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M/V Last Trade

M/V Last Trade

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

12/16/2014 - Tuesday - Taylor Outfall Anchorage to Home

At 6:30 AM we started pulling up anchor.  I get anchor duty and the bottom of Taylor Outfall is muddy! Our trip line tangled in the anchor and even with hosing off the anchor chain as it came up, along with wrestling with the trip lie, I had mud all over my pants, my jacket, and spots all over me.  Lovely job, but someone has to do it!

Another cattle roundup!

Donkeys near Siever's Cut

This tow just did not want us to get around him and he was not very nice.  He would not slow down, and at one point when we were trying to get around, another tow started up towards us so we had to back down and he forced us aground because of all the tows blocking the waterway.  I think this was our most stressfull day!  It was like we were on a freeway with all 18 wheelers.  The tows were stopped everywhere and alot of them were holding their barges in to the shoreline, perpendicular to the barge, throwing out a lot of prop wash.  Open spots for them were very slim and they were starting to double up.  At some spots it was very difficult to manuever around them safely.  We have noticed that the newer tows are bigger than before and they are pushing more and longer barges, single and double wide.  If this is what the intracoastal is becoming, I feel sorry for pleasure cruisers because it's just not safe.

Galveston Bay, heading home!  Thank goodness the wind was on the nose and we had a good current with us all the way.  I think Galveston Bay has been the worst open water this whole trip.  It never fails, either leaving or coming home we would always have one not-so-good Galveston Bay passage.

Kemah bridge! we are almost home!

As we pulled into our slip at Portofino Harbour Marina and Yacht Club, we were met by Travis, Dan and Dawn to help us tie up.  What a great homecoming!  On this trip we were away about three and a half months and we traveled about 1300 hundred statute miles.  Now it's time to clean the boat up, fix some things, add some things and take care of our house.  Until Next Time!!!!!!

12/15/2014 - Monday - Lake Charles to Taylor Outfall Anchorage

We got up and looked out to see what the weather was doing.  The winds were light so we said "let's go" so we were on our way about 7:00 AM.  The winds did pick up and at one point and we had one rain downpour.  After lunch and just east of 1000 foot cut the wind really picked up and WindAlert was indicating  gusts over 31 kts.  We could see the front getting closer and then when it hit, it hit hard for about 30 minutes.  It was all over before we arrived at 1000 foot cut but we still had some strong winds and rain, mostly on the nose.  We were hoping the weather stations were going to be right and the winds would die down for our anchorage otherwise Josh and I would not get any sleep.  We anchored with no problem but the wind was still blowing 15 to 17.  As predicted, around 7 PM the winds died down and at some points during the night it was dead quiet.  Good night at anchorage! 

Bye bye Lake Charles

Ellender Bridge

Coast Guard Station Port Arther looks deserted!  This place looks like it has been shut down.  If so, it would be a good stopping spot for cruisers.

Check out the name on this shrimper!

Anchored at Taylor Outfall

Josh not sure he's happy with the anchor situation!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

12/13/2014 - 12/14/2014 - Lake Charles

12/13/2014 - Saturday
Our current plan is to stay in Lake Charles until Tuesday.  Winds are going to start picking up soon and Monday is calling for heavy rain.  We need a good weather window with low winds and no rain to do an anchorage at Taylor Outfall and then to come up Galveston Bay.  We are keeping our eyes on the wind situation but just in case it stays high we went ahead and reserved a rent car for Monday to head home for a week to attend the TMCA Commodore's Ball and Hanukkah with family.

Around noon we got our bikes out and road to the grocery store.  Teak now has carrots!  After our groceries were put away we headed out again for a nice lunch at Luna's.  Our sandwiches were so good!

Lake Charles waterfront is all decorated for Christmas so Josh, Teak and I took a nice stroll and admired all the decorations.

12/14/2014  - Sunday
This morning we looked at the weather situation again and we are now planning to leave tomorrow morning for Taylor Outfall.  Let's hope the winds die down like they are saying and we have a nice anchorage.

We rode our bikes for breakfast then we took Teak for a long walk all along the waterfront.  Now it's time to put away our bikes and get the boat ready for our departure tomorrow.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

12/12/2014 - Friday - Mermentau River to Lake Charles

It got a little chilly last night so as soon as we got up we dressed, took Teak out to the bow and then got ready to pull up anchor.  No coffee is not good!  We did make a joke about it asking each other every so often could you please get me some coffee and we would just look at each other and chuckle.  It was a beautiful morning with just a little fog.  Once we got back into the ICW one of the first tows we passed asked us to go to another channel to chat.  He was telling us that we will be running into a lot of "banked" tows and to watch out for their prop wash - it would put us on our side! Note: Make sure we ask them to throttle back.  We could hear them talking on the radio to each other about places they were going to stop or wiggle in between someone else.  I have to say that this was the worst/busiest we have ever seen, it looked like the tows were having a rendezvous!

Time to pull up anchor!

Bye bye Mermentau

Coming upon some fog

Tow traffic we had to deal with yesterday

Thank goodness they let us go through the lock following this tow at a safe distance or we would be sitting all day like the rest of the tows.  A group of five tows were scheduled to go through next and several more on a waiting list.  They were all scattered along the ICW just waiting their turn.  We asked the bridge operator what was going on and she said the lock was being worked on and it is backing up tow traffic.

Lake Charles - The new Golden Nugget

Tillman beat us here!

Seen while heading up the bayou to Bow Tie to pick up our new battery and to get fuel.

Doug Shearman at Bow Tie wanted us to stay but we already had a slip reserved at the city marina.  Usually Bow Tie is full so we didn't even think about it.  We did tell him that a friend named Bob Womble was going to be coming in for fuel and to stay the night.  Doug said he did not call for a reservation so we told him to be on the lookout.  We tried to contact Bob on the radio several times but had no luck.  Maybe tomorrow!

12/11/2014 - Thursday - Intracoastal City to the Mermentau River

Intracoastal City, at Shell Morgan is one busy place!  We did not get much sleep last night with all the night traffic coming in and going by.  You would think it would settle down, it's "night-night" time! But NO - the water traffic is unbelievable. These people work around the clock.  We had crew boats pulling behind us all through the night, never shutting down their engines and I just wanted to go outside and yell "Really? do you have to make so much noise"?  I guess it's no different than truck traffic on the road, people do have to make a living!  I do recommend if you have the extra time, take the side trip and go about an hour up and an hour back out of the way and head to Delcambre to their marina. You will sleep a lot  better. 

We forgot to get water when we fueled up yesterday so we did that back at the fuel dock before heading out.  We'll be using a lot of water tomorrow morning to wash off our muddy anchor.  At 9:15 we were on our way.  I saw a lot of eagles again but was not able to get pictures because the sun kept getting in the way.

Bye bye Shell Morgan

Leland-Bowman Lock was open and we went straight through

Real cowboys rounding up cattle with horses

This tow said he would see us "on the one"!  Does this look like "the one (port side to port side)?  We got him back on the radio and he said something about hitting a log and he was aground and we were to pass him on the "two (starboard side to starboard side).  He was still stuck when we anchored at the Mermentau River and tows were having problems getting around him.  We have no idea what really happened but we did see a big tree floating by several miles away.

Beautiful scenery!
Around 2:45 we were anchored in the oxbow off the Mermentau River along with S/V Blue.  This is my favorite place!  We were greeted with the music of an owl for several hours after our arrival.  When Josh decided to start the generator to set up TV it would not start.  OH NO! now what?  The battery was dead so he jumped started it off the house batteries and let it run for awhile, then turned it off to unplug the jumper cables (he does not go into the engine room with the generator running, too dangerous) but the genset would not start. We need another new battery!  That makes 7 this trip! No TV for Josh tonight and NO coffee tomorrow morning!  Josh called Bow Tie Marina and talked to Doug and he said he'd have one waiting for us when we stopped for fuel and ice tomorrow.  Thank goodness that I decided to have baked chicken for dinner.  Power is not needed to use the propane stove and oven.  When I went to heat up the green beans on the stove the stove igniter switch broke!  No problem, we lit it with the lighter that we use to light the oven.  Small, relatively easy fix - It's a boat, we just keep adding things to be fixed to our list.  Gotta love boating!!!! 

S/V Blue anchored in the Mermentau


Before we turned in for the night we took Teak out for her last potty time.  There was no wind and the sky was clear but we kept hearing a sound like a baby calf bellowing.  Not sure what it was, but we don't think it was a calf.  For all the boaters passing through this area, this is a place you must stop.  It's just beautiful!