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By Chuck Leinweber

Please bookmark this page and come back each day during the Texas 200. I will be posting daily updates and we will also have Spot GPS links for Kellan Hatch who will be one of the participants.


June 16, 2008:

Chuck here. We got home Sunday evening and washed the boat off. I started wading through a weeks worth of emails and posting reports from the Texas200. I will put links to everything that I come across here:

texas200.com/2008/index.htm

There will be articles in Duckworks and in Small Craft Advisor. I think the thing was a success - everyone I talked to seemed happy anyway. I was elected to be in charge again next year by acclimation. That is not a problem as I did not really have to work very hard. It was amazing the way everyone pitched in and took care of things that needed doing. Charlie and Laura were tops in arranging the parking. The Padre Island Yacht Club welcomed us with open arms providing dock space, picnic tables, showers and even shuttles to local resturants. Several of the larger boats provided rescue services to those who found themselves in need.

Watch the texas200.com website for more info about the just finished event as well as next year's raid.

June 12, 2008:

Evening update: Phone service very spotty, I got maybe every 5th or 6th word from Chuck. The old State Park is out there.

Kellan's Location
Latitude:28.332
Longitude:-96.4643
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/13/2008 01:02:50 (GMT)

Will relate what I have heard about the place--may or may not be accurate. It used to be a military base. If you hike around there, you can see all the old airstrips--now sprouting grass and providing nest sites for terns. The story we heard was that it became a spot where higher ranking officers could take their girlfriends and party. When it was decommissioned or whatever, it was donated to the State of Texas and became Matagorda State Park--accessible only by water. For some years, the state had a people ferry and would take folks out for the day or to camp overnight. Rangers in the park would ferry you over to the beach (2 or 3 miles) in the morning and come pick you up in the evening. There is an old lighthouse that has been restored (not sure if it was finished or not), and some bird and wildlife watching stands here and there. Lots of BIRDS--this is a major migratory fly through area. The last time we were there, we saw coyotes, jackrabbits, deer, and lots of other small creatures and of course, birds. We saw an alligator swimming just offshore. No rangers anymore, so presumably one is on ones own transportation-wise.

For a while, it looked as though the state would upgrade the old buildings, but that seemed to just fade away. The people ferry had a fire and you have to have your own boat to get out there. They built some outdoor showers, but I hear the water is no longer on. Hopefully, Chuck will check that out. It is a nice place, but HOT HOT HOT during the day in the summer and there are mosquitos at night, although Chuck tells me they have yet to see mosquitos this trip. Wonderful!

Just looked up the website for the park: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/hunt/wma/find_a_wma/list/?id=48

This tells more about its official designation now.

Just talked with Chuck. Sailing for the state park turned out to be straight into the wind for the folks who came up the ICW, and some chose not to go there--they went to Port O'Connor or camped on the side of the channel (he said the PDR's did that). Chuck and Mike and Kellan took the shallow way through the little islands and channels and they are at the park along with 12 or so others. Still waiting for Kellan to show up, and they were expecting him to call for a tow anytime as FUGU does not sail into the wind well at all.

I leave first thing tomorrow for the coast, so this will be the last update from my end. This computer does not travel; it is desk-bound.

 

June 12, 2008:

Have been told that the TX200 link is not in evidence on Duckworks--here is the URL for that website: www.texas200.com

Kellan's location:
Latitude:28.0533
Longitude:-96.9466
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/11/2008 23:58:19 (GMT)

I called Chuck at 7 this morning--I figured he would be up and about. The map with Kellan's location will show where they spent the night. Not a sandy beach the way it looked on Google maps, but oyster shell--way better than mud. Jason Nabors was the last one in last night--He got his PDR stuck on a mud flat and had to unload everything, then drag his boat back to deep water, tie it up and carry everything back to the boat. Chuck said he looked pretty wasted when he pulled in about dusk. Speaking of PDR's, everyone says that the 3 PDR participants (John Wright, Jason Nabors and Andrew Linn) are the bravest ones of the bunch in their tiny little boats, considering the wind and waves which have not been light.

A link from Michael Storer (OZ PD Racer designer): PDR's

They were getting ready to leave for the old State Park--2 ways to get there. One is to go back to the ICW and up to the channel that goes down to the park. The boats with less freeboard will go that way. Chuck and Mike and Kellan were planning to take the back way in--navigate a few shallow areas, etc.

Just up from where they are is the channel out to Cedar Bayou, a really nice spot. There used to be an opening out into the Gulf there--not really wide or deep enough for boats, but a spot that wade-fishermen frequented. It is no longer open, but if you go out there, the Gulf beach is just a few steps away from the Laguna Madre side. It is a nice deserted beach--no roads out there, so no cars. Lots of beach trash/treasure to wander through. Last time we were there, we had to walk the boat the last little bit, always keeping both eyes open for alligators and sting rays--we have seen both there.

 

 

June 11, 2008 update:

Just talked to Chuck. They were approaching tonights camp--Paul's Mott, I think he said. Very close to Dead Man's Island, the original spot, and a better beach, etc. There were several ways to get there--several ways to go across Corpus Christi Bay, and about half the boats took one route and half the other. chuck said he and Mike picked Kellan up before they got into the ship channel (lots of traffic there), and towed the Fugu across. They met Roger Harlow in our Ladybug over in the Lydia Ann Channel, and dropped Kellan back in the water. The Channel goes for several miles and then opens up in the bay by Rockport. Wind and tides cooperated all day. A little concerned about Bob Shipman and Bob Williams who were going to meet the group at Dead Man's Island--no way to get the word to them that the camp had been moved. At least they will see them tomorrow at the old State Park. More stories about that place tomorrow. Government intrigue.

Chuck suggested that anyone who has news from various sailors could post it on the TX200 forum. I will check there tonight to see if I need to relay any messages.

 

June 11, 2008, 2:30 PM/CST:

Kellan's position:
Latitude:27.8161
Longitude:-97.1352
Nearest Location: Mustang Beach, United States
Distance: 5 km(s)
Time:06/11/2008 16:45:13 (GMT)

I know where this is! This is where we lost our first little Mouse boat. We had camped by Shamrock Island and the next morning we headed for Port Aransas and one minute the Mouse boat was there and the next time we looked back it was GONE. And Chuck always tells me I need to learn to tie better knots--that was one of his. We searched for an hour or two, but it was so small and the area so big, we finally gave up. This was also the time we got water in our gas and the motor quit in the channel going down to Port A, and the wind and the tide were against us and we had to get a tow into docks. Pretty embarrassing. Never save old gas!!!

Anyway, I heard from Chuck very briefly at noon--they were going across the ship channel at Port A, always exciting especially if a ferry heads your way or if the ever present porpoises decide to check you out. He just wanted to let me know that everyone was still alive. He said the Millers (whose boat capsized on the first day), had decided to call it quits--I guess they lost some gear when they went over. He promised to call later with more.

 

June 11, 2008:

No reports this morning, but I am guessing everyone had a good night's sleep after a good meal the night before.

Here is at least a partial list of all the different boats--only a few names to go with them at this point:

1 Fugu (Kellan)
3 PD Racers
1 Potter 15
1 Bolger Bobcat (Chilek)
1 Piccup Pram
1 Chrysler Lone Star 16'
2 Potter 17's
2 Hobie 18's
1 20' sloop?
1 Coresound 17
1 John's Sharpie trimaran (Charlie and Laura)
Proa (Kevin O'Neill)
Boston Whaler sailboat
EC 22--Southern Skimmer, Graham Byrne
32' Motor trawler
1 Sea Pearl
the Caprice
Mikesboat
2 Shearwaters (by Bolger)
1 Princess 22
1 Coresound 19
1 Martha Jane (by Bolger)

Chuck says the fellow with the Martha Jane bought it on ebay 2 weeks ago! More boats will be joining them today and tomorrow. Our Ladybug, skippered by Roger Harlow and also Bob Shipman and Bob Williams will be coming in with one of Bob S's boats. The are heading through Corpus Christi Bay today and by more than one route will end up north of Rockport looking for a sandy spot to anchor for the night. They were going to stop at Dead Man's Island, but it is pretty exposed, so last night I looked on Google Earth and found a spot that might work, and they will check it out today.

No position from Kellan--too early--they will just be heading out.

 

June 10, 2008 -- update

Well! The group is safely ensconced at the Padre Island Yacht Club, courtesy of the group there. They have been variously ferried to Snoopy's for seafood and Scoopy's for ice cream, and they have had access to the showers and just generally been shown great generosity and charm. Thank you to all those who made them welcome!!!

I left my notes from earlier at home--Chuck read me off a list of all the boats in attendance, and I will list those in the morning. Wind has been their friend--speeding them down the Laguna Madre. I am also told that the Mikesboat is sailing wonderfully, and that Bill Moffitt and his son are fearless.

  • Kellan's position:
    Latitude:27.6008
    Longitude:-97.2496
    Nearest Location: Flour Bluff, United States
    Distance: 9 km(s)
    Time:06/10/2008 21:10:27 (GMT)

 

June 10, 2008

Yes, a little late--Chuck just called. I know, I know, I was supposed to put up Kellan's position last night, but this is a new thing, and I forgot. Here is the first one and I will post the second last:

  • Kellan's position:
    Latitude:26.8854
    Longitude:-97.4615
    Nearest Location:not known
    Distance:not known
    Time:06/09/2008 17:23:42 (GMT)

Here is what else is going on: As of 10.30AM, Chuck and Mike are at the mouth of Baffin Bay, and most other boats are ahead of them.
The Miller family left the start late, and tried to make time with full sail, and capsized (winds were gusting to 30). The Martha Jane skipper, who also left late, found them and helped them get back upright and advised them to reef their sail, and they are okay, but still behind the rest of the group. The Martha Jane reached the first camp late yesterday evening.
Martin Adams--sailing his owner built catamaran, has not been seen since the start, and they are hoping to hear from him today.
There were 28 boats at the first camp--Graham Byrnes in the Southern Skimmer reached camp first around noon. He recorded a new top speed for him of 18 mph, which was helped slightly by a 1.5mph current in the land cut.

Chuck says everyone he has seen is happy and having fun. they are sailing fast, but when they catch up with Kellan (whose inflatable kayak is doing just fine), they will slow down and stay with him as they have most of his food and lunchtime is approaching. He said he will give me a longer report tonight--phone connection was spotty, lots of wind.

Here is Kellan's next position:

  • Kellan's position:
    Latitude:27.1006
    Longitude:-97.442
    Nearest Location:not known
    Distance:not known
    Time:06/09/2008 20:24:49 (GMT)

June 9, 2008

Monday morning--have not heard from Chuck yet this morning, but will bring everyone up to speed about yesterday. Everyone who was taking advantage of the shuttle bus drove to Magnolia Beach. The only problem was when Graham Byrne (of B and B boats and from Australia, but lives in North Carolina) tried to go through the checkpoint that the Border Patrol has just up HWY 77 from Raymondsville--he had forgotten to bring his green card, and he was detained for about an hour while they checked to make sure he was okay to be in the US!!! We have been through this checkpoint a number of times, and we are always closely scrutinized for I don't know, terrorist leanings(Chuck IS a suspicious looking fellow) or maybe they think we have an illegal alien in our boot. A sign of our times, I suppose. The Border Patrol agents are mostly what I think of as young kids--early 20's and usually quite earnest and very serious--no smiles. Drug dogs sniff all around the cars.

He called again last night to say that they were back at Port Mansfield--had found a restaurant near the marina for one last real meal, although I think he will eat pretty well as Mike had brought lots of goodies. Left to his own devices (i.e. without me to cook for him), Chuck will subsist on canned green beans and Spam singles etc. I told him he should appoint Mike as cook.

This morning, they were going to motor over to the county park and pick up some of Kellans extra gear and then probably wait and bring up the rear of the group. More as soon as I hear from him.

Update on Kellan--has not moved much yet:

  • Kellan's location:
  • Latitude:26.5684
    Longitude:-97.4288
    Nearest Location: N Shore Dr, Port Mansfield, TX, US
    Distance: 0 km(s)
    Time:06/08/2008 17:40:48 (GMT)

Monday update--10:30 AM CST: Everyone is off and running. Chuck said that Charlie and Laura in their tri and Graham Byrnes in the Southern Skimmer went flying off and he thinks they might be at the first camp by noon. He and Mike are bringing up the rear pretty much, making sure no one has any big problems. Wind is good- 15 to 20, and he and Mike are sailing with mizzen only and making 4.5 MPH. Said he had about 12 boats in sight at the moment, and thought that there were at least 24 all around--will get a better count tonight. On the map it is hard to judge the scale of the area--you really start to think about the curvature of the earth when you are on the water.

The PD Racers are doing well--the only one he has in sight is John Wright, and he is taking things slowly as he does not have high freeboard and was taking on water over the bow if he went too fast. Andrew Linn and Jason N are ahead out of sight.

Chuck says they are right now about halfway to the entrance to the land cut. The lazy jacks on the Caprice are working well. Have asked him to call tonight with reports from participants--if he can get a phone signal. He was fading out this morning, but signal should get stronger as they move up the coast--the King ranch will no doubt have good towers, and closer to Corpus there will be better reception. I can hear the wind blowing over the phone, and wish just a little that I was there too.

 

June 7, 2008

First update, and I will include what I learned yesterday (Saturday). I know Chuck thought I would do this yesterday, but I don't think he realized that just getting him and Mike out the yard and down the road was pretty exhausting, and then I had the 2 grandkids all day too. Chuck did not call from the coast until after 8, and by that time, I was pretty much ambulatory (yes, I am exaggerating), but in any case here we go:

Kellan was successfully picked up at the airport in San Antonio. Chuck said the security guards at the airport bristled a bit at the sight of the Caprice pulling through, especially when he stopped by the curb, but Kellan loaded his stuff and hopped in and off they went. Trip to Port Mansfield was uneventful--they dropped Kellan at the county park--already some other participants there, and took the Caprice to the TX Parks and Wildlife ramp to see who might be there. Charlie Jones and Graham were there, and I guess they spent the night there with them.

They had a meeting last night and found that about 25 boats were already there, with more expected this morning. Enthusiasm abounding all around--everyone wishing they could just do the Star Trek transporter act with their trucks and trailers and send those to the take out point, but alas, this morning they are dealing with the shuttle details, and most had already left for Magnolia Beach where the bus will pick them up and bring them back to their boats.

Dan St Gean (and I apologize in advance for any names I misspell!) was running a bit late due to trailer spring troubles, but he had spent Saturday night in Kingsville and Chuck saw a Hobie Cat at the mcDonalds parking lot in Raymondville on his way out this morning, and called to tell me about going in and saying, "Hi, Which one of you is Dave" and Dave asking him who the heck he (Chuck) was. They were planning to drop their boat and head for Magnolia Beach ASAP.

The only "diffooguldies" I have heard about so far are no gas at the marina, but there is gas at the filling station in Port M. Expensive, I am sure--it is a long way from anywhere. I am hoping Chuck will give me a better list of who all is there when he calls later--probably from the bus coming back. Will now update Kellan's location.

  • Kellan's location:
    Latitude:26.5683
    Longitude:-97.4289
    Nearest Location: N Shore Dr, Port Mansfield, TX, US
    Distance: 0 km(s)
    Time:06/08/2008 02:36:32 (GMT)

 

June 4, 2008

We are making last minute preparations today. Roger Harlow is arriving today to take my Ladybug to the start at Port Mansfield. He will be sailing her solo. Mike Miller, my crew on the Caprice should arrive tonight. We will pack tomorrow and leave Saturday morning. We pick Kellan Hatch at the airport in San Antonio and go from there to Port Mansfield and the start of the cruise. Sunday we will do a shuttle to get the trailers to the finish line

  • Kellan's location:
    Latitude:40.5014
    Longitude:-111.9378
    Nearest Location:not known
    Distance:not known
    Time:05/22/2008 23:21:26 (GMT)

This Spot report was sent from Kellan's home in Salt Lake City - click the link to get a view in Google Maps.


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