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  • 12 Apr 2021 1:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At the Helm

    Spring has arrived and it comes with a continued sense of optimism.  We are off to a great start this year with good attendance at all our events and we want to keep this momentum going, so please check the calendar often for updates and join us at some of our upcoming activities.

    A member asked that I post something about the Rules of the Road and my first thought was ‘Big Boat Wins!’, but we all know there is much more to learn.  Navigation Rules are regulations which aid mariners in safe navigation, just as driving laws aid vehicles in safe driving.  All mariners should know and understand the Rules. The Rules are legally binding and application of them makes the waterways safer for everyone.

    Similarly, are Best Practices to follow in our business dealings, the Golden Rules in our daily activities and most recently, guidelines to follow during the pandemic.  Rules and Guidelines are intended to protect us – the better you understand them, the more you can see how they benefit.


    You can learn more about Rules of Navigation through USCG, Boat US, ASA courses and our upcoming W.O.W. class.

    We received sad news this month that Tom Smith, one of our Founding Members and our First Commodore passed away February 28th.

    He wrote an article about TMCA for Texas Sailing in 1981 which described the benefits and experiences of the organization.  It stated that they had 160 members and listed 15 cruises (1 of which was to Gulfport, MS)

     It all started informally with 18 people at Vince’s Boat Stop in Oct. 1978 and they decided on the name.  In Feb. 1979 they met officially, elected officers and worked with an attorney to develop the bylaws.

    He ended the article with “We have such a hell of a good time. It’s a way of life with us we really enjoy…”

    From his wife Myrna:

    "Tom was so proud of how the organization grew, but as he got older and since we live in Spring Texas, it got a lot more difficult to go down to Watergate marina. ​

    Sadly he went into Alzheimer’s disease about eight years ago, which precluded his ability to do anything with the Organization. ​

    The fact that three men got together and started this and it became what it is today was one of his proudest achievements. ​

    We still have so many photos of various parties and trips and his boat, Popeye. ​

    Since he had such a love for sailing, which included Galveston, he wants his ashes spread in Galveston Bay and we will do that in May."       

    I will post more information as I receive and perhaps a fleet of TMCA boats can pay tribute to him.  We are also attempting to add this article on the TMCA website.

    If you’re a new member, or a long-time member getting back involved, please wear your name tags.  Engage someone you don’t know and find out what kind of boat they have or want – you’ll quickly find that you’ve made a new friend.

    Be smart and stay safe on the water or land and never hesitate to ask …a little ‘Pier Pressure’ with a smile is encouragement.

    The more you participate in TMCA, the more you will gain from it and the more FUN you will have! 

    Ladye Jane Stone

    Commodore 2021

  • 5 Mar 2021 2:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At the Helm

    The ‘arctic freeze’ storm last month was a rarity and it affected many in our area.  The power outages reminded me how much we rely on our electricity for lights, cooking and entertainment.  It also reminded me of other things that we all need in order to ‘keep the lights on’ in our lives.  Interaction, acknowledgment, camaraderie and laughter light our hearts and fuel our souls.  In this time of distancing, we are diligently working to keep the momentum of TMCA going by planning cruises and events for the upcoming months despite the damages to marinas and changes in venues.  We are continually trying different technology in order to include our members that may not yet feel safe attending our meetings and are always discussing creative options for outdoor events.  We have a good start to 2021 with attendance at meetings, participation at events and many new members and would like to hear from you to know how we are doing in addressing what our members want.

    With Spring approaching, we all will be eager to take our boats out, so this is a good time to check everything.  Larry Friemel’s talk on engines was very informative and you may also want to get a Vessel Safety Check by the Power Squadron.  There is no coast and upon completion you will receive a sticker to place on your boat and the confidence that all safety systems are ready for another fun season.

    Spring Fling is our bi-annual event in which we invite other yacht clubs and marinas along the gulf coast to participate and we are hoping it will be held again in Port Arthur the first weekend in May.  However, due to the repercussions of a pandemic and storm, the initial details that must be worked out prior to planning, may force it to be delayed, but we will keep you posted.

    Along with our educational topics and fun events, I think the most important thing TMCA offers us is the ability to leave behind our normal routines for a brief time.  It’s like a mini vacation each time we get together.  So, if you haven’t participated in a cruise, event or attended a meeting in a while, I encourage you to look at the calendar, choose something that interests you and join us.

    Remember, the more you participate in TMCA, the more you will gain from it and the more FUN you will have! 

    ‘Pier Pressure’ comes in many forms … sometimes it’s as simple as a smile or a wave from the dock, to come on. 

    Ladye Jane Stone


  • 3 Feb 2021 11:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At the Helm

    Ladye Jane Stone, Commodore


    As a new or seasoned boat owner we all have that inner conversation about “what ifs.”  Being new at the helm of TMCA that conversation has become an open dialog with our 2021 board.  Every year the new board is faced with a challenging learning curve, but this year is unique in that we are not only faced with our new roles and what they entail, but also faced with how to conduct meetings and events safely while following the social distancing protocols.  Incorporating new technology for our meetings so that members, as well as speakers, can participate remotely and for those that do attend can do so without concern, has become one of our top areas of discussion.  Our Vice Commodore, Lori Friemel has worked diligently with several of our ‘tech-savvy’ members to accomplish this and while we are still testing, we’ve achieved a lot in a short time.  Additionally, I do want to thank everyone for adhering to the protocols thus far and say that I’m impressed how everyone is finding creative ways to safely have FUN!  (that had such a different meaning in the 80s & 90s !?) 

    January has been a busy month with our Orientation and Planning meetings and I’m encouraged by the attendance at both.  We have many fun events and cruises planned, which I hope will become a reality!  If you would like to host an event, volunteer or lead a cruise, please contact any Board member and we will help you get started.  It’s easy, a lot of FUN and a great way to meet other members. All events will be posted on the TMCA calendar and I encourage you to check it regularly for updates.  If you have more ideas and suggestions, please contact us.

    I also hope this year that TMCA will make a positive impact in our boating community by volunteering for projects that improve our local waters, such as marsh rehabilitation, trash clean up and abandoned crab traps removal.  If you have knowledge of or are interested in these events and would like to help, we would love to hear from you additionally, watch for more information on these types of events.

    Membership renewal is open until February 28 and I want to thank those that have renewed and encourage those that have not to consider renewing your membership.  Your experience is invaluable to our newer members and we’d love to hear from you so we can continue to plan events that interest new and seasoned alike!  Also, please remember to update your profile and boat information because that will make it easier for you when registering for events.

    We’re working on the “what ifs” so all you have to remember is, the more you participate in TMCA, the more you will gain from it and the more FUN you will have! 

    If we don’t start somewhere, we get nowhere … heed the ‘Pier Pressure’ of friends, cast off those dock lines and let’s have some Fun in 2021! 

    Ladye Jane Stone


  • 7 Jan 2021 3:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At the Helm

    Ladye Jane Stone, Commodore


    2020 was a year like no other and I believe that together we can make 2021 better than any other.  Bryan Austin leaves a great legacy of moving TMCA forward and I hope to continue by adding to all that he has put in place.

    I’m honored to represent TMCA as your Commodore along with our wonderful 2021 Board.  We are excited and eager to help you find creative ways to safely have cruises and events.  I’m also pleased to announce our Trustees for 2021 will include Gloria Rooney, Jerry Simoneaux, Charles Parette, and Larry Friemel. These four past Commodores’ knowledge and experience will provide historic club perspective and advice to help us maintain the vision and spirit of the club.  

    We finished the year with an exceptional Commodore’s Ball at Lakewood Yacht Club, in that we didn’t think we’d even be able to have it!  Cindy Austin did a great job organizing this event and a grand time was had by all that attended.  The special recognition awards presented were well deserved and special thanks to all of those who volunteered their time and energy through the year.

    If you weren’t able to attend, please make plans to next year, you won’t be disappointed.

    We will continue to look for ways to make your experience with TMCA as enjoyable and educational as possible while carrying on the traditions that have kept us growing and successful all these years.  A large club like this runs on a special fuel of enthusiasm, fun, and participation and can only happen with a fleet of volunteers.

    We begin our new year with our January Monthly Meeting on Friday, 15th and the Member Orientation meeting on Saturday, 16th.  Please plan to join us at the Elks Lodge in Kemah to meet the new Officers, learn what these volunteers do to keep TMCA running, how to maneuver the website and how you can participate.  Our annual Planning meeting will be Saturday 30th. This meeting is a great opportunity for you to share your ideas and help fill the 2021 calendar with the great cruises and activities we will do this year.  I’m always amazed at the new and creative ideas members come up with. If you are a little shy in getting started, there will be many friendly members to help you.  We also hope to have a Mardi Gras cruise to Moody in February and our bi-annual “Spring Fling” event will be in May.  Hope you will consider joining in the fun at an event or cruise and learn what makes TMCA such a great boating club.

    Please visit our website ( and calendar for information on all the fun activities we will schedule for 2021. Your feedback and ideas are always welcome. Special Reminder: It’s time to renew those memberships and update all your boat and contact information.

    As some of you know, my boat is named ‘Pier Pressure’ because friends encouraged me to learn enough to leave the dock.  You can find that same encouragement in TMCA, while making friends and memories that will last a lifetime!

    Wishing everyone a safe and Happy New Year,

    Ladye Jane Stone, Commodore

  • 1 Dec 2020 12:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are coming to the end of another cruising year for TMCA. 2020 will be remembered as the year we stepped back, stayed away and otherwise kept our distance from one another. It was the year of public health and personal responsibility. In spite of the social restrictions theCOVID-19 pandemic placed on everyone, our Club endured and was still able to have a productive year of boating, learning, friendship and fun.

    Our social events were limited to the Galveston Mardi Gras cruise and parade and just one dock party. During those early months, some of us practiced our own version of social distancing with some extended duration cruises around Galveston Bay and along the upper Texas coast. As the year progressed, we continued our cruise schedule with what turned out to be a very enjoyable and relaxing, laid-back, limited social activity cruises. 

    Our monthly meetings and our education presentations were put on hold for most of year. When we did meet, we learned more about boat surveys, medicine at sea and dinghy maintenance and repair. We also had a special boat handling skills demonstration complete with a man (in) and his boat. 

    While our calendar of events may have slowed this year, the Board continued to work hard to make the Club even better. My college civics instructor said of a city development, “if it’s not growing, it’s dying. We took that same approach with our Club. 

    As I look back over my two years as Commodore, I’m extremely proud of our accomplishments. I’m honored to have represented an outstanding, engaging, and knowledgeable membership both young and not so young.  In that time, we developed a new tagline for the Club: “Boating, Learning, Friendship & Fun”. We created operations handbooks for the Board and for the membership that captured years of hand-me-down instructions and lessons learned. We captured all this information and much more and stored in the cloud for continued access and retention. We updated the Bylaws and executed a new, more expanded insurance policy for the Club. The pandemic did not slow your Board down. 

    The state of the Texas Mariners Cruising Association is great because each of you have made it great. Please welcome in the 2021 Board as they take over the reigns and continue the journey. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the December 19th Commodores Ball. 

    Stay safe & boat smart.

    Bryan Austin

    TMCA Commodore, 2020

  • 1 Nov 2020 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This is your Commodore Speaking,

    I would like to congratulate the newly elected 2021 TMCA Board members. They include Ladye Jane Stone (Commodore), Lori Friemel (Vice Commodore), Chris Boswell (Rear Commodore), Meade LeBlanc (Treasurer, 2nd term), Kay Waghorne (Secretary), John Boswell (Cruise Captain), and Janet Abraham (Port Captain). As a reminder, since there were no competed positions, we voted by acclamation at the October meeting and declared the nominees elected. 

    As this is a 100% volunteer organization, we are only as successful as those who give their time back to the Club. Connie Ferguson has volunteered to take over the TMCA newsletter in 2021. Thank you to Larry Grissom for your two years of contributions. We are looking for someone to take over our boutique committee and managing the sale of our TMCA branded clothing. Contact me or Ladye Jane Stone for more information. 

    Galveston county has relaxed the CV-19 business restrictions, so we will be able to hold our final monthly meeting later this month back at the Elks Lodge. I hope you will be able to join us. This will be our final meeting of the year and will include the Officers annual reports. We will also introduce the 2021 TMCA Board. 

    Fall is here, and the weather couldn’t be better for some open hatch (no A/C) cruising. Our boat (Austintatious) is still recovering from the lightning strike earlier this summer. The CV-19 restrictions have hampered getting replacement parts and repairs completed. Once the repairs are completed, our boat will be fully refit with electronic equipment from bow to stern. As some of you may know, Austintatious is at the LYS broker dock looking for a new owner. We hope to replace her with a catamaran. If all goes as planned next year, we will point the new Austintatious east in search of clear blue water. Hopefully by early next year, the BVI’s and the other islands will be opened back up. 

    Stay safe and boat smart,

    Bryan Austin

    TMCA Commodore, 2020

  • 1 Oct 2020 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This is your Commodore Speaking,

    The restrictions on social gathering continues to limit our Club activities. We have cancelled recent dock parties and other social events including our annual wine tasting event and the popular Allens Landing cruise. One interesting side effect is the recent cruises have taken on a more relaxed and laid back theme which many have enjoyed. When the time comes and we put the COVID restrictions in the rear view mirror, I’m sure we will crank up the fun and social activities at some of the upcoming cruises. I know Chris and John Boswell are ready to unleash a whole new set of games. 

    Have you felt the change in the weather? Fall is slowing arriving, providing some of the best cruising weather. Don’t miss out on this time to enjoy time on the water, anchoring out or an extended cruise along the Texas coast. 

    Speaking of an extended cruise, I encourage everyone to consider our Fall Fling fundraiser cruise to Port Arthur and Pleasure Island Marina the weekend of October 23rd. Our Cruise Captain is working closely with the leaders at the Port Arthur Yacht Club to put on a great event with all proceeds going to help the Lake Charles Yacht Club get back on their feet following the destruction caused by hurricane Laura. Check the TMCA website ( for more details. 

    Our Nomination Committee has been meeting (virtually) to identify members who would agree to give of their time and be nominated to one of the 2021 Board positions. I will communicate the Nomination Committee recommendations prior to the October 16th Monthly Meeting. Contact me or one of the current Board members if you would like to be considered. 

    Stay safe, boat smart,

    Bryan Austin

    TMCA Commodore, 2020

  • 28 Sep 2020 4:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

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  • 1 Sep 2020 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This is your Commodore Speaking,

    I’m excited to say I have made my first Gulf crossing; from Florida to Texas. Cindy and I joined Travis and Tara Townsley and four others on their newly purchased Royal Cape Majestic 53 catamaran. We departed Ft Lauderdale and made it to Key West the following day. We couldn’t avoid catching some lobster traps on the props and rudders; however,  we were greeted with five fresh lobsters. We stopped at The Dry Tortugas for a day. What a unique place. Our trip across the Gulf was generally peaceful with light winds and near-calm seas. We caught some fish including yellow-tail snapper, mahi-mahi, kingfish and barracuda. We probably sailed 10% of the time, motor-sailed 40% of the time and motored 50% of the time. With that much motoring, fuel management became an issue. With the approaching storms (Laura and Marco), we didn’t have time to just go slow. We stopped at Grand Isle for fuel at the Sand Dollar Marina. The owners stayed open and met us at 9:00pm to help get us refueled and back on our way. We made it to Kemah just in time to prep the boat (and then our own boat) for hurricane Laura. 

    Several observations from the trip. First, there are lobster traps everywhere from Miami to Key West in the Hawks Channel during lobster season (which opened one week before our departure). Running at night is not advised. However, if you do, you should employ my approach which was “if you don’t look for them, they aren’t there”. Second, find a way to go to The Dry Tortugas. Fort Jefferson and the mote around it consumes the entire island. We were spoiled with near calm wind and seas. Spectacular place. Three, SiriusXM Weather is very beneficial when away from coastal connectivity. We were able to see nearby weather systems and their track as well as 36-48 hr grib weather forecasts. Four, if you want to use PredictWind for updated weather and current routing information away from shore, use the Iridium Go tracker which includes a seamless connection to PredictWind. Five, I believe there are about 50% fewer rigs off the Louisiana coast than what are displayed on the charts (Navionics). 

    As our 2020 cruising season continues, we are still challenged with opportunities to gather, hold dock parties and enjoy the social side of our cruises. We are looking ahead at some big events that may be impacted such as the Allen’s Landing cruise and the Commodores Ball. With our revenue from membership renewal down a bit, we will have to make some fiscally smart decisions how to manage our expenses. 

    This is also the time of year when we start looking ahead to the nominations for the 2021 TMCA Board Members. Volunteering to be part of the Club leadership is an opportunity to get involved and shape the future. If you are interested in putting your name in the hat to be nominated for one of the Board positions, please contact me or one of the current members of the Board. We will announce the Nomination Committee very soon. 

    Stay safe, boat smart...

    Bryan Austin

    TMCA Commodore, 2020

  • 1 Aug 2020 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This is your Commodore Speaking,

    I apologize for the delay getting our newsletter out this month. Believe it or not, a lot is going on in my and Cindy’s world and of course the world around us. We had to cancel our July monthly meeting due to inclement weather after previously moving it outdoors while the Elks Lodge is closed. We look forward to the August meeting to pick back up again. Stay tuned. 

    On a more personal note, while our boat continues the post-lightning strike repair process, we traveled to Ft Lauderdale to look at some future catamaran purchase options. Looks like we arrived just just in time to greet hurricane Isaias. While there, we were able to help fellow TMCA members Tara and Travis Townsley complete the hurricane prep on their new (to them) 53’ Royal Cape catamaran. Fortunately the hurricane spared Ft Lauderdale and only hit the area with some periodic heavy rain and brisk winds with tropical storm level gusts. We will join the Townsley’s again in mid August to sail their catamaran across the Gulf back to Kemah. 

    This year brings unique challenges for our members to enjoy boating with friends. The Club Leadership continues to promote cruises and educational events that allow members to expand their boating knowledge and skills while limiting the planned social gatherings. 

    Stay safe and see you on the water.

    Bryan Austin

    TMCA Commodore, 2020

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