Wednesday, August 3, 2016


My friend Mark, from Austin, had not been sailing in many, many years. He drove down and we took Idris out on Galveston Bay. We got her in the water and off the dock about 2:30. The wind was light, but good enough to fill our sail and scoot us on across the bay.

I got Mark on the tiller briefly. Long enough to put my feet up for a few minutes, and long enough for him to get the feel of the tiller.

My outboard is still not broken in completely. After a while, I thought we should drop the sail and motor for a while. We motored at half throttle toward the Kemah Boardwalk. The gas tank was full when we started out, and got us from Bacliff almost to the channel in front of the boardwalk. So, now I know how long .26 gallons will take me. I refilled the tank, and we continued past the Boardwalk, under the bridge and into Clear Lake. While heading back to the bay, we took a side tour of one of the canals. My outboard doesn't have a reverse, but it does swivel 360 degrees. Using this feature will take some practice. I turned around and didn't hit any boats that were in my way. But it was touch and go for a moment. I may have scared Mark a little. Sorry Mark.

Just as we got back to the dock, we witnessed a beautiful sunset. I didn't plan to stay out that long, but we were having a great time. I never stop smiling when I'm on the water.

Monday, August 1, 2016


This weekend, I took Idris out by myself. I prefer to have company, it's just more fun. But, I wanted out on the water, so I went. This was also the first time I had used a proper ramp and unloaded and loaded without help. In Key West, we had a place literally around the corner that was used for putting boats in the water. It was simply a clearing in the mangroves next to a canal with the perfect slope.

I got Idris off the trailer without problems. Sailed away from the dock without problems. The wind was behind me, and very light. Not making any speed at all, I thought I would start my new outboard, it needs to be broken in anyway. I pulled, and pulled, and pulled.... couldn't get it started. Frustrating. 

I sailed for a little while, catching a few good gusts that made it worth making the trip out there. When I turned around back toward the dock, I could see a rain cloud in the distance. Moving very slow, I was hoping to catch some wind from the cloud. The wind shifted and increased, filling my sail and we took off. This made me smile. I felt a few sprinkles on my face, but I didn't care. My sail was full, I could hear the water lapping against the hull. I was happy. Looking south, I saw rain and it was close. I was making good time and thought I could make it to the dock before it got to me, and I did.

As soon as I started packing her up, it started pouring. I was immediately drenched, so I just kept at it. It was a good day. I proved to myself that I am capable of taking my boat out without help. Today, I will figure out why I couldn't get the motor started. Hopefully, it is the motor and can be corrected.... and the problem is not ME.