to be. We saw an alligator and lots of birds. We saw a kingfisher. I thought that was cool, I surprised myself by knowing what it was!
On our way home we were worried that we might need additional fuel so we decided to stop at a small bait/shrimp place that we had seen on our way in. We figured that they might be able to drive us to a gas station for some fuel. We were right. It is called Pirates Landing and we later discovered that is it owned by Ernestine's sister Diane. The young man that was working that day drove Troy to the local store for fuel and then told us that we should tie up at Channel Marker 17 if we were hungry - they have great burgers.
We decided to give it a try - who can resist a great burger? We secured the boat and walked into the bar/restaurant. I forgot to mention that this was a Tuesday - mid morning and it turned out that we were walking into a local bar where the regulars were having lunch and/or a few beers. It was kinda dark in there and everyone turned to look at us as we walked in. I thought to myself - self - this is really scary, but I had Troy by my side so we endured the stares and took a seat at the bar. I was feeling really awkward right up until we placed our order - two Miller Lights and two burger baskets. That's all it took. Everyone turned out to be really friendly and, of course, the burgers are legendary (not to mention all the great seafood). Channel Marker 17 is a really cool place and everyone is friendly. If you ever make it over to Oak Island, you gotta visit!
We were sitting there enjoying our pre-lunch beers when a woman came running downstairs (turns out Jimbo - and now Ernestine - live upstairs) yelling "Jimbo asked me to marry him!!!!" She was so excited. That's how we met Ernestine. Over the next two years we have been sailing over there whenever we get a chance. We have made many many great friends and have many stories to tell. Who knows, maybe some of them will make the blog!
Here's Jimbo - - -
And Ernestine - - -
And Channel Marker 17 - - -
Here's a test to find out if your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't. - Richard Bach