Return to the Pasture - May 10th - 12th

We had 5 boats go though 12 boats had registered. The weather predictions had turned a little extreme and some people were dealing with flooding issues from the prior weeks rains and others had family issues.

The 5 boats were:

Awesome One with Phil and Matilde Geren

Dream Maker with Steve and Jeannie Keith

Felina with David and Casey Embry

Sea Bean with Nadine and Mark Murphy

Bless Your Heart with Tim Marshall

Bless your Heart left Seabrook Marina at about 9:20 and the tide was running really hard. More inflow up the Clear Creek Channel than I have ever experienced  and the trip over to Double Bayou was a slog straight into wind that was 20 to 25 with 3 to 4 feet of chop. It was a long rough trip. At one point my radio crackled to life and it was Awesome One off my beam asking what my SOG was and if I was ok. It told him between 1 and 3 depending on which part of the wave I was hitting and I was fine. Phil then created great envy in me of motor vessels as he became a smaller and smaller dot on the horizon.

Three boats arrived Friday at various times and 2 boats followed on Saturday. Nobody had any trouble getting in (though I did stop once when I mistook the wreckage of channel marker 11 for channel marker 12). I backed out of that and found a nice line of PVC poles marking the way into Oak Island from that point and was in deep water the rest of the way. These poles were planted by local fisherman we think but they more or less mark the sight line from marker 12 to the boat shed mentioned in Philip’s navigation instructions.

We all got “docked” to the bank successfully and spent the rest of the day visiting and wandering around until we more or less decided to forego a fire and go to sleep around the time it got dark. Funny how that works sometimes.

The next day Felina and Sea Bean arrived and we got them all tied up and secure around 4:00. Jeannie and Steve invited us all aboard Dream Maker for our shared dinner. Dream Maker is a beautiful yacht and we all enjoyed a couple hours of good food, good people and nice conversation. We had a short, lite rain shower during dinner so was really nice to be inside for that part of the evening, After dinner David and I went out and started the bonfire. There’s something about a communal bonfire that attracts people and everyone migrated that direction. There was plenty of wood laying around and between that and what wood people had brought with them we had a very nice relaxing 3 or so more hours of good conversation, funny stories and general camaraderie around the fire.

Dream Maker and Sea Bean left fairly Early on Sunday while Awesome One, Felina and Bless Your Heart all left between noon and 1:00. We were trying to make the best of a weather forecast Phil had. The wind had shifted from ENE to SE and was blowing really pretty hard again, maybe 20 to 25. Nobody even touched the bottom getting out. I had a reef in when we left and my smallest headsail and was very happy with those choices sailing over 6 knots most of the way home. The MV’s might have been a little jealous of the SV’s on the way home though because while they had the wind and waves on their beam rocking the house pretty hard, we were flying. Slewing around a bit as waves passed under us but in general a very comfortable, exciting ride.

So, Double Bayou East Fork to the Pasture, worth it or not? My vote is a strong yes. You have to plan it and you have to do a reasonable job of executing your plan but it’s definitely doable. The deepest draft boat was 5 feet 4 inches and Felina never touched bottom on either the way in or the way out. Motoring up the East Fork is still a wonderfully unique experience and I hope more people will get a chance to enjoy it in the future.

PO Box 946
Kemah, TX 77565

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