Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day - Offats Bayou

We spent the Memorial Day weekend anchored out on Storyville at Offats Bayou in Galveston. Troy recently finished installing our new windlass. That is a device that pulls the anchor up and down and helps set the anchor. We previously had a manual one that I call Troy! Windlass Troy complained a lot about how heavy the anchor is and how muddy it is when he had to handle it himself. Our new windlass did not complain one bit (and neither did Troy). Between the new windlass and our great new anchor, I have a feeling that we will be spending a lot more time on the hook.

We decided to head out on Friday night and anchor out wherever we found a good spot. The evenings have been very calm with very little wind so we figured we would motor out and anchor somewhere around Bacliff. Well - no sooner did we get out of our slip and into the bay before the wind picked up and we could see lightening in the distance. The bay was white capping and the wind picked up to 25-30 knots for a little while. We were lucky that we never got any of the rain, just wind. We motored into it for about an hour and then headed over to Bacliff and set anchor for the night. Our friends Cory and Tammy on s/v Menestheus were with us. You can see that they were catching air:

Troy was up and working that new windlass at sunrise. We headed out to the Houston Ship Channel and towards Galveston. We had quite an incoming current that we were fighting against and not much wind to work with. We motor sailed all the way to Galveston. It was a very nice trip though, shrimp boats working and lots of dolphins playing in the wake of the tankers in the ship channel.

Shrimp Boat working the Houston Ship Channel

Dolphins playing in the bow wake of big tankers in the ship channel

To get to Offats Bayou you have to pass under the Galveston Causeway Bridge. The bridge is lowered for oncoming trains and, when no trains are on the track, the bridge is raised for boat traffic. Just our luck, we had to wait on a train. We just drifted around for about 30 minutes until it was our turn to get through. It sure is funny to listen to the bridge operator. Depending on which one is on shift, you can get a really cranky guy that doesn't want to get out of his recliner (and will be happy to tell you so), or a younger sounding guy that is really nice and willing to help out in any way. I will point out that it is not the bridge operators job to help recreational boats get back and forth under the bridge. His job is to make sure the bridge is down for trains. It was quite amusing to listen to the old curmudgeon griping to the tow boat operators about all the recreational boats. Guess he doesn't like anyone out having fun while he is at work. Can't say that I blame him too much for that!

We were just waiting on a train

The weekend was way fun and relaxing. We anchored out near 61st Street in Galveston with Cory and Tammy on s/v Menestheus and Trey, Kat and Anne on s/v Dawntreader. Saturday in Offats Bayou was really busy with lots of boats anchored out and lots of jet skis and skiers and wake boarders. We spent the weekend swimming, relaxing, partying with friends and just having a good time in general. The weather was perfect and so was the company.

Storyville at anchor in Offats Bayou

Dawntreader at anchor in Offats Bayou

Menestheus at anchor in Offats Bayou

Cory going for a swim

Anne came to visit Storyville

The only problem was that the weekend wasn't long enough. We all weighed anchor and headed back up the ship channel on Monday - back to reality.

Dawntreader headed back to the ship channel -time to go home :-(

Monday was Memorial Day, a day to honor our veterans, particularly the ones who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we can be free to enjoy the freedoms that we have today. I am definitely proud to be an American!

And I'm proud to be an American,where at least I know I'm free.And I won't forget the men who died,who gave that right to me.~Lee Greenwood

Lookin' for Lunch!

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