We made plans to cruise to Port Aransas to visit some friends who have their boats moored at Island Moorings Marina. We had done this trip before about 120 miles, but broke it up by stopping at Port Mansfield, El Jefe Marina Y Cantina about 40 miles up the ICW from Port Isabel. El Jefe now closed we made other arrangements to stay at the municipal marina. We planned to leave on Wednesday afternoon for the short run to Port Mansfield and then have a long but do able leg on into Port Aransas on Thursday. Well the best laid plans of mice and men. Weather was really bad on Wednesday, so bad that we did not even make a necessary run over to the fuel dock about 5 miles away by water to top off. But come Thursday morning we awoke to a beautiful day, so up early and finish loading Willie's Tug. By 8 am we had pulled away from our slip at home and headed to the fuel dock. Since we had missed the on the hour opening of the Long Island Swing Bridge for pleasure boaters, we took the long way around to South Point and fuel. We then missed the next on the hour opening by about 6 minutes. We took a chance and made a very business like call to the bridge operator on Channel 12. Commercial boats get an opening at anytime. The operator is familiar with us, he quickly opened the bridge and we scooted through thanking him profusely. We saved about 5 water miles by making the bridge opening.
We set a course up the ICW due North....even though at this point the Gulf ICW is considered running Easterly as you travel from Brownsville toward Louisiana. We decided to run about 12 knots and see how we felt about continuing at the turn off to Port Mansfield. Arriving at the turn around 1130, we decided to continue East Bound (North). A very uneventful trip, we met no tows and only past one before we arrived in Corpus Christi Bay. We hailed him on 16 and he suggested passing him on the 2. In ICW jargon that means we will overtake him on his Port side leaving him on our Starboard side. We had plenty of room on that side and never had to adjust our speed.
After passing through the "Land Cut", we saw that we would not make it into Island Moorings until just after sundown. Not wanting to travel the busy ship channel after dark, we kicked it up a notch to about 16 knots making our arrival time just after 5 pm.
We were met by Skip and Nancy of the Nancy G on the transient docks and escorted to a slip across from theirs. They have kept there boat here for about two years now. Coming up from Harlingen every other weekend. Our friends Joe and Pearl keep their boat "On Your Mark" here also. They will arrive today.
Nancy had drinks and supper ready for us when we arrived. Making a perfect end to a long day.
From the fuel dock at Port Isabel we figure we traveled about 125 Nautical miles (138 statute miles), burning 56.3 gallons of diesel in about 8.5 hours.
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Walldog, Willie and Jake