March 2018 - Gulf of Mexico Sail - Preparation

Initially I had a few options for my winter break from Canada.  1) Fly to Florida, buy a moto and ride around checking out sailboats as I made my way West to La Paz, MX in search of a new winter home where I could live economically in warmth while keeping up with my Spanish. 2) Fly to Cartagena and hunt down a few sailboats to get experience again keeping up with my Spanish.  3) Sail across the Gulf of Mexico starting in Texas...

And the answer is...

At the Hobby Airport in Houston
Based on the title of the post and the photo above I think we all know I chose to join a sail from Galveston, Texas to Isla Mujeres, Mexico (near Cancun). I was definitely nervous going in to this trip, but a few sailors I know said "go for it" so I did.  5 to 7 days at sea with no option to get off was not something a non commitment type likes to hear, but how else can a guy cut his teeth and get experience.

Now let's not get crazy and think I just jumped right on this trip.  I chatted with the Captain Arthur multiple times over days. But I kept thinking "hey this guy is cool and living the life I want... and I really want to try sailing a catamaran if I'm going to buy one."  Finally I said "F it!" and booked a flight.


The Plan - Crew; Me (some sailing experience) and Robert Kille. 62 year old former nuclear sub hunter and lots of other things (sailed a Trans Atlantic crossing where they ran out of water and had to drink beer the last 12 days) to join the captain Arthur the III, 38 from Jersey, late Feb 27 night in Kemah, TX and begin sailing across the Gulf of Mexico the next day passing by Galveston, TX and out to sea.  Solid plan right...?  if not Perfect yikes.

Here we go.
Leaving YYC

Chau Calgary

The captain said a full moon
would help seeing at night
so that's a good sign right...

Up up and on to Hobby airport from DFW
Always hard to keep a smile flying through
the US.  Yelling, impatience, packed flights.
And of course too much security.

2nd shipmate
Kille.Robert
Yes
KilleR if he was
in the military.

Finally a cafeteria style security in
 YYC where you get 1 of 4 booths for
 your stuff.  Hard to explain, but next
 time you fly you'll see what I mean.

PDQ 32 - Captain Arthur

A Super Target

Super Side Story: Ready to sail KilleR and I went to Super Target to get all we needed for the trip which seemed to be coming up too fast as I had only know him and Arthur for about 12 hours and the boat had yet to be tested since being shipped over land from California and reassembled.  KilleR also mentioned he had a severe nut allergy and didn't have an epi-pin to combat Arthur and my love of nuts which we would be munching on all the time.  I got the feeling there may be a few more things on top of the fact that he had slept 4 hours in 2 days and only "ate" 1 litre fountain cup of Sprite in the last 24 hours which I bought him the night before when I got 3 tacos and compliments.  He kept saying his ex-girlfriend never let him eat any sweets and apparently he used to be 250 lbs (115kg) now only 137 lbs (62 kg).

We arrived at Target in an Uber, charged forward and slowed while I took the monster store in and figured out how I was going to do the grocery shop.  I decided to send KilleR, who had no opinion on provisions, to get a battery booster and gallons of water which seemed to be the best use of our electrical engineers skill.  With brain space I started loading up.  

...5 minutes later...

"Are you sailor Brad" an approaching Target worker asked, "Sailor Brad?"  "ah, I guess I am..." She continued "your friend needs help" and I immediately agreed.  "What has he gotten in to?"  The employee still rushed said, "You better come, he needs your help, he has had an accident."  As expected I shook my head, left the cart and made my way to a crowd of people watching the 62 year old KilleR already on a stretcher with legs folded over one another like you would if you were freezing cold, expect his were stuck like that.  KilleR had put his HIP OUT, which I found out later he had done a lot of in the last years.  Oh boy.  And how did he do it this time?  Well it turns out he was riding the cart like a 10 year old boy when he had to do a crashing stop.  Not wanting to break his camera he sacrificed his body instead and that was the end of KilleR's sail across the Gulf of Mexico.

We found out later that KilleR had a couple medical conditions and likely we would have had one of them come up on the crossing.  Sorry this happened to him, but glad that sorted out before we were in the middle of the Gulf!  Turns out KilleR will be getting a new hip in April!  Best of luck my friend, you are a true character and I would be happy to do a 1 day crossing with you another time.

No more KilleR...

Some sweet boats

Quick stop to water and electricity up


Back to business. Arthur and I down a man decided to have dinner at Outriggers restaurant where they allow you to tie up to the dock while you eat or in our case "2 and a half days" while we figured out the new plan (to be fair we did eat there for all meals).  Arthur called in his back up crew...Sterling, 38, Construction Manager with a serious lust for adventure and lots of fishing boat experience like Arthur saying, "We'll pick you up in Galveston." Arthur and I would do the test sail from Kemah to Galveston, have a night or two there and then cross the Gulf of Mexico!   

Tour of the PDQ 32 docked beside Outriggers Restaurant for a few nights.  Note that it holds only 47 gallons of water and 27 gallons of gas so we bought a lot more (17.5 gallons drinking water, 50 gallons gas in the red cans on deck).

Totally ready



view from Outriggers patio

Dammit!  we are going to miss this.  Seriously I was sad.

But hey this was ok.
Crawdaddies!
Then it was off to Galveston which was a great test run for the boat.  Everything seemed in order, but it sure was chopping which has a bit to do with the shortness of the boat.


Let's do it!

Motoring out to the bay area

Oh yeah wind in the hair

Tankers - More of this to come when we cross the Oil Fields

Galveston

A few days in Galveston Yacht Basin (not a great marina 3/5 stars) to receive Sterling and get the rest of the provisions and any last minute alcohol and guns.  


Welcome abroad Sterling

Found a german restaurant
beer hall with brats!$20!
Tasty at Stuttgarden!

Where the cruise ships
leave from.

Biggest Liquor store I've ever seen

And a pile of Canadian whiskeys made
in the USA...hmmm

Right...

Bring on the guns! Heavy lady beside me "do you have
something heavier, I want to feel more power" 

Oh yeah, kill em all!

Tour of town with Scott

























































Final enjoyment of Karaoke before heading to sea.

Nice Gemini bought on a repo!
Thanks Scott!



Other Things


In my list of inventions from like 2002 while working at
an Engineering firm I thought wouldn't it be great to have
cup of oatmeals.  Unfortunately without a major oatmeal
brand I really couldn't do much except wait.




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