A Last Note from Jackie - Mike's Accident
Mike and the Scamp dropped out of the TX 200 on the next to last day. His fondness for ice for the cooler was his undoing at last. He had sailed into Rockport to the marina to pick up a bag of ice and ended up in the emergency room after being whacked by his boom.
He had just fitted the Scamp out ahead of the TX 200 with larger batteries in place of water for ballast. This was to run his electric trolling motor for power instead of sailing without a motor. This motor was no match for the 30 mph headwinds on the coast and could not control the boat.
Trying to enter the ICW he got blown onto a lee shore and was trying to kedge off with anchors again, was walking around the Scamp and suddenly the boom swung around and hit him in the nose/face- stunned him, knocked him into water, broke his nose. He came to in a puddle of bloody water, thought it had cut his nose or mouth off. He was wearing his life vest and pouring blood.
He grabbed a towel to stanch the blood and walked to shore. A nice couple onshore drove him to the emergency room where they xrayed his nose, got bleeding stopped. The doctor then drove him back to marina and a nice couple fishing pulled his boat in to the local bait stand. The lady there let him tie up and keep the Scamp there until someone could come for him. Our daughter from Houston offered to go that night but he decided to wait for Saturday pickup.
Saturday we all arrived to gather up Mike, the truck and trailer. We got to SeaDrift in time to see the "fast boats", the Folding Schooner, the Light Schooner, the Laguna and the Goat Island Skiff arriving. Mike opted to skip the shrimp boil and head home for a shower and clean clothes, as we had a three hour or more drive back to Houston.
Unbelievably, he has not turned black or blue yet. Part of the problem is that Mike already had nose surgery and part of his nose is not his - it is done with artificial inserts, so we need a good nose surgeon to look at him.
Back to Oklahoma for Mike and the Scamp. The Scamp looks a little worse for wear too.
Jackie Monies (for Mike)
Report from Chuck
Sandra and I got up early today and left before anyone else.
We had a great day of sailing. The wind was cool at about 10 building to 20 in the afternoon. We left about 6AM and arrived at Port Mansfield around 1. It took us about three hours to get out to the jetties because of trouble with the outboard motor. We were the first ones there but shortly, the guys who went outside came along. Here are the pictures I took of them as they arrived:
||Chris Breaux with his daughter and a nephew in a folding schooner were the first of the "outsiders" to arrive.
||Gordo Barcomb with his son, Matthew was second with Jon Kovitz in tow. Jon was sailing a Goose but became sick during the trip.
||Kevin Allison sailed the other Goose and made Camp one without incident.
||Chris, Cathy and Meredith in the Light Schooner came in next. The only mishap was that Chris fell overboard once during the passage.
||John Wright - now called 'the creature from the black lagoon' arrived later having sailed the inside.
Chuck's Latest Spot
Thursday: Further Adventures on the TX200
Finally got Mike on a cell phone to get a better report. I misjudged the man - he was not buying ice or using the facilities over at Fin and Feather.
Mike had missed a second turnoff to get to the new campsite and had gone up a dead end and found a second mudflat to get stuck on! He was busy trying to get out of the mud for the second time today on a totally new mudflat.
The report from Mike was that the Herreshof 12 had not only gotten stuck in the mud but had also swamped the boat. The ended up calling the tow company who took them down to the Padre Island Yacht Club for the night. He had seen nothing of them today and thinks they may have dropped out.
Mike got to the real campsite with the help of John Wright in Laguna Seis who guided or gave him correct location and turn off. Mike says that John is sailing the Laguna with just his mizzen up and it reefed way down. Didn't even have his main mast up and is still flying on a piece of the mizzen. Mike said St John is just so fast in that stripped down Laguna 23.
The two Geese with Jon Kowitz and Kevin Allison and the Laguna Uno with Gordo Barcomb skipped the fourth night campsite and went on to Paul's Mott for the night.
There are 15 boats now at the fourth night campsite, plus the three that went on to Paul's Mott.
Kevin Nicolin in the B & B Coresound is doing just fine, no trouble at all. Breaux in the Bolger Schooner, Elsie B, is doing great as always. Tonight Breaux cooked dinner for the entire crew and captains, a dinner Mike said with sausages and other stuff, the first hot meal they have had.
That may mean that Mike didn't get to any of the fish fry, as they would have had to cook the fish! He didn't mention Ceviche, although Gordo Barcomb said before TX 200 started he was bringing ingredients for Ceviche.
Guess I should explain how Mike got off the mudflat(s) as he was only one with serious problems today. He couldn't sleep as close as he was to ICW and got started at 6 a.m. trying to get off. He couldn't go across ICW so he took his two anchors and started kedging off, throwing one and using other to hold him so he was alternating anchors.
After two hours of throwing and kedging in the mud, which was very soft and deep and could not be walked in, he got to enough water to maneuver. He was at the opening for the causeway bridge when he got blown back again before he could get the centerboard and rudder down.
There he was with winds against him but he remembered an opening way down on west side that went below causeway bridge. He made his way down there with difficulty and then walked the Scamp under the bridge through grass and mud. He had a foot to spare, so left mast up, then had to walk boat mainly and pull it to get to the deep water of Corpus Christi Bay.
He got on right side (literally) of the bay and was making his way to camp when he made another wrong turn and went aground the second time.
The Scamp reminds me of what racing people call horses, a "mudder".
So, they are all at the next to last camp and asleep by now. Mike said it is first night that is relatively cool and the winds have died down enough to sleep.
On to the last night's camp tomorrow and then the end in Sea Drift.
This year seems to be leaving us in suspense: who started, who stayed in, who dropped out already?
Mike Monies and the Scamp got off the sandbar/mud flat this morning and went across the mud flat and under the causeway bridge from way to the left side of the ICW, made it into deep enough water that he sailed out. Got across to the right side (literally) of the bay and made a stop of around an hour at a location I suspect might have been to purchase ice for the cooler, find bathroom amenities. But since no one has spoken to him, we are all guessing.
Got a report that the Herreshoff 12 had been towed off the opposite shore mud bank and down to the Padre Island Yacht Club but was swearing they would continue on. Also heard that the Geese had left Snoopy's and made it to the Lydia Ann Channel by late morning, heading for the fourth night camp.
Most dramatic report was from Rodney Wade who had gone end over end in a wild jibe in 20-30 mph winds yesterday and had dropped out of the TX 200. He had injured/hit his leg on the mast in the pitch poling of the boat.
Darn it, where is Chuck and his new communication system? What is happening to the other twenty boats in the group?
Jackie Monies (for Mike Monies)
Chuck's Last Spot
Mike's Last Spot
Post Note to Wednesday Report
Mystery solved as to who had their sails blow out. It was Jon Kowitz in his Goose whose sail got torn away when his reef point tore out, sails flogged and ripped off, leaving him with no sail at all. He drifted onto the King Ranch and Gordo Barcomb mounted a rescue, took him one of the sails from the Laguna Uno.
Since Gordo only had two for the Laguna Uno, that must mean he is running on one alone?
Jon Kowitz is safely sitting at Snoopy's with Kevin Allison also in a Goose. They reported the Geese are performing very well, except for losing the sail in the high winds.
Mike is still sitting on the mudflat across the ICW from Snoopy's.
If there was a mudflat around Corpus Christi Bay, I knew Mike would find it with the red Scamp. He is hard aground on a huge mudflat on the opposite side of the ICW from where he was heading, Snoopy's Restaurant, where he intended to tie up and eat some fresh seafood.
Mike had missed the buoy marking the entrance for the third night's camp and had headed for Snoopy's, a good port in a storm. Instead the howling winds blew him to opposite side of the channel and he can't navigate out until the winds die down, hopefully tonight. He has plenty of food and water, plans to sleep on boat, is in an area so shallow that no one can run over him!
Mike says the winds have been howling like a banshee all day and for yesterday as well. He says it is "hotter than hell" out there with a heat index of 105 with unrelenting winds. Mike has had the Scamp double reefed for the entire trip.
Just as we were talking the beautiful Herreshoff 12 went hard aground on the opposite side of the ICW. They draw about two feet and were trying to get into the Padre Island Yacht Club to tie up and spend the night. Yesterday they had broken their gaff jaws but had made repairs and continued on.
Today someone else had their grommets blow completely out and blew out their sails. They drifted until they came aground out on the King Ranch. Gordo Barcomb is trying to organize a rescue to go save them and boat. Mike did not know which boat it was yet.
The Weekender had bailed out in Port Aransas with broken steering.
Still talking to Mike- one of the Sea Pearl's pulled in to Snoopy's and started taking their boat out of the water. Mike thought it was the Ozey Pearl and they had their trailer at Snoopy's, so he thought this might be a planned drop out.
Travis Votaw was able to get his B and B Princess 22 hauled out and repaired down in Port Mansfield and they sailed into Camp 2 last night.
There were 24 boats on the beach at Camp 2, not counting the Sherpa which is actually a dinghy for Travis Votaw's Pilgrim.
The Scamp has performed great with the southeast winds behind her. She has gone due north for three days straight up the ICW. Winds have been around 20 mph or more with about a one knot current pushing for additional speed. Mike says all the bouys are laying heavily to the north.
He slept on shore in his tent cot one night, then winds were so bad that he slept on the Scamp the second night to keep from being blown into the ICW.
There have been lots of dolphins this year following Scamp. Mike says one came up and stuck his head out of the water and laughed at him.
Mik Storer is making it fine so far. Mik's totally covered up from the sun, even wearing a sun face mask, a big white hat, long pants and long shirt, sailing gloves. He is protecting his tender and pale skin from sunburn, as it is winter where he lives in Australia.
Mike says the highlight of the second night were the speckled trout caught by Gordo Barcomb and his son, Kathy Wright and Chris Tomsett and daughter. The specs were cleaned and cooked on the beach. Mike said they fished off the Bolger Light Schooner for the specs.
Hopefully more tomorrow when Mike floats off the mudflat. Deja vu all over again!
Jackie Monies (for Mike)
Chuck's Latest Spot Location
By 10:30 a. m. today, Tuesday, the second day of the trip, I was beginning to think the Scamp had gone to the bottom of a bay somewhere in south Texas and taken the SPOT with her. I had gotten one "I'm OK" message early Monday morning as they left the marina down by Port Isabel. Nothing since then and I couldn't get his tracking maps to come up. I figured since he was single handing he had forgotten to push the "I'm OK" button after the first one and hadn't turned the track on.
Couldn't get him on a cell phone, just figured the new route was so remote that there was no service out there for the cows and armadillos on the King Ranch!
Finally, at 10:30 a. m. today he checked in from Port Mansfield where he was picking up ice for his cooler already. It is over 100 degrees down there and Mike doesn't like hot beverages.
The red Scamp was doing just fine. He had started relatively early on Monday, thinking the winds might be against him and slow her down, requiring long hours sailing. Instead, she was doing great - he averaged over 6 mph all the way and only two boats had passed him in the ditch. (He didn't say which two passed him)
Our friend Travis Votaw, who was sailing with his son and two grandsons, had run his B and B Princess 22 over a shallow spot of mud or oysters (?) and jammed his centerboard. They couldn't get it down and they had taken her into Port Mansfield ahead of Mike to try and get repairs done. Both Travis and his son, grandsons, are experienced sailors so he has good help.
Another boat, the Weekender, had pulled out and the captain was trying to figure out how to get his trailer and vehicle down to the south end where he was. Mike thought a couple of more boats might be pulled out or pulling out but he did not know names. He said one sailor/captain had a heart episode down in South Padre/Port Isabel before they left and was taken to a hospital. Better that it didn't happen a day later on the water!
The heat is brutal down there, even if there is wind. I hope we don't have a lot of heat exhaustion or illnesses this year as we did last year. Mike left the legs long on his new sailing pants so as to cover his legs and ankles. The first year he sunburned his ankles so badly that he still has scars today, just from where his pants rode up under sail.
As soon as I get another report from Mike I will post it here. They seem to be in another remote area tonight, as I can't raise him on his phone.
Jackie Monies (for Mike)
Shuttle day. What can I say - a 4-1/2 hour drive in a car followed by a similar ride in a bus. As we sped south on the freeway, I kept thinking "we have to go all the way back at 5 miles per hour. " Once back at the White Sands Motel, we all filed into the adjacent restaurant to eat. I highly recommend the fish tacos.
Tomorrow we sail. There is still a lot of discussion about sailing out in the gulf as far as the Mansfield cut, but a lot of folks seem to be talking themselves out of it as crunch time nears.
We got up before breakfast and drove to Los Fresnos to eat. We have stopped at Angeles Café before and can't pass it up now. They have the best Migas in South Texas. Then we drove the 20 more miles into Port Isabel to the Sands Motel, our home for a couple of days. We launched the boat and tied it in a slip right away, but could not check into our room until later.
||Our Caprice secure in a covered slip - Sandra stows gear.
All day, people kept showing up. One was John Wright. John had an interesting experience - his Laguna's leeboard came untied in transit and dragged on the pavement for a while before he caught on.
||John and his truncated leeboard.
All afternoon, we kept thinking of things we had forgot to bring which necessitated several trips to local businesses. Everything was close by but the inbound traffic kept getting heavier and heavier such that a trip of a few blocks took most of an hour. Most late arrivals complained about it.
||Due to a lane closure on the causeway over to South Padre Island, traffic was backed up all the way through Port Isabel.
|| Michael hops into the shotgun seat full of contempt for anyone who might delay our trip.
We did the last of the packing and started out about 9AM for Harlingen, Texas where we had a room waiting. We had Subway sandwiches for lunch in Jordanton and made it to our Motel before dinner. Michael Storer, a vegetarian, spotted a Chinese Buffet so we ate dinner there.
Map of the Course