Google changed the URLs for all the Google Picasa web album links, so
many of the links in the news pages no longer "work."
February 2018 Sailing Cruise: At
11:02 am, the cold front arrived at AYC and the temperature rapidly
dropped from 60 to 45, with gusts to 22, and some mist. It settled in at
45 degrees and 10 knots, making sailing possible, if one is dressed
appropriately. The plan was take new UT Sailing Club members sailing,
but they had enough boats to accommodate all their attendees. So we ate
our sandwiches and went sailing: 2 Catalina 25's and 8 sailors. We
headed north, a little west, and around Starnes Island. It was great
fun. Lake level 668.72'.
February 2018 Meeting: Knots for Sailors, by Steve.Steve gave us an interactive and informative presentation on the
essential knots that every sailor should know. He provided lines (ropes) to
each attendee so that we can all practice. He talked about the different types
and uses of lines. Attendees who were already familiar with a specific knot
helped others. We learned how one skipper prefers to coil and secure a
line, while another told us how he varies his cleat hitch by purpose: to
secure the main halyard vs secure the boat to the dock. The knots we
covered were as follows: stopper knot, stevedore stopper, half-hitch, clove
hitch, bowline (and the several different ways of making one), reef or square
knot, taut line hitch, rolling hitch, trucker’s hitch, and sheet bend. 28 attendees. Lake 668.75 and falling. Lake temperature 55.9 degrees.
January 2018: Cabin Fever Cruise and Events: As
January weather in Central Texas often does, the temperatures varied
from the teens to the seventies. Sometimes it rained, snowed, and iced,
and sometimes it was sunny and dry. The cure for Cabin Fever is to get
out there.... either on the water whenever possible, or get together
with others who like to sail. The sailing part was on a Saturday, when
one boat and two people (that we know of) sailed in sunshine, 65
degrees, and winds around 15. Some other fleet members were doing race
committee for the AYC Frostbite Series. The the next day, the forecast
was rain, wind, and cold. So at least 3 went to the Boat House Grill for
catfish. Sadly, this favorite après-sail
place to eat closed after 19 years. On the same day 13 sailors met at
the Sundancer Grill on Hurst Creek for burgers, shrimp, brunch, fish,
and salads. A week later, 14 attended the Austin showing of the
nautical film, Vanishing Sail, at the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum.
For all the activities, there were 22 (unique) participants.
Lake level is staying around 669' plus a bit.
January 2018 Meeting: It
was a good meeting in which we all offered ideas for fun cruises and
informative meetings in 2018. Commodore James and Vice Commodore Clay
led the way. The minutes and online calendar will eventually
reflect the results of the meeting. For the 2018 Secretary, we'll rotate
the duty with "Secretary of the Month." In attendance were 35,
including 2 guests of Akiko and Steve. Lake level is 669.33.
December Holiday Party:
On a cold and rainy evening, 50 Catalina sailors gathered at AYC to
enjoy the warmth of friendship and memories of the past year. We also
celebrated the 40th Anniversary of Catalina Fleet 69. Many thanks to the
skippers and crews who prepared foods, set up, carved, organized, led
the program, presented the awards, and m-c'd the game, and cleaned up.
Officers for 2018 were elected and installed: Commodore James, Vice
Commodore Clay, Treasurer Robert, and Secretary TBD. Appointees included
Cruise Chairperson Lizette, Historian and webmaster Cheryl, and
co-Historian Clay. Also, Congratulations to James, who was awarded the
Stough Award! Lake level 669.3'.
November 2017 Autumn Flotilla Cruise: It
was a pleasant Autumn day to go sailing, with temperatures in the low
70's and winds south 5-10. Four boats (C22, C25, C250, C30) and 13
sailors met at Starnes Island around noon and leisurely sailed to
Arkansas Bend, North Cove. Leaves were starting to change and the park
was closed for renovation, so the anchorage was scenic and peaceful. The
blue heron was undisturbed by our presence until one of us caught a
fish. Lake level 670.2'. Water temp 69. We snacked on sandwiches,
fruit, brownies, and pumpkin pie squares. The C25 and C250 stayed the
night. No specific host.
November 2017 Meeting: "Sailing and Wellness".
Lizette gave us an energetic and informative presentation on how to be
well and fit for our sailing activities. She talked about good nutrients
and how important it is to drink water. Exercise, including stretching,
is very important to maintain various parts that could be easily
injured by repetitive or occasional stress. Yoga is a good way to
maintain fitness, and she demonstrated a few poses for us. Everyone
tried to do the back bend. After the program, we "surprised" Keith with
cakes and candles to commemorate his 90th birthday. Happy Birthday,
Keith! Keith and Sue are longtime members of Catalina Fleet 69 and sail a
Catalina 27. He's been sailing since a youth. He has participated in
Turnback Canyon regatta almost every year (maybe all.) (Notable
quote mentioned by Sue: "The pessimist complains about the wind; the
optimist expects it
to change; the realist adjusts the sails." by William Arthur
Ward.) There were 24 members in attendance. Lake level 670.23'.
We had nomination of officers (we forgot to vote!) for 2018: Commodore:
James, Vice Commodore: Clay, Treasurer: Robert. Secretary: TBD. Cruise
Chair: Lizette. Historians: Cheryl and Clay. Web: Cheryl.
October 2017: Oktoberfest 2017,
hosted by Diane and Mark, was a wunderbar success! 7 boats: C30, C270,
2-C25's, 2-C22's, and Columbia 7.5. Sailors: 18. We had all types of
German foods & beverages. Sailing was good (5-9 kn) and swimming was
fine (80 deg). Barry's Cove. Travis level 671.25'.
October 2017 Meeting: UT Meteorologist Troy Kimmel talked to us about Wild Texas Weather. Excellent presentation. Thanks!
September 2017 Breakfast Cruise: The annual tradition of the Catalina Breakfast Cruise
continues, in one form or another. Many thanks to the 2017 Batter
Blaster Team of Clay, Robert, and James for fantastic cruise. The
challenge this year was to find a place that allowed comfortable and
safe access from both land and water.
Arkansas Bend Park
is closed until end of 2018 for renovations. Sandy Creek Park is sloped
and rocky at this lake level. Cypress Creek Park (great last year) is
too shallow at lake level 672'. And Bob Wentz Park, next to Windy Point
is too exposed for anchorage. So we had a 2 (or more) part cruise. On
Saturday evening, 4 boats (C22, C22, C250, & C30) and 6 sailors
anchored in Barry's Cove (map).
We had grilled sausage, fried chicken, steak, and salads. And some
beverages, adroitly served by Robert. The day and night temperatures and
breezes where just right. Not too much and not too little (72-90
degrees, 0-12 knots).
On Sunday morning, we were up before the sun (7:25 am) and feasted on
pancakes, scrambled eggs, bird's nests (not the real kind but eggs in a
hole cut out of bread and grilled), and 2 types of sausage. And
beverages. It was fantastic. After a swim, it was time to leave for the
next part of the weekend event, which was a 11 am lunch at Ernie's on the Lake,
which is near/in Emerald Point Marina near the high-lines. One
boat sailed directly there, one went to AYC and drove, one sailed back
to Cypress Creek, and another had other afternoon obligations. At
Ernie's, there were 16 sailors and landlubbers. The service was great
and the food was pretty good. The view of the lake was great. There's a
very nice set of docks between the shoreline and a motor-boat marina.
The entrance between the marina and the jetty looked narrow, but
apparently a 36' sailboat can get in there. If the guest docks are too
shallow (mentioned as a possibility), one can tie up to the long side of
the marina. Note to fleet: we should add this to our list of places to
sail to, just like we've done to Sandy Creek Marina. Also, it would have
been possible for those with boats to come to the Saturday dinner or
Sunday breakfast only. The numbers: 6 people on 4 boats overnight, 16 people & 1 boat at lunch, 18
participants, Lake level 671.5'.
September 2017 Meeting: "Journey of a Lifetime." During her 70th year, Linda participated in the challenging 41,000 nautical mile 2015-16 Clipper Round the World Race. http://clipperroundtheworld.com/ . This
is a race of about a dozen 70-meter (75.5') steel ocean-racing yachts with 95' off-the-water
masts. They start and finish in the UK, going around the Cape of Good
Hope and Cape Leeuwin in Australia, and thru the Panama Canal. Not Cape
Horn! It consisted of 14 races in 6 ocean crossings and
they stopped in about 14 ports on 6 continents around the world along
the way. While Linda has been sailing since she was 6, participants were
not required to have any previous sailing experience. They went thru
4 weeks of safety and skills training before leaving in August 30,
They finished on July30, 2016. Participants signed up for around the
or specific legs, but there were about 690 participants in all. It was
exciting and exhilarating, to say the least. From beautiful sunsets
& sunrises, to waves taller than the mast and challenging winds, the
memories and friendships that were formed are golden. Read about her
trip here: bandboat.wordpress.com.
Also, now that she has this experience and the desire to return to the
sea, this past summer, she participated in the famous sailboat race, Fastnet 2017! 608 miles, 4 days and 10 hours. Wikipedia's Fastnet_Race tells the basics. Cowes, England, by Land's End, around Fastnet Rock (off the coast of Ireland), and finishing at Plymouth. Thanks, Linda, for an informative and inspiring presentation!
More links: clipperroundtheworld.com/news/article/meet-the-crew-linda-mcdavitt, texasmonthly.com/the-culture/sailing-round-world-seventh-decade/, charity teamability.org/linda-around-the-world/, and more.
At the meeting, there were 26 attendees, including our guest speaker. Lake level 672.12' and water temperature 81..
August 2017 Cruise: Wok n Roll Land Cruise. Hosts Robert & Sheila and Clay & Norma. This
was the best ever Wok n Roll cruise, thanks to the incredible effort by
Norma and her crew. We had Tofu Egg Rolls, Colorful Prawn Chips, BBQ
Pork (Cantonese style), Steak with Green Peppers and Cashews, Sweet and
Sour Chicken Wings, Seafood and Broccoli, Egg Fried Brown Rice, and
White Rice. Also Broccoli Slaw with Ramen Noodles and Mandarin Oranges,
green tea, Petits Pineapple Cakes, Almond cookies, and much more. There
were 37 attendees, and better yet, we had a wonderful mixture of new and
experienced members. We all enjoyed exchanging sailing stories and
adventures. Who sailed where when and how? Plus, Blackbeard the Pirate
himself showed up and "knighted" one of our members with a saber and eye patch.
It was a wonderful time and many thanks to all, especially our hosts,
for a wonderful evening. Temperature at 6:00 pm was 100 degrees. Lake
Level was 673.14'.
August 2017 Meeting: Preparing a Cruising boat for Cruising, by Steve and Meri.
It was an informative Q&A session in which they talked about the
work they have been doing on their beautiful Island Packet 38. The boat
was in excellent condition, but like most used boats, she required some
work to make her into a reliable live-aboard boat. She is currently on a
dry-dock cradle in Florida, looking forward to blue-water sailing soon!
Attendees: About 25, including guest Pete R, who used to be a sail-maker. Lake level was 673.94.
July 2017 Bastille Day Cruise: Even
though it hadn't rained for a month, the rain and lightning decided to
pay a visit to Lake Travis on our usual cruise day. The theme was
Bastille Day and all things French. There were three boat-crews,
including 2 at AYC (C30 and C270) and a C25 at Lake Travis Lodges
Marina. The 2 AYC boats waited at AYC to see if the storms would blow
over in good time, but they did not. So we first gathered underneath the
AYC clubhouse to discuss plans. Meanwhile there was to be a race, but
it was abandoned because of the weather. When the front came in with
full force (28 mph wind) we moved upstairs to the clubhouse and set up
the cruise event there. We had several quiche dishes, Salade Nicoise,
sparkling beverages, wine, bread, fruit, donuts, sushi, and many types
of cheese. All delicious. We enjoyed the camaraderie and after a while,
the cooled down temperatures made for pleasant outdoor seating. The C25
had plans to go to Barry's Cove and spend the night, and got there
early, before any storms. They had the cove to themselves, endured the
wind, rain, and lightning, and returned safely to their marina. We'll
declare there were 3 boats and 13 cruise participants. Lake Travis level
July 2017 Meeting: 28 attendees, including one guest. Lake level 675.41'. We watched the film "Sailing the World Alone." This
documentary was about the 1994 - 1995 BOC
Challenge race in which 20 sailors from various countries sailed solo
world, starting from Charleston, S.C. Many boats sustained
damage, and unfortunately, one man was lost at sea and never
recovered. It was an excellent documentary, and you can learn more
about it here:
June 2017 Flor de Caña: The Flor de Caña Cruise is always a popular cruise for Fleet 69. This
year was no exception. Twenty-three sailors arrived on 8 boats,
including 6 Catalinas, a Columbia 7.6, and a Sunfish. Hosts Robert and
Sheila did an outstanding job with food and beverages, and attendees
pitched in with delicious dishes and more. Traditional hosts Salvador
and Nina were unable to attend, but based on the photos, a few attendees
tried extra hard to make them proud. It was around 90 degrees so most
went for a swim. Others sailed the Sunfish, thanks to Louise. Coyoacan
came to her first cruise in over 2 years! She's beautiful. We were in
Barry's Cove, Lake level 679.7. Winds light to moderate. A beautiful
June 2017 Meeting: The rebuilding of Catalina 22 Coyoacan. In the
second installment of this series, James presented a slide show on the
many wonderful things did to restore "El Coyoacan" over the last 2.5
years. After an incredible amount of effort, precision, and dedication,
and amazing support and patience by his wife the boat was launched at
AYC on June 2. From bow to stern, from top of the mast to the bottom of
the keel, every part was carefully examined, restored, and/or improved.
Even the trailer was extensively repaired and improved with useful
features. James thanked several fleet members for their support and
assistance throughout this effort. The hard work paid off, as the shiny
nautical-black-hulled boat is gorgeous. Now they can reap the benefits,
i.e. go sailing, of all the hard work and dedication. A couple of fleet
members are going thru medical issues, and we wish them well and look
forward to their return to fleet activities. Meeting attendees, all
members: 17. Lake level: 679.81'.
May 2017 Turnback Canyon Regatta & Cruise: Repeating the success of 2016, Turnback Canyon Regatta participants returned to Lago Vista. Three fleet boats with six members raced or sailed on Saturday to Lago Vista, anchored
overnight, partied at Lago Vista’s event in the park called “ Lago Fest” (Lagofest.com)
and sailed or motored back to AYC on Sunday. At Lago Vista there were
food trucks, 3 bands, and a good place to compare the day's sail. Fleet
member Diane did an excellent job managing the regatta. At Lago Vista,
one fleet car with 2 members hosted an information table about sail
training opportunities at AYC. 8 fleet
members participated. In the entire regatta, there were 52 boats.
Weather was nice on Saturday and Catalinas arrived in about 4 or 5 hours
(20 miles). On Sunday, the wind was light to non-existent, so many
motored back. Trophies were presented and then the traditional storms
May 2017 Cruise: Cinco de Mayo. On the 13th of May we celebrated Cinco de Mayo in Barry's Cove. James
and Sarah prepared a delicious marinated pork butt and beans while
others brought themed sides. Winds were light but several managed to
sail to and from. The heat was on so several went swimming while the mariachi music
played. There were six boats, 17 sailors. Co-hosts Diane & Mark
provided the host boat and brought a special surprise guest (see
photos). Lake level 679.45'. It was a great day to be on the water to
sail, swim, eat and enjoy the camaraderie of Fleet 69. Muchas Gracias to
our hosts !
May 2017 meeting: "Weather
for Sailors," presented by a former Air Force pilot and avid sailor who
is keenly aware of challenges we sailors face when we sail.
We learned all about the various cloud formations, what they indicate,
and what they forecast. Thanks to Joe for an excellent presentation. 22
attendees. Lake level 679.63'.
April 2017 Easter Egg Cruise: Todd
and Patti had a clever idea for a cruise that combined a Sailing
Scramble on the water with patronizing a new restaurant on the lake,
where the landlubbers could join the on-the-water sailors. On the water
there were 4 boats and 11 sailors, including 3 competing boats with 9
sailors. Todd dropped 9 sets of plastic balls attached with string into
the water, and the competitors picked up the balls with book hooks. When
one ball and string, a competitor wound the string on the pole like a
piece of spaghetti. All attempted to retrieve the lonely ball with a
bucket, but alas, there was one lost bucket and ball. Prizes were
chocolate bunnies, appetizers, and drinks. On the shore, we met at the newly installed "Shack 512"
restaurant at the Sandy Creek Marina, where Cafe Blue and Nik's used to
be. (Which was quite busy and the docking space was crowded with power
boats.) There were 23 in attendance at the restaurant. The
landlubbers went on a land-based Easter Egg hunt and found eggs with
jelly beans and coupons for appetizers and drinks. That is, unless the
kids got there first. It was all great fun! Air 82 degrees, water 68
degrees, wind 7-14 mph. Lake level 681.1'.
April 2017: Sea Shanties with Joy and Lane. This favorite meeting program subject was offered in memory of our favorite Shanty-mam, Caryl P. Weiss,
singer and song-writer in the Admiral in the Texas Navy. We learned
about the various types of music and rhythms that were sung during
specific tasks on a sailing vessel, such as running the capstan, raising
the sails, pumping the bilge pump, or spending time in the fo'c's'le.
We all listened and sang, and had a great time. Many thanks to our
singers. There were 26 in attendance, including one repeat-guest. After
rain earlier in the week, the lake reached 681.6' and by the time the
meeting was over, the level was 681.3'.
March 2017 St Patrick's Cruise:
Beautiful Spring Day with high temp of 82, S winds 5-10, water 63.
Hosts Cindy and Paul. Good stew and naturally green food were served on
the C30. Cindy put so much work into the delicious chili that she hurt
her back and could not come! Raft-up anchor was fouled by a metal cable.
Barry's Cove at 681.8'. Three boats with 3+4+3=10 people.
March 2017 Meeting: French Canal Cruise. For
the program this month, Steve and Akiko showed interesting pictures and
videos and told stories about their October boat cruise on the Canal du Midi (wiki) in the southwest of France. They chartered from Le Boat
a 36' (13' beam) river boat that was comfortably set up with 2 cabins
and 2 heads. In ten days, they traveled 98 miles, passing through 63
locks, dropping 579 feet overall to the Mediterranean Sea. The largest
single drop was 44'. They took the train from Paris to Bordeaux to
Toulouse and to Castelnaudary, where they got their boat. Speed limit
was 5 mph. Along the way they saw Carcasonne (Medieval fortress,
the highlight of the trip). They tied the boat up each night and
visited towns such as Trebes, Homps, and Beziers. They ended the charter
in Port assafieres, where they rented a car and stopped in Lyon on
their way back to Paris. They
recommend this trip, but with few locks and shorter distance, so one
can better enjoy the towns in the daytime. 25 meeting attendees. Lake
level 682.14' with temperature 62 degrees.
February 2017 Catalina Chili and Chocolate Cruise:
It was a beautiful February day, with a high temp of 88 degrees and
south winds between 10 and 15. Just perfect for an afternoon on the
lake, now at 682.5'. Two boats sailed around and met in Barry's Cove.
There were 4 on the Catalina 25 and 7 on the Catalina 30 for a total of
11. We enjoyed both mild and spicy Chili, thanks to Joy and Cindy. We
had brownies, chocolate cake, frosted brownies, chocolate wine,
chocolate almonds, and bread. Add to that, lots of conversations and
friendships. We sailed back to our marinas, either on the helms or
winches, or enjoying the sun, wind, and waves. Many thanks to hosts
Lane, Mary, Joy and Joe for a memorable cruise on a enjoyable afternoon.
February 2017 Meeting: Celestial Navigation. Todd gave an excellent
presentation on Celestial Navigation by starting with the basics and
continuing into more advanced subjects, so that everyone in the meeting
could understand at one level or another. For example, Dead Reckoning
and other pieces of knowledge, such as how to measure time and speed,
were early requirements for navigation. Where are the planets tonight
and what will their positions tell you about your latitude ? Where is
Polaris (North Star) or the Southern Cross? How can you know the precise
time (GMT) on a boat that is damp and rocking? Many thanks for
expanding our horizons. In attendance were 32, including one guest. Lake
January 2017: Sandwich Cruise. It
was a foggy day with temperatures in the 50's, but the wind was gentle
and made for fun "winter time" sailing. It was a 3-5 layer day and we
stayed warm. The food theme was "Sandwiches and Snacks." Two boats, six
sailors. We watched the AYC Frostbite race and enjoyed sailing
around. For après sail, we went to Los Pinos. Lake level 682.9'.
January 2017: This month's meeting was about Planning for the Year. We had active discussions on what we would like to learn and do. See the calendar page
for a draft of what we discussed. If you have more suggestions, talk to
one of our officers or cruise chairperson. There were 33 members in
attendance. Lake level at the meeting was 682.93'. On the first of
January, the lake level was 681.7'. In 2016, it was 676.77. In 2015 it was 623.24. In 2014 it was 628.59. In 2013 it was 631.07. In 2012 it was 626.52.
December 2016: We had a fantastic holiday party at AYC on Saturday, 12/10/2016. There
were 48 attendees, including 4 guests and some new members. Many thanks
to the organizer, Diane; meat smoker and carver, Joe; decorators Cindy
and Joy, and many many others who volunteered to set up and clean up.
Congratulations to Joe, who received the Stough Award! And congratulations to our new officers for 2017!
Joe and James, VC John G, Treasurer Robert
(returning for his 11th year on the job), and Secretary Cindy. Cruise
Chairperson will be Lizette. Cheryl and Clay will continue as
For the record, the Lake level was 681.7'. Temps were in the 50's. It was a great evening to be by the lake.
November 2016 Cruise to Sundancer Grill,
Hurst Creek. Organized by Diane. It was an unseasonably warm November
day (80 degrees) with winds 5-9, better than the forecast. Two boats and
8 sailors (6+2) sailed to the Sundancer Grill
in Hurst Creek. 11 sailors went by car for a total of 17 attendees. We
dined on blue-burgers, shrimp and grits, salads, etc, while overlooking
the Sail and Ski Marina at a lovely lake level 682.5'. There was a nice
dock (to the far right as entering the harbor) for visitors.
November 2016 Meeting: "Racing the Pacific Cup, San Francisco to Hawaii." Justin and Chris sailed in the Pacific Cup Regatta,
the "FUN Race" from
San Francisco to Hawaii, twice, in 2014 and 2016. He showed photos and
exciting videos of their races. The first race was in their J/120
(40') named Shearwater. It was not your typical image of a J; it looked
quite comfortable and took 13 days for the trip. Wanting to go faster,
they bought a custom Schumacher 28, a very sleek and downwind-fast
sailboat, and named her Spadefoot. Conditions were quite different,
bigger waves and higher winds this time, making for an strenuous
adventure of 11 days. Go to this website and watch the movie he
presented and read
more at http://www.svshearwater.com/. It was a most fascinating tale of experiences. Awesome to see and hear. Thanks.
October 2016 Kemah Galveston Cruise: On October 29 and 30, Catalina Fleet 69 chartered a Hunter 42
mid-cockpit sailboat from Sea Venture in Kemah, and cruised on Galveston
Bay. Nine sailed on Saturday, 8 on Sunday, for a total of 10
participants. Weather was unseasonably warm, in the 80's. Winds were 5
to 12, East to SE. There was much to see, including J-Fest, a regatta of
J-boats ranging size from 22' to 35'. There were also fishing boats,
barges, cargo ships, dredgers, diving pelicans, the Beast, cruisers, and
the Texas White House. We ate at Joe Lee's on Friday and Baytown
Seafood on Saturday. A fantastic time was had by all. We missed those
who wanted to come but could not.
Many thanks to John G for making this happen! Travis level was 680'.
October 2016 Long Distance Cruise: Host:
Robert. Since the level of Lake Travis is at a recent high of 680.3',
the goal for this cruise was to sail and/or motor up the lake, past Lago
Vista and past the area where the Pedernales flows into Travis. The
plan was to meet near Starnes Island at before noon on
Friday and start sailing to the cove at Lago Vista, channel marker 30.
On Saturday, the destinations could be Turkey Bend, at channel marker
on the north shore, or Cow Creek, aka
Turnback Canyon, at channel marker 32 on the north shore. Sail back on
Sunday. Two boats participated, a C250 and C22, and two sailors, Robert and Clay. One
boat went to Cow Creek, up the Pedernales River, and to the Gnarly Gar,
which is across from Lakeway. The other boat sailed to Lago Vista on
Friday and back on Saturday. Participants said there were waterfalls,
pretty shorelines, ghosts, birds, and wildlife.
Weather was perfect, with highs near 80 and lows in the 50's. Travis
In reality, the Friday destination was Cow Creek. The cruise then went
up the lake and into the Pedernales River. (p.s. watch out for power
line). Saturday night was at the dock at the Gnarly Gar (They
have plenty of guest slips, tho check on the size and availability.
They also serve Sunday breakfast and brunch.) Two boats and 2 skippers
participated, and additional photos and details will be aded as they are
October 2016 Meeting: More Places We Have Cruised. Led by Co-Commodore John, starting with some slides. Lake level 680.79. The program consisted of mostly verbal reports by various members who
had sailed in locations described in the book. Places included
sailing experiences in the 1970’s in Sai Kung bay and crewing a race on
Hong Kong harbor. Ocean navigation sailing class in Tahiti. Motor charter in the Channel Islands
from Vancouver to Desolation Sound. Others described the beautiful rugged coastline scenery
and sea wildlife such as Orcas that were seen while cruising from
Vancouver to Alaska and the San Juan Islands. Another recounted
her trip to Antarctica and visit
Terra Del Fuego. Another recalled seeing Thailand beaches and islands
from the air during a Vietnam tour of duty. Another shared
impressions from their cruise among the islands of Stockholm, Sweden. Only member present had visited New Zealand.
In short, it's clear that the Fleet 69 members have been to a large
number of the great places to sail described in the book!.
September 2016 Cruise: Breakfast Batter Blasters. Once again, this
was our Best Ever Breakfast Cruise. Many thanks to the Batter Blaster
team of Joe, Clay, Robert, and John. The lake is near "full", so it was a good opportunity to try a Travis County Park
that is closer to town, Cypress Creek Park. (map).
For those coming by boat, it was
fairly easy to drop a stern anchor, pull up to shore, and step onto
large rocks on the shoreline. On shore there were picnic benches and we
set up a shade tent. Several came on Saturday and spent the night on
their boats. Nice sunset, waxing moon, and lots of stars. It was not too
hot and not too cold. In the morning, more sailors arrived by boat and
by car. The cooks fired up the grills and
cooked pancakes, sausage, and eggs. Attendees brought toppings (walnuts,
blueberries, real maple
syrup), fruits, juices, cheesecake, coffee, beverages, and more. There
were 7 boats (6 overnight), 30 sailors (10 overnight), and 3 dogs. Lake
September 2016 Meeting: Coastal Navigation with a workshop plus a mini workshop on knots. By Capt Gary.USCG 100 Ton Licensed & Certified ASA Instructor. With a detailed packet of handouts, Gary went over the skills needed to sail beyond the visible horizon, using
navigational techniques of Dead Reckoning, Plotting a Compass Course,
shooting a Bearing on a tower or light, using charts and a compass rose, and
using Parallel Rules and Dividers. We practiced using real nautical charts, making
variations from Magnetic North from True North. What are the colors and shapes for the navigational buoys?
Even nuns get embarrassed (red.) Odd cans are green. Some are striped,
vertically and horizontally. The top color indicates the main channel.
For those who were interested in tying knots, we will also had a
mini-workshop on the bowline knot, stopper knot, Deck Cleat knot,
Reef Knot, Clove hitch, two half hitch & slip hitch knots and more.
It was a quick overview of complex topics, but it served as a review,
reminder, or introduction for fleet members. Thanks, Gary. Attendees: 26
members, no guests. Lake Level 680.94' (the graph).
August 2016 Land/Lake Cruise, "Jump In." On
the day before the cruise/party, it was 105 degrees in Austin and (in
most opinions) too hot to sail. In August we often have a "Land
Cruise." If it is near the lake, so much the better. This year's event
was hosted by new members and gracious hosts, Lydia and John. It was an
unusually rainy and cooler day. (This August is the rainiest ever in
Austin.) Thirty fleet members and guests attended We feasted on John's
brined, smoked, and pulled pork, and attendees'
delicious sides. We talked about the Olympics in Rio, discussed more
than just 50 places to sail in the world, and enjoyed the camaraderie of
a friendly and fun fleet. Many thanks to
our hosts! Robert won the door prize, a night at a B&B on the lake!
Attendees: 30. Lake level 678'. A link to the photos was emailed to
August 2016 Meeting: We have a fun and interesting meeting based on the book,"50
Places to Sail before you Die". (2007, Chris Santella). We
had a slide show, photo albums, and lots of interesting discussions on
all the places fleet members have sailed. It's an impressive list,
covering most continents and many, many countries. We didn't cover them
all, so we will likely continue this theme next month, along with a
discussion of where we would like to go next. Attendance was 34, including 2 guests. Lake level 677.97'.
July 2016 Picnic Cruise: Pot
Luck. 4 boats, 2 cars, 13 sailors. Nice south breeze for sailing and
keeping cool. We sailed to the Sandy Creek Marina (website) for swimming, having a
picnic, and swapping stories. Nik's on the Lake opens this week. Lake level 680.1'. Water temp 84. Air temp
July 2016 Meeting: Common
situations that could require a tow. The scheduled speaker could/did
not come so Co-Commodore Gary filled in with a talk about his
experiences, and then opened it up to members for discussion . We
covered the following subjects: running
aground, retrieving a stuck anchor, managing a leak in the hull, and
help if you don’t have a radio or phone. 19 attendees. Lake level
June 2016 Cruise: 9th Annual Flor de Caña Cruise. Barry's Cove (map). This year it was hosted by Robert, Mark & Diane. Traditionally hosted by Salvador and Nina. Senor Roberto made his famous Nicaraguan shredded pork tacos, Argentinian beans, and
grilled plantains. Senor Marko made his famous blackened
tomato salsa from home grown tomatoes, Senora Akiko made her
famous flan, and Don
Stephen made Nicaraguan Empanadas. Everything was delicious, along with
sides such as fruit, chips, upside down pineapple pie, and hummus. Suggestions. There was also cola and rum.
were light getting there, so most of us motored most of the way.
Afterwards, there was more wind in the 5-10 range, so many of us raised
the sails. At the raft-up, we sought shade and the cool waters in the 90
air temperature heat. 6 boats (C25, C25, C25, C250, C27, C30), 18 people. Lake level 682.75'. Photos.
June 2016 Meeting: China’s Maritime Disputes, by Todd, Maritime History Lecturer.The
History of this conflict and the US’s Pivot to Asia. Here are some additional references: “11-dash line,” Suzerainty, United
Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. 29 attendees, including 3 guests. Lake Level 692' and falling, and closed until noon on Friday, 6/10/16.
May 2016 Cruise: Turnback Canyon Regatta. For
the first time in 5 years (2011), thanks to the (more than)
full lake level, this popular regatta "got back" to Lago Vista. On
Saturday, over 60 boats sailed 20 miles up the lake in moderate
southerly winds (reaching and downwind) to Bar-K Park in Lago Vista. It
took 4 hours for the Catalina 30s. We anchored our boats, tied to shore,
swam to cool off, and went to Lago Fest, which included plenty of
food (BBQ, Mexican, Cajun) and music (including the Beatles cover band,
The Eggmen). After an entertaining lightning show to the north, rain
storms rolled in, and sailors retired to their boat cabins, tents, or
other accommodations. On Sunday, the upwind sail was challenging with
light and shifty
SE winds and power boats everywhere. The race course was shortened at
LCRA Marker 14, near Hurst Creek. That was 4.5 hours in a C30. Race
participation included 3 fleet boats and 5 fleet members (should have
been 6, ask Clay.) At Lago Fest, there 11 fleet members and
family/friends. Lake level 684'. Photos.
May 2016 Meeting: "Basic Navigation and Piloting - a Path to Earn Your ASA-105 Certification," by
Captain Harry, who is an ASA 101, 103, 104, 105, and 106 instructor and
a US Sailing Small Boat Sailing Instructor Level 1. This was a very
informative presentation on Navigation, Cruising locations, Useful tools
and references, and opportunities for expanding knowledge and gaining
certifications. He has led navigation courses on boats in the Caribbean
twice a year for many years. Students on board take on the serious roles
of Captain, Helms-person, Navigator, and Engineer, all in rotation so
everyone gets experience and testing on navigation, including
Basics: Where am I and how do I get to where I want to go?
Types of Navigation: Line of Sight, Dead Reckoning, GPS, and Celestial.
All are important, and it is also important to gather information from
multiple sources, to verify & correlation for accuracy. Do not
depend on the GPS alone. Confirm your position with the depth. Get your
head out of the boat. Work well with the team.
U.S. Chart No. 1 describes the symbols, abbreviations and terms used on
all NOAA, NGA and international nautical charts, as well as the symbols
used to portray NOAA ENC® charts on ECDIS.
How to Read a Nautical Chart, by Nigel Calder. amazon.com/How-Read-Nautical-Chart-Understanding/dp/0071779825
The Weekend Navigator, by Bob Sweet. amazon.com/Weekend-Navigator-2nd-Robert-Sweet/dp/0071759964. Read what the the U.S. Power Squadron and the U.S. Coast Guard trust as the definitive authority on electronic navigation.
Attendees: 17, including 16 members, 1 guest, including our speaker.
April 2016 Cruise: Olympics Scramble Cruise. We met North of D Marker near Barry’s Cove and Starnes Island. A
temporary buoy was set up for On-the-Water Events, including being on
time, hailing on the radio, sailing around the buoy, and heaving too. We
then went to Barry's Cove for the following events: anchoring, rope
starting the engine, finding first aide kit, finding and properly
putting on life jackets. All this included snacks and sandwiches. Many
thanks to our hosts, Todd
& Patti, Robert & Sheila. Sunny, light air, but we managed to
sail anyways. Six boats, including 5 sailboats and a power boat. 14 people. Lake level 684' (or almost). Photos: on Picasa, on Google.
April 2016 Meeting: "Amazing Restorations of Older Catalina 22's" by Jon F and James D.
March 2016 St Patrick's Irish Green Cruise: The
Luck of the Irish was upon us as we had a beautiful March day for
sailing. Five boats and 18 sailors enjoyed the afternoon in Barry's
Cove. We had Irish stew, Corned beef sandwiches, Green bars &
cookies, Irish veggies, and more. Temps were in the 70's and winds
around 10. Co-hosts were Steve, Cheryl, Cindy & Paul. A fun time was
had by all. Lake level was 679.43' (and rising to 681' one week later.) Photos.
March 2016 Meeting: Co-Commodores Gary and John talked about Polynesian Navigators. Starting around 1500 BC, sailing was a key part of the Polynesian culture. They sailed to South
America, North America, Indonesia, Easter Island. Historians have found
corresponding languages, food, etc. all over. They used the sun and
stars to navigate. Also, proximity to islands was determined by winds
and clouds (Color reflections off of islands), waves and swells, birds
(40 miles from island if small) and fish. Notches on boat that line up
with the stars and the circle (latitude.) Paid attention to where they
had been. Canoe had a spiritual connection.
In 1976, a group decided
to recreate the Polynesian sail from Hawaii to Tahiti. They had help by
a master navigator. The Hōkūleʻa was the name of the sailboat. In 2007,
the Polynesian Navigation Society graduated 17 Master Navigators.
* For an excellent presentation on this subject titled "Never Lost," go to and study http://www.exploratorium.edu/neverlost/ .
* Read about the Hōkūleʻa and the Polynesian Voyaging Society: http://www.hokulea.com/.
The site has numerous interesting links. It was built in Honolulu,
Hawaii and launched on March 8, 1975. It is now approaching Cuba after
having sailed over 140,000 nautical miles across the Pacific. Length: 62
feet, Width: 20 feet. Hōkūleʻa is the Hawaiian name for the star
* Mau Piailug, was navigator from a small island called
Satawal, in Micronesia. He was key in the education of Polynesian
Navigation. Here is a video tribute to him, complete with chants: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGzc38ODWEg.
* Learn about the 32-point Star Compass: http://pvs.kcc.hawaii.edu/ike/hookele/on_wayfinding.html.
February 2016 Valentine's Cruise: Our
newly engaged couple and sweethearts, Lane and Mary, hosted this cruise
in Barry's Cove. Reports say that there were 5 boats and 19 people in
attendance. They told stories of first sailing
adventures with sweethearts. High was 71 and southerly winds were
5-12 with early gusts to 17. Lake level 677.6'. photos
February 2016 Meeting: Sailing Photography. Bill
R is a professional photographer and an active member of the Austin
Yacht Club. He has combined those skills and takes many photos of the
regattas and kids programs at the club. He proceeded to show us great
photos of many regattas, kids, races, and close ups of participants.
His advice when photographing is to put the camera away between 10am and
4 or 5 pm. The light is more interesting before or after those times.
He prefers photos that are 2x3 format. For Junior and other sailors,
remember "Tiller Towards the Trouble." There were 4 photos entered in
the contest although there was no clear “
winner” announced. 20 members attended. Lake level 677.6' and steady.
No rain since January 6.
January 2016 Bloomin' Cedar Fever Cruise:
On a sunny and cool January day, 3 boats and 7 sailors sailed to
Barry's Cove and rafted up. It was a very pleasant day to be on the
lake, with very few boats around. Even tho
the temps were in the 50's, the winds were light and we did not feel
cold. We enjoyed hot chocolate, hot tea, hummus dip with veggies,
Alouette dip and crackers, chocolate liqueurs, brownies, and shrimp.
There was no specific host. Lake level is a beautiful 677.5' and steady.
January 2016 Meeting: Officers
for 2016 are as follows: Co-Commodores Gary and John G. VC James.
Treasurer Robert. Secretary includes a crew of 12, coordinated by
Cheryl. Appointed positions include Cruise Director Diane and Historians
Cheryl and Clay. The meeting was held at Mangia's on Mesa. Attendance
included 32 members. Lake level 677.35. Gary led the meeting, Kimberly
took minutes. The program was to talk about what program topics and
cruise themes (and dates) we'd like to have this year. Many ideas were
bounced around. The calendar will be updated when specifics are
determined. It was a great start to the new year.
December 2015: Fleet Holiday Party. On
a relatively warm and humid evening, 40 members met at the Austin Yacht
Club to celebrate the past year, renew acquaintances, and look forward
to the coming year. For the record, 46 were originally expected, 40
attended appetizers, 36 had dinner, and 34 were there for the gift
exchange. The Catalina 22 Fleet 69 (racing at AYC) was also included.
Several fleet members belong to both Catalina Fleets. Ten attendees are
members of AYC. Cheryl coordinated the event with decorations by Diane,
Kimberly, and Cindy. Joe and Robert prepared the meats. Co-Commodore
Steve led the recognitions. Last year's Stough Award recipient Diane
awarded the 2015 Stough Award to Steve and Akiko. Congratulations! Read all about it here. Many many thanks to all the Fleet Contributors in 2015. Photos. Lake level 674.7'.
November 2015 on Lake Travis Cruise: One
boat braved the threat of rain and went sailing. In spite of the
forecasts of a 40% chance of rain, there was essentially none. It was
cloudy and cool, with temps in the 60's, and winds were light. One boat,
not sure how many crew. Say 4. Lake level 671.5.
November 2015 Kemah / Galveston Bay Cruise Weekend was planned for
Saturday and Sunday, November 7 & 8. Twelve participated. On Friday we did the pre-charter walk-thru of
"Paradise," a 42' Hunter center-cockpit sailboat from Windward Sea Ventures, based in Kemah. Friday Dinner (Nov 6) at Joe Lee's was an excellent choice by our "local knowledge expert."
On Saturday the forecast and result were cold (60's), windy (gusts in
the 20's), and rainy. We went shopping, eating, and touring. Went to the
new location of Boaters' Resale and found good bargains. Went to West Marine, of course. Lunch at
T-Bone Tom's. Some of us went to the San Jacinto Monument and the Battleship
Texas. Others tried to go to Galveston to see the Elissa, but it was
closed because of the motorcycle rally. Dinner was at Baytown Seafood in
On Sunday, we were ready for sailing. It was a perfect day with temps in
the 60's and sunny to partly cloudy. Winds in the teens. We
sail up towards the cruise ship channel and observed a cruise ship
preparing to depart. Did not see any dolphins and even the pelicans were
rather sparse this day.
Sunday dinner was Monument Inn.
Monday, we had ten. Winds were lighter but we had expert light-air
sailors aboard, so we found the wind and had another fun day of sailing.
Some then left for home, and the remaining 6 had dinner at an Italian
restaurant that is popular with the astronauts, Frenchies.
Many many thanks to John
G, who was the organizer, skipper, and boat charterer of record. And
thanks to all who participated! Lake Travis level 671.1. Photos. November 2015 Meeting:The
Speaker was Flotilla Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard, Berhilo Galvan.
He had some interesting stories about safety and rescues of Lake Travis
and the Highland lakes. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is
the uniformed, all-volunteer component of the United States Coast
Guard. The Auxiliary was created by an Act of Congress in 1939. The
Auxiliary conducts safety patrols on local waterways, assist
in Search and Rescue, teach boating safety classes,
conduct free vessel safety checks for the public,
provide boating safety literature to dealers, as well
as many other activities related to recreational boating
safety. The Coast Guard considers the Auxiliary its primary
resource for recreational boating safety outreach and prevention.
Gary led nominations and elections of 2016 officers. Co-Commodores: Gary
and John G. VC: James. Treasurer: Robert. Secretary: A crew, one per month.
Attendees: 22. Lake level: 671.5.
October 2015 Mediterranean Competition Cruise: The
first-ever Catalina Mediterranean Travis cruise included boats from
France, Montenegro, Gibraltar, Lebanon, Greece, Morocco, Slovenia, and
Spain. Each boat was decorated and crews brought food, costumes,
decorations, music, and knowledge of their countries. Nick & Jessica were the judges (They are the proprietors of Cafe Malta, a Mediterranean Restaurant in Southwest Austin & well traveled Mediterranean explorers.).
Competition was tight but Mark and Diane of Morocco were the winners.
Many thanks to our hosts Steve and Akiko for this clever and fun idea.
There were 8 boats, 2 cars, 24 fleet members, and 2 guests. We met at
Sandy Creek Marina. Travis lake level was 665.7' and falling. Near
record temperatures were in the 90's and winds were light. Photos.
October 2015 Meeting: Chuck Wheeler of The Sailboat Shop talked about on the season that was and what is trending. Lake level 665.8'. 25 attendees, including our speaker.
September 12-13, 2015 Breakfast Batter Blaster Cruise: It had been 5 years since we've had a breakfast cruise at Arkansas Bend, North Cove (map) and it was great to be back. Many thanks to our Batter Blaster Team, Joe, Clay, John, Robert, and Joy. At lake level 667.4',
there was plenty of water. Each boat dropped a stern anchor, tied the
up to shore, and some were close enough to allow cruisers to step off
the bow onto the shore. We also had
a LBRB (Little Bitty Rubber Boat) that served well for transporting
people and things. The weather could not be better, as a break in the
hot (upper 90's) weather dropped 10 degrees day and night, and there was
a nice breeze. Saturday: There were 5 boats and 7 sailors. There was
also a truck and trailer with grill, cooker, and smoker. For dinner we
grilled burgers, hot dogs, bratwurst, chili, and steak. There were also
educational aspects to the cruise. We used our VHF radios to communicate
while boats were under way. As boats approached the cove, sailors on
land and sea used signal mirrors to communicate. After sunset, we
enjoyed the lights of the stars and airplanes. Steve used a flashlight
beam to point to constellations, planets, and bright stars. Binoculars
were also used. Overnight, the temps dropped into the 60's but the warm
lake water (85 degrees) kept us warm. In the morning, 11 more sailors
arrived in 1 boat and 5 cars. Total attendance was 18 with 6 boats and 6 vehicles. Driving to the park is fairly easy: https://goo.gl/maps/VWMbe and driving directions.
The Batter Blaster Team cooked up eggs, pancakes, bacon, little
smokies, and served syrup, orange juice, coffee, and mimosas. Others
brought fruit (including Akiko's beautiful fruit tray), bagels, breads,
and more coffee. We enjoyed it all under the tent and in a circle of
folding chairs. Afterwards, the boat people went for a swim. Then, we
all enjoyed a delightful sail back to our marinas. Many many thanks to
our hosts and everyone involved. Let's do it again! Photos.
September 2015 Meeting:Our speaker and fleet member, John G, presented a slide show of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) and the Tall Ships in Philadelphia this summer. At the CBMM they saw various boats that are
unique to the east coast such as the skip-jacks, a flat bottom boat
used to harvest oysters and a log canoe. The Tall Ships Festival in
Philadelphia main attraction was the French ship replica L'Hermione
sailed by Lafayette in the Revolutionary War. The warship was 217
feet long, 40 feet wide with a draft of 16 feet and could reach 13
knots speed with all sails being used, and had 32 cannons. Lafayette
and his navy played a major part in the Revolutionary War blockade of
Chesapeake Bay and the defeat of the British. Tied along the shore
of the Delaware River were a 16th
century galleon replica;
the "Eagle" a coast guard boat built in 1937; the battleship "The New
Jersey" which saw action in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and
the Persian Gulf retired in 1991; a 1925 wooden gaff rigged
schooner, and restoration of 1888 Elf and a copy of the 1812 "Lynx," a
privateer ship. The "Sagres" departed for Portugal under full sail
from the docks. Quite impressive. Pointers: The Philadelphia-Camden Tall Ships
Festival 2015, Philadelphia Independence Seaport Museum, and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, tallshipsphiladelphia.com/ships/ .
There were 24 attendees, including 2 guests and new owners of a
Catalina, Karen & Dale. Welcome! Lake level is 667.5' and falling.
p.s. Watch out for the power lines over Lake Travis. Details here.
August 2015 Wok n Roll Land Cruise. It
was hot and the winds are light in August, so Norma and Clay cooked up a
of Chinese dishes at the home of Robert and Sheila. This was the 8th
time they have put on this buffet of Chinese delights for the fleet.
We had tofu and vegetables egg rolls, prawn chips,
Cantonese roast duck, BBQ Pork (Char Siu), sweet and sour chicken wings,
pepper steak with cashew nuts, shrimp and seafood with vegetables,
fried brown rice with Chinese Sausage, steamed Jasmine rice, fortune
cookies, almond cookies, Oolong Tea. Attendees brought appetizers,
salads, and desserts. There were 33 attendees. Lake level 669.4'.
August 2015 Meeting: Capt.
Greg, Rear Admiral of the Austin Sailing Society, gave us a
talk on anchoring. He not only talked about 'how to' but how the
darn things work and will cover some of the newer fangled devices that
are out there. He covered everything from the basics (which we could all
review by reading one of those basic sailing books we all have at home)
to the more advanced cruising situations that involve tides and other
boats in an anchorage. Take your time to find the right anchorage.
Practice effective communications between bow and stern. Have the
appropriate size and type of anchor, chain, rode, and number of anchors.
Different bottom surfaces have different requirements. Greg recommended
googling Tom Neale's articles, which you can find online in such places as Sea Savvy. 28 attendees. Welcome to new members, Lydia and John! Lake level is 669.5'.
August 2015: Balloons over Lake Travis: This
was the 25th year of this event, usually held the first or second
Saturday of August at sunrise. Sunrise was at 6:54. Balloons first
became visible from the lake around 6:49, and take off was around 7:10.
There were many sailboats and power boats in the area near Mansfield Dam
Park, hovering over Sometimes Islands since the lake is around 670'.
This year, there 6 balloons, but only 5 actually left the park. There
were 2 red/white/blue realtor balloons, one Texas flag-like balloon, one
red/yellow/blue checkered one, one pink/yellow/turquoise, and one
green/yellow/red. One of them "dipped the basket" (or nearly did so, as
it was too far to tell for sure) in the lake. Winds were near 10 from
the at the surface. They flew over Commander's point, Travis Landing,
then over towards Volente. The number has varied from year to year. It
was well worth the effort to get up early and leave the dock by 6 am.
Many people drove to the park to observe. Central Texas Ballooning Association: centraltexasballooning.org.
July 2015 Catalina Sailing Scramble: The
Sailing Scramble Cruise, hosted by Todd and Patti, was a fun cruise
with maneuvers and tasks to accomplish while under sail and at anchor in
Barry's Cove. On the water, we had to arrive at D-Mark (north of
Starnes) by 2 pm, check-in via VHF radio, heave to, pick up a mooring,
and do 2 man-overboard drills, while reaching and running. At anchor,
the crew had to find the first aid kit, put a band-aid at the tack of
the main, start the engine, and retrieve the fire extinguisher. Details. After
all that, we sailed, swam, ate, awarded prizes, and toasted the hosts'
wedding anniversary. What a great idea...let's do it again! Lake level
is a luxurious 671.52', weather was sunny, 90's, and light wind. There
were 7 boats and 20 participants for the first half, 4 boats and 13
participants for the second half. For the third half, there was an
additional boat with 6 people. Photos. and/or G-Photos.
July 2015 Meeting: Our speakers this month represented the Sea Scouts Ship that is associated with AYC, "SSS Old Ironsides." It is ship 681 of Lago Vista. We first heard an excellent presentation
by a 15-year-old Sea Scout, who is
working his way up the Sea Scout ranks from Apprentice to Ordinary,
Able, and Quarter Master. He told us about a recent cruise on a retired
coast guard ship in the Gulf of Mexico and the ICW, where they cruised
24 hour a day for several days. They had to deal with navigation
(including communications with tugs speaking in heavy accents in the night) and engine
maintenance. He enthusiastically described his experience with sailing,
boat safety, maintenance, & handling, seamanship, as well as
knowledge of 20 kinds of knots. He aspires to a career in the Merchant
Marines. If a scout works all the
way up the ranks, they automatically earn the Military rank of E-3. The organization is open to both boys and girls.
He was followed by Chris S, who is the Skipper of SSS Old Ironsides. Sea
Scouts are a part of Boy Scouts of America, and is a program for Scouts
in High School up to the age of 20 or 21. If you have any friends or
family who might be interested, this is an excellent opportunity to
learn seamanship, along with the skills of leadership, discipline, citizenship and to be prepared. Learn more at bsacac.org/scouting/sea_scouting or seascout.org. Meeting Attendance: 18 members and 2 guests. Lake level holding steady at 671.46'.
June 2015: Flor de Caña Cruise. 2015's
8th Annual Flor de Caña cruise, hosted by Salvador and Nina at Arkansas
Bend. 8 boats, 29 sailors. At lake level 670.1' (40' higher than last
month's cruise), the cove looked very different with overgrown bushes.
We all enjoyed sailing up the lake on a nice breeze, then rafted up with
bow and stern shore lines. Nicaraguan Foods were fantastic, as were the
beverages. There was some rain on the anchorage but the air was warm.
Later, we went swimming. Around 5:30 we started to leave to motor home.
Half-way there, it rained and rained. Spirits were not dampened and good
times were had by all. Photos.
June 2015 Meeting: Todd has an excellent series of presentations called "Pirates, Patriots, and Privateers," and this month he talked about "Barbary Coast Pirates and the Birth of the US Navy." It was very interesting and I obviously need to do more reading on this topic, including the Tripolitan War (aka first Barbary
War (1801-1805), Napoleonic Wars, paying of tribute to the Barbary
Pirates, Commodore William Bainbridge (US Navy), Dey of Algiers, Xebec
Mediterranean sailing shops, William Eaton, and the frigate class ships
such as the USS Constitution. We learned about how the frigates were
built to be strong, but selecting word from specific types of trees from
various parts of the nation, based on the wood's shape and flexibility.
Todd recommended a 1950's news reel called "America's Enduring Past,"
about the USS Constitution. I didn't find anything with that name, but this you-tube link on the Constitution, done in the 1950's, looks very informative. Thanks, Todd! Lake level 669.02'. 22 attendees.
Turnback Canyon Regatta (5/23-24/15):
It was a weekend of sailing, music, rain, wind, and floods. Central
Texas experienced floods, loss of lives, and extensive property damage.
Lake Travis rose 7'
Saturday night, and 10' Friday to Sunday. The weekend started at around
637'. By Sunday evening it was 647'. By Tuesday morning, 655.5'.
Recalling some stats: On 1/1/2015 it was 623.34' (>32' feet
rise to Tuesday a.m. over the Memorial Day weekend. )
At the beginning of May (5/1/15) it was 629.5' (26' rise).
You can view lake history at travis.uslakes.info/Level.asp. John's sailtravis.us, and the LCRA daily report.
Turnback Regatta was a great success in spite of the rain. There were 3
on Saturday, which went up past mile marker 14, just past Hurst Creek
and before that huge Crosswater marina, and back. One on Sunday, around
the buoys. Saturday evening there were 3 bands, 3 food trucks: juices,
cupcakes, and Mexican/Italian, and BBQ. One fleet boat raced, and that
was Robert and Sheila on their C250. Keith
crewed on a Ranger 23 (which received a nice 4th place trophy.) Other
fleet members co-chaired (Steve), decorated (Diane), served on race
committee (Steve S), did
registration, helped with dinner tickets, helped around the club, took
photos, hauled centerboard boats as the lake rose, went on the spectator
boat and came to dinner. I can think of 19 fleet participants. Thanks to
all! The large set of AYC photos is here. The subset with Catalina participants, and more, is here.
Cinco de Mayo Cruise (5/16/15): Hosts James & Sarah (food), Todd
& Patti (host boat). Sandy Creek Marina. Sailing there was downwind and fun. Good
location, with a nice
dock and the ramp getting there wasn't too bad (and there was a
funicular for part of the trip). No lost anchors and no rocking boats.
Lake level was good for fixed
keel boats. Great food (quesadilla tacos, sort of) and beverages
(grapefruit fizz with additions.) There were 3 boats with 7 sailors, 7
cars with 11 more, for a total of 18. Lake level 631.36' and rising. Photos.
May 14, 2015 Meeting: Vic
was our guest speaker. He told us everything we always
wanted to know about the Austin Yacht Club, how to become a member,
learning opportunities, the programs for kids, plans for the
future and more. Attendees included 22 members and our guest speaker.
Lake Level 630.8' and rising)
April 2015 Galveston Charter Cruise, aka Third Coast Cruise: April 11-12, Kemah to Galveston and back. Charter was canceled due to the forecasts. Eight sailors went anyways and enjoyed an evening and a day in Kemah and Galveston. We will attempt to reschedule the charter in October. Here are the original details:
Coordinator: John G. He will captain one boat and Gary will captain the other.
Where: Watergate Marina on Clear Lake to Harbor House Marina in Galveston on Saturday and return on Sunday.
Stay on the boat for a small fee or stay in nearby hotels.
Food: We'll go out for dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings. Bring your own beverages, snacks and lunch on board for the day sails
Of interest: The Elissa and exhibits at the Texas Seaport Museum link
Lake level 628.54'
April 9, 2015 Meeting: Sail Making 101 by John Bartlett, bartlettsails.com,
talked about Sail-making 101. He is a local sail-maker with an
excellent reputation. He races locally and afar on all types of boats,
including a Moth. He is also a cruiser. His sailcloth provider of choice is Dimension-Polyant.
He said sails are "all about the cloth" and talked about the different
types. Some are better for racers (such as laminates, which have short
lifespans) and some for cruisers. Dacron is still an excellent choice
for cruisers. His favorite sail cloth is polyester molded Dacron, which
get better with each generation. For Catalina cruising sails that are
functional and durable, consider film weight and thread count. For each
boat, one needs to find that sweet spot angle of heel that balances the
boat, usually 10 to 12 degrees of angle. Thanks, John! There were 20 attendees. Lake level 628.38'.
P.S. For entertainment, look at Sailing Anarchy.
March 2015 Cruise: Jane Bond Cruise. Agent
007 would have to agree that this was the best weather weekend all
year. Agents Jane (Bond) and Lane co-hosted a fun "James Bond" theme
cruise with a tricky trivia game and appropriate beverages, near the
north end of Sometimes Peninsula. Agents brought gold-themed foods to
nourish the gathering, as we schemed our next assignments. Some dressed
to kill. There were 19 sailors with 5 boats present and 12 boats
represented. Temps were in the 60's, winds were light. Lake level was
626.86'. Last year, SPECTRE attempted revenge by grabbing onto an
anchor, but MI6 prevailed. Not so this time. The score was 3-1. In any
case, it was fun and many thanks to our hosts for a great time. Lake level = 626.86'. Photos.
March 2015 Meeting: Captain Harry Polly, ASA Master Sailing Instructor.
He is an ASA instructor for ASA 101, 103, 104, 105, 106, and maybe even
more. He has certified sailors not only on Lake Travis, but also on the
Texas Coast and Lakes, Galveston, and the BVIs. He has had his own
sailing school around Dallas and taught open water sailing for a week
around Hawaii. He is very interesting and informative, with a wealth of
sailing knowledge and stories. Lake level 626.48'. Attendees included 31 members and 4 guests.
February 2015 Cruise: We
had a little of everything on this cruise on the 15th of February.
Winds varied from 18 to zero. Sometimes it rained. Mostly it was cloudy.
Temperature reached 70, but by the next morning, it was in the 30's and
rainy. It was good weather for ducks, as you will see in the photos.
There were 3 boats sailing and the ten sailors represented at
least six boats. (maybe 16 boats, depending upon how you count.) We
sailed from AYC or Keller's Marina to Starnes Island, to just past
Devil's Cove, back to the island and south towards mile marker 5. It was
a fun day for all. Lake level 625.7'. Photos.
February 2015 Meeting: "Standing on the Shoulders of Claudius Ptolemy" or "What is this Old Guy doing in my Chart Plotter?"Exploring the relationship between time and place,Captain Greg, Licensed as a 100 ton USCG Captain about 1990,
received his Certification as an ASA instructor around 1995, and serves
as the Rear Admiral of the Austin Sailing Society. In his day job, he
uses GPS and GIS to gather field data in creating cartography for the
Official Departmental Map for TxDOT and in the regulation of billboards.
He has skippered square topsail schooners on three coasts and the Great
Lakes as well as pleasure vessels in the Caribbean and on Lake Travis.
His personal sloop is the Catalina 28, Mk II “Ruthmary T.”
There were 28 attendees plus our speaker. Lake level 625.5'.
To learn more, watch these:
January 2015 Boat Show & Spontaneous Cruise:
The Austin Boat Showhad
one kayak with a sail, 2 Beneteau sails (not the boats) hanging from
the ceiling, and lots and lots of power boats and campers. Plus there
were exhibits with cushions, drones, cooking pans, yard sticks, and
marina promoters. At least 5 of us went and handed out a few Fleet 69
The Spontaneous or Impromptu or Flash Cruise happened on Sunday
the 18th. While some chose to stay indoors and watch football, and/or
didn't pay attention to the much-improved weather forecast, three
Catalina and 10 sailors enjoyed a beautiful afternoon sail on Lake
Travis. Temps were in the sunny 60's and winds were 0 to 10. We started
at AYC on a 22 (Steve, Meri, guest), a 27 (Keith & Sue), and a 30
(Steve, Cheryl, Lane, guest, and Jane C), and motored half-way to
Starnes Island, where we found some wind. We sailed north towards Sandy
Creek, then turned west up the lake, just beyond LCRA marker 8. The wind
slowed down but that gave us time to enjoy sandwiches and snacks. Then
we caught the wind again and headed south towards Windy Point, and back
north to AYC. It was fun to enjoy a day on the water, after more than 2
weeks of unseasonably cold weather. Lake is holding steady at 623.4'.
January 8, 2015 meeting: On
a cold winter evening, 18 members and 2 guests met at Mangia Pizza on
Mesa Blvd. Officers and Appointees for 2015 are as follows: Co-Commodores: Steve L and Gary P,
Vice-Commodore: John O, Secretary: Paulette, Treasurer: Robert, Past
Commodore: Diane C, Webmaster: Cheryl, Historians: Cheryl and Clay.
After an active social time and dinner, Steve L led the meeting. There
was active participation in the planning of activities for this and
future months. We will have traditional cruises, repeats of new ideas
from last year, and some new and creative ones. Some will be on the
lake, on the land, and on the coast. See the Calendar page for the results. Lake level is 623.4'. Photos.
Dec 2014: On
a seasonably warm December evening, 54 sailors of the All Catalina
Fleet 69 and Catalina 22 Fleet 69 met at the Austin Yacht Club to
celebrate a year of sailing and friendship, and to look forward to the
year ahead. That included 43 AC69 fleet members, 3 of their guests,
and 8 who belonged only to C22-F69. There are 8 who belong to both
fleets. Officers were installed (see November notes below.) Contributors
in 2014 were recognized. The Stough Award was presented to Diane for
her dedication and love of sailing and Fleet 69. Lake level 623.6'. Photos.
Nov 2014: Catalina-ville Cruise:With
a forecast of 53 degrees and drizzle, we decided that Jimmy Buffet
would rather be someplace warm and dry, so we went to the Iguana Grill.
In a large glass-enclosed room overlooking Arkansas Bend, we had a fun
time listening to tropical music, eating Tex-Mex, and catching up on
what we missed at the Thursday meeting. 21 Attendees. Lake Level
Nov 2014: Veterans of the Fleet: We
had a very productive meeting with discussions of plans for the holiday
party, the fleet treasury, and nomination of officers and nominees.
Thanks to these volunteers: Co-Commodores: Steve L and Gary P,
Vice-Commodore: John O, Secretary: Paulette, Treasurer: Robert, Past
Commodore: Diane C, Webmaster: Cheryl, Historians: Cheryl and Clay. Then
some of our fleet Veterans, and we were surprised how many there were,
talked about their services to their country. We had representatives
from the Navy, Air Force, Army, and Air National Guard. They shared lots
of photos and stories. Thanks!
Oct 2014: Autumn Cruise: The
rain stopped by noon, clearing the way for a very pleasant Autumn
Afternoon on the lake. While several were busy with football, ACL Music
Festival, US Boat Show, car racing, singing, work, under the weather,
etc, two boats and 4 sailors sailed to Arkansas Bend for a fun afternoon
of pot-luck sandwiches & snacks, relaxation, camaraderie and
sailing. Temperatures were in the upper 60's, skies were cloudy, and
winds were north around 5-12. Lake level 623.93'. Photos.
Oct 2014: La Belle: The Ship That Changed History Special Exhibition. The
Director of Special Exhibits at the Bob Bullock History of Texas
Museum, David D, gave an excellent talk with plenty of details and
photos of the exhibit. His presentation started with the initial
construction of the ship in France and talked about the fleet of 4 ships
that left France in 1684, with 3 purposes: military, merchant, and
colonization. La Belle was 54' long and 18' wide, with a shallow draft.
Not a big boat. They were looking for the Mississippi River and ended up
near Matagorda Bay. Wealthy French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur
de La Salle was the leader of the expedition. Researchers first
discovered the possibility of a shipwreck in the Bay in 1975 and upon
the very first dive in 1995, a canon with the seal of French King Louis
XIV was found. After nearly 20 years of excavation and restoration, the
ship will be reassembled piece by piece in the museum. You'll want to
visit it often to see the progress. There will also be a web cam, so you
can watch it remotely. There will also be a 4-D film with a true story
of a youth on the ship. Read all about it here: thestoryoftexas.com/explore/exhibits/la-belle and thestoryoftexas.com/la-belle. Lake level 623.96'. 26 Attendees.
Sept 2014: Brunch Cruise: This year, the Batter Blasters took a break and we patronized a new lakeside restaurant, Sundancer Grill,
at the Sail and Ski Marina in Hurst Creek. The plan was to spend the
night at the S&S Marina dock, and go to Brunch at 11 am. However, a
cold front rolled in just in time to dampen our plans for an overnight
on the boats, but not the brunch. Several boats were planning to spend
the night (we'll try again later). One boat sailed/motored in on Sunday.
23 sailors enjoyed the autumn-like 60's degree weather on the scenic
outdoor deck of the restaurant. The food was creative and delicious.
Thanks to our hosts Joe and Clay (and others)! Lake level 622.9'. Photos.
Sept 2014 Meeting. Chuck of the Sailboat Shop
talked about various sailboat topics, which included sailboat sales in
the US (up), Catalina yacht plans, new
services at the shop, new location, new boats, used boats, and
to be left nameless, asked, "Suppose a friend is sailing a Catalina 22
with a swing keel, and the wind suddenly picks up and our boat ... er,
his boat.... hits the rocks. Hypothetically speaking, of course. After
that, the keel makes a lot of knocking sounds. What could be going on
and how can it be fixed?" Well, if your boat hits the rocks,
hypothetically of course, you may have loosened the keel bolts or
damaged the pivot pin. You need to inspect these parts and tighten up
the keel bolt. It's best to take it out of the water and inspect, if you
can find a ramp. He recommended replacing the worn out bronze pivot pins on old swing-keel Catalinas. There were 19 attendees at Mangia
Pizza Mesa. Lake level 623.0'. Air temps in the 90's.
August 2014 Cruise: Pirate Invasion. Temperatures had been at or near 100 all week, so all agreed that it was a good time for a Pirates Pool Party.Diane
and Mark hosted the Fleet in their backyard pool with 26 pirates and
wenches. The pirate theme included a treasure hunt, cannon ball toss,
grog, and a delicious buffet. Costumes and sword play were in
abundance. Lake level was about 626.3' on August 16. Photos.
August 2014 Meeting: 28
attendees at Mangia Pizza on Mesa Drive. Lake Travis level continued to
fall to 626.56'. One year ago it was 622.7'. (Ref:
travis.uslakes.info/Level.asp.) New fleet postcards are now available
for placement at marinas or to be handed to people we meet on the dock.
You can see them here: Front and Back.
For the program, Todd talked about his recent Blue Water Passage from
St Thomas to Bermuda to Newport. The trip was part of the certification
courses for ASA 107 Celestial Navigation (relies mostly on the sextant)
and ASA 108 Offshore Passage-making (which requires very detailed
post-voyage documentation and a seamanship book.) The school was the Blue Water Sailing School.
The boat was a Dufour 43. They went over 1500 miles and were on the
water twelve days. You can view a subset of the charts here: charts.
July 2014 Bastille Day Cruise: Vive
La France! We met along the NW side of Sometimes Island/Peninsula (see Sometimes Peninsula map).
Apologies to those who drove to Mansfield Dam Park, planning to hike
and swim to the boats. We later heard that they enjoyed an evening at
the AYC pool. On the water, we enjoyed French wines
and snacks and floated around. Thanks to Lane for hosting, and Robert
and Sheila for sharing their boat. Winds were good for sailing to &
from. Water level 628.8'. Tally: 25 attendees, with 21 on the water and 4
at AYC. For boats, there were 5 on the water, 9 represented on
the water and 2 represented at AYC for a virtual total of 11. Photos.
July 2014: Lake level 628.9'. Attendees 22, including one guest. There were 2 programs this month:
Rafting Techniques, by Salvador. References (links) and notes: Sailnet Forum Discussion. Also here. This is a good article that everyone should read. It describes some tie-up techniques and etiquette tips. Ground Tackle:
Selecting Anchors and Rodes (Boat US, Don Casey, April 2012): Three
strand nylon is "king" for anchor lines. Use 1/8" rope for each 9'
length of boat. Choosing the Right Rope (Boat US, Don Casey, June 2012). Dock lines (Boat US, April 2012): Up to 27', use 3/8" rope. For 28-31, use 7/16" rope.
Etiquette: Circle the fleet before joining, evaluate the situation,
request permission to tie up, and ask which place is best. Use your VHF
Radio to communicate. Request permission before boarding a boat,
and try to avoid crossing thru the cockpit. Help keep host boats clean.
Cruising the Baltic
Sea. Robert and Sheila gave an excellent presentation on the history,
geography, culture, and touring of several countries around the Baltic Sea. They went via Enrichment Voyages,
starting in Germany, and visiting Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia,
and Sweden. It's an interesting region for sailors because the Hanseatic
League was a sea-going commercial and defensive confederation of
merchant guilds and their market towns that dominated trade along the
coast of Northern Europe in the 13th to 17th centuries. They showed us
many great photos of their trip, including several of sailboats, of
June 2014 "Flor de Caña" (Flower of the Sugar Cane) Cruise: The
7th Annual Flor de Caña Cruise had good sailing winds, anchorage, food,
and friends. A total of 21 people (one guest) arrived on 5 boats, 1
powerboat, 1 car. Fourteen boats were represented. We tied up in a small
cove in the north side of Arkansas Bend. Lake Level 630.5'. Air low
90's, winds 12-18 mph. Many thanks to hosts Salvador and Nina for yet
another fun cruise! Photos.
June 2014 Meeting: Program: Tim B, the
LCRA Water Operations Manager for all of the Highland Lakes.
http://www.lcra.org/water/Pages/default.aspx . He gave us thorough
overview of water surfaces management programs on the entire chain of
Colorado River lakes, from Tow to Matagora Bay. LCRA was established in
1934 as a water conservation district, thanks to Representative LBJ.
Purpose was related to rural electrification. With popularity, so came
the challenges of control of marinas & docks, houseboats, buoys,
etc. There are 144 marinas and 7000 wet slips on the Highland Lakes.
LCRA maintains 1100 buoys.
Here's an LCRA video of the Sandy Creek September 2012 flash flood: LCRA Sandy Creek Flood Video. Here's the longer unofficial version: Sandy Creek Flash Flood Video. Many thanks to Tim for a very interesting program.
Lake level 629.4 before the meeting and the latest rainstorm. 19 attendees.
May 2014 Cruise: Cinco de Mayo (on the 10th):
James and Sarah did an outstanding job hosting their first fleet
cruise. It was a great day to be on the lake, with just the right
mixture of wind (5 to 12), air (90), and water (72). Host
boat "El Coyoacán" flew the Mexican flag in the host country position
while we all relaxed on a floating piece of Mexico. Hosts prepared a
sumptuous variety of flavors: Puerco Pibil, Chori-Beans, rice,
flour tortillas, chips, and their favorite boat drink, the "Paloma."
Others brought guacamole, salsa, and a delicious flan dessert. After
digesting, the crew raised the brightly-colored star-shaped pinata, with
the jib halyard and a whisker pole. Well, they did for a while, before
it went for a swim. Still intact, but dripping red water over a guest
boat, it was whacked by an oar, and bags full of candy fell on the decks
and water. All or most were retrieved. Then it was time for a
refreshing swim and relaxation. At the end of the afternoon, we raised
anchors and sailed or motored back to the main part of the lake.
The location was in a Cypress Creek Cove. While pleasant in the colder
seasons, the wake from power boats caused some rocking and rolling. We
talked about returning to Travis Landing Cove (water access only) or
Arkansas Bend for future cruises.
There were 6 boats physically present. 13 boats were represented by the
19 people present. Of those represented but not present, 3 were on dry
land on trailers, a couple had motor issues, and 2 were in marinas 5-10
miles up the lake. There two C22's, one Capri 22, one C25, one C27, and
one O'Day 28 (with a C28 owner on board). Lake level was falling
at 625.0. Photos.
May 2014 Meeting: Sailing Photography presented
by local Sailor and Professional
Photographer, Bill R.
Bill has an impressive professional and volunteer resume. He is very involved with Junior Sailing at AYC, as both an instructor, coach, and photographer. He
gave us lots of suggestions and ideas for taking better photos on and
of sailboats, from both technical and aesthetic points of views. He also
presented an slide show of his photos, including many taken
of junior sailors and the Easter Laser Regatta, including a interesting
sequence of photos in which a Laser sailor's hiking strap broke as she
rounded the leeward mark. Tell a story with your pictures. He said to use your best camera, as there are ways to protect it from rain and splashes. The best times to take photos are before 10 am and after 4 pm for good light and shadows. Try manual mode, using 1/1000 second time. Try to get different angles and perspectives. Don't put the horizon in the very middle
but keep it straight. Consider geometry and backlighting. For photos of
people under biminis, use a fill flash (or features of some of the
newer cameras.) Above all, remember that photography rules are made to
be broken. If a scene or object looks good to you, take the picture. Meeting Location Change: We met at
the Mangia's Pizza restaurant near Mesa and Spicewood Springs Road, and
decided to meet here in the future, instead of Pizza Bistro at Mopac
& Gracy Farms & Burnet Road. Photo Contest winners: Unusual Boat Photo: 1.
"Rower in Maine," by Todd, 2. "Masts in the Mist," Salvador. Pets and/or
Kids and Boats: 1. "Sailing with Grandpa," by Joy, 2. "Best Place to
Read a Book," by Steve S. Racing and/or Action: 1. "America's Cup
Teamwork," by Cheryl, "Kiwis on Edge," by Diane. Funny Fleet Photo: 1.
"Clay Dives In" , 2. "We Have a Funny Fleet." Photos.
There were 26 attendees. Lake level
April 2014: This was our first-ever James Bond Diamonds are Forever Cruise, hosted by Agent Jane I. It was a beautiful April day with temperatures in the 70's and winds 5
to 15 mph. Our instructions were to sail to Arkansas Bend, raft-up, eat
appetizers and drink Bond style beverages, and find out how much we know
about James Bond. Three boats complied: Catalina 28 Destiny with 4
agents, Catalina 250 Flying Cloud with 4 agents, and Catalina 270
Solstice with 5 agents (one of them named Ursula). Catalina 25, Ebb Tide
III, with 3 agents on board, including Mr Bond himself, had to abort
her mission. She sailed from Lake Travis Marina (aka U-Float-Em) to a place to a point just
off Emerald Point Marina where they turned around. The trivia game was a lot of fun, with
questions about the music, singers, titles, and more. Prizes were little
bottles and chocolates.
Attendance was lower than normal because it was Easter Saturday. We'll
count 4 boats with 16 agents, including 4 guests. Lake level 626.7'. Photos.
April Meeting: Central Texas Amateur Radio Connection with Jeanne Socrates' Solo Unassisted Non-Stop Global Circumnavigation, by Tom W.In
October 2012, Jeanne started her voyage from British Columbia, Canada,
on her 38' Najad 380, named Nereida. Two months later, her 2 computer
systems failed as well as a satellite phone (which also didn't work well
in Southern regions of Earth.) Tom has a state of the art WinLink system and was able to communicate with Jeanne. He
is also very skilled with Ham Radio Emergency Communications and
contests. He helped Jeanne stay in contact with others for the remainder
of the voyage by staying in constant contact and transcribing her
dictated blog and emails, and uploading and emailing them. Refer to the article about Tom in the Austin American Statesman.
Attendees: 21 plus our speaker. Lake level: 627.0'.
This was our last meeting at the Pizza Bistro Restaurant. They closed 2 months later.
March 2014 Cruise: The "Honor the March Winds"Cruise
was held at the closed Cafe Blue overlooking Sandy Creek on a
not-too-windy & cloudy day, with a 50% chance of thunderstorms that
never materialized. Temps were in the 60's. We had kites, wind chimes,
socks & spinners to show our appreciation of the March winds. The
food theme was Gone with the Wind Southern Cooking. To top it all, there
was a surprise shower for special grandparents and great-aunt/uncle to
be. Hosts were Sue&Keith, Patti&Todd. A fun and surprising time
were had by all. 28 sailors (3 guests) came in cars and one boat. Lake
level 627.8'. Photos.
March 2014 Meeting: Star Gazing. This was a very special and different (for us) type of meeting. We first met at the Boat House Grill
for (mostly) catfish dinners. Twenty-one fleet members (and one long
time alumni, Marty, just happened to be there, too.) Representatives
from the Austin Astronomical Society,
Jim and Joyce, gave us a briefing on celestial navigation and a preview
of what we will be able to observe in the night's sky. We then drove to
Dam Observation Area on Lake Travis. The temperature was moderate and
skies were mostly cloudy, but we were able to see Orion's belt and his
brightest stars Rigel and Betelgeuse. Thru the telescope, we were able
to see planets and more stars. Hints: If you are the Gulf of Mexico and
lose all electronic navigation, just head north and you'll reach land,
eventually. Which way is north? Find the North Star. If there is a
crescent moon, the cusps of the crescent point to the south. So does
Orion's sword. The angle from the horizon to the North Star approximates
your latitude. To get the longitude, get a good clock, the book
"Longitude," and the resource book. Learn how to use a sextant before
you need to. To learn more, look at the web site for the Austin Astronomical Society
and go to their public monthly star gazing sessions at a place
near Lake Buchanan. Attendees: 21 members plus 2 speakers. Lake level is
February 2014 Cruise (2/22):The Winter Olympics in Russia inspired the Boat Olympics Cruise, hosted by Robert and Sheila. Ten boats (one C30, one C27, two C250, two C25, one Capri 22, three C22) with
24 sailors rafted up in Cypress Creek. It was a beautiful day to be on
the lake, with temps in the 70's and winds around 10. The games (and
Gold medal winners) included
anchor drop (John G and crew), line toss to a "man-overboard" (Keith,
with quarter-finalists Jim, Salvador, John G, Keith, Mark, Harald,
James, and Christian), motor start (Todd and it looked like Keith was
close, too), and life jacket drill (Patrick and Salvador). The "raise
the mainsail" drill was canceled due to shifty winds. Swim noodles were raised when a task was completed. Robert
prepared Borscht and Russian Boar (pulled port), while others brought
Russian foods such as Pirozhkis, herring, potatoes, and Russian tea
cakes. Everyone had a great time and we're ready to do it again! Lake
level 627.7'. We have LOTS of photos and more.
February 2014 Meeting:Michael
talked about his adventures while trailering his Catalina 25 on the
Florida Atlantic coast, the Florida Keys (Key West 13 days, bad weather,
rocket launch), the Erie Canal, Pennsylvania and Lake Erie for 5
months, and more. Lake level 627.86'. Attendees: 23.
January 2014: Return to Sandy Creek Sandwich Cruise.
Winter on Lake Travis. One day it can be 18° and a few days later, 70°.
That's what we had this week. On a sunny Saturday afternoon with light
to variable wind, three boats (9 people) and three cars (3 people) with a
total of twelve sailors found their way to the Sandy Creek Marina,
which is up Sandy Creek, north of Starnes Island, and next to the
closed-for-the-winter Cafe Blue. It was a successful cruise, in which we
mostly sat on Charles and Pat's C250 and swapped sea stories, sailing
mishaps (I mean "experiences"), and naval stories. Keith demonstrated
the proper way to secure a line on cleat so that it doesn't get jammed.
It was a great day and a good place to dock. The store was open, so we
bought a few items. Later on, 2 members moved to the expensive boat's
dock patio, where there was a free party with beverages. There was a
good sailing breeze to get there, but everyone had to motor back in the
late afternoon. The weather was great. Lake level was 628.46', which is
2.2' higher than last time we were there! Photos.
January 2014 Meeting: Commodore
Diane (yes, we like the sound of that) kicked off the year with a
lively discussion of program topics and cruise themes for the year.
It's nice to see everyone so anxious to host a cruise with new and
different ideas. While we like the traditional themes, it's refreshing
to invent new ones.
We talked about sailing books we've read, sailing movies we've seen, and recent sailing adventures.
Diane first introduced the officers for 2014: Vice
Commodore Salvador, Treasurer Robert, and Secretary Cheryl. The
appointees for 2014 are Cruise Directors James and Sarah (welcome
aboard!), and Webmaster/Historian is Cheryl, with assistance from Clay.
There were 27 attendees. Lake level 628.5'. Photos.
December 2013 Holiday Party: All Catalina Fleet 69 wrapped up a fun year of cruises and meetings at the 2013 Holiday Party. Our
original hosts, Sue and Jim, had the flu, so we quickly
pulled together our efforts and met in the AYC clubhouse. It was
beautifully decorated and was a good place to have a sailing party.
Thanks go to Commodore John for arranging for the venue at the last minute.
Many thanks to Joe and Joy for preparing the delicious smoked turkey
and brisket and managing the galley. For the "program," Commodore John
presented thank you gifts (hats) to 2013
contributors and installed the 2014 officers. John was the
well-deserving recipient of the Stough Award. Then there was the lively
exchange, with everything from tools to towels to rum. A fun time was
had by all! There were 38 attendees. Lake level 628.1'. Photos are by Cheryl and Clay. Photos.
November 2013 Cruise: WurstFest Cruise, now called the Anchoring Polka Cruise. Lake Level 626.61'. Arkansas Bend. We started with 7 boats and 22 sailors. We were anchored in the middle of the north cove.
Then the gusts came out of the cove and 2 out of 3 anchors broke loose.
Anchor drill. 1 and ah Start your engines. 2 and ah raise the anchors. 3
and ah Scatter. Hop. 1 and ah go forward. 2 and ah drop anchor, 3 and
a engines off. Relax and have fun! We "lost" 2 boats and 6 people
during all that, but later gained a boat and 2 people. Overall there
were 8 boats and 24 sailors at a Wunderbar Cruise!
Many thanks to Mark and Diane for hosting a fun and scrumptious cruise.
They provided the smoked sausage and a mini-keg of beer. Our fleet cooks
brought sauerkraut (3 kinds), Kartoffelsalat (German Potato salad), Apfelkuchen (apple cake), pumpkin pie, salad, pickles, cheeses & crackers, and more. Danke to all!
As for the sailing part, we could not have asked for a nicer day. It was
a good 2 hour sail for most of us to Arkansas Bend. Winds were as
forecasted, 10 to 15 with gusts to 20. The high temperature was near 80.
The buddy-system worked well, with guest crew on most of the boats. Photos.
November 2013 Meeting:"Sea Shanties with Joy"
Our very own fleet Shanty-Mam, Joy, sang and led us in singing
Sea Shanties. She started out with a tribute to Caryl P. Weiss,
a distinguished shanty-mam
who sang for our fleet several times (including 12/11/10, a Black Tot
Day, and a fleet anniversary cruise) and was commissioned as an admiral
in the Texas Navy. We learned about the types of shanties for working on
the boat: Capstan (turning device to raise anchor and draw near the
dock), Haul a Halyard (to raise one of many sails on a ship), and Pump
(4 strong beats to pump out the bilge). There also Fo'c'sle shanties,
for when sailors are on shore or have time off. It was a fun and
evening! Lake Level 626.61'. Attendees: 23.
October 2013, Galveston Bay Cruise: In search of deeper water, 18 members and guests of Fleet 69 headed for Kemah for a fun weekend of sailing on Galveston Bay. The weekend was launched on Friday with a dinner for twelve on the deck at Jackie's Brick House. On Saturday, 10/25, there were 12 sailors on Hunter 41 Alamanda, chartered from Windward Sea Venture, and captained by John G. There were 6 sailors on Phyllis' Catalina 25, Summer Song.
The weather was perfect. Winds were near 10, the sun was shining
brightly, and temperatures were near 80. We just sailed around, mostly
south of the Kemah channel and west of the ship channel, and when it was
time for lunch (Subway was the popular non-domestic choice), Alamanda
hoved to and Summer Song sailed downwind. We sailed from around 10 am to
5 pm. Everyone who wanted to helm, did. On Alamanda, there was coaching
and teaching by Todd and John (and maybe others). All lines on the boat
were identified and if possible, labeled. In the evening, we met at the
Seabrook Classic Cafe for sea-food and sea-tales.
Overnight, a strong front moved through the area with lots of thunder
and rain. (All but one were in hotels. We'll have to ask Andy for a boat
report.) The forecast was for a clearing by noon, so many of us waited
it out on Alamanda. Around noon Alamanda left the dock with 11 sailors
on board. Winds were light but adequate. The rain had stopped and we had
a pleasant sail along the shoreline. Our seaworthy Commodore passed a
"what would you do?" test when the boat engine suddenly stopped as we
were returning to the marina in the narrow channel, with one boat
tailgating us and another coming towards us. We returned to the dock by 4 pm.
Some headed for Austin, and some had dinner at T-Bone Tom's.
The next part of the weekend was on Galveston Island itself. Phyllis
organized a day of touring, starting at the Sunflower Cafe. We visited
the Elissa and Texas Seaport Museum, the Drilling Rig Museum, perused the fresh seafood shops, visited the Customs House
and checked out the Cow Quilts exhibit. Hurricane Ike was in 2008, and
thousands of oak trees fell due to floods and winds. The result was many
tree stumps. Three creative artist transformed dozens of these stumps
into creative sculptures, so we drove around to see as many as possible.
It was a fantastic weekend plus. Many many thanks to John G and Phyllis for leading it all!
p.s. Travis has been rising a little and is at 623.8'. Here are some Photos to start with.
October 2013 Meeting: Sailing
the Na Pali Coast: John and Ann Marie described a sailing trip they
took on a chartered 65' catamaran along the Na Pali coast of Kauai.
America's Cup #34 in San Francisco: Steve and Cheryl were in San
Francisco to watch the competition between Emirates Team New Zealand and
Oracle Team USA on AC72 catamarans. They showed pictures and described
experiences of the day they were on a 65' sailboat named Ruby.
History of the Titantic: Gary Payne gave us a very interesting and
detailed presentation on the history of the ship Titantic, which set
sail on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England, for New York City
in April 1912. The Titantic ran into a sea of icebergs and sank. You
know the basic story. Gary told us things we didn't know. There were
many ways to analyze the tragedy, such as what went right and what went
wrong with the unsinkable ship. The Titantic carried 2,224 passengers
and crew and more than 1500 people were lost that night.
Lake Level 620.1'. 26 attendees.
September 2013 Breakfast Cruise: Cloudy
skies kept us cool for the annual Breakfast Cruise hosted by Clay, Joe,
and John O on the expanding shores of
the Austin Yacht Club. We christened ourselves the Batter Blasters!
(see photos to understand). Joe marked the spot in his GPS, so that
someday, we'll be able to sail our boats over the very same spot and say
"back in September 2013, we had a land cruise 62' below." About five
sailors spent the night on their boats. Total attendance was 30 (I
counted 27 in the photos.) Joe made camp stove scrambled
eggs and smokey links. Clay and John flipped pancakes to order with
toppings like blueberries, pecans, and walnuts. Plenty of mimosas and
Starbucks coffee too. Lake Level 619.4'! Photos
Belle was built in France in 1684. She was 54’long, 8’
draft, and held 45 people, along with farm animals all living on deck!
Her skipper was the famous French explorer, Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La
Salle, aka "La Salle."
She had a shallow draft which was made for the rivers and
swamps of America
but was not a very sea-going rig. La Salle’s goal was to conquer west of
the Mississippi and claim it for France. The La Belle sank in Matagorda
bay in 1686 and was hidden there until some
marina archeologists from Texas A&M found it in 1995. La Salle was
by his own men, but many of the occupants and children survived and
into the Indian and Louisiana
culture. Some made it back to Canada
The archeologists have been working since that time to
authenticate it, raise it, and preserve it for future use. It is housed in a
building at A&M where it resides in a polyethylene glycol pool and will be
freeze dried to further preserve it. The La Belle’s
hull is to be on display at the Bob Bullock Texas History museum in 2014, along with items
found in and around her.
A few of our own members have been to the site in Matagorda Bay to view her in a coffer dam.19.6'.
Travis level is 619.6'.
August 2013 Summer Potluck Cruise.
The high temp was 106 degrees, but the water was 21 degrees cooler and
there was a nice breeze. Two boats with nine sailors, representing at
least six Catalinas, rafted up in Cypress Creek Cove for a pleasant
lunch-time cruise. It was too early for the powerboats, so the cove was
relatively calm (and quiet after the party boat left.) We feasted on
picnic fare such as fried chicken, macaroni salad, fruit salad, subs,
and brownies. We raised anchor by early afternoon and enjoyed a nice
sail (winds 2 to 12, ESE) back to our marinas. Lake level was a dismal
623.10'. Islands that haven't touched air in 50 years are starting to
appear. Thanks to Capt Grz for hosting the cruise. Photos.
August 2013 Meeting: Cruising in the Abacos, Bahamas: Six
of our fleet members, Steve & Meri, Steve & Cheryl, Phyllis,
and Diane Z recently chartered a Moorings 41.3 (Beneteau) mono-hull in
the Abacos Islands in the Bahamas. It's a popular area for sailboat
cruisers and is far from the activity and development of Nassau. It's
more like a mixture of the BVIs (with islands and some
settlements) and Belize (with a turquoise sea between a piece of
land and barrier cays.) Weather is similar to southern Florida. The
beautiful Sea of Abaco is relatively shallow and most harbors must be
entered and exited in rising tides. Other than a couple days of tropical rain, we had good winds and plenty of sunshine. Snorkeling
was especially good at Fowl Cay. Food was great, especially if you like
conch, fish, and Key Lime Pie. Island settlements were fun to visit.
Some are known for their unique fabrics and creations, some for eating,
some for boat-building, and the best-known of all, Elbow Cay, has the
famous red and white striped lighthouse that has been operating for 150
years. We saw parrots and a micro-version of a Bahamian Goombay
Festival. It was fun and is recommended for anyone who enjoys sailboat
cruising. 30 attendees. Lake 623.45'.
July 2013 Cruise: Tanabata Matsuri
Cruise (Evening of the 7th) is a Japanese star festival. It celebrates the meeting of the
deities Orihime and Hikoboshi (represented by the stars Vega and Altair
respectively). According to legend, the Milky Way separates these two
lovers, and they are allowed to meet only once a year on the seventh day
of the seventh lunar month of the luni-solar calendar. Click here for more details. In present-day Japan and at this cruise, people generally celebrated
this day by writing wishes, sometimes in the form of poetry, on tanzaku
(small pieces of paper) and hang them on bamboo (wish tree), sometimes
with other decorations.
The fleet dropped anchors in a new place, "CypressCreekCove" in the updated fleet map. The host boat, Ebb Tide III, then made a grand entrance into the anchorage area, with music playing and flags flying from every available stay and shroud. Good luck fish kites were streaming from the top of the mast, and a bamboo tree was on the stern of the boat. It was quite a sight to behold.
It was around 109 degrees so many cooled off in the 85 degree water before feasting on a wide variety of homemade Japanese cooking, prepared by Akiko. She served the following:
• Gomoku zushi - sushi rice with 5 (go) ingredients - mainly vegetables + shrimp
• Green beans & fried tofu
• Edamame (soybeans in the pod)
• Sliced pork with miso sauce
• Paripari salad (crisp slivered wonton skins over shredded vegetables)
• Chicken stuffed with pickled plums
• Oshinko - Japanese pickles (not what you think)
• Azuki (sponge cake rolled with red bean jelly for dessert)
Many thanks to our hosts for putting on a fantastic cruise! There were 8 boats, and there would have been 9 if one more motor had been cooperating. I counted 25 people, including 2 guests. We'll discuss whether or not to return to this anchorage. It was nice because it was near most of our marinas, protected from the main body, and we could watch the zip liners zip along the shoreline. It was not the best because of all the other boats (power) in the anchorage, wake from the power boats, variable and light winds for sailing, and one particular unmarked shallow area in the creek (thank goodness for swing keels.) Winds were light, around 5. Temp at the UT Lake Travis Station was 109. Lake level was 624.9', the lowest since 1964. p.s. The next day, it rained 4" upstream and Travis rose near to 625.2'. Photos.
July 2013 Meeting: Zen and the Art of Boat Motor Maintenance, with Pat F. He is a local legend in the area
for fixing boat motors. He discussed the care and maintenance of outboard motors, and
diesel engines. He also answered many of our boat motor questions and problems. Welcome to new members James and Sarah! Lake level 625.05', the lowest since 1964. Attendees: 28.
June 2013 Cruise: 6th Annual Flor de Caña Cruise: All
week long, Saturday's weather forecast was for a 10 to 20% chance of
rain. That wasn't bad, because that usually means we could have, at
most, a brief passing shower before sunset. However, Saturday's morning
forecast from the NWS said there was a 40-50% of rain and thunderstorms,
with lightning. The cruise was to be at Arkansas Bend,
which is a 2-3 hour sail or 1-2 hour motor for some members. Quick,
informed, and safe decisions had to be made, and we chose to find water
elsewhere, in Mark and Diane's swimming pool. Many thanks to them for
hosting us with 4-hour's notice, and many thanks to Salvador and Nina
for a successful 6th Annual Flor de Caña Cruise. The culinary
skills of our fleet continue to be impressive, with Grilled Port
Tenderloin marinated in lime, achiote and other secret tropical spices,
plantains, yucca, cassava, rice, Nicaraguan
cole slaw, flan, assorted fruits, and much more. Tropical fruit juices
were mixed with the exquisite rum or La Croix. After dinner, we jumped
in the pool and had, how shall I say this, a really fun time. I'll just
say this: Esther Williams' Synchronized Swimmers
have nothing to fear from us, but watch out next year. There were 28
attendees, including 6 guests. Lake level was 628.5' (so Sometimes Peninsula is now there) and falling, winds 5 to 10, and temperatures around 92. Photos.
June 2013 Meeting: Mike of White Hat Rumprovided us a very informative and entertaining presentation on the story of his locally-built rum business and the Nautical History of Rum. Their web site describes it well: "White Hat
Premium Texas Rum is handcrafted in small batches just outside of Austin
in Manor, Texas. We make it with South Texas molasses from plantations
that have seen our state through all six flags. We add natural water
originating from springs residing here long before Texas was ever Texas.
We triple distill in an effort to produce the cleanest rum possible.
And, once our spirit is allowed to rest in American oak barrels for just
the right amount of time, it can be called White Hat Rum. The nautical aspect of rum began back in the 16th Century, when ships were starting to sail the seas for commerce, and crews were difficult to attract and keep. The beer and wine were not good incentives since they didn't do well in damp and hot conditions. However, sugar cane and rum were discovered in the Caribbean, and the tradition began. This on-board custom lasted until July 31, 1970, when the last rum was served in the Royal Navy. The tradition continues to this day in ports around the world, where hard-working sailors meet to relax after days on the sea. There were 28 attendees, including our guest speaker. Welcome back to Jim J! Lake level persists at 628.5'.
May 2013 Dragon Boat Cruise: 5/11/13.
It was a beautiful sunny day on the shoreline of Lake Travis at Travis
Landing. Many thanks to our hosts Diane Z and Steve L, and assistants
Gary and Paulette. 24 sailors and one dog were there. Clay came on
Double Happiness, but we never saw her because she had engine problems
and landed in another cove. (photo proof to follow.) We had several
authentic Chinese dishes, many of them homemade, such as Kung Po
Chicken, Almond Gelatin, Glazed Walnuts (recipe),
Stir Fried Rice, Chinese Vegetables, and more. We also had Crispy Duck
and fortune cookies. The air was near 80, water near 68, and winds 5-10
with gusts. The lake was at 628.3' (which is .2' below the level where
Sometimes Islands become a peninsula) and some fleet boats could not be
launched or preferred to avoid the shallows. Photos.
May 2013 Meeting:"Nautical Roundtable".
Diane C facilitated a roundtable of sailing-related topics. We started
with a panel of knowledgeable members giving 5-minute presentations on
topics of interest to all. Gary talked about anchoring and which anchors
to use in which situations. All cruisers should agree on a
hand-signaling system between the bow-person and the helm-person
(sometimes it helps to have someone in the middle.) Michael told us
about risks of ethanol fuel in our boats' tanks and how aviation gas
might be better. Problems can occur because ethanol and water can mix.
Try googling "ethanol gas sailboats" to get good explanations. Todd
talked about how to heave to (video),
and how it can be useful on Lake Travis (to work with your sails when
solo'ing), relaxing between races, or handling a storm. Robert talked
about preparing for sailing on oceans and around the world. The room was
then opened for questions. One question was about solutions for leaky
windows. One solution was to "get a new boat." Another was to get a kit
from Catalina Direct. That's a good source for all things Catalina.
Then, in preparation for the Dragon Boat Cruise, Todd gave us a brief
history of Chinese world sailing. The peak time was in the 1400's during
the Ming Dynasty. Their boats were gigantic when compared to the
European boats of the time. However, under the Ching Dynasty, they
pulled back and became more isolated until the 1800's. Attendance: 31
people, including 3 guests (one new guest). Lake = 628.34'.
April 2013 Cruise: Hawaiian Luau. It was an Aloha Luau cruise hosted by Gary and Paulette, with assistance from Dave and Diane, at Travis Landing. Several boats were sailed to the cruise location, which was also accessible by car. At lake level 631.2', there was a nice cove with dinghy access to a beach-like area. It was a nice day for a light-air sail. On the shore and under canopies, we feasted on a large buffet of Hawaiian food, including Kapalua Pork, Poipu Chicken, Hawaiian Rice, coconut fruit salads, cole slaw, bread, Hawaiian salsa, coconut cream pie, and upside-down pineapple cake. There were also an assortment of fruity beverages. In addition, we even had a sailboat made out of Spam. A cool breeze came up and we wound up around a nice campfire. Many Mahalo thanks to our hosts for the food, location, tents, chairs, stump removal, and aloha spirit. Thanks also to Michael and Steve L for providing dinghies. The numbers: Forty-one
attendees, 34 members, 7 guests, 5 boats, and 15? cars. Air temp 77,
water 65, winds around 10 knots. Lake level 631.2'. Photos.
April 2013 Meeting: Todd gave us a fact-filled presentation on "America's
Original Hybrid Vehicles
-- the Transition from
Sail to Steam in 1800s."It
was very interesting to learn or be reminded of the transitions from
square riggers to schooners to steamboats, paddle-wheel boats to
propeller-driven boats to boats with both motors and sails. 27 attendees, including 2 guests. Lake level 631.3'.
March 2013 St
Patrick's Green Cruise: St
Patrick's Day Cruise. Saturday's winds
were 20 to 30, but Sunday's winds were
a pleasant 5-15 for the sail to
Barry's Cove. Conditions were good for
a raft-up. There were 18 people on 8
boats: C25 Ebb Tide III with 5, C22
Affinity with 2, C250 Flying Cloud
with 2, C27 Cool Change, C22 Double
Happiness, C28 Destiny with 3, C22 Be-Bop-a-Lula
with 2, C22 Gata Gorda with 2. Temps
were well into the 80's. Robert and
Sheila hosted up an Irish feast with
Corned Beef & sides, and
Shepherd's Pie. Others brought a
variety of green or Irish foods. It was a
great day to be on the lake! Photos.
Lake level 630.6'.
March 2013 Meeting: Sailing Photography, presented
by local Sailor and Professional
Photographer, Bill R.
Bill has an impressive list of credentials, far beyond being a
volunteer photographer at the Austin Yacht Club. He's taken pictures for
Sailing World, Texas Monthly, and Friday Night Lights. He
gave us lots of suggestions and ideas for taking better photos on and
of sailboats, from both technical and aesthetic points of views. He also
presented an excellent slide show of his photos, including many taken
of junior sailors, and talked about photo-op challenges and
opportunities. He said the best times to take photos are before 10 am and after 4 pm, in order to get good light and shadows. Try manual mode. Higher ISO settings are OK on digital cameras. Tell a story with your pictures. Try to get different angles, from higher or lower perspectives. Don't put the horizon in the very middle. Always be ready to get that special photo by keeping your camera on Auto or Program mode when you aren't actively taking pictures. Excellent meeting and program! There were forty-one attendees, including 8 guests. Lake level
for the First
Annual Fleet 69 Photo Contest,
67 photos were entered by 17 people in
3 categories: 1. Sailboats, 2. People
or Pets on Sailboats, 3.
Sunsets/Sunrises. The extremely
difficult job of judging was done by
Bill R and Cheryl. Prizes of gift
cards at Precision Photo were award to
2 places in each category, plus 5
honorable mentions. The pictures
ranged from nostalgic to picturesque
to gorgeous to whimsical. Thanks to
all the participants!
Cruise: 2/10/13. On a very
pleasant partly-sunny February
afternoon, with temperatures in
the 60's and winds 5-10 in the
early afternoon, 18 sailors and 6
boats anchored in Barry's Cove for
a Valentine's Fabulous Fruit
Cruise. Many thanks to our host,
Michael, who also provided a
delicious Valentine's slush-punch
libation. We had a well-balanced
fare of fruits and chocolate
concoctions. Boats (# sailors)
included C25 1872 (2), C250 Flying
Cloud (6 coming, 5 going), C27
Cool Change (1 coming, 2 going),
C27 Escape (3), C27 Sweet Sue (4),
and C30 (2). Lake level 631.5'. Photos.
and Karen presented highlights of their 2012 live aboard cruising
adventures, with focus on Chesapeake Bay cruising. This was their second
year on their Catalina 30. For the program, (1) they showed videos and
photos of sailing and motoring over the waves of coastal bays and
channels of the ICW. They saw lots of flora and fauna, including
Bald Eagles, dolphins, and manatees. (2) Then they gave us a
visual tour of the historical, scenic, and interesting sites of the
Chesapeake Bay area. They got to see the Pride of Baltimore under sail.
They told us about the sinking islands, such as Tangier and Hooper, due
to rising sea levels and subsidence of the coastal land. (3) You, too,
can cruise the Chesapeake! There are several chartering companies based in Annapolis. Attendees: 29. Welcome to new member, Andy!
Cruise: The high for
Saturday was supposed to be
moderate (60's), but the forecast
a high probability of rain with
thunderstorms. Sunday's high was
to be in the 40's and windy. So,
we opted for an indoor cruise.
Karen and Bob proposed a new and
clever theme: The Stone Soup
Cruise. No, this wasn't to be
based on my mother's favorite soup
recipe, but rather a legend
that goes something like this:
Some sailors had just arrived in a
port and were hungry. No one would
give them food. So, they filled a
pot with water, added a stone, and
brought it to a boil. Villagers
would walk by the dock and ask
about the soup. One by one, they
determined the soup needed more,
and would contribute seasonings,
vegetables, meats, and more. After
a while, the sailors had a
delicious soup to enjoy ! In our
case, the hosts provided the broth
and each sailor brought a bowl
with something tasty for the soup.
They brought meat, herbs, Japanese
vegetables, other veggies, and
pasta. The result was a delicious
and warm soup to go along with
talks of past and future days of
sailing! Eighteen members
attended. Lake level 631.9' (the
rain didn't help much.) Photos.
Meeting: Commodore John G
launched the first meeting of 2013
with thanks to our holiday party
hosts, a photo show of the fleet's
album, and discussions of
cruises and programs for the
coming year. Cruise Director Steve
L led the cruises discussion and
successfully found volunteers for
every month. See the Calendar
for the results. Twenty-seven
attendees. Lake Level 631.9'.
Officers and Appointees for 2013
include: Commodore: John G, Vice
Commodore: Diane C, Treasurer:
Cheryl, and Social Director: Steve
Holiday Party: December 2012
Holiday Party: Sheila and Robert
once again opened their beautifully
decorated home to the fleet and
hosted a wonderful party. A
near-record of forty-one members and
guests attended. We socialized, ate
well, installed new officers, and
did the gift exchange. Cruise hosts
and program presenters received
non-skid and non-breakable Catalina
mugs. Congratulations to Todd, the
2012 recipient of the Stough award
for his outstanding enthusiasm and
contributions to the fleet and fleet
membership. For the gift exchange,
the most popular gifts were Norma's
hand-made blanket, liquid-filled
bottles and cup-holders. There were
also bottle openers, journals, sail
bag, Jimmy Buffet CD, door mat,
candle holder (sailboat), sailboat
necklace, boat hook, flashlight, and
more. Oddly, there were no calendars
photos, click on these links. Party
Photos and the 2012
Cruise: Italian Pasta Land
Cruise - Andiamo ! (Let's Go ! )
The lake was low (633.2'), the
winds were high (15-25), and
several fleet members were without
accessible boats, so we had a land
cruise. Michael was the cook and
host, while Bob and Karen
graciously opened their home to
the fleet. Twenty-one attended. We
feasted on 2 types of spaghetti
sauce (meat and vegetarian),
antipasto, numerous delicious
salads (remember the kale),
breads, and cheeses. For dessert
we had Italian Chocolate cake,
red-fruit bars, and fruit. We
talked about boats, the Kemah
cruise, and sailing on the
Chesapeake Bay. Many thanks to our
Meeting: Twenty-five members
met at the Pizza Bistro. Commodore
Todd led his last regular meeting
of the year with the nomination
and election of the officers for
2013. They are as follows:
Commodore: John G, Vice Commodore:
Diane C, Treasurer: Robert, and
Secretary: Cheryl. Also, Cheryl
will be the webmaster and
historian with Clay as the
assistant, and Steve L will be the
cruise director / social chairman.
Officers will be installed at the
Holiday Party. Many thanks to our
officers of 2012 for their
dedicated contributions. For the
program, Steve showed a set of
slides that showed overlays of our
Kemah cruise GPS trackings
over Google Earth (r) satellite
photos. It was fascinating
to see our path. We could see the
tacks and long 5.3 mile reaches.
We also saw how our "anchored"
boat moved at Redfish Island. It
slipped foot by foot, then stopped
for a while, then began to slip
again, hold, slip, etc until we
decided it was time to raise
meetings of 2012 here.
Lake level 633.3'.
- Kemah - Galveston Bay
Cruise 2012 - We had a
super time with great winds and
Friday night (Oct 19), 24 of us
met at Jackie's Brickhouse for
dinner on the patio. We ate
everything from chicken fried
steak to oysters, and exchanged
plans of the weekend to come. Some
stayed until 9 pm to hear the
band. It was a pleasant evening to
Saturday (Oct 20) morning at 9:30
am, all 4 boats headed for the
Bay. Two charter boats from Windward
Sea Venture Charters and two
member boats left from the
410, Alamanda with Captain
Gary and his reliable crew
Paulette, John & Ann Marie,
Akiko and Steve, Todd and Patti,
and Judy & Bill.
336, Sassy, with Captain
Robert with sporty crew Joe,
Shirley, Keith, Sue, Lane, Sue,
Persuasion, with Ensign
Dave with activist crew Steve
& Meri and Steve &
Cheryl. (On Sunday, Admiral
Phyllis and Patrick joined the
were great on both days, with a
little more on Sunday. They ranged
from 10 to 20 and waves were "not
bad at all." On Saturday, we all
sailed between the "barn and the
silo" to Redfish Island, where we
anchored independently and ate
lunch. Redfish Island is a very low
island with channel dredgings that
has come and gone over the years. It
makes a nice daytime anchorage,
providing protection from the waves
but the coolness of the breeze.
Ships pass by in the channel, just
on the other side of the island. The
bottom is a sticky icky mud, which
caused problems with the raising of
the anchors in some cases. But, we
continued on with a fantastic broad
reach back to the Clear Lake
Channel. Phyllis' boat performed
beautifully and kept up with the
other 3 boats.
Saturday night, thanks to Dave
"going overboard with hospitality",
we had a delicious BBQ dinner from
T-Bone Tom's, a popular Kemah
restaurant. We ate next to the
race-track shaped pool at Watergate
Marina and exchanged stories of our
(Oct 21) was also great
sailing. Summer Song took a lay-day
since her crew abandoned her, and
P&P joined Persuasion. As we
exited the C-L Channel, Persuasion
and Sassy stayed near each other as
we sailed to the south, toward Red
Fish Island. After that, we took
independent courses. Persuasion
headed towards the "north cut of the
ship channel" to see what it looked
like. It was well marked. The
charter company said it was closed
to charter boats, but there were
sailboats making the crossing.
We looked for dolphins, which were
in that area 2 weeks before, but
none were found. We headed back to
the marina and docked around 3:30.
Sassy returned around 4 pm.
report, thanks to John G: We sailed
straight out of the Kemah channel
almost to the shipping channel. We
didn't see any of the other boats,
and had to decide at that point to
go towards Redfish or head northwest
towards Morgans Point. Since we had
sailed to Redfish on Saturday, and
wanted a comfortable sail for lunch,
we headed northeast on a nice broad
reach. We broke out the food and had
great lunch. We made it past the
Bayport ship channel, and east of
the Houston Yacht Club. HYC had
dropped a yellow tetrahedron in
preparation for their Sunday
afternoon race, so we rounded that
to port and headed back to Kemah
close hauled. On the way, a fishing
boat was dragging nets in the
Bayport ship channel, and of course
that attracted many birds, but also
dolphins that swam near our boat. In
one tack we made it all the way to
the Kemah channel entrance day mark,
where we took down sails and started
the engine, and motored back to the
dock, arriving close to 2:30pm.
Everyone who wanted steer got a turn
at the helm during this trip.
many thanks are due to the
captains, Gary, Robert, Dave, and
Phyllis for hosting a wonderful
weekend and taking the "risk" of
hosting a boat and crew. We all
had a great time.
Oktoberfest 2012 was
wunderbar! We had some of
everything, with winds that were
both calm and ideal, skies that
were rainy and sunny, and temps in
the 80's. Mark and Diane hosted
their first cruise, and it was a
spectacular one! With 5 boats (one
C270, one C22 sport, two C25's,
one C27), 1 car, and 13 people at
Arkansas Bend, a good time was had
by all. Lake level 634.5' allowed
us to tie up to shore, tho getting
on/off boats was tricky. The rocky
hillside was 25' high. We had a
mini keg of beer, bratwurst,
sauerkraut, potato salad and more,
PLUS a delicious array of German
desserts. Vielen danke to our
Meeting: We met at our old
place that has been remodeled and
renamed to Pizza Bistro.
27 attendees. Program: John
G. Tall Ships.
Ships America Challenge Festival
in May in Savannah Georgia
photos and video
and quiz. What is a bunt line?
What is the protocol to fire a
the end of the festival all boats
go down river to Atlantic – John
filmed them passing Fort Jackson
explain the lines that move the
yard arm and adjust sail trim
raise and lower the sail, people
have to be up on the foot ropes
could ride on some of the boats
have guest cabins you can sign up
Poule" means more than beautiful
Cruise: The annual popular
breakfast cruise was held Sept
22-23 at Longhorn Landing (map 1, map2).
lake level 635.1, there was a nice
cove that could be reached by boat
or by car. On Saturday night,
there were 2 boats, one tent, and
a truck, for a total of six
people, more or less. The
overnight air temperature was a
pleasant 69. Air was still. In the
morning, one more boat (total 3)
and many cars arrived, for a total
of 22 people (to be verified.) Our
cruise hosts Joe, Joy, and Clay,
along with co-hosts Dave and
Diane, set up a very comfortable
camp site with a shade, tables,
and plenty of chairs. Joe brought
his new portable smoker and
cooker. As he said, this was an
"8-burner event" as all 8 burners
were in use. On Saturday they had
smoked brisket. On Sunday we had
scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausage,
bacon, brisket, coffee...you name
it. Attendees brought all types of
berries, REAL maple syrup, nuts,
pineapple, etc to top the
pancakes. It was an amazing feast.
As the temperatures became
creeping up near 90, some of us
went swimming in the 81 degree
water. It was a wonderful cruise.
Many thanks to all our hosts for
surpassing themselves, once again,
with a fantastic Breakfast Cruise.
Meeting: Since our usual
location, Mangia's was being
renovated and renamed to Pizza
Bistro (with a peace symbol) this
month, we met at La Morada, one
mile north. In spite of the change
in location and rainy weather, 26
people attended the meeting! Todd
started the program section of the
meeting with photos and stories
about their recent trip to
Newport, RI and Nantucket Island.
It sounded like a sailor's
paradise. They also successfully
took an ASA sailing certification
and Cheryl showed pictures and
videos and told stories of a
recent trip to see the America's
Cup World Series race in San
Francisco. It was so exciting to
see the AC45 catamarans, 11 of
them, racing back and forth along
the bay front, very close to
shore. With and without a zoom
lens, the photo ops were
fantastic, with backdrops of the
Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz
Island, and the city. Races will
be there again starting Oct 2.
Next year, the Louis Vuitton Cup
and the America's Cup regatta will
be held there on AC72s. The
youth will race on AC45's.
Travis level was 634.07' in the
morning. After 4 days of rain, the
lake was 635'.
August 2012 Flip
Flop Regatta Pool Party:
Some boats flipped, some flopped,
and some even "sailed!" The Flip
Flop Regatta Pool party was a huge
success, thanks to hosts Todd and
Party. 22 sailors attended. Lake
level was 638.1', but the
conditions in the pool were just
Program: John Bartlett,
Sailmaker and owner of Bartlett
Sailsin Austin, gave
us a very interesting presentation
on several sailmaking-related
topics. First he gave us an update
on the latest fabrics used for
boat and sail covers. There's a
new one that looks like
bubble-wrap covered with
sun-protective fabric. This
protects the fiberglass from being
crazed (cooked) in the Texas heat.
Sail materials haven't changed a
whole lot in recent years, for
cruisers. Dacron is still a good,
common, and long-lasting cloth. If
you want a storm jib, there's a
70% sail called a mule. For
cleaning sails, use Oxiclean or
throw it in someone's swimming
pool. Bleach tends to stain. 303
hi-tech fabric guard is excellent.
Sunbrella lasts "forever" but UC
protection is only about 8 years.
Then John told us about his Moth
Sailboat. Look at the photos!
Here's a wow
photo. Thanks, John for a
members and one guest. Lake Level
Fire Drill Cruise, formerly
called the "Year of the Water
Dragon" cruise: As the
ancient Chinese said (or someone),
all's well that ends well. We
experienced calm and wind, dry and
wet, water and land. Many stories
need to be told from about 12
different perspectives. We started
out on the shores of Longhorn
Landing. Hosts Dave and
Diane had set up a tent with
tables, chairs, Chinese
decorations, food, drinks, kayak,
mooring lines, dinghy, and more.
We were ready to party. Mark and
Diane brought a kite and it flew
easily. The area had had showers
on and off for the last week, but
they usually only lasted an hour
or so, and were hit and miss. We
thought they would miss. However,
there were 3 blobs on the radar
(great use for a smart phone!)
that were converging on Lake
Travis. Todd & crew arrived by
boat, followed by Afternoon
Delight. Just as the storm started
to come, Irish Ayes arrived, then
looked to the sky and turned
around and rode out the first
phase of the storm at an AYC
t-head. Todd took his boat back to
Keller's. Afternoon Delight stayed
for a while, but after a shore
line broke, cushions blew
off, and the keel neared the
ground, she left for Marshall
Ford. Meanwhile, we spied Yellow
Moon in the distance, with
apparent problems with a motor
that decided to stop at the wrong
moment and sails that didn't quite
want to go up all the way. She
rode out part of the storm and
then returned to the marina. For
those on the point of land, they
watched the rain and the boats,
and saw Dave's dingy soar into the
air and out of sight.
then retreated to Dave and Diane's
house as the rain continue to
come. We had all types of
delicious and carefully prepared
Chinese food. Thanks to all our
cooks! Many thanks to Dave and
Diane for their great efforts,
flexibility, creativity, and a
fantastic cruise! In all, we
had 23 attendees on Longhorn
Landing Point, 12 via 4 boats (3
anchored). After we went inside,
we had 20.
level didn't budge much, even
though in NW Austin, we had 6" on
Sunday and 11" during the last
week. Lake Level is 640.2'. Photos
Meeting: We had a
double-header program tonight.
First we had "Bachelors on
Board - Living on Sailboats."
Michael started it off with a nice
picture of box of dirt on the dock
next to his boat, which was to be
his vegetable garden. One day he
noticed the dirt was disturbed.
Strange. Next day, there was an
egg in the dirt! Next day, more
eggs! Each day brought more eggs
until he had 8 duck eggs. He was
an octo-dad! One by one they
hatched, and the happy duck family
lived near his home, a 38'
Catalina. He then described how he
adapted his life to a boat, by
cutting back to the essentials
because of space, setting up his
office in the boat, getting a/c,
and using an airbed in the dinette
area. V-berths don't have enough
space and air flow. A few months
ago, there was a sudden storm out
at the lake. Parts from a nearby
houseboat flew off and bent his
mast and caused other damage to
his home, the boat. Long sad story
followed and his home was no more.
Meanwhile, he recommended working
on yacht deliveries via www.sailopo.com.
lived on a 1972 Coronado 23 while
going to law school. It was
actually less expensive than a
traditional apartment or house,
plus, it had the wonderful
advantage of being waterfront
property with beautiful sunrises
and sunsets each day, with
utilities included. Here's some
Catalina history: Frank Butler was
the original designer of the
Coronado 23, but he sold the
company before founding Catalina
Yachts around 1970. Designs are
quite similar. The boat was named
"No no" (another story) but soon
became "Pro Bono." He took
advantage of every nook and
cranny. If he cooked, it was on a
stove in the cockpit. Otherwise,
there were local dining
establishments. He did a lot of
fishing for fun and food. His
advice: "To stay a bachelor, live
on a boat." He also recommended
the lifestyle, at least for a
while. Enjoy it and go with
II was "Sailing for 2 in the San
Islands on a 38' Beneteau
sailboat", by Diane and
Mark. They gave an entertaining,
and informative presentation with
lots of photos and maps about
their June 5-day charter from
Anacortes Yacht Charters, www.ayc.com,
in Washington State. This was
their third time sailing in that
area. They went to Stewart Island
and Port of Friday Harbor. The
first day was picture perfect,
literally. The sun was shining,
water was a deep blue, and snow
capped mountains were visible in
the distance. The area is well set
up now with moorings, thanks to a
well organized state marine park
system. The next day had totally
different weather, cold and windy.
They sailed on and it was well
worth it, for they finally got to
see a very active pod of 7 to 8
orca whales. The whales swam
nearby and jumped out of the
water. The main challenges of the
area are the tides (12-15') and
tidal currents (5-6 knots.)
Fortunately, there is a book with
information with maps and arrows
to indicate the net speed and
direction of the water flow.
thanks to all the speakers. If I
got anything terribly wrong, let
me know and I'll fix it.
level was 639.3'. Attendees: 28.
Taste of Texas Cruise: Deep
in the Heart of Texas, the
Catalina Fleet gathered in Barry's
Cove on Lake Travis for a
"Taste of Texas Cruise."Thanks
to our hosts Robert and Sheila,
and attendees, we had an abundance
of Texas food and drinks to enjoy.
Lake level 641.6'. Winds 5-10 in
the afternoon, 10-15 in the
evening. Temps in the low 90's.
Four sailboats, 1 powerboat, and
16 people. One boat-person spent
the night. Photos.
2012 Meeting: Anchoring and
Person Overboard Recovery,
Gary presented an excellent
program, with explanations and
handouts about how to recover a
person who falls overboard, how to
set and retrieve an anchor, and
how to recover from running
aground. To practice person
overboard, throw an unwrapped roll
of paper towels overboard and try
to retrieve it before it sinks.
Point to the person and say "man
overboard," throw them a floatation device, do
not lose eye contact, get back to
the person in the best way. ASA
teaches 2 methods. Beam or close
reach or heave-to. Don't use
the motor near people in the
water. For anchoring, there are 3
things to keep in mind: wind,
length of line, and depth.
program, Todd explained what
happened to his bandaged-up hand.
Lesson learned: always wear your
sailing gloves on the boat.
29 attendees. Lake level
Caña "Flower of the
Sugar Cane" Cruise
was a fantastic cruise with all
that we could have wanted: great
food, drinks, turnout, friends,
music, boats, location, and most
of all WIND and an opportunity for
some real sailing. At lake level
643.3', Arkansas Bend Park's north
cove worked well for both
anchoring to shore and arriving by
There were 32 sailors, 18 fleet
family units, 8 boats, and 2 cars.
Winds were SSE 10 to 15 with gusts
to 22. Many thanks to Salvador and
Nina for a wonderful cruise day!
We had a taste of the Nicaraguan
Caribbean, with authentic
food, drinks, music, weather,
pictures, and Calypso music from Nicaragua's
Coast and Corn Islands. Food
included Grilled pork tenderloin
marinated in lime, achiote and
other tropical spices, tortillas,
Ensalada de repollo
Confetti Rice, Beans, Green or
Ripe plantains, Yucca ("cassava"
as it known in other parts of the
Caribbean), Plantain chips, and
Rum cake. Beverages included Flor
de Caña rum 7-years, Cola,
Fruit juice, Rum & Cola, Rum
& fruit juice. Photos.
Trailering Boats was the
meeting program, thanks to local
salvager and fleet member, Joe.
While we all plan to take good
care of our boats forever, there
are some boats on area lakes and
lots that have been abandoned,
sunken, or neglected beyond
repair. That's where Joe comes
in to help. If the boat is
beyond repair, he takes "all the
good parts" off the boat and
sells them. The key to
boat and trailer maintenance is
"If you take care of it, it will
take care of you." We learned
the definition of hydroplaning,
which happens when the water is
deeper than the tire treads. So
treads and tire inflation are
important. The speed at which a
boat trailer tire will
hydroplane is 6 (a constant for
boat trailers) times the square
root of the inflation pressure.
So if a trailer wheel is only
inflated to 25 psi, then it
could hydroplane at 6*5=30 mph.
Here are 4 important things to
remember: Securely tie the boat
to the trailer, Check the
lug nuts (tight), Know the
proper tire inflation pressure
and use it, Grease wheel
bearings (and check for heat a
short distance after starting to
addition, Todd gave a brief
presentation about Hooligan's
Navy. This was a
fleet of sailboats that silently
participated in the WWII defense
of the US coastline against
German U-boats. It a facinating
piece of naval history, so Google it to
learn more. Or read Voyages
Desperate Times by Jule
fleet member Joy has released
her first CD. Go to youtube
link to hear her "Ranguana"
song along with photos of
Ranguana, Belize, taken and
arranged by Cheryl.
numbers: 24 attendees, lake
level 638.38' before the meeting
and 640' 24 hours later. (on on
5/18, it is 643.14'.)
The 4/14 Rain Dance aka Picnic
Cruise was canceled due to high
Meeting: Jo Karr Tedder,
the president of the Central
to us about efforts to save Lake
Travis, and how we can help.Read
these links for details: Overview,
Congratulations to Joy on the
release of her new CD! Watch
the calendars for June and
August...the cruises might be
switched. The Ladies' Cruise will
be moved to July (most likely).
Lake level is 640.3'. Some fleet
members are cleaning house and
free sailing books were available.
Turnback Canyon Regatta, held
annually by AYC, will have a
different format this year: the
races will be held in the main
basin and/or to Lakeway and back.
Plus, there will be a "beach
party." There will be a cruising
fleet, so everyone can join the
members, a guest, and our speaker
Patrick's Cruise: It rained
again on cruise day, so we met at
and Rose" restaurant and Pub
in Westlake Hills. It was an
excellent location. We had
our own private room for our group
of 20. Some had Guiness
pints to get into the mood and
everyone had a good time. Joy sang
several Irish folk songs, since we
were celebrating St Patrick's Day
(early). Some of the songs
were taught to Joy by her mother
when she was a little girl.
Joy also said that her dad had a
beautiful tenor voice. What a
musical family and we're so
fortunate to have Joy (and Joe) in
our fleet. Lake level 631.4'. Photos
Meeting: "The Good, Bad,
and the Ugly of Coastal
Cruising." 35 members
attended. Lake level 631.4'. Bob
and Karen presented an excellent
slide show of photos taken during
their ongoing trip along the ICW,
Intracoastal Waterway, from Texas
to the Chesapeake on their
Catalina 30, Watercolors. They shared
their experiences with various
aspects of their trip. Read more
in their blog.
They’ve traveled 4000 miles,
logged 760 engine hours, burned
380 gallons of fuel, performed 10
oil changes and lots of repairs.
Lesson learned: Be Prepared!
Log Canoe Races
So many birds!
(rise with the tide)
Some soft shell
Beating into the
Jellyfish in the
raw water strainer
especially waiting for
Currents can be
boat across Florida
ICW water –
their boat had a
they did not swim
once in the
Valentine's Cruise: With
lake air temperatures ranging from
30 to 42 degrees, and forecasts of
snow and sleet (which did happen,
briefly), we voted to move the
Valentine's Cruise indoors to the
Iguana Grill. Twenty-three of us
met in a nice private room
overlooking Arkansas Bend (lake
level 627.07',) where we indulged
in many varieties of chocolate
concoctions and excellent Tex-Mex
meals. Many thanks to Jane and
Lane for hosting a fun land
Meeting: Kent Little, owner
Sales (Kemah, TX), is
the Catalina dealer for the Texas
coast. He recently visited the
Catalina factory in Largo, Florida
and showed us pictures and
diagrams of the production of the
new “5Series” of Catalina Yachts.
His associate, John, talked about
the rigging. Catalina has been
focusing on building more
luxurious and high-quality boats
using "mass production" techniques
and close attention to detail. “The
closer you look the better
Catalina gets” is a quote
from the company. We took a closer
look at the production facilities
and the components of the Catalina
addition, we voted on the winning
Occupy Sandy Creek posters and
prizes were awarded to Jane,
Keith, Michael, and Cheryl.
level is 627.0. Attendees: 25
members and 2 guest speakers.
Cruise: "Occupy Sandy Creek" On
1/15/2012, Sixteen members and
guests of the fleet occupied Sandy
Creek (north of Starnes
Island) to protest the near record
low level of Lake Travis, 626.3'.
The low level is impacting
recreational opportunities, which
in turn impact local businesses
and the economy. Four sailboats
and four cars were there. We
patronized the Sandy Creek Marina
store with purchases of snacks and
beverages. We made protest signs
to express our objections to the
low water level. It was a great
day to sail and 4 Catalinas
enjoyed the strong (10 to
20+) southerly winds on our
backs as we entered Sandy Creek.
Starnes Island looks like a
submarine. Barry's Cove is
inaccessible. There are underwater
power lines across the creek,
where the depth is only 19'. Many
thanks to hosts Todd and Patti for
thinking up this great idea. For
information on how you can help,
go to the Central Texas Water
Meeting: Commodore Todd
launched the new year with an
excellent meeting. 30 members
attended. First we planned the
cruises for 2012. Lake level is
626.4' and continues to fall in
spite of some rain in December, so
we had to taken all that into
consideration. Commodore reported
that our Past Commodore is
attending the meeting of the
Central Texas Water Coalition (ourwater-ourfuture.com.)
Welcome to new members, Mark and
Diane. Then the program, "Eyewitnesses
Cup Racing in San
Diego." Four fleet
couples traveled to San Diego to
view the races. Sailing Teams race
42 ft. catamarans with fixed wings
for main sails. Close course
racing makes a great spectator
sport. Each couple was asked to
show their top 10 photos. Todd
showed a 2 minute video of clips
from the races, including the
audio and video telecast. Steve S
explained what the races are about
and showed his best photos.
Robert showed a selection of his
favorite 10 photos. Keith and Sue
told us about their experience on
a 29 ft Catalina charter
boat. They lived aboard for
5 days. Sue loved the
Starbucks nearby. Todd showed his
top ten photos. We all enjoyed the
stories and photos! Meeting photos.
Officers: Commodore Todd,
Vice Commodore Steve P, Past
Commodore Dave Z, Secretary
Sheila, Treasurer Robert.
Appointees: Social: Carl,
Historian and Web-person: