Saturday, September 1, 2012

Labor Day Weekend 2012 "In Our Own Back Yard"

I tacked on a vacation day to this Labor Day weekend.  I had all of Friday to spend getting the boat ready for our weekend guests, Robert and Kathy.  While we lounged on the veranda enjoying the evening breeze and watching the Blue Moon rising... I had a thought.  I'm thinking I should plan ALL of my vacation time around a Full Moon.

We have taken several vacations with Robert and Kathy and have always enjoyed the same things.  They have a sailboat as well and know that you can't really set your plans in stone when they involve sailboats.  We reviewed the weather forecast and made some plans.  We have been having a heat wave here in South Texas and the nights, even on the water, have been quite warm.  Our new amenities aboard Dos Libras have us spoiled... no hot nights filled with buzzing mosquitoes for us!  We're using the AC!  Unfortunately... last weekend, the alternator on the Genset went out and the new one won't be here until Wednesday next week...  This means that we should seek nightly shore power.

Not a problem!  We decided to sail over to Conn Brown Harbor and visit the new facilities there. We guessed it would only take us a little over an hour to get from our slip to Redfish Willies, so we essentially had all day to get there.  We took a little detour before getting under way.  Bruce and I showed R&C one of our favorite bike paths.  Port A's Charlie's Pasture Nature Preserve makes a perfect morning ride. 

We made up nearly half of the souls out enjoying this gem as we toured the path and spent some time up on the tower mentally mapping out the 360 degree view.  We took the path by the Port A. City swimming pool on our way back.  I think Bruce is trying to lure Robert to Port A by showing off all the perks. 

Once back at Dos Libras, we busied ourselves preparing for a sail.  Mother nature had some other plans for us...  Robert (always the voice of reason) suggested we look at the radar before we set out.

Just about that time... the skies opened up and we had barely enough time to snatch the boat cushions and seat covers inside before the deluge began.  R&C checked it out on the iPad and reported that this little ball of rain would soon pass so we waited it out!

We took advantage of the brief lull in the wind after the rain passed to make a mad escape from our slip and turned our bow West for a jaunt up the Corpus Christi Ship Channel.  Here is Kathy on Dolphin Watch...

Bruce posted Robert at the helm.  His sailboat is in the 30 ft range so this was a change for him...

This left Bruce free to wander around the boat checking things out.  I enjoyed the veranda with Kathy and Leila as we sailed happily along.  The winds were steady and the tide was going our way...  What a great day!

We turned around and retraced our wake... heading for the Aransas Pass Channel which would take us to our destination for the evening.  We routinely pass the entrance to this channel while sailing the Lydia Ann Channel.  I've only travelled it's waters a few times so essentially, this was something new!

We devoured our lunch in the calm protected waters while we lazily rocked our way past families fishing and swimming off the banks. 

We sailed past this place preparing for a wedding... hmmmmmm.  Maybe Melissa should look into this! 

We had hoped to make it to Redfish Willies before 5 pm and we entered Conn Brown Harbor just after 4. 

We were pleasantly surprised at the ample depths inside the harbor.  There was a planned development of this area a few years back that didn't fly.

Evidently the harbor was cleaned out and most of the derelict boats and docks were removed before the thing fell through.  Now it is just sitting here waiting for someone else with some money to come along.

Redfish Willies (whom we contacted by way of their Facebook Page) welcomed us with plenty of easy to access slips and three helpful deckhands. 

We were the best looking sailboat on the dock... OK, so we were the ONLY sailboat on the dock... 

We settled in and went ashore to check in and explore the facilities. The grounds were an oasis of green lawns and carefully manicured gardens which surrounded the office and bath facilities. 

The small store carried some essentials and the check in process was quick and painless.  We were WOWed by the "can do" attitude of all the staff we encountered.  These people WANT us here!  I so hope this place succeeds!

We each had a separate air conditioned shower room to ourselves.  There are washing machines available for use by guests.  Nice to know for a longer stay... 

We made ourselves presentable and found a nice table right in front of the DJ's stage.  We brought along our own Pain Killers, which is allowed here...  If you wish to drink beer or wine, they prefer you purchase it from them...  that's fair. 

We enjoyed the popular tunes and just plain fun stuff our DJ cranked out.  He was very entertaining.  Redfish Willies has live music scheduled on selected weekends so call ahead or friend them on Facebook for more information.

We whiled away an hour or two listening to the music, munching on our shrimps and people watching.  The place filled up and turned over nicely. We had no particular place to go, so we stayed a while.  The restaurant was done just right to provide a relaxed, laid back, coastal feel.  The sun set on the other side of the building so we were shielded from the heat while benefiting from a light cool breeze.  It was perfect!

While outside beverages are allowed in, we were intrigued by the fresh peach daiquiris.  Maybe we should help this place by partaking of all they offer...  just trying to do our part.  Besides... we only have to be able to make it down the dock to our beds.  No pressure!  The drinks were light and delicious!  Just right for a summer evening...

We finished those and figured it was time for us to give up our table to the next patrons.  We retired to the veranda aboard Dos Libras where we could continue to listen to the music in our jammies.  We would sleep well tonight, safely tucked away in this protected spot with no worries.  I'm torn between wanting to keep this place to ourselves and the need to get the word out so that others will come and help make it possible for Redfish Willies to thrive.  There are plans to put in a swimming pool!  I think I'l BLAB! 

We are thrilled to have such a close and fabulous new "destination" right in our own back yard!