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Old 05-31-2016, 11:27 PM   #41
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well, how was "Spring Fling Time" any walking wounded care to report?
Boy, I will have to write a novel to give you the run down. Let me see if I can give you the Reader's Digest version. We did depart Sunday the 23rd. We woke up to severe thunderstorms and it wasn't looking very likely that we were gonna get going. Wendy had brought some bananas on board and I told they weren't making the trip. Well I kept nagging her to get the bananas off the boat. About 11am that morning the bananas were banished from the boat and the skies parted and it became a beautiful sunny day.

The run to Port Arthur was a bit rough across Galveston Bay due to the aforementioned sever weather, but it wasn't too bad. We got into the ICW and everything was great. Arrived at PA about 6pm and tied up at her Sister's house....and I proceeded to drink a bit too much rum.

Got up the next day and made the push to Lake Arthur. It was great weather. Got there about 4pm. Got tied up and squared away...and then Blue and Michelle and Wendy and I headed on over the the L A Bar....the local bar. Quaint little town with an emphasis on LITTLE!!!.... We stayed there until Wednesday and then headed over to L'auberge Casino in LCH.

I was breezing through this thinking you could pretty much get fuel anywhere....and that is certainly not the case. I was fairly sure I could make LCH on what fuel I had and I knew the Bowtie Marina there had diesel....but just don't like that feeling of cutting it close. Well as I was going up the Calcaseiu RIver I called Bowtie and......THEIR DIESELS PUMP WAS BROKEN!!!! And that is the only diesel in LCH!!!! So we were pretty much stuck until it was fixed. Tammy, the incredibly friendly lady that works there was very adamant that it would be fixed by the end of the day. Well it wasn't! But it was fixed the next morning so no delay at all. We hung out at the casino pool that day and spent WAY too much money. I don't know how I can spend that much without gambling!!!! Their shit is expensive. Anyway, we were on vacation and having fun!!!

Left the next morning...hit Bowtie. They gave us the previous price on fuel($1.78), filled it up to the brim without spilling a drop and went on our way. Got to Pleasure Island about 2ish and docked in a beam wind of about 20-30 knots. Had plenty of help but still managed to get a little racing stripe that buffed out!!!

Now you have to realize....Pleasure Island Marina is oriented SE to NW. The prevailing wind in SE Texas is SE. And there is minimal protection to the SE. What does that mean??? About a 1-2 foot swell INSIDE THE MARINA!!!! And that isn't the worst of it. Friday night/saturday morning from midnight to about 4am there was some sort of perfect storm scenario and the winds were a SOLID 50 knots with higher gusts!!!!.....cranking the swell up even more in the IN THE MARINA!!!! I have been thru hurricanes as a liveaboard in a well protected marina and this was WAY worse. Docklines parting....boats being damaged. Dock rash mostly. And like liveaboard hurricane experiences, people couldn't sleep so they were out helping others make sure fenders were doing their job and tying extra docklines. I got to sleep about 0330 that morning. Of course Saturday dawned a beautiful day.

After two days of continuous 20-30 knot winds with a climax of damn near a hurricane, Saturday was dead calm and not a cloud in the sky. Of course it wasn't perfect. Dead calm in SE Texas means MOSQUITOES!!!!! Anyway, everyone's attitude perked up...people were finally getting out and socializing and Spring Fling was officially underway. Of course we had the dock crawl and as expected, the Roofyritas were a big hit!!! I had many return customers.

We had to leave Sunday because I had to work Monday but the weather was just as good Sunday and Monday. Our trip home was damn near perfect. We actually stopped at a neighboring marina here in the Clear Lake area on the way in because we needed a pool to cool off in(ours is under construction) and were treated to a crisp clean pool and a surprisingly good live band.

All in all, a great time!!! The wind on those two days and that one night in particular, was exhausting. I was actually a little surprised as many boats showed up considering the weather. I do think the boats that got a start Thursday or earlier made it. I don't think anyone would have enjoyed Galveston Bay on Friday. I, personally, would have turned around. I say that not knowing how it was. My boat ran perfectly although still indicating hot sometimes. I ran a Murphy Gauge on it for the first leg(a slight risk since there is no alarm on it) and it showed a rock solid 185 or less...and I always shot it with IR gun to confirm and it was confirmed.

Anyways, there you have it. I honestly did not take that many pictures. But I will post some here in a bit if I have time.

The TMCA will have a hard sell next year for this event. I heard MANY people say they were never going back to that marina. The marina is actually a very nice facility...with that one very important caveat...lacking protection from the SE. The marina has been completed for 4 years now and is basically brand new....and IT IS EMPTY. Now we all know why. I did talk to the organizers of the event reference "what about next year"??? Their answer is what I expected. Give it awhile. Hopefully the good times will outweigh the bad and people will forget how painful those two days were.....kinda like child birth I guess!!!! I will say those two bad days sure made the good days that much better!!!! I guess that is cruising!!!
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Old 06-01-2016, 12:14 AM   #42
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The infamous bananas that caused the delayed departure....and Wendy stuffing the duvet???? I honestly have no clue what a duvet is and that I had been sleeping under one for the past year. It is more than one piece and you gotta put it together!!!!! Dubya Tee Eff.....OVER??!!!!
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Old 06-01-2016, 12:17 AM   #43
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Lil mama kicking back and chillin' on the bridge!!!
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Old 06-01-2016, 12:21 AM   #44
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Michelle and Wendy at the local bar in Lake Arthur!!!
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Old 06-01-2016, 12:25 AM   #45
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You run into Jesus is the strangest places. He leaned over to me and said, "When in Rome...."....the crawfish never ran out and the beer was as cold and good as it gets!!! He was even packing his own personal stash of Tony's!!!
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Old 06-01-2016, 12:41 AM   #46
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Blue and Michelle as they were leaving Lake Arthur. I asked Blue if they needed me to slow down to pass. He said...no. Everything was lashed down except one of the TVs...it didn't survive...
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Old 06-01-2016, 12:44 AM   #47
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The live oaks in Lake Arthur are pretty impressive. This is my sweet baby under one with the boats I n the background. She really is an amazing young lady and loves to be on the boat. I kinda thinks she likes me for my boat!!!
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Old 06-01-2016, 01:19 AM   #48
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Oh I forgot....Friday about 7pm, before the "hurricane", we got a "standard" Texas squall. It came from the WNW packing WNW winds in the 50 knot range. The only difference here, it was just wind(and rain and lightning). We were protected from that direction. It was almost refreshing considering the beating we had been taking for the past 24-36 hours. Time for bed. More pics when I can!!!
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:51 AM   #49
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Great report, and pix.
Thanks!
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Old 06-01-2016, 08:34 AM   #50
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Well, we made there and back with no major problems, Yay! Friday night was ROUGH as a storm blew hard with 30+ kt winds with much higher gusts. The location and layout of the marina on the north side of Sabine Lake caused major rolling inside the marina. I worried that some sailboat masts in adjacent slips would bang masts together. Once that passed through it was great. We headed home early due to guests that needed to be back for work so headed back on Sunday staying a night at Galveston Yacht Basin visiting friends there. Islander did quite well for her first cruise in many years. I did have some problems though. The starboard engine rear crank main seal leaked a couple of quarts in 28 hours of run time. Also I appear to have a hydraulic steering problem. I kept having to turn right to keep a straight course. Maybe some internal leakage in the ram? But at least we know she's a good boat and loved her comfortable accommodations.

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Old 06-01-2016, 09:10 AM   #51
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To add to Baker's (now known as the 'Bullet') account of events above....

As mentioned, a nice relaxing time in Lake Arthur (in retrospect, the calm before the storm), we arrived early (Wednesday night) at Spring Fling, foregoing a night in Lake Charles, after reviewing the weather forecast.

The event, now renamed the Spring Challenge, was well attended and very well organized and a great time was had by all. Seminars for those that wanted them, food tents, the normal array of vendors and a bunch of really nice people!

We tried to leave Pleasure Island for Beaumont Yacht club on Monday but were turned back by the USCG due to an oil spill on the Neches. So we had to lie around the swimming pool, eating BBQ and drinking the occasional beer, for two more days (complimentary by the way!), arriving at the BYC last night (Tuesday).

We passed TF member BobH, headed for Lake Arthur, which we had just left.

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The approach to the Marina, was 'interesting'.

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Every fender onboard was used to try protect the boats.

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Baobab, sitting serenely just before all hell broke loose. Note the 4 side ties holding me off the lee dock. I had towels around the cleats and still melted the lines where they were chafing. Taking them in a foot or so every two hours prevented them from chafing through. Not everyone was quite so lucky.

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Old 06-01-2016, 09:32 AM   #52
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Had a great time-interesting trip to be discussed at a latter time-Thanks to all
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:35 AM   #53
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Sounds like a good time in spite of challenges. Hopefully next time you'll find a more protected area or you'll find better weather or, even better, you'll find perfect weather and protection.
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:48 AM   #54
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BandB, probably the biggest challenge is finding a marina with 150 'spare' slips, within a days travel of Houston, where the majority of the participants reside.
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:56 AM   #55
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Well, we made there and back with no major problems, Yay! Friday night was ROUGH as a storm blew hard with 30+ kt winds with much higher gusts. The location and layout of the marina on the north side of Sabine Lake caused major rolling inside the marina. I worried that some sailboat masts in adjacent slips would bang masts together. Once that passed through it was great. We headed home early due to guests that needed to be back for work so headed back on Sunday staying a night at Galveston Yacht Basin visiting friends there. Islander did quite well for her first cruise in many years. I did have some problems though. The starboard engine rear crank main seal leaked a couple of quarts in 28 hours of run time. Also I appear to have a hydraulic steering problem. I kept having to turn right to keep a straight course. Maybe some internal leakage in the ram? But at least we know she's a good boat and loved her comfortable accommodations.

Kevin
Oh man....Where were you docked??? I know we saw you on the ICW on Sunday but missed you at the SF. Or did we meet and I don't remember???:confused :
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:57 AM   #56
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I had one of my brand new dock lines chafe almost all the way through also. We were also wondering if we would go back to this marina. Maybe if they had a more substantial breakwater but that would cost major bucks I'm sure. One thing is for sure, we met a lot of nice folks and really enjoyed Saturday. Those folks from Louisiana know how to party too! Lots of fun and seems like everyone shut down about midnite so we could all get a good sleep. Probably because everyone was still tired from Friday night. We went down to Galveston on Thursday and at first it wasn't too bad but by the time we got past Redfish Island the wind piped up and we had spray all the way up to the flybridge. If we had waited until Friday I would have turned back for sure. Friday in the ICW I was heeled over with the wind and we passed several sailboats motorsailing with heavily reefed sails. I was glad I wasn't off shore in the race. The winner of the race, a big Beneteau Sense did Galveston to Sabine jetties in 6+ hours! Haulin' ass!
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:04 AM   #57
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Baker, we were on Blue dock slip 22 right next to a good looking blue Hunter/Marlow called Mah Angel. We tied up to the dock about 17:30 just as the wind did a 180 and the rain came down. The docker dudes did a great job all day with Steve Lee helping if needed with his dinghy tug boat style. Several boats had to be brought in under tow during the heavy rain and wind before the "Hurricane". TMCA may be a drinking club with a boating problem but they do take the mariner part seriously. LOL.

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Old 06-01-2016, 10:36 AM   #58
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I had one of my brand new dock lines chafe almost all the way through also. We were also wondering if we would go back to this marina. Maybe if they had a more substantial breakwater but that would cost major bucks I'm sure.
Sitting empty costs more.
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Old 06-01-2016, 01:18 PM   #59
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Well damn sorry I missed you!!! Everything was quite a blur. I also had a brand new dock line break. I was doubled up on it already because it didn't look up to the task. I was at a marina about 2 months ago and saw 1/2 inch 30 feet of dock line for $20!!! I bought all they had (which was only 2 thankfully). Well it may have been 1/2 inch fluffed up and not under load. Under load it became closer to 1/4 inch. It didn't last 24 hours under those conditions. It appeared to be braid on braid line. I think it was just.....braid!!!! Like it was hollow with no core. Anyway, I'll keep the other but just for limited duty. And not all line is created equally!!!!
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Old 06-01-2016, 01:20 PM   #60
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. I was at a marina about 2 months ago and saw 1/2 inch 30 feet of dock line for $20!!! I bought all they had (which was only 2 thankfully). W
When it seems too good to be true, it...........
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