For many years, starting in 2004, one of TMCA’s most favorite cruising destinations was “Spoonbill RV Park” at Smith Point. This facility pretty much got wiped off the map in 2008 by hurricane IKE, but it did come back and we continued to cruise there for perhaps three more years until shallow water issues along their long bulkhead became, sadly, a challenge we could not be overcome.
At last year's Planning Meeting I volunteered to organize a “Full Moon Beach Party at Smith Point”, with this event planned to be on one of the many islands that exist off to the northern side of the point. On a nautical chart they are still called the "Vingt-et-un Islands" (French for “21”), even though there are probably fewer of them than that remaining these days!
In 2020 this first-time cruise was originally planned for the full moon in June, and then, due to the virus stuff, rescheduled to the full moon in August…, with the hope of course that things might be somewhat back to “normal” by then! But then, as Covid raged on, rather than canceling the event entirely, we opted for a modified more socially-distanced version!
The new “plan” was to cruise over to the Smith Point area (about 11nm) and then anchor individually north of the point wherever your boat might be comfortable depth-wise (re: chart image attached)
The weekend of the cruise there were forecasts for some bad weather, but three boats boats still did venture out (myself not included...) and just enjoyed the afternoon over there at anchor.
But in 2021 we are going to try it again, with the cruise plan being similar. Bring your dinghy and we will go “exploring” around the area: the “21 islands” themselves, the bigger “Bird Island” to the west of the point itself (although it is marked “no access”), Spoonbill RV Park inside the “Trinity River Channel” area at the point, and then perhaps go all the way into the pretty little “Smith Point Harbor” itself (yes folks, there is one!). Anybody can do as much, or as little, of this exploring as they wish, and then as the day wears on (and for those planning to spend the night), select the nicest of the “Vingt-et-un Islands”, go ashore, collect some driftwood (there usually is plenty there…), build a bonfire, and have a TMCA Beach Party! If there is not enough room on one island to adequately “social distance” we can even claim another one!
One time when we were at Spoonbill, on a similar full moon weekend, we actually did some after dark dinghy exploring, and that was certainly “adventuresome” to say the least!! So we’ll play it all by ear…, everything depending upon the weather (yes it probably will be hot!), the winds (the anchorage area is quite well-protected from winds everywhere from east to perhaps SSW), the number of participants (a sign-up page on the website will be activated on the website as we get closer to the event), to whether or not we can adequately “social distance” and still also make smores over a bonfire! (I think we can!!)
The chart image above points out a quite large anchoring area, so there should be plenty of room for all. Predicted tide levels for the weekend are favorable for daytime arrivals, and of course we likely will be seeing higher-than-normal water levels in July anyway.
Below is a chart with waypoints that I produced for last year's cruise. Follow the waypoints to the general anchorage area and then just pick a location that you like.
During spring and summer there seems to be quite a lot of anchoring-out activity at Redfish, Nassau Bay, and other locations, and so why not at Smith Point!!! Be a little bit adventurous and come explore what is, for many of you, probably a new destination!
Please sign up on the website, and also feel free to contact me if you have questions. (713-598-6454) Additional late-breaking updates will be posted on TMCA Facebook as we get closer to the event.