Thursday, October 29, 2009

SuperLoop LegII

Well, it's been too long off of the water. My arm was getting to the point that I had to do something so went under the knife in Sept. The Dr. said I wouldn't even be able to drive a car for two months much less take a boat ride but I did much better than he expected. The 4th Annual Gulf Coast C-Brat Gathering in Apalachicola was this past week-end. At the last min I decided to take C-Lover East from Pensacola and join the group. This let me get Leg II of my Super Loop completed. The weather going down was great. I got ahead of a front that was working it's way from West to East. I left on Tuesday and only made it about 20 miles to Navarre the first day. On day two I went to Panama City. I found out that another C-Brat was just around the corner from where I was staying. I met up with Mike and Judy Taylor on the Papillon the next morning and we traveled together Thursday from Panama City to Apalachicola.

The gathering was great. Lots of great food and even better friends.

Marc Grove from Wefings Marine out did himself with great eats. We definitely put a hurting on the seafood supply on the Gulf Coast. I, of course, in the rush to get underway forgot to take my camera. I will try and pirate some of the pictures from the C-Brats and post them here.

Shucking OYSTERS


The food Line


MASTER CHEF Marc doing his magic




Roger and Mike solving the worlds problems




The next leg will be to cross the Gulf of Mexico from Apalachicola down to Tarpon Springs where I can pick up the ICW again.  I can’t see this happening until January but maybe December. 

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Figured that I had better give an update. I got back to Pensacola from segment one and found several minor little mods that I need to make to C-Lover to make things a little better. I changed locations of the VHF radio and did some re-wiring to dress thing up. I had also completely lost the VHF antenna so also had to replace that. Complete fluid changes, etc. Now need to do a wax job. I also replaced the fuel filter with the one that has the clear bowl on the bottom so I can see if I'm picking up any crud and/or any water in the gas.

I had wanted to be back on the water by now for segment two but these things plus my Dad is having a few medical issues. I have to take him in on Tues for a heart cath. Now it's getting unbelievably hot here now. Until a week ago the evening temps were dropping to the 70* I may have to go with an AC for night time. We will see what next week brings and go from there.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May 21 Thur


Weather has certainly been the theme of the first leg of this adventure. I have had a lot of it. I left out of Franklin, La after having a fantastic time spending some time with Mary Jo’s relatives. I got to the Harvey Lock and spent the night on the dock at the lock.

0600 Made it through the lock without incident and down the Mississippi by the heart of New Orleans and through the industrial lock. It’s about a 25 mile run from the industrial to the Rigolets and then into the Mississippi sound. The plan was to go to Ship Island. I stayed there on the way over and enjoyed the area. I though I might launce the kayak and spend a day or so. The forecast was for 15 to 20kts from the East. Just before I got to the Rigolets there was a tug with two empties pushed up on the bank. This could mean he is waiting out the weather. I tried calling him but got no answer on the radio. I headed into the bay. The wind was blowing but not bad. There was only about a one foot chop. I kicked C-Lover up to 3600 rpm and was making 18 mph. All was fine for about a 45 min to an hour. Then the wind picked up fast. Before I could blink an eye there were white caps everywhere and those shorts close seas got to 4 feet. The wind had moved more around to the north. I was not that sure of how protested Ship Island is from the North so I made a 90* left turn and headed to Gulfport. I had to drop speed to barely making headway. This is the first time I have pounded so hard that it was uncomfortable on me as a matter of fact my back took a beating. I hit so hard one time that the screws that hold the radar display gave way a it dropped down holding on only by the wires connecting it to power and the reflector unit. I was able to disconnect those and toss the display up in the v-berth. I was still getting beat up too much heading to Gulfport so turned some more to port. This lined me up with Long Beach. There is a protected harbor there. When I got about ¾ of a mile from the beach I got some protection from the land and the seas were acceptable. I am glad I was not trying to go into there at night. I would not have made it. It is poorly marked. All you can see is a seawall barrier that looks continuous.
In actually there are two that run parallel to each other with the opening from the East side. If I had not lost the radar, this would have shown up on the display. I made it in without incident. I considered just staying there for a couple of days a waiting it out. I found a charter boat captain and he said it was suppose to get worse and stay this way for close to a week. He had cancelled all of his charters for the next four days. I also considered have Mary Jo drive over and we would just hold up together at one of the casino motels but she had a root canal on Tuesday and that is now infected and giving her a bad time.
This has been a bad week for boaters on the Gulf coast. While I was in Franklin two boats of teenagers collided killing about four of them. Wed night about 2 miles from where I was a pontoon boat with 5 on board ran into a barge and killed them. The charter guy I was talking to said last week a boat load of four were out around Cat Island and the weather turned to about what it is now. That boat turned over and one of them drown. They have not found him.
Since I have traveled this part of the water on other occasions and discretion being the better part of valor, I had Mary Jo bring the trailer to Long Beach and I loaded C-Lover and returned to Pensacola. Total miles traveled by water this leg 1730 miles. Total Engine hours 208.




Saturday, May 23, 2009

May 20th Wed

0700 Packed up, stopped and got 40lbs of ice, some orange juice and topped off the gas tanks. 15 gal.

0830 Said good by to Steve and Linda and was underway.

0916 Back in the ICW.

1100 Bayou Boeuf Lock. 93 WHL

1400 Houma engine hours 400 1504 trip miles.

1644 trip miles

2000 15 WHL Crown Point gas station. This is a convenience store that is right on the water. They even have a little dock. I used the cart and took on 35 gals of fuel 5 gal at a time.

2230 Harvey Lock. Tied up at the dock beside the lock.

May 19th Tuesday


0530  Up early and off to “work” actually Steve did all the work.  He works the traps from about 18 foot open skiff.  He had a chair set up for me at the front.  All I had to do was sit there like the King and enjoy the experience.  It was about a 20 min run from the launch to the area back in the swamp where he sets his traps.  He has 150 of them.  He baited them up with a piece of shad, a half of a potato and he put some of the corn in some of the traps.  It was a  very interesting operation to watch.  His traps are about 4 to 5 feet long and only about  18 inches in diameter.  They are like a crab trap and have a couple of holes in the side on the bottom so the crawfish can get in but can’t get out.  These crawfish walk around on the bottom.  They will climb the side of the trap to get at the food inside.  If the trap for some reason did not get pushed all the way to the bottom there will be no crawfish in it.  He baits them up and will return in about 3 or 5 days to harvest.  Some traps would have 25 or 30 in it and others my only have two or three.  There were only a few that had none.  These probably did not get set on the bottom.  What gets me is how he can find them all.  He has his tagged with orange striped tape but remembering where they all are?  Out in the middle of the swamp it all looked the same to me.  Close my eyes and turn me around and I had no idea what direction was where.








He has small wooden box about 18”x24”x 4” built on the side of the boat.  He dumped the contents of the traps into the box and then culls out what he does not want to keep.  At one end of the box is a hole with a gunny sack attached underneath.  The keepers are pushed into the hole and go into the sack until it is full.  Then he replaces it with a new sack. We ended up with five and a half sacks.  We ran all 150 traps and were back to the landing by 1100. 

When we got home he started calling his customers and with only a few calls he had the four he wanted to sell sold.  We kept the one for us to eat.  Then it was time for a short nap.

At around 1730 he put the big pot on the burner with some water, dumped in the crawfish, onions, potatoes and other secret ingredients.  In about 30 min it was time.  He poured off the water and a few more spices and then brought the pot into the dinning room and dumped it on the table.




Then it was time to dig in.  What a treat.  Now that was some good eating.

After dinner it was time for dessert.  Percy and Janice live right on main street in Baldwin, La about 7 miles up the road from Franklin.  For over forty years during the summer they have made some extra money by selling snow cones from the front of there house.  It’s only been about 40 years since I’ve had one.  I was ready.  we went to their stand and I got one large strawberry shaved ice snow cone.  Was that ever a treat.  I had forgotten just how good they are.




They plan was to head out in the morning for a three day shrimping trip but the weather gods were just not willing to cooperate.  Winds 15 to 20kts ESE with four foot seas.  The forecast was no better for the next few days so I’ll just load up C-Lover and continue on East.

May 18th Monday


0600   Got up and underway. 

1100  160 WHL Intracoastal City gas 24gal plus 5 aux.

1150   155 WHL

1430   Franklin canal.

1510  Made it to the Hwy 90 bridge and could see Steve’s boat on the other side.  There is a draw bridge just on the other side of the Hwy 90 bridge.  The vertical clearance closed is only about 7 feet.  Not enough for me to get under.  I called on the radio but got no answer.  I was sitting there looking up Steve’s number to call when I saw a lady on the bank.  She called over to me and said that the she would open the bridge at 3:30.  ( After the school busses ran.).  At 1530 she opened the bridge and I rafted up to Steve’s shrimp boat.  I had just finished getting things in order when Steve pulled up.  He looked over C-Lover and the we headed to his house.

When we went into the house Linda was sitting in front of bushel of fresh corn that she was preparing to put up for the winter.  I helped pull the silks from the corn.  Steve needed to pickup a couple of things at Winn-Dixie so we made a quick run to the store.  Coming out of the store we ran into Percy and Janice.  Janice is another of Mary Jo’s cousins.  We parked the RV in there yard when we were here in February.  The plan for tomorrow is to get up and run Steve’s crawfish traps.

May 17th Sunday


0545  A lot of barge traffic all night and also a lot of bugs.  I’m glad I have the screen porch.  Thousands of bugs.  All trying to get  into the light inside the boat.  Shut the back door when I turn in just to be sure none got into the cabin.  It was warm and muggy so I set the generator in the cockpit and ran it for the first time on the trip.  I put the small fan I have on the floor blowing into the v-berth.  That kept things cool for about 4 hours until the generator ran out of gas.  By then it had cooled down quite a bit.

0600 Stowed the generator and got underway.

1000 crossed back into Louisiana

1130 Adams Bayou. Adams Bayou is at 255 WHL at Orange, Tx. The ICW is still in Louisiana but the land is Texas. No marina fuel but Garmin showed a gas station about two blocks from the end of the Bayou.  I found a boat ramp with a dock where I could tie up.  I took the 5 gal can and cart and wheeled it to the convenient store.  The temp was dropping and spitting  some rain.  I donned the rain jacket.  I needed about 20 gals.  That would only be 4 trips. 

When I got back with the first load Bob Stringer appeared out of  a building that I thought was abandoned.  He said “You getting gas?”  They he said hop in the truck and I’ll give you a ride.  It didn’t matter that I had to make 3 more trips.  He kept apologizing that he didn’t see me the first time.   

I actually ended up only needing 15 gals of gas. 

I continued on until the 193 MM and stopped for the night.

May 16th Saturday


0700  Underway

0900  Crossing Galveston Ship Channel.  Lots of boat traffic. I saw 5 tugs with barges, 3 in coming ships, 6 shrimp boats and too many small boats to count.

1000 Passing by  Goat Island.  The south shore is lined absolutely solid with storm debris for miles.  Most of it is piles of wood with a few refrigerators and freezers tossed in.  I saw at least a dozen boat hulls.  All of this used to be houses on the south side of the island. 

1200  Just rolled over 1200 miles on the trip odometer. 

1424  320 WHL

1630  Afraid to try and anchor so I found an old set of pilings from a dock and tied up for the night. 

MAY 15 Friday


0600  Underway

1130 Talked to Alok and all looks to be on schedule.  The only problem is that we needed to change locations.  Harbor walk is a private, gated community and you need a pass from a resident to get in.  If I had a transient boat slip that would work but they were already full for the weekend.  The fact that I was stopping for gas was not enough.  They remembered me from my stop headed West but they had no room at the inn for tonight.   I was looking forward to staying there.  We changed locations to Offats Bayou.  358WHL. 

1200  I needed to run about 20MPH again to make it to

         Offats on time.

1230  Cruising in a boat has some similarities to flying an airplane.  Hours of boredom followed by seconds of shear panic.  I was cruising along at an easy 3800RPM making about 19 MPH.  I new the port tank was running low but wanted to run it dry.  I still had 40 miles to go.  I needed to know if I had enough fuel running at this speed to make it to Harbor walk or if I needed to make a quick stop in Freeport to pick up 5 gals.  I should have plenty but I really like to have at least a 5 gal margin.  On the water, in the middle of no where, in a strange land is not a problem I want to have to resolve.  I  have plenty of operator errors without running out of fuel being one of them. 

I have run the tanks dry several times on the trip with no problems.  The engine will lose some rpm as a warning and I get to the back and switch tanks.  Sometimes if I’m a little slow I will have to pump the prime bulb to keep the engine running until the lines get full again before the engine dies.  But this has always been at slow idle speeds.  This time I was going at a high RPM. 

When it ran out it was sudden.  No sputtering.  Just a kick-up and dead.  About 5 seconds after the engine quit the alarms started sounding showing high temp and check engine.  I guess that the sudden stopping of the engine and thus the the water pump let the engine temp get too high.  When I scrolled through the instrument pages to the engine temp it read 190*.  When running at speed the normal temp has been from 170 to 177 depending on the outside water temp. 

Anyway, I switched tanks, primed the engine and it started but was really running rough.  As soon as the engine started the temp started coming down.  In less than 30 seconds, the temp was normal but it was still running rough and the check engine light was still on.  I could not get any RPM and no power out of the engine.  It was like it had gone into limp mode.  I turned the engine off and let it sit for a minute and then re-started.  The same thing running rough and no power.  I was getting ready to call Marc at Wefings when I remembered one more thing to try.

The Suzuki engines have a computer that keeps track of engine hours and flashes a light  when its time to change the oil.  You reset the computer by turning the key on and off and doing a secret dance while holding your left elbow.  I decided to go though this drill before calling Marc. Sure enough, that worked.  The engine is  running normal again.  The check engine light still stayed on for about 30 minutes but then went out.  I guess it figured out that I wasn’t going to check anything else and said “the hell with you and gave up”

1330  Made it to Harbor Walk 43 gals $104.

1430  Met up with Alok.  What a great guy.  He has a Tomcat that he bought from Wefings.  He is only been boating a few years but is very knowledgeable.  His first boat was a trawler and now the Tomcat. 

He drove me around Galveston Island and pointed out the sights.  We had a shrimp po-boy for lunch.  On the way back to the boat he was kind enough to stop by a store so I could buy some bread and orange juice. 

He has been taking ballroom dancing for several years and tonight was a big night for that so we said good by around 1630 so he would have time to get to class. 

1630  I motored out into Offats Bayou 358 WHL to anchor for the night.  This is a great protected bayou with a depth of from 10 to 20 feet.  The bayou is a result of dredging that provided land fill to raise the West side of Galveston.

1700  Thing two that went wrong today.  I picked out a great spot to anchor in about 15 feet of water.  The anchor would not set.  I tried 4 times.  All it would do is drag. I could feel it bumping along the bottom.  I let out 200 feet of rode and it would not even attempt to dig in.  The cheap Wal-Mart anchor and chain was not up to the task.  I looked around the shore line and saw a lot of private docks but didn’t see anyone around any of them that I might ask if I could tie up for the night.  I finally spotted an area with several docks and what looked like a clubhouse and swimming pool.  There were some people setting up grills for a cookout.

I tied up at one of the docks and walked up to the area by the building and met Terry.  He said he was the caretaker.  he was nice but kind of matter of fact.  He said that this was the Galveston Boat Club (GBC).  I told him my situation and need to use a dock for the night.  He said that one of the officers would be there later and he would check with him to make sure that it was OK for me to stay.  In just a few minuets he came with the good news that it was OK to stay.  In the mean time I had looked over the anchor and chain and could see no reason for it not working.

1730  Now problem number three for the day.  I called Mary Jo on the cell phone to check in.  The phone kept cutting out and going dead.  In crossing Corpus Christi Bay the other day I had the front window open so I could see better.  Some sea spray came in but I didn’t think that much got on the phone.  It has been working but the screen will go blank every now and then.  Until now I haven’t been talking on the phone at the time so didn’t know that the phone also dies.  I thought that it was just the display going blank.  I pulled up my Garmin and found that there is a Wal-Mart only 1.3 miles away.  That’s a good hike for today.  I need the exercise.

1830  I now have a new phone.  We’ll see how long I can go with out killing this one by getting it wet.

1840   Mary Jo is from Franklin, La and still has lots of uncles and cousins there.  We stopped there in the motorhome back in Feburary when we were returning from a BBQ contest in the area.  I met cousin, Steve Landry.  He is a true Cajun and along with other things fishes, shrimps and runs crawfish traps.  While we were there he took me to see his shrimp boat.  He  keeps it on the Franklin canal at the Hwy 90 bridge.  He said that shrimping season started on May 1st.  I told him I might come over and go shrimping some time.  This seemed like a good time.  I called him out the phone and told him I was passing by in the ICW.  He told me to come up the canal and just raft up to his boat.  So, that’s the plan.

1900 I saw Terry walking my way with his flashlight.  I figured that this was not a good sign.  When he got to the boat I could see that he was carrying a big bowl.  He said “I figured you might be hungry.  How about some dinner.”  He had a big bowl  of red beans and rice.  I got off the boat and we had a long chat.  It seems that he has only been on the job for a couple of weeks.  He gave me the grand tour of the property and gave me some of the history of the GBC.  It has been in existence since 1927.  It is limited to 325 members.   150 from Houston and 225 from Galveston.  He lives on the property and keeps it ready for the members use. 

2200  Light out after a long fun filled day.

May 14th Thursday


0600  Underway Winds much better at 10 to 15.  Overcast.

0845  Made it across the bay.  Did a one gal test run at

          1450RPM 5.4 MPH 7.71 MPG.

1700  Continued on slow speed until Port O’Connor 473WHL I called the coast guard and ask if they had any information on the lock at the Colorado River.  He did not know but would check and let me know.  In less than 5 minutes he called me back with the bad news.  They were still working on the lock from 7am to  7 PM everyday.  This was bad timing for me.  If I continued at slow speed I wouldn’t make the lock until sometime tomorrow after 7am.  Then I would just have to sit all day at the lock.  The bect I can remember there is not a good place to dock on the West side of the lock.  I could keep running tonight and get through but I have been avoiding running at dark. 

1710 Picked up speed to around 20MPH and ran the 40

        miles to the lock.

1830 Made it through the lock and swing bridge.  I could not get the lockmaster to answer me on the radio after several attempts.  There was a tug and barge going through so I just got on his tail and followed.  He was the last one headed East.  There were about 6 on the East side lined up to go through to the West.  I was lucky on that one.  I tied up at the Matagorda Marina again.  This was a good spot to stop.  I got fuel and ice here on the way over.  This is also the place that a shrimp boat had just come in and I bought a pound of shrimp (16 shrimp) right off the boat.  Tonight I took out the COBB and grilled the split chicken.  While the chicken was cooking I looked into my radio problem.  My antenna is gone.  I am using antenna that screws onto what they call and NMO base.  The base is there but the antenna has come unscrewed.  I have been using this type of base for as long as I can remember and have never had this happen.  I have a wire with an alligator clip that is about 20 inches long.  I clipped that to to the little nipple on the base.  This works a little but not great. I also have the new portable that I just bought. 

1900 I emailed Alok a couple of times and we agreed to met

        at Harborwalk at 1400 tomorrow. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

May 13 Friday


0800  Fuel  33 Gals  Engine hours  345

          525 WHL   1007.4 trip miles.

0900  Moved to Rockport.  Wind blowing 20-25

         all day. 

1000  They have a Art museum as well as the Texas Maritime Museum.  They also have a nice beach area with tables. There is also a bird nesting area that was loaded with birds.   I walked around the area for a couple of hours. 







1900  Walked around town some more and found a BBQ place that looked good.  I had a BBQ sandwich before returning to the boat.  I got back to the boat and redid the rope to chain splice on the anchor. 

Sunday, May 17, 2009

May 12 Tuesday


0630  Good night no bugs.  I have lost my digital thermometer.  It’s got to be here somewhere but I can’t find it.  So I can only guess at the temperature.  I probably really don’t want to know anyway.

0800  Looked for the anchor for about  a hour.  No luck.  There was very little wind but the tide was high.  I would have had a much better chance yesterday with the water level down about two feet.

0830 Headed East again.

1430 Ran most of the day at slow bell until 553 WHL, Snoopy’s  too late for lunch and too early for dinner. Kept heading East

1500 Crossed Corpus Christi Bay.  It wasn’t bad the first couple of miles but then it got rough just as on the way over.  At least this time I was going with the wind and seas.  Made it across without incident.

1730  525 WHL  Cove harbor.  There is suppose to be a fuel dock here but I can’t find it.  Docked at the “House of Boats”  This is a small marina but mainly it is a ship yard.  I walked around and found out that the fuel dock is on the next canal over.  Will move tomorrow.  

1800  Trip odometer shows that I have traveled 1006 miles.

May 11 Monday


0630  865 WHL  Walked to a marine contractor business that I saw yesterday.  He had a piece of pvc pipe about 10 feet long that would fit over the handle of the rake I bought.  Now I had what I needed for an attempt at finding the anchor.

0730  Got underway.  The timing was perfect to get through the swing bridge.  A charter boat was just leaving the fuel dock going my way.  Being a commercial vessel they opened the bridge for him and I followed. 

0720  Weather was  much better.  Seas flat, overcast but humid.  Continued on at slow cruise just enjoying the sights.

1400 The wind started picking up but I was in protected

         water so no problem.

1730  Got to the place where I had lost the anchor but  it is blowing too hard to attempt to anchor.  I’m don’t want to get blown up on the mud again.  Found a dock about 1/4 mile away and tied up there.  Did housekeeping chores and fixed dinner.

2000 Just about dark decided to take a walk on the shore.  Walked across the island.  It got dark on me so I came on back to the boat.

2145 Attached the pvc to the rake.  I’m ready to attempt the salvage.

May 10 Sunday


0700  Got up with the chattering feeding seagulls. 

          Those things are loud when they are 10 feet

          from your window.  Took a short morning walk

          It was already hot.

0900  Walked up the road to Wal-Mart, about a mile.

          and bought a rake to use in trying to find my

           lost anchor.  Also got some more orange juice.

1100   Moved the boat to the mouth of the canal  at

           the ICW.  South Shore Ice and Fuel.  Took on

           20 gals fuel, 20 lbs ice  Engine hours 328.

1130   Walked to Lighthouse Area.  and caught the “Wave”.  This is a free shuttle that runs the route of Port Isabel and over and around South Padre Island.  The complete loop ride takes just about a hour.  it was a good way to get an overview of everything.  On Monday through Saturday there is a connection with the Rio Transit.  That will take you to the Brownsville area to include the airport and downtown.  According to the flyer the cost is $2.00.

1500   Walked around the water front on the town side to see if I could find a better place to anchor.  I saw a couple of possibilities but nothing worth moving. 

After finding out about the wave, the best thing to do would be to go up the canal on the East side and dock in the last canal that is across from Wal-Mart.  There are no houses. in this area.  You could walk the couple to the road and and get the Wave to everything else.  There is a city dock and ramp on one of the canals but it is a long way from there to the main road, especially in the heat.  The shuttle map shows a route that goes to the city dock but it was not running on the weekend. 

1930 Walked to the Lighthouse area again for dinner.  I ate at Marcello's.  The mothers day special was steak and coconut shrimp.  I had a mother so that’s what I ordered.  I’m sure that is what she would have wanted.  I filled up on bread and salad.  Then stuffed myself with the main course.  I did save most of the steak for a meal tomorrow.  I drank 5 glasses of tea.

2130  Back to the boat for the night.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

May 9th Friday 2009


Despite figuring that awakened by troops with M16s, I sleep well  and woke up rested at 06300.  I got off the boat to untie my docking lines.  I saw saw four big ol guys standing by a truck.  They said hi.  I waved to them and backed C-Lover out and got away clean.  I didn’t even look back until I got about 100 yards away.  At that time I saw they had a small work boat attached to the truck that I assume they were going to launch at the ramp that I had blocked.  No speeding gun boats came after me so I’ll just never know.  I will say this shortly after dark.  A small flats type boat with three people in it came up were fishing.  I only could see them for a couple of minutes before they drifted out of sight.  On the way out I looked for the sign that Jim B talked about.  I did not see any that said anything about no private vessels.  I did see one that forbad any net trawlers into the area. 

0700  The official start of Super Loop.  I continued at

          slow speed (didn’t want to look like I was

          was running away)  back to  Port Isabel to

          chill out for a couple of days.

1000  Port Isabel.  I entered the canal that is just

          before the swing bridge.  I found an old dock

          and made fast to it.  The wind and current was

         fierce.  I checked with a shrimp boat captain

         that was docked nearby.  He said no one uses

         the dock where I was located. 


It is about a 7 block walk from where I am to the Lighthouse area.  Spent the $5 for the combo ticket that covered two museums and the lighthouse.  I spent about an hour in the museum.  It was interesting as well as air conditioned both items important.  The outside temp is about 95* with at least 120% humidity.  The museum was very good on the local history of the area, development of the Mexican war as well as ranching and shrimping in the area.



Walked back to the boat but not before stopping at Mary Jo favorite place. the Dairy Queen.  I had lunch.  smooth brownie ice cream with chocolate syrup.  At the boat just kicked back and enjoyed the breeze.

1200    Walked back to lighthouse area and ate dinner at “The Lost Galleon”  All you can eat fish &  shrimp    $9.95

1900   Moved boat closer to the old marina that I was next to so I could fresh water to wash the salt off of the boat.   

Thursday, May 14, 2009

May 8th Friday


0830  Trip miles 788  44 gal gas  489.00  20lps ice

          Engine hrs 317.  Proceeded at slow speed.

1830  End of the road and the beginning of my Loop. 

         Trip miles 846

          682 WHL

          Engine hours  325

          11 Days.

Beginning SuperLoop

There is no where is dock here at the end.  It is all commercial.  At the very, very end of the canal, I found a small boat ramp.  It had a chain across the ramp and did not look as though it had been used for awhile.  Since it was almost dark I just tied up there.  I took out the grill and grilled steak and shrimp.

Checked in on the C-Brat forum and started a thread on my Super Loop 2009.  Jim B TXSD lives in the area and posted back that the Port of Brownsville is a restricted area and that no private boat are suppose to be in there.  He said there should have been a sign at the entrance.  Well I' didn’t see any dang sign.  Maybe someone will bond me out.  I’m just hanging low until morning. 



If you look at the map Brownsville, Tx is just about due East of Naples, Florida.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May 7 Thursday


0800  Found a dry spot in the V-Berth and

        sleep well.  Got up and organized.  Picked

        everything that was out of place. Stripped

        the bed and washed down the back deck.

I walked back up to Snoopy’s as Larry had said that the owner would be there working on a new dock for boating patrons.  Sure enough there he was with his grandkids carrying 4 x 6’s for the dock.  His name is Ernie Butler.  What a fellow.  He bought the place in 1979.  At that time it was an old realty office.  He converted it to a restaurant. He was a commercial fisherman at one time and has a definite opinion on government and the fishing industry.  He had some kind of major disagreement about four years ago where he ended up blockading the ICW in protest.  This of course didn’t set well with the law.  I think  he ended up in jail.  I’m not really sure.  I wasn’t able to keep up with the story he was telling.  Anyway, back to the restaurant.  He had to give me the grand tour. He started in the kitchen. It was spotless.  If I could only keep C-Lover so clean.  A person was hauling out three big kettles full a frying grease that hardly looked used.  He said ya we change it every day. Now I know one of the reasons the fish was so good.  The only other place I know of that does that is The Harbor View Cafe in Long Beach, Ms.  There was another person that was breading breading shrimp to be used that day.  Ernie said we do not use anything that is not fresh  and we don’t prepare ourselves.  Next he showed me the rest of the building and told about the different additions he has made over the years.  Ernie is a great guy and a real treat to met.  By all means it’s worth going out of your way to check out Snoopy’s for yourself.  13313 S. Padre Island Dr. Corpus Christi, Tx 78418 Tel 361-949-8815.  ICW 553 WHL.

1015  Marker 37 Marina  11 gal gas $26.00

1700  Trip miles 788  630WHL  Port Mansfield

          Engine hours  317

I just got to El Jefe’s Marina as they were closing.  I was told to just stay tied up at the fuel dock until morning.  There was a little motel about two blocks up the road.  I talked to Belinda and told her my say story about being on a boat and everything getting wet with salt water.  She said it would be fine to use the motel washer and dryer.  1$ wash and $1 dry.  Everything is clean and dry again.

May 6 Wed



0700  Said good by to Gordon and Bob.  They were

          leaving to go fishing.  Ask again if I wanted

          to go along.

0800   Got underway after topping off ice.  Wind

           blowing like crazy again.  Today went slow

           speed most of the day.  Had to cross three large bays.  The wind was just in the wrong direction.  The first bay was San Antonio Bay.   That was rough but not as bad as Matagorda.  The next was Aransas Bay.  It was worse yet.  But the wind seemed to be calming.  I chugged along and all was well.  Then about 5 miles East of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel I let myself get into a bit of trouble.  I got too close to the red side and ran aground in the mud.  Most every other place I’ve boated you have some indication of water depth by the color of the water.  Not here.  At least for me.  Sometimes there is some change but most of the time not.  This was definitely not the side to go wrong on.  The wind was blowing about 20kts off my port.  This kept blowing me harder aground.  I got out of the boat and tried pushing the bow around.  This put the stern and motor in about 10 inches of water.  Too make it worse I couldn’t really figure out the best direction to go to get in deeper water.  Looking at the markers I should have been fine where I was. 

As I was formulating a plan a local fisherman saw me and came to the rescue.  The first thing he said was that he had been boating in the area for 30 years and does the same thing at least once a year.  In bad weather a tug boat will hit a buoy and push it off station and into shallow water.  We took my anchor line and tied to his cleat With no effort he pulled me off. 

Next was crossing the ship channel and Corpus Christi Bay.  The channel 1was no problem.  The bay 1w1as something else.  This is the roughest water that C-Lover has been into date.  The farther I went the worse it got.  Where is the 10 to 15 winds that NOAA was talking about.  The seas were very, very close together.  So close that the crest of one would be at bow and the crest of another would be at the stern.  In between was a 4 foot hole.  I could make about 7 mph without pounding.  About once a minute a set of really big one would come.  If I saw them soon enough I could come off the power to make no headway.  Then I would just bobber over them like a cork.  If I was making any headway the bow would drop into the trough behind the first wave and the next two would come over the bow.  Almost two hours of this and I made it across to protected water just East of the JFK Causeway Bridge.  At this point I heard two tug boat captains talking.  One said that his meter was showing the wind at 30kts. Was I ever glad to get out of that.  The best part was that my little C-Dory took it all in stride.  She is a very capable boat and is well up to the task.  She can take way more than I am up to.

I pulled into a small canal on the East side of the bridge and found a some abandoned shrimper docks. I tied up there to get out and check things out.  I walked under the bridge to the “Marker 37 marina” where I will get gas tomorrow. 

This also took me by Snoopy’s Restaurant.  After getting beat up on the water today C-Lover is a disaster zone.  Everything is on the floor.  I have a milk create that sits on the floor under the table. It has made a nice place to keep the plastic pitcher that I’ve used for my Cheerios.  That tumbled over lid came off and cereal is covering the floor.  I also put what was left of the broken glass candle in there.  That came out and sent more glass to the floor.  The first aid box and suitcase I had in the V-berth  also dumped onto the cabin floor.  To add insult to injury when I was working on getting the boat off the mud bar, I went through the forward hatch.  I didn’t come back that way and forgot to dog it down.  The water coming over the bow dumped some into the V-berth.  Just another fun day on the water.

Decided to treat myself to dinner at Snoopy’s.  Am I glad I did.  This is a 5 star place for me.  A lot of value for the buck.  Very nice clean place right on the ICW.  553 WHL.  They have a dock where you can tie up while you eat.  The tables sit right over the water.  I was greeted as you come in by Larry.  He is a friendly chap that takes your order.  I ask if they had a specialty.  He said “well, we’re known for our fish and chips. ($9.95).  Sounds like a winner to me.  He pointed me to the stand that has the cola’s and ice tea and told me to pick a seat.  He’d call my name on the PA when my order was up.  In about 15 min he called  my name.  This was a picture perfect plate of fish fried golden brown.  It looked like a picture.  Of course I did not have my camera.  The taste was even better.  I normally wouldn’t give a dime for someone else’s fired fish but this was first class and very tasty.  I must have also been a bit dehydrated because I drank 5 full glasses of iced tea.  

2200  returned to the boat an called it a night.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May 5 Tuesday


0630   Up and underway

1600  440 WHL Matagorda Harbor Marina

         fuel   22 gal    $54.00

Working on lock from 7am to 7pm.  17 Barges lined up to goo through.  Walked to small store and got a BBQ sandwich.  Very Tasty.  Got back to boat at 5PM and they were opening the lock.  Lockmaster made up a list of order for passage.  There was a tug without a barge they were going to let through ahead of the rest.  I was lucky and was able to go through with him. 

1705   Out of Lock and crossed Matagorda Bay. 

          Rough as a cob.  Kayak shifted and broke running light.  I was going to go to the state park on island but it was getting too late and would have to cross too much open water.

         Went 8 more miles to a small community dock at 485 WHL.  Tried up for the night.   The boat is trashed.  Everything on the floor.  The candle fell off the table and broke part of the glass.  Too tired to mess with it tonight.

          Gordon and Bob came up to talk.  The place belonged to a rancher for ever and the people leased from him to put there fish camp.  In December the 52 of them formed an association and bought the property.  There is one person that lives there full time.  The rest use it as a fishing camp and mainly come on week-ends.  Bob invited me to stay and go fishing.  They also have two big ice machines and told me to fill up the coolers

May 4 Monday

0730 Awoke several times by mosquitoes. Finally got

them all. During the night swung around with

stern next to bank.

0750 Underway

0800 Starb tank dry. 434 Trip

1000 Cleaned galley, cockpit and washed clothes.

1330 329 WHL spoil area. Island full of birds.

Bird Is

Bird Island

Pink Flamingos 29 31.204N 94 30.311W

I have been informed that these birds and really ROSEATE SPOONBILL

1400 335 WHL Stingaree Marina Gas, Launch

1500 342.5 WHL upside down boat.


1630 362.5 WHL Buoy 59 Turn into Harbor Walk

Marina. Very nice 5 Star place. Gassed up,

Ice. Shower. 29 17.708N 94 58.053W. Over

night $1.75/ft includes access to yacht club,

swimming pools, etc. Best gas prices on ICW

in this area $2.29/gal

2115 Lights out

May 3 Sunday


0530  Got up and the wind was still blowing.  Gas

          person did not know the price for the gas. He

         said he could call someone or wait a little while

         until the person that knows gets up.  I went back

         to bed.

0630  Up again.  Wind still blowing to get the boat

         next to the gas pump.  Got 5 gal in aux tank.

          5gal  $10.85

0700    Underway

0955    230 WH

1105    Bayou Black Lock

1300   Light Rain off and on

1415   Sabine River.  In the river so the buoy changed

           to   Green on the right.  Orange, Tx is up river

          and on the right.  But ICW runs along edge

          of the lake to Nechis River and is called Sabine

          Nechis Canal.

1444   270 WHL  415 trip miles

1456   Crossed 272 WHL from La to Texas.

1730   289 WHL Port Arthur Bridge Stopped for night

1800  Fixed chicken and salad

2030  Mosquitoes getting in some how. 30 minutes

         to get them all killed.

2100   Lights out

May 2 Sat


0700  Underway.  Partly cloudy, wind SW 10

0830  3500 RPM 16 mph

0930  1900 rpm  5.7 mph

0940 Cereal and juice

1035 Port tank dry

1100  Intercoastal City  303 trip 160 WHL

          23 port  4 gal starb  5 aux tank

           2 blocks ice 1 crushed

          32 gal gas   $65.60  Engine hrs 261.5

1210   Not much here.  Walked over to little store.

           It was pretty much bare bones.

1215    Left Intercoastal City.

1300   Leland Bowman Lock. Right through no delays.

1408  Just East of Hwy 82 Bridge South Shore Forked

          Island Steel Shrimp boat not doing too well.

1440   Topped both tanks from aux gas.

1536  From 178 mile marker to 190 marker is as

          straight as a arrow.  178.4 mm  old tractor

          ferry.  Couple of possible anchorages.

1631   188 WHL  29 54.613N  92 30.806W  New Dock

1552  White lake Canal 29 54.613N  92 30.806W

           Good possible anchorages both sides.

1850   193WHL Tied up at TALENS MARINE & FUEL

            Gas 337-774-5480.  Have place on East wall

            for overnight.  Must have TWIC card to go in

             fenced area.  Added to Blog

2000   Wind blowing.  Looks like rain.  Left screen

           open and have ten zillion mosquitoes to share


2200   Lights out

May 2 Sat


0700  Underway.  Partly cloudy, wind SW 10

0830  3500 RPM 16 mph

0930  1900 rpm  5.7 mph

0940 Cereal and juice

1035 Port tank dry

1100  Intercoastal City  303 trip 160 WHL

          23 port  4 gal starb  5 aux tank

           2 blocks ice 1 crushed

          32 gal gas   $65.60  Engine hrs 261.5

1210   Not much here.  Walked over to little store.

           It was pretty much bare bones.

1215    Left Intercoastal City.

1300   Leland Bowman Lock. Right through no delays.

1408  Just East of Hwy 82 Bridge South Shore Forked

          Island Steel Shrimp boat not doing too well.

1440   Topped both tanks from aux gas.

1536  From 178 mile marker to 190 marker is as

          straight as a arrow.  178.4 mm  old tractor

          ferry.  Couple of possible anchorages.

1631   188 WHL  29 54.613N  92 30.806W  New Dock

1552  White lake Canal 29 54.613N  92 30.806W

           Good possible anchorages both sides.

1850   193WHL Tied up at TALENS MARINE & FUEL

            Gas 337-774-5480.  Have place on East wall

            for overnight.  Must have TWIC card to go in

             fenced area.  Added to Blog

2000   Wind blowing.  Looks like rain.  Left screen

           open and have ten zillion mosquitoes to share


2200   Lights out

Sunday, May 10, 2009

May 1 Friday


0600  Underway.

0730 started using from 5 gal tank

1030  Lake Cocodrie.  Cleaned house.  Washed clothes.

1100  Fixed washdown hose.

1220  Off 5 gal tank 28.5 miles  5.7 mpg

1400  Bayou Boeuf Lock.The locks west of the Mississippi are not to providing a change from one elevation to the next but as a means to preventing saltwater intrusion into the wetlands and to assist in flood control. 

1830  Stopped 122 WHL cut off by Franklin canal.  Dinner shrimp, salad.   64 miles for the day.  Beautiful sunset and anchorage.

Franklin cut


April 30 Thursday


0530  Nice night.  Did not hear barge traffic like I thought I would.  Low Temp 66*  Total run time 24 hours. 

0630  Underway.  Crossed the Mississippi. Going West from the Mississippi River there are two possible locks.  Down river is the Algiers Lock and about the same distance up river is the Harvey Lock.  Rather than fight the current you would normally go down river when going West and catch the Algiers Lock.   Instead of going down stream to the Algiers Lock I went up stream to the Harvey.  I wanted to see downtown New Orleans from the water and there was less barge traffic going west through the Harvey.  The commercial traffic has priority and a private boat may have to wait for several lockings to get fit in. 

New Orleans

Going up river

0735  Harvey Lock.  River Current was a bitch.  Speed went from 8pmh to to mph at 1600rpm.  Just floating waiting for the lock gps read 3 mph. 


0840 Light rain as I was locking through.  9 1/2 feet drop from river to canal level.  Trip miles 140.  Heading West on the ICW from the Harvey Lock the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW).  Mileage is denoted as WHL(west of Harvey Lock).  Harvey Lock is Mile 0.  The end of the line at the Port of Brownsville is 682. 

0935  Port tank empty 5 WHL

1215  Found a land based gas station right on the ICW at Crown Point.  It even had a very small dock.  I used the 5 gal tank I brought and the little wheeled cart and got 30 gals.  25 for port tank and 5 for the portable tank.  $51.50

1900  Houma City Dock. 57 WHL  Water, Electric, gas at end of parking lot.  I found a sailboater that had the hose clamp I needed to fix the washdown pump.  Got 5 gal of gas and bag of ice.

2100  Moved West a mile or so 58 WHL and tied to a dock.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Got up at 0600 and under way at by 0640. There was light wind from the East. Temp 72. Running 1250RPM making 5 mph. Nice day on the water. The wind picked up in the afternoon but not as bad as it has been. I made it to the entrance to the canal that goes to New Orleans at 1430. That was 104 miles from my launch point. I made it to the Industrial Lock (132 miles) at 1740. Had to wait about 45 min to lock through. It took forever for the commercial fishing boat that was going through with me to tied up. It was 1900 by the time I made it out of the lock. Too late to try and make it across the Mississippi before dark. The lock master told my that there was a floating dock on the river side of the lock and I could tie up their for the night. This is where I am now. It is a good and bad spot. Good place to tie up and there is even a power cord so I can plug into shore power. The bad is the noise. They blow a horn every time a boat locks through. I am running low on ice so I walked up to a store about 4 blocks and bought two bags. I was going to go get two more but think I just wait. I have used 24 gals of gas for the 132 miles. That works out to about 5.5 mpg. I'm starting to fade fast so will add more later.

Tue April 28

Got up at 7AM and was on the road by 8. Had to stop and get gas for the boat and a couple of food items that I had forgot. We got to the launch at 10:00 and I was under way by 10:15. The wind was blowing 15-18 from the SSE. It was pretty bumpy for the few hours but calmed down some in the afternoon. I was running 1600RPM and making about 5MPH. I had planned to stop at Horn Island but I got there sooner than I thought and too soon to stop. The next possible was Ship Island, about 20 more miles. That was too far to run slow so I kicked her up to 3800 RPM and 21mph. I made it to Ship Island at about 6PM. Ship is a good stop. There is a pier there and bathrooms and also showers. In the summer they run tour boats from Gulfport to the Island and drop people off for the day. They are still in the process of rebuilding after Katrina. I was too tired to do a lot of cooking so opened a can of beef stew and lights out at 9PM.



Monday, April 27, 2009


Well the time has come to start the Super Loop. I was set to start this in May of 2007 but a twist of fate scrubbed that start. We will see how it goes this time. While I was at it I decided to add the leg from Brownsville, Tx to Pensacola. This adds about 1,000 miles to the trip The plan is to launch the boat tomorrow, Tuesday April 28,2009.