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by Cathy Tomsett – Houston, Texas – USA

I sent the following email to my Dad telling him about our first overnight trip on Caprice to Double Bayou (about 20 miles across the bay from Kemah) this past weekend. Dad is 83 and still spends every weekend on his Hunter 33. He and Mom can't take it out by themselves anymore but Chris and I have enjoyed helping them out with that :)

My earliest childhood memories are of spending time with Dad in the boat shed while he built our first sailboat, a little 18 footer that our family of 5 enjoyed for many overnight cruises and lots of day sails.

I thought you might like to read about our weekend on Caprice. She is quite lovely and we are thoroughly enjoying her.


Hi Dad

Our early start on Sunday wound up being closer to noon.

Your boat neighbors, Tony & Bootie, were right behind us as we went under the Kemah bridge and we waved madly to each other.

We had a nice sail over to Double Bayou under double reefed main.

There have been a lot of changes to Double Bayou since Hurricane Ike.

In addition to a new grocery store, there's a new city park with boat slips that have electricity and water, a large pavilion with a BBQ pit, and public restrooms with showers. There is also a lighted fishing pier. I don't know what the boat slips cost, the place was empty, there weren't any signs and no one was around to ask. We tied up in one of the slips and walked over to the store to get some beer and snacks.

After that, we left and motored up the East fork of Double Bayou. There was one sailboat tied to a tree in the general area of where we used to go. Our shallow draft allowed us to motor all the way to the low bridge before we turned back. We had to watch out for overhanging tree limbs and logs in the water. We stopped to let Major have a little shore time and the mosquitos found us in a hurry. We left and motored out to the little oyster shell island at the entrance to Double Bayou where we nosed into the bank for the night.

We had a pretty good breeze and gathered driftwood for a campfire. The mosquitos didn't find us and Major had a great time digging everything up and playing in the water. As expected, the tide went out overnight and the next morning we were hard aground. We had also drifted sideways to the shore during the night and decided that next time we should set the mizzen sail to keep our bow pointed into the shore.

While we were waiting for the tide to come up, we went fishing. I caught a large sting ray which I was able to release without doing much harm. Since we weren't catching any fish, I used our cast net and caught some shrimp and we made shrimp gumbo for lunch (Zatarains box mix, great stuff). By then the tide had come up a few inches and we were free to go.

We started for home under double reefed main and shook it out after about an hour. Of course, as soon as we did, the wind increased but we left the sail up anyway. About the time we were starting to think we really needed to put the reef back in, we could see the Kemah bridge and it just didn't seem worth the effort. We had some big rollers out there, one was about as high as our cabin top, but the boat handled it all very well. The water ballast really settles her down.

We sailed all the way in to our marina where we tied up at the t-head on our dock about 6 pm, unloaded the boat, washed it down, and then motored over to the boat ramp. We got the boat on the trailer and we were home before 10.

I think it's going to be a very comfortable boat for the Texas200.

Love, Cathy 

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