Tomorrow morning Lorilee will begin her 200 nautical mile move up to Kemah. I have some mixed feelings about leaving Rockport. I’ve made a lot of great friends, and I love the area. There’s great wildlife, abundant boating culture, and the town itself is pretty cool too. However, I’ve been making the six hour round trip down there almost every weekend for the last fifteen months. I’m finding myself getting less and less motivated to drive down there and work my arse off every weekend then turn around and come back. It is time to move her closer.
Last weekend I wanted to take Lorilee out for a sail, just to get in any last minute changes I wanted to do before the move. Though I had a friend with me, it was a somewhat difficult sail. There was a light easterly breeze and frequent showers. My friend knew almost nothing about sailing, so she was just along for the ride. Shirt off, soaked, and barefooted, I tacked nine times single-handed up the bay. I also wanted to try out my windlass for the first time, so we dropped anchor under sail, and hopped out for a swim. After the swim, I raised the main to get some way, and hoisted the anchor. This windlass is a BEAST. Though it is manual, it took nearly no effort to crank in all the chain and the 35lb CQR. We got all the sails up and pointed the bow back to the harbor.
The weather tomorrow is going to be a bit dodgy offshore. They’re calling for 20-25kt winds with 6-8 foot seas. Which means gusts up to 35 knots and occasional waves of over 10 feet. For my first stretch offshore with Lorilee, I’m not entirely comfortable with that. Six to eight foot waves might not sound like much to you seasoned sailors out there, but in the Gulf of Mexico, the swell period is usually much shorter than in other parts of the ocean on account of the very shallow water. It’s like a washing machine. Up to ten miles offshore, one can see soundings of only fifty feet! There is a low pressure trough sitting over West Texas, which is kind of squashing against the large high pressure system to the east. This is going to make for some squally weather today and tomorrow, with strong onshore winds. However, conditions are expected to improve over the weekend, starting Saturday morning.
So the plan is to take her up to Port O’Connor tomorrow via the ICW, then hop offshore Saturday morning straight to Galveston. Depending on our arrival in Galveston Sunday, we may dock or anchor up there overnight and make the move to Kemah on Monday. My Dad will be joining me for the trip too. I plan to take some more video along the way and intend to write about the trip next week.
Fair Winds and Foul Weather Gear!