After two weeks of cold and rainy weather in Houston, we were finally presented with a forecast of sunny and 75. My parents had just arrived in town for the Thanksgiving holiday, so we took advantage of the opportunity to get them out on the water with us.
This wasn’t my parents’ first time to visit Gimme Shelter. They had visited on July 4th the previous year, but we only motored out of the channel and dropped anchor to watch the fireworks. They’d never experienced any actual sailing.
Despite a 3.5-hour stop-and-go mess of a commute on I-45 to get down to Kemah, the day turned out perfect. We had nice sun, calm water and 15 knot winds out of the south west.
South west winds are not very common in Kemah. Most of the summer the wind blows out of the south east, and most of the winter it blows from the north. Instead of a four-hour beat to Redfish Island, we were able to hold a broad reach all the way there and made it in about an hour. That’s definitely a personal best for sailing to Redfish.
We sailed right up to Redfish, so my parents could see the infamous island for themselves, and then tacked back towards Kemah. A close-haul brought us right back to the bridge. It’s too bad we don’t have that convenient southwest wind more often.
While we were out we sailed past our friends on the SV Hippokampus, which was boldly wearing it’s new name. Unfortunately, Mary was on the far side of our boat with the camera watching for dolphins and didn’t see them until they had already passed. This is the only photo she got of them.
However, I will vouch that the new name on the boat looked great, and they had her heeled over and sailing hard.
On the way home my mom got out her camera and shot some “documentary” video.
After a great afternoon on the water with no breakdowns or emergencies, we ended the evening with a fantastic dinner at Sundance Grill II.
So this week I give thanks for a chance to take my family sailing and for all the great people I’ve met since joining the boating community.