Who Moved the Sand Bar?

It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” – W. Edwards Deming

 

The journey continues. 

We scoot out of Port O' Conner early. 

We know we have a longish leg ahead of us and the weather is still icky, we are still in the ditch, and we are starting to pile up a bit of laundry and need supplies.

Remember, at this point we have not seen sunshine since two days before leaving Kemah, and we are feeling it.

This is not how October on the Texas coast should feel. 

My skin has erupted into full blown teenage angst acne. It is making me miserable.

The currents are again in our favor but less wind. The skies look like they could open up, but all we actually get is some sprinkles.

The first time we run aground, we come to an area where they are dredging. I am most unfortunately at the helm when we come into the bay and there are  4 sets of channel markers. 

I'm trying to watch the charts, but they don't match what I am seeing and Robert is also giving instructions.

I hit bottom. 

I can't really say what transpired next.

I have learned to do an inner chant when these things happen, and keep myself calm.

After about 45 minutes of trying to manuever out, I went down below to get the Boat USA number, as we would not see a tide change for 6 hours and were making no progress.

Then I hear him yell, "we're off"!!

Note to self, next time, when this kind of confusing situation appears, give Captain the helm. 

We proceed. Moods not very good.

Uneventful.... until I call the Marina to let them know we are close asking for a guide in:

Asking for:

Markers? Hmm no I dont know

Longitude and latitude?

She gives me some numbers that can't exist

Ok. Where are you in relation to the water tower?

To the left!

The left facing it?

Um...not sure.

So... here's the deal.... and believe me, we have run into this a shocking amount of times. 

EVERY marina employee that answers the phone should be able to clearly give a sailboat directions via water to the marina.

Period.

I had a gal in Florida tell me what highway they were on. I don't give a rat's ass. My vessel can't enter your marina via the highway.

She had to go get a manager while my cell signal wavered in and out.

To give me directions. To the marina via water.

So, we found the grey buildings that she described.

We see the slips, but when we try to take the cut, we hit bottom. Robert is at the helm. 

He backs off, I call them again, the same person still can't tell us how to get in.

She goes to find someone again, who tells us to go back out to the channel, which we try to do..hitting a sand bar.

By this time, its 5 o'clock, and we are very grumpy.

And I don't blame the girl, I blame her manager.

And I'm not even going to name the marina because...they just opened up again after Harvey. You just can't stay mad at people that have been through that.

We manage to work off the sand bar. And barely squeeze through a tiny channel back to a slip. But when I call the office to get a key or codes to the facilities, I just get a recording, because, they are closed. Multiple tries, some wrong numbers and confusion, then thats when we realise we are not even in the Marina we thought we were in!

We are both so worn out that we just eat a simple meal and crash. 

The next day I called and spoke to an apologetic manager who agreed we should move ...she said they really weren't ready for transients and discounted the rate. We never even bothered to plug the boat in. (The advertised laundry facilities weren't open yet)

By 9 am we have a new slip secured at Fulton Harbor, and miracle of miracles, the sun is burning off the clouds at last!

We are almost giddy when we tie up. 

Sunshine!

Never mind that the slip we are supposed to take has a boat in it; when we call again, they tell us to take any empty slip. And we snag an end slip with unobstructed views of the harbor.

All running aground mostly forgotten,

we proceed to check out our new surroundings.

And it's good.

Next time, I will tell ya'll about Rockport.

Good night, Texas.