Allen's Landing 2016 TMCA Oktoberfest Cruise Report
Ten months of planning, culminated in the most successful Allen's Landing Cruise we have led to this destination. When we were asked to take on this cruise, we had many events already involving our leadership commitments. One was my 40th Reunion, the weekend before, Nauti White Party on Labor Day Weekend, along with many big personal commitments and both of us working. Because of our commitment to & love of TMCA, we agreed to lead this cruise.
It started with teamwork: Linda Schoene (Website Chairman) & ourselves put together the Registration & Coast Guard Forms on the TMCA Website. This was an awesome tool, that allowed our members the opportunity to fill out their forms online. This helped streamline the registration process & enabled us to export the excel worksheet it produced.
Next was coordinating with the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Mayor's Office & Coast Guard to make sure we could cruise to Allen's Landing the weekend of Oct 21-23. Cruise Captain, Christopher Bown was also helpful in this endeavor. Christopher also took pictures of the Allen's Landing progress, as it had been under construction and was filled with sand.
Group Hotel Reservations were made at the Marriott Icon & the Marriott Springhill Suites for any crew or landyachts wanting to join us for the weekend.
The budget was put together and Rear Commodore, Ladye Jane Stone, as well as Commodore Jerry Simoneaux were both helpful in keeping down the cost for our boaters. The price was kept to $100 a boat to cover items like security, park fee, portable bathroom, Musician - Ben Renya, Decorations, paper goods & misc. Budget was based on 22 Boats.
Ben Reyna, HPD, Mayor's Office, Republic Service, and Hotel contracts were all signed & secured.
TMCA calendar, FB event page & yahoogroups post were made & the advertising began. Registration started in July & was filled the first day! The captains could pay online, so all funds were collected at time of registration. Coast Guard forms were then filled out by all paid & wait list boats.
In September, we sent the Excel & Coast Guard forms into the Coast Guard for vetting. Received COH Permit for Allen's Landing. Then Doug & Vice Commodore Charles Parette worked on the docking plan. What a fine job they did!
In October, we received Coast Guard permits, held our captain's meeting on Thursday, Oct 20th at the Elk's with all 20 boat captains present. We passed out the captain's clip board information packets to each Captain which included: Coast Guard Permit, Flotilla Boat Line-up, Docking Plan, Itinerary, Trivia Envelope, street maps, places of interest & restaurants, and Oktoberfest Button Pins!
Thursday night about 10:30 pm while loading last items on our boat, water spewed from the bilge- not good. 11:00 pm Matthew with True North is called; he immediately arrives at Portofino to our boat. After inspection, Doug & Matthew go to True North for parts. By midnight, they have a fix for our cracked Perko Pro Flush. We are good to go, thank God!
Friday morning at 6 am we meet our crew: Vicki Berkebile, Barry Dupuy & Elaine Snowden at our boat-Koastal Kabana. After items are loaded, we are on our way. We make our way out of the Kemah channel and have some waves over the top of our boat, but that is short lived. Sun is coming up; we are meeting the other 19 boats just south of the Hartman Bridge at Dayboard 100 @ 8 a.m.
8:15 a.m. Doug starts roll call with assistant Barry Dupuy, everyone is accounted for. Lineup of our Flotilla begins, about 8:30 a.m. we begin our cruise inbound to Allen's Landing! Our last boat, The Endeavor- Jon Leichliter makes sure everyone stays in line and keeps us posted on what is happening behind us. When we arrive at the secure zone, close to the San Jacinto Monument & Battleship of Texas the sun is shining on our flotilla, there is no humidity & it is a picture-perfect day! As we pass the Battleship Ladye & Jerry take screen shots of all 20 boats going by. It is an awesome sight.
The Allen's Landing Trivia Game Envelope is opened & crew aboard the 19 boats begin answering the questions! Lots of fun on the boats as we all look at the sights, go under all the bridges & wind through until we see Downtown Houston in our sights! What an awesome view, that never gets old!
As we approach the newly renovated Allen's Landing Docks-Ladye is waiting to help us get in. Once, Koastal Kabana docks, our crew jumps off to help the next boat & so on. Jim Lee also appears on the Docks to help us out as well! The docking goes beautifully and all 20 boats are in & no one is stuck under the dreaded bat bridge!
It's now time for lunch, relaxing & setting up for Oktoberfest Dock Party. With the borrowed canopies from the Houser’s, we begin with construction. Thanks, Charles, Jerry, Christopher, Ed & anyone else who helped. Next come the tables, and then the lights & decorations! Thanks, Jill, Linda, Ladye, & Jayne (AKA Martha Stewart) for helping me with the decorations. Oktoberfest 2016 is ready for 5:30pm start!
5:30 p.m. begins Docktails with the German Outfits, German beer & wine tasting along with the German appetizers. What a sight to see! Everyone looked great. although who dressed up received their German Button Pins. The judges: Barry Dupuy & Elaine Snowden searched the grounds for the best outfits!
6:30 pm. dinner begins with all the brats, kraut, potatoes and more!
7:00 p.m. Music by Ben Renya begins. Celebration of Carol Eckenseair's birthday with cake & song surprise the birthday girl!
Trivia Contest results are announced. Members grading the results Vicki Berkebile and Elaine Snowden. The winner with 13 right was the crew aboard Power Play who won a bottle of Railean Rum!
Winners of the Best Outfits were announced and each presented with German Beer Glass, Bourbon & German Ducky
Female Category: The Blue Nun- Maryann Tillson
Male Category: Authentic German Outfits-Brian Austin & Chuck Holden
We appreciated all the wonderful outfits that everyone wore, y’all looked great!
Music, dancing & fun continued to 11:00 pm. During that time, we had a guest appearance by Willie Nelson (there are rumors he is very close friends with Max Luttgeharm). Sadly, it had to end. Thanks to Charles & Linda for helping with me with tear down for Ben. It made it fast with your help. It was a long day, but a great one!
I did also want to mention our two HPD officers who did an awesome job of security, Sergeant Mike Angel & Chris Engelhardt. Chris kept his police lights on all night Fri. & Sat., we never had a problem!
Saturday morning members were free to spend the morning as they wished. 11:00am we all meet at the Metro on Main Street Bridge & headed out with our leaders: Bruce & Jayne Dannecker. We started off at Natachee's Supper 'n Punch Cafe. Service & food were awesome.
First Pub Stop- Flying Saucer- here we could vote for Trump or Clinton, received mustaches from Kim Eskelson, and had a great time. Second Pub Stop- Molly's Pub- here we visited the ghosts upstairs; Jayne shared her special shots with the girls! Another fun time. Third Pub Stop- Moonshiners- we watched the Aggies game, Hillary was stolen from Jayne (she did reappear), lots more fun & laughs. Fourth Pub Stop-Char Bar- First Tailor & Alterations shop in Houston. Very cool place. The girls did high kicks to "New York, New York" on the Catwalk, more laughter & fun as we enjoyed meeting the owner of the pub. Members slowly make their way back to their boats to hang out & get ready for dinner.
8:00 pm. Members make their way too many of the nearby restaurants. Our group dined & danced the night away at Sambuca's. The band "This is our Band" did a great job & we had a great time. Some went to Spaghetti Warehouse, and other spots. Downtown Houston was still hoping when we made our way to the boat at 1 a.m. Late seating ended with Ed & Dawn Gibler, Vicki & Kevin Berkebile, Joanne & Ned Fitzgerald & of course Doug & myself!
Sunday morning began at 8:30 a.m. with the Mimosa Breakfast, followed by Captain's Meeting at 9:15 a.m. It was a great end to our time at Allen's Landing. We had help from Kevin, Ed, Ladye, Charles, Linda and others to get canopies, lights & decorations down. Ladye helped us shove off the Dock & our flotilla began out the outbound cruise as each boat followed us off the docks. This time we had -Sea Ya- Dan Lafon, take the back of our flotilla. He did a great job letting us know as we completed each leg. Vicki & I had some fun dancing on our boat to "TMCA" & "It's going down for Real" while Doug & Kevin handled the serious business at hand.
We did have an interesting request in the secured area to stop & turn around a small sport fishing boat with man & 2 kids that thought since he had seen boats going through to Houston he could do it himself. After blowing our horn & flagging him down, he was turned around and back out of the secured area. After reaching the unsecured area past the San Jac Monument, we thanked everyone for their cooperation & released all fast boats one by one to head out on their own. This worked beautifully, and no one was waked. Everyone was happy to return to their home docks.
The weather was great, the captains, co-captains & crew were great, food was great, music was great. We had over 100 come by boat & more arrive by landyacht! What an awesome time was had by all & TMCA is just the best club for us all!
Party on & See ya on the water,
Karen & Capt. Doug Chappell
Allen's Landing Cruise Leaders
M/V Koastal Kabana