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

    At the Helm

    Ladye Jane Stone, Commodore

    email: Commodore@TexasMariners.com

    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 (www.texasmariners.com) 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 (http://www.texasmariners.com) 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

  • 1 Jul 2020 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    This is your Commodore Speaking,

    We dipped our toe back into Club activities last month with our first Monthly Meeting since the coronavirus lockdown began. We were able to space the tables and chairs to accommodate the expected social distancing both during the social hour and during our program which we also streamed live on Facebook for those members unable or uncomfortable with attending in person. Our program guest speaker was Greg Kutsen, M.D. (Mantus Marine)  who gave a great presentation about emergency medicine while boating. As long as there are social gathering restrictions, we will continue to stream the meetings live over our TMCA Facebook page or on our YouTube channel, “Texas Mariners Cruising Association”. 

    Closer to home and our boat, the system diagnosis and repairs continue following the May lightning strike on s/v Austintatious. We are working through the process with our insurance company. We expect to replace most all of the electrical components on the boat. Those of you that have experience with this act of nature know the event will immediately render many electronics failed while other systems can initially look and act normal but will soon fail. As an example, our two shower drain pumps use a 15 second timer relay. They each failed several days after the event. The repair/replace equipment list is long. Our boat is still on the market, as we look to move on to a catamaran, so this event was quite untimely. However, once the work has completed, the boat may almost be new again with renewed warranty on replaced (and upgraded) equipment. 

    Continue to monitor your email, our TMCA website and Facebook page for updated information on cruises and social events.

    In the meantime, be smart and stay safe. 

    Bryan Austin

    TMCA Commodore, 2020


  • 1 Jun 2020 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    This is your Commodore Speaking,

    We are beginning to see thelight at the end of the COVID tunnel; and I’m not talking about the lighting strike we took on our boat several weeks ago. We are thoughtfully and carefully turning back on our club events. Stay tuned to our website and Facebookpage (TMCA) for information on upcoming events, cruises and of course our new website rollout.

    The TMCA Leadership Team has adjusted our approach to social activities while additional state and local restrictions are in affect. For cruises, instead of the traditional pot-luck meal sharing, we will ask members to bring and eat their own food. Participation in “Docktails” and “Sterngating” will be at the discretion of each member. Dock parties will have a similar restriction. Food may be provided if purchased directly from a commercial establishment and properly handled. For example, the June Dock Party at Watergate Marina is hosted by Sailing Angels. They will provide pizza and maintain an orderly and controlled access to it; allowing persons to manage their social distancing they are comfortable with.

    While our boat is recovering from a lightning strike, we spent the last ten days out on the water cruising with friends. We made stops at Moody Gardens Marina, Surfside Marina, anchored in the San Bernardriver and then headed home with an overnight stop at Harborwalk Marina. We were really impressed with Surfside Marina and the staff. They dropped what they were doing to help us dock our boats. They have a ship store and clean showers that are both open 24/7. I spoke to Jason Ross, the manager of the marina about our Club. He has graciously agreed to establish a $50/night TMCA rate. Just show your TMCA member badge. A nice restaurant is within walking distance. Also nearby are golf cart rentals. We spent a full day driving around Surfside and checking out the beach and other establishments. Jason is looking forward to seeing us again.

    Finally, June 1 is the beginning of hurricane season and there is already something brewing in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Take some time to review how you would secure your boat. This includes identifying the extra lines and fenders you would use, how to remove bimini canvas and sails and how you would shutdown your boat and configure it for the coming storm; all with the assumption you may not be able to return to it for several days or even weeks.
    Stay safe, be smart and I look forward to seeing you on the water.

    Bryan Austin
    TMCA Commodore, 2020
  • 1 May 2020 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Bryan AustinSo what did you do on your Coronavirus isolation vacation? Cindy and I took Austintatious out on a three week extreme social distance cruise to Galveston and Offatts Bayou. Even after five years of ownership, we learned so much more about how our boat operates and how the two of us operate together “on the hook”. From battery management to food planning, boat maintenance, pet control and, what became most critical, anchor management, we learned a lot.

    After spending a night at Redfish Island, we took a short trip to the Bayshore side of the bay and anchored just off of Bayshore Park. I think we found a new cruise destination. They have a nice dock with easy dinghy access into the park. We then spent the bulk of our time in Offats Bayou ping-ponging anchorages between Moody Gardens and Pelican Rest as each weather system came through. One such weather system demonstrated our anchor was a little undersized as we swung around and quickly drug into the Moody Gardens marina before we could react. We are now the proud owners of a new Mantus anchor.

    I continue to encourage our Club members to get out on the water. Either plan some local cruises to anchor out or head down the coast; just check the status of the local marinas to see if they are receiving boats.

    I will be working with our Club leadership to determine how best to re-engage the members and when and how to pick back up with our Monthly Meetings and Dock Parties. June seems like the new target to get things cranked up again... Stay tuned.

    Stay Safe & See You on the Water

    Bryan Austin
    TMCA Commodore, 2020



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PO Box 946
Kemah, TX 77565

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