"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

March 25, 2018

Texas Pearl Haul Out

On August 25, 2017 Hurricane Harvey sat over Rockport, Texas for fourteen hours. Not only did it bring extremely high winds and A LOT of rain, it also produced over 60 tornadoes in the area that night. The damage to Rockport and Aransas County was catastrophic. In one night the beautiful little coastal town was turned into a war zone. We were truly lucky to find our boat still in her slip, with no major damage...but she didn't come through the storm untouched. It's been seven months since the storm roared ashore in south Texas and Texas Pearl is almost back to her beautiful self.

Here's the list of damages to Texas Pearl from Hurricane Harvey
  • Depth finder and sensor
  • Radio
  • 2 speakers on flybridge blown out
  • Base speaker on flybridge blown out
  • 2 VFH antennas destroyed
  • TV antenna destroyed
  • Anchor light broken
  • Outside loud speaker on flybridge gone
  • Inside carpet was wet
  • Draperies in salon stained by water
  • Back deck carpet destroyed
  • Icinglass strips missing
  • Deck panel on starboard side damaged
  • Deck panel on stern missing
  • Wood trim on back deck damaged
  • Starboard and port instrument cabinets damaged
  • Flybridge hatch blown off and damaged
  • Fiberglass on flybridge damage from hatch
  • Windshield broken on port side
  • Lower rub rail on port side damaged
  • Upper rub rails on both sides damaged
  • Fiberglass broken near port side rub rail
  • Fiberglass under starboard rub rail damaged
  • Gel coat rubbed off on flybridge from broken antenna
  • 4 - ¾” dock lines broke (we had 14)
  • Grommets pulled out of front window cover
  • Broken vent cover on port side
  • Hundreds of dings on hull (down to fiberglass) from trash in water
Here are a few pictures of what damaged the hull. Some boards in the water were 6"x12" beams that were 5'-6' long
Damage to the bottom of the boat from the trash in the water
This is the way the dock on our port side looked when we returned after the hurricane...we figured the boat hit it during the storm, but couldn't see any damage...
Once we were hauled out we could see where the dock and the boat met. From the look of the dock and the damage on the boat...I'd say the boat won...she's a battleship.
More damage from debris in the water
Even the stabilizer fins took a few nicks from the trash in the water.
Thanks to our Progressive Insurance Texas Pearl got a whole new bottom. This man is sodablasting the bottom of the boat. It's a very mild form of abrasive blasting, which uses sodium bicarbonate to remove the old layers of paint.
The running gear...all clean and ready for paint
Wrapped and ready for paint
First layer of primer on and looking good
Being out of the water makes it easier to polish the hull and repair the rub rails...it's also the only way to service the stabilizers and replace the depth sensor of the depth finder. 
Stan used the buffer to apply Finesse-It ll and then I put on the protective polymer sealer. 
What a shine...our hard work makes this old girl look almost new. 
What an ordeal this haul out has been...many jobs had to be done twice, thanks to the people we hired not doing a good job and creating more of a mess. It reinforced what we already knew...if you want something done right...DO IT YOURSELF. 

For those who don't know what it looks like when a boat is hauled out...here's a little video

March 7, 2018

Mar. 7 - Seventh Anniversary

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, to gain all while you give; to roam the roads of lands remote; to travel is to live.” ―Hans Christian Andersen

Seven years ago today we pulled out of Port Lavaca on the adventure that has changed our life. We've definitely seen a lot, learned a lot, met a lot of wonderful people and enjoyed "almost" every minute of this great new life. In the past seven years we've traveled over 18,000 miles, visited over 300 towns, three countries, 22 states and providences, stayed at over 100 different marinas and anchored in 157 different anchorages and we look forward to all the years of new adventures to come. Here's the post I made to this blog on day one of our new life. (March 7, 2011) Here's a link to our travel map

Mar. 7 – Matagorda, TX
Day 1 – Departure Day
Matagorda Harbor Marina
We chose this day to leave because we like the numbers….3/7/11.  Three for the three decades we have been married and the holy trinity, seven eleven…the date of our wedding, add the numbers together and you get twenty one. A very lucky number. Add those numbers together and you have the holy trinity again. So…it had to be a good day to start our new adventure.

We left Nautical Landings at seven so we could get across Matagorda Bay before the winds picked up.  Earline, Janell, Mike, Kelley and some pretty sleepy looking kids were there to see us off. It was nice to have them come to say bye and take pictures.  

We had a nice day on the water. The wind did pick up around 10:00, by then we were almost across the bay and into the protective waters of the ICW. The only new site for us today was our first lock.  Which only operates if there is a hurricane or flooding in the area…so we just drove right through.

Emma, Kaylen, Jenna and Hayden (these little guys have grown SO much)
Thanks for coming out we really appreciated it.
Getting things ready to leave
These old Craig's List bikes were replaced in Florida, with bikes that were much better...we've been using them every day since.
Sunrise over Matagorda Bay 
The sea gulls thought we might have something for them
One of the five barges we passed today
Our first lock...we've been through 155 now