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My Wild Odessey

snake284snake284 Senior MemberPosts: 22,429 Senior Member
Back in April my oldest son bought a boat that was located in North Carolina, a 45 foot single screw cruiser, to use in his charter business out of South Padre Island. He asked me then if I wanted to ride it back with him. I said I would if I didn't have anything I needed to do when the time came. I really wanted to do this bad, but some things are just too important to put off for any reasons. And one of those reasons is an important doctor's appointment. And it so happened that about the time he was going, I had two fairly important doctor's appointments scheduled, one for May 20Th, my Urologist yearly checkup and May 21ST, my new hearing aid fit and orientation. I could have rescheduled the Urologist visit, but No Way was I going anywhere without my new hearing aids. Anyway, as luck would have it the day came on Thursday, May 16Th. He and another guy from South Padre set out toward home. I was sort of sad that I was going to miss this voyage, but there was no way around it. I was going to get those hearing aids.

Well I made it to both appointments and had my new hearing aids, and at about 6:30 AM Wednesday, May 22ND I was sitting on the couch drinking my coffee and watching Golf Channel, when the phone rang. It was my son telling me his wife had gotten me a ticket on U.S. Airways to leave Houston at 12 noon from George Bush International, which is 150 miles away from my front door on the north side of Houston, to Fort Myers Florida. He said he would meet me at the Legacy Marina.

Well by 7:30 AM I was cleaned up, dressed, and packed. Then I called a friend(Pat, the guy that hunts deer with a .375 H&H MAG) to see if he would drive me there. He said give him about 30 minutes so i ran up and filled the tank up with gas and when i got home he was waiting there. We took off at 8:45 from my house and I was at the U.S. Airways ticket desk at 11:15. boarded the plane at about 11:45 and it pulled away from the gate promptly at 12 noon. The flight went first to Charlotte NC, then on to Fort Myers Florida. I got to Fort Myers at about 6:15 PM, got my bags in baggage claim, and got a taxi to the Legacy Marina. I got there at about 7:45 and went and ate supper at the Joe's Crab Shack next door, not my favorite restaurant, but it was convenient. Not long after I finished eating my son called me and said he was coming up on the bridges which were right upstream of the river from the Marina. The boat pulled up to the dock not long after and none too soon. When my head hit the pillow in my bunk it was lights out for the kid here.

The next morning we woke up and went and bought some groceries and other supplies. Then around 2PM we cast off and went back up river to a fueling marina. After fueling, we turned back down river and headed for Boco Grande outlet. When we got there, we went and ate at the Marina and then set out for the outlet to the Gulf of Mexico and headed north to Apalachicola. That was about 8:00 PM Thursday night. I took the wheel at about 3 AM and ran the boat till about 8 or so that morning. This was the main reason for my going along on this trip, to help spell off steering the boat so everyone could get enough rest. This boat has too small of a rudder and in choppy seas it wants to zig zag. After a couple hours on that wheel, you are literally worn out. When my son relieved me that morning I went to my bunk and crashed for a few hours. We got to Apalachicola at about 4:00 PM Friday. That night we ate at a place called Papa Joe's which specializes in Oysters. We ate 4 dozen between the three of us. We spent the night and the next morning after we finished fueling, we cast off the dock at 11: 00 A.M. and headed up the Jackson River and out a pass close to Panama City and out into the Gulf toward Venice Louisiana at the mouth of the Mississippi.

That night we fished a few rigs, caught a few fish and got to Venice at about 2:PM Sunday. Going across the Gulf from Florida to Louisiana you cross a deep canyon that pegged our depth finder out at over 8000 feet deep. Michael says the charts say it's over 10,000 feet deep. The water was so blue out there it was more black. After we tied up and refueled at Venice we took a shower and got dressed and ate at the restaurant at the Marina. One thing they served was boudin egg rolls. It seems boudin Sausage is getting more popular all the time. There's a place in Galveston that sells Boudin Pig in the Blankets. More on that later.

We left Venice and headed out west toward Galveston. It's 290 miles from Venice to Galveston Sea Buoy to Sea Buoy. We got to Galveston at midnight Monday. Getting in the Jetties and into the harbor and the yatch basin was one wild experience. There were ships coming and going, buoy's popping up in front of us that didn't show up on the radar. To all this add the fact that the Spotlight had burned out in Florida and we had failed to get another bulb for it. Anyhow, we made it into the Yacht basin and tied up for the night. We got up the next morning and called a cab to go eat breakfast. We took a cab to a place I know that sells, you guessed it, Boudin Pig in the Blankets. Dawn's Donuts off 61st street is a Cambodian owned and operated business that makes great stuff. However, to my great chagrin, they were out of the boudin ones. So we had to slum it with regular sausage Pig in the blankets and some really great coffee. My son and his first mate, Dave fell in love with them. They took a sack of stuff including regular donuts back with them to the boat.

We left Galveston Yacht basin around 10:AM and this time stayed in the Intercoastal canal to Port O'Connor. Going across Matagorda Bay we got out of the channel and hit a reef with our screw, bending it and causing my son to have to tie up at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Docks for the night. He couldn't rev the engine more than about 900 RPM and seeing his spot light burned out back in Florida, we would have been caught in pitch black dark in the Intercoastal Waterway, which is not a good situation to be in. My daughter and son in law drove down from Port Lavaca, and I jumped ship there and rode home with them.

But my Odyssey wasn't over yet. Michael, my son, called me at 11 am this morning wanting to know if I could drive down to Rockport 50 miles south of here, where they had the boat in dry dock and take the prop to the propeller shop. I met them at a restaurant named JD's and had lunch with them before we took the prop over to Aransas Pass, 12 miles west of Rockport. The prop guy said he could have it ready for him in the morning. It really wasn't bent too bad, but was still making it vibrate at higher RPM. He has another friend that will pick the prop up and bring it back to the boat tomorrow. My son needs to get the boat back to South Padre tomorrow because he has more work to do on it before Saturday, when his first Charter is scheduled. When I went down to Rockport today I did take him my Q Beam in case he needs to run at night in the canal. It's no problem at sea, but in the ditch (Intercoastal Waterway), there's no room for error.

Monday our lawyer cousin from Austin has it chartered. He'll be pretty busy for a couple weeks. This boat is well used and has a couple of leaks and a slight temperature problem with the gear, although it does have a relatively new engine in it, but nothing too serious to cause any real big problems. The hull is almost due for a recoating but it's not too bad. The boat is basically solid and in good shape. She is seaworthy for sure. We proved that out on this cruise. If he steadily works through these issues and does his preventative maintenance, I think he will make a successful business venture out of it. I think he's on the right track.
Daddy, what's an enabler?
Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.


  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,175 Senior Member
    Nice when a plan comes together.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Sounds like a fun trip! Going across the Gulf from Ft. Myers/Cape Coral to Galveston you cross some really deep water. And once it starts dropping off the continental shelf, it drops off FAST! Being out there at night, the stars are spectacular with no light pollution to dim the sky.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,813 Senior Member
    Very interesting account of something that would be quite an adventure for a landlubber like me. :applause:
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 8,579 Senior Member
    Snake at sea!! Anybody else have this mental image!!??


    BTW, sounds like a great trip!!
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Mary would freak out on a trip like that- - - - -anything over dog-paddling distance from shore makes her push the panic button, even on a freshwater lake!
  • SlanteyedshootistSlanteyedshootist Senior Member Posts: 3,947 Senior Member
    Avast matey! Great story.
    The answer to 1984 is 1776
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,377 Senior Member
    Cool trip. .......................Does he need a second skipper???? I work for ammunition and beer...........................................,and maybe the odd pretty girl..........
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 12,326 Senior Member
    Snake that was one awesome trip, thanks for sharing. Crossing the Gulf had to be beautiful, no lights to dim the stars at night and that gorgeous deep blue water.
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 4,440 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    and maybe the odd pretty girl..........

    I've come to determine, they're all odd.

    Sounds like a good trip, snake. Glad you had a fun journey. :up:
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 14,448 Senior Member
    I was in Ft. Meyers on the 20th, did you catch any of that thunder storm Monday night? No pics, it did not happen.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 wrote: »
    I was in Ft. Meyers on the 20th, did you catch any of that thunder storm Monday night? No pics, it did not happen.

    I DO have some pics but I'm too electronic gadget challenged to get them off my phone on to here. I'm working on it.

    Like Tennmike says, when the depth starts falling off it does it fast. I was running the boat when we went off the edge. The depth finder was slowly going deeper, I mean like 2-5 feet at a time. Then all of a sudden it drops like 80 feet, then it went infinity! Pegged out at 8000. That was the range of the machine. It stayed like that until right before going into the Mississippi River at Venice.

    I really wanted to do the SE shoot this year, but when this came up, I felt I needed to help my son. I'm no stranger to the Gulf, but I'm glad I went because it has been many years, like since 1970, since I've done it like this.

    Chiro, I got to Fort Myers on Wednesday evening, the 22nd. We left out Thursday afternoon. The cool front had just passed through the area when I arrived. However, Thursday night we were running up the Florida coast toward Apalachicola and there was lightning and thunderstorms over the middle part of Florida. Otherwise, all I saw in the whole state of Florida was beautiful weather.

    The whole state of Florida, as most everyone will probably agree, is beautiful. But I really liked it around Apalachicola and the northern parts. I always have liked this part of Florida, because the south part is mostly one big tourist trap with wall to wall people. However, if I lived in any of it, you couldn't chase me out with Nuclear Weapons!!! Texas is an agriculture state. The rivers wash a lot of soil down into the bays and you have to go a pretty good piece out in the Gulf to find pretty water. However, in Florida, it's in the bays. Our bays look like Chocolate Milk compared to Florida's.

    Also, I forgot one of the best parts of the whole trip. And it happened down here in my neck of the woods. We had just past the Colorado River Locks (Now don't think I've been in the sauce or confused here. For all you non Texas knowledgeable people, WE have our own Colorado River, not to be confused with that stream out there in the west.) and were cruising down the intercostal when Dave spotted about 10-12 hogs on the south bank. He says hey look, there's some pigs! So we all look and i'm thinkin, so what! Then after we all settled back down Dave says Look! A deer! So we all turn around looking south again and Michael says in a rather high shaky voice, "That's NOT A DEER! That's a MOUNTAIN LION!!!",( Of course, we ain't got any mountains LOL!!!) and about that time I focus on it. At first I thought, "NAW no way, it's gotta be a big bob cat." Then it registered! It was way too big and didn't look at all like a bob cat. No pointy ears, no stripes on the face area. It was a COUGAR for sure. Anyway, he was gone as fast as he had appeared. But this really put the icing on the cake for this trip. we figured he was stalking those pigs. Or maybe Dave did see a deer at first and it was stalking that. No shortage of deer in this area for sure.

    One last note, I know now the difference in a Florida Dolphin and a Texas Porpoise. For one thing, Dolphin's are about twice the size, and lighter in color. Our's are almost black on their backs.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • JKPJKP Senior Member Posts: 2,600 Senior Member
    Glad you enjoyed your time in franklin county (apalach). Now please stop telling people about it or more might figure it out. :)
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    JKP wrote: »
    Glad you enjoyed your time in franklin county (apalach). Now please stop telling people about it or more might figure it out. :)

    Sorry bout that, but so goes the risk of living in Paradise. People will and do find out. Like my Filipina wife says, You can only hold the smoke in your hand for so long.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 8,579 Senior Member
    Ap-cola is where I go to avoid all the tourists. Great little town and close to my shootin' range!!
  • FishnTimFishnTim New Member Posts: 24 New Member
    Sounds like a great trip Snake - Papa Joe's mmm mmm!
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