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Perfect New Year's Eve celebration

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John Finch

Mickie and I went to Mark Twain Lake in Northern Missouri 12/31/99. There was not a soul to be seen. We boarded DOXOLOGY, our C30 and settled in for the evening. We had a great grilled steak for dinner, a little wine to toast the new year and a wonderfully clear sky and glassy water. Next morning, we awoke to see a bald eagle sitting atop a tree, not 50 yards from our boat. He sat until we pointed a camera at him, then he flew. We saw him 3 more times as we sailed around the lake that day with the same results. The wind was about 10 Kn. It was late afternoon--we were just leaving--when another couple arrived to go for an hour's sail. I can't remember a better New Year's Celebration. It could have only been better by sharing it with friends. Have a Happy, Healthy Y2K John and Mickie

Ken Shubert

Could'a joined you

THe MTL Sailing Club invited me over last year for New Years Eve and also to get a lower tax basis for my boat. It was really a joke last year but this year could've been a reality. Maybe next year they'll plan a New Years Regatta for trailer sailers. Don't start to plan for it because you can't fool Mother Nature two years in a row. Bald Eagle spotting was a real bonus for your sail along with the lack of jet-skis, etc. Ken S/V Wouff Hong

Mickey McHugh

Yaga's NewYear

Debbie and I took our H40.5 for a 4-day circumnavigation of Galveston Island. We left 12/31 from Kemah for a 26-mile leg to Offatts Bayou to spend New Year’s Eve in one of Moody Garden’s transit slips. The winds were light but we were not in a hurry (sailors can never afford to be in a hurry) so we really enjoyed the high 70 degree temps and bright sunshine. We were in bathing suits and using suntan lotion! At the slip we shared our cockpit with other sailors out for a Y2K cruise. One end of the dock was sail boats and the other end was power boats. A guy with TOPS (Texas Offshore Power Squadron) came over for the largest yacht and invited us to come up to their New Year’s Eve party at the Moody Convention Center. These are the HOT boat guys and we thought it would be interesting to see how the other SIDE parties. Wow, they party like they drive their boats, FAST & HARD. They were just going to bed when we pulled out at 10:30 for the run to Freeport. We sailed in the company of “Stock Options” a Catalina 36 and “Magic” a Hunter 340 down the ICW dodging the many tows. Didn’t they know it was a holiday? Geese and sea birds were everywhere and we saw 2 coyotes. Temps were in the mid 70s and it was a close reach in 10 to 15 knots of wind. Conditions were ideal. We arrived at Bridge Harbor Marina around 5 PM. The other 2 boats ran outside the jetties to look around and watch the sun set over Surfside beach before spending the night at the marina. A super supper of beef filet and lobster tail with of course the cabbage and black eye peas rounded out a perfect first day of 2000. Early next morning “Stock Options” and “Magic” headed back up the ICW to Clearlake and we headed out into the Gulf of Mexico for an offshore passage to the Galveston jetties. About 10 miles out we encountered 10 dolphins who rode our bow wake for over a mile. Wind was 12 knots on the beam and building. South swells were 6 to 8 feet with 2-foot southeast seas. We did a great circle as the winds increase to 25knots and the seas became lumpy and 4 feet. Over the 112-KM from jetties to jetties we averaged 7.7 knots. We put a single reef into the main around 1PM. That night we moored again at Moody Gardens for a good night sleep as an approaching front closed in to the Upper Texas Gulf Coast. Gusts that night were 30. Monday morning at 7 AM we left under overcast skies and rain with the wind out of the west at 15. We spend time at the Bolivar ferry landing watching the resident dolphins play. They are always right there year around. Just have to keep an eye on the ferries. With the wind on the beam we flew the gennaker up the Houston Ship channel until the wind piped up to 20. It continued to build to 25 with one gust clocked in at 34. We had a beat to windward from the channel to Kemah but Yaga did great under fully reefed and 80 percent jib keeping us dry and moving. We pulled into Waterford Harbor Marina as the sun came out and the wind dropped to less than 10. We spend the afternoon cleaning up Yaga that included removing her yellow mustache from her bow and drinking a few cold ones in our shorts and tee shirts.

Ed Schenck

Thanks Mickie and Mickey,

Really enjoyed your sailing stories. They're all we have here in Ohio, HOW stories and pictures. Keep them coming.
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