Thursday, September 29, 2011

Our Arrival Safe & Sound in Kemah, TX!!! June 18, 2011

....tankers, cargo ships anchored, and on into the busy Galveston Bay shipping channel.

About 0100 hour we are all awake coming into the Bay and amazed by all the ships and tankers we are seeing. We estimate 60 to 70 ships anchored in the Gulf waiting to come in to unload or load up. We saw them sitting high out of the water and some sitting very low in the water.

Wee hours this morning, about 0130 hr,  we entered the waters of Galveston Bay!
 Only about 3 hours left of our voyage. We are geeked about our arrival!

I think we are all having some mixed emotions.
 Sort of bittersweet....
We are all tired,
 sort of ready to be back on land,
 but then not entirely ready for the trip to come to an end,
 glad to have had a safe voyage and perfect weather,
 but most of all...
 awed at the thought that we just crossed the Gulf of Mexico!!!

Between tugs in tow...tugs pushing ahead and big ships, we safely navigated the shipping channel to Kemah and Clear Lake.

As we entered the channel marker's to Clear Lake, Rob commented that with the mast navigation lights on, the steaming light and the bow/stern lights on, he'd bet our welcoming committee would scold us for being illegal. (Our starboard/green bow light was out so we turned on the masthead tri color nav lights to cover all our bases. We found out later we don't have a tri color mast light up there!)

As we entered the fairway to the outer harbor for our slip J-16, Dean felt us hit bottom so he backed us out to try it again. This time he had Rob take over the helm and try since he knows the marina better. Rob bumped bottom as well so they decided to back it out, go into the inner harbor of the marina & tie us up to the end of D Dock until the tide comes back in.

0430 hr...Success!!!
6 days later...from the dock in Tampa Bay, FL...
 We have arrived safely to the docks of Portofino Harbour Marina in Kemah, TX!!!
 New address for Our Way Too!
With grateful hearts for the safe & blessed passage of
 Our Way Too! and her Crew
 across the great Gulf of Mexico...
...let the stories begin!! ;-)

We had a wonderful "Welcome Committee" ~ Jay & Todd were awake & on the dock to greet us, they run from the end of J Dock to the end of D Dock to grab our lines, and provide us with our celebratory Rum & Cokes. (Great for Breakfast!) They gave us a hard time about our navigation lights just as Rob said they would!

Todd, Randy, Jay, Rob, & Al
Oh oh...Rob's glass needs a refill!
Our trip was just AWESOME!!!
   We are so proud of ourselves & of Our Way Too!!!
   We had an "AWESOME" crew!!!  
We LOVE Our Way Too!!!! 
She is an AWESOME sailing vessel,
 she has and will take good care of us always!!!
Did I say how much we LOVE her already??!!
1145 nautical miles total and 745 nm from Tampa to Kemah.
We now have 1,251.1 hours on Our Way Too's engine.

Seaknotter's Randy & Jay reunite and chat with Todd!
FYI...Randy is the one whom hooked us up with Jay on "Seaknots"(an online chat for sailors & sailorettes) when we moved to Texas. Jay invited us to Kemah to meet & see how the Texan's Sail! We are blessed to be a part of this group of great Sailors!!
The Crew & Dock Greeter!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, Captain Rob! It meant alot to have you onboard with us on our maiden voyage! You are a great friend & we appreciate everything!! Love you bunches!
 "Captain Rob"
I  love this pic!!
I wonder if he is thinking it was all a dream?!

Father & "Son" :-)
Thanks again Dad!!
Love you!
Another of my Scruffy Great looking Crew!! :-)
Oops....Dad isn't Scruffy! He found his razor!
Bud's for Life!
Scruffy #1 & Scruffy #2!
I love em' both!
Great Crossing Guys!!
Dad say's "Hello Honey! I'm home!! :-)
Dad is greatful to be a "landlubber" again!
After our celebratory rum and cokes, everyone was ready for showers & sleep.
We decided to sleep short, then get up & go out for brunch.
Dad & I were too wound up to sleep so we decided to scout the marina, get our showers,
 & try out the pool.
So that we did, while the rest of the gang took a much needed nap!
My men!!
The "Our Way Too!" Crew at Skipper's in Kemah
Looking alittle more awake & spry!!
And they aren't "Scruffy's" anymore!!! :-)
Her new home Slip J-16
After our brunch we went back to the marina and since the tide was up we moved Our Way Too! over to her new home on J Dock. This time we didn't have any problem getting in there but we are aware that the problem could persist of getting in & out especially during the winter when the north winds blow the water right out of the Bay. Also our channel to enter the fairway to our slip is very narrow. If this side doesn't get dredged we may be stuck in J-16!! We will have to talk to Connie up in the office about a different slip when we return in a few weeks.
Such a pretty Boat!! ;-) A wee bit partial aren't I??

Getting her bath & put to bed for a good rest til we come home to her in 2 weeks! 
Dean cleaning & organizing things before we leave her.
After Dean, Randy, & Dad bathed...rearranged...stowed...fixed and prepped Our Way Too! to sit without us here for a couple weeks, we joined Rob onboard his boat, "Wandering Star" to participate in the weekly summer Galveston Bay Yacht Club Rum Race

Now after 1145 nautical miles of sailing one would think we had enough...but no way!! We were rearing to go. I guess that means we are truly Sailors at heart! I am certainly glad to know that is the case since we do intend to be onboard and cruising full time some day!

Rob's "Wandering Star"
(This picture was taken during one of our "Frost Bite" races this past winter.) 
Wandering Star & her Crew placed 2nd in the Cruising Class!!!  Whooo Hooo!!
We had a great time & it was an exciting race!
 My Daddy's first...he handled being "Rail Meat" just  fine!
Afterwards we all went to the yacht club for the food, fun, festivities and of course the Rum!! ;-)

Dean & I wanted Dad & Randy to experience one of our favorite Texas joints so we left early to take them to "Gilhooley's". It's a well known Oyster Bar & Grill in the area that looks like a dive but it has great food and the best raw oysters! The building has been thru the hurricanes and had water half way up the walls but the business has survived! They dump all their oyster shells in the parking lot so it is paved with them! If you ever go to Kemah...Gilhooley's is worth the little drive off the beaten path!

Dad & Randy were a little bit leary of eating just raw oysters so they ordered other items which turned out to be great too! They did both try the oysters tho! Dad said now that he knew how good they were he would order them next time if he ever came back to visit! His past experiences with raw oysters was NOT good!
Treating Dad & Randy to "Gilhooley's" Oyster Bar & Grill
Two of our favorite dishes here that Dean & I order to share:
Gilhooley's Famous Shrimphooley's
Gilhooley's Famous Raw Oyster's on the Halfshell
Randy's Shrimp Salad
Dad's Burger

After our late bed nite snack (dinner really) we headed back to the boat for a good solid night's sleep! I don't know about anyone else, but this past 2 weeks now seems like a dream to me. If I weren't so sleepy I'd be wishing we were all still out in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico!

I will be dreamin' of porpoises & turquoise waters....

Nite ya'll...

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