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Old 01-04-2012, 12:09   #1
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Hello from Clear Lake, Texas

Hello everyone, great to find such a community of like-minded folks. I am new to sailing, not new to the water. I grew up in Key Largo, FL fishing the back country, Everglades and spear fishing the ocean side. Ended up moving to the Clear Lake area for a job with the space program about 4 years ago. Now I'm working in the oil and gas world and probably here for the long haul.
My wife and I have been bitten by the sailing bug after a beautiful week long trip to St. John, USVI a few years ago. We went on a day sail with a couple running a charter operation and had a blast. We fell in love with the Caribbean and have since went on some other trips on the large cattle boats...err...cruise ships, and really discovered a curiosity to explore the islands beyond what these types of trips can provide. So the next time will be on our own time, our own itinerary, and just us...and maybe a couple close friends.

I'm preparing to begin some ASA courses and joint a local club (not sure which one yet) to get some experience. I'll head on over to the Texas group and introduce myself there, too. As far as boat ownership goes, not there yet. Maybe something in the 25-28 ft. range in the future for daysailing and some occasional overnighter's.

Thanks for the great forum!

Mike
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:18   #2
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Re: Hello from Clear Lake, Texas

Bay area sailing school did alright by me, (not affiliated). I'm planning on daysailing my Aquarius 23 in Clear Lake this summer. Drop me a line if you want to go out sometime.

I've cruised the Galveston Bay complex for decades, and can show you most of the spots. TMCA is another good resource for learning the area. They have group cruises/sails alomst every weekend usually to a different spot from just across the lake, or bay, to long trips to Corpus Christy or New Orleans.

After a few years of sailing with them you will know every zig and dog leg to get into and out of all the tricky spots. I usually follow the bigger sailboats, if they can clear I can. If they suddenly stop, I just saved myself a grounding.
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Old 01-04-2012, 13:02   #3
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Re: Hello from Clear Lake, Texas

Thanks Capn Bill. You are the second to recommend BASS. I think that is where I'll start. Thanks for the offer, I'm definitely all about learning the complex. It is a whole different beast from the FL keys. I never had to deal with a ship channel for one.
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Old 01-04-2012, 14:32   #4
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Re: Hello from Clear Lake, Texas

The ship channel isn't THAT big a deal. There are barge shelfs on each side, (see chart). It's like bicycling the shoulder of a freeway. Just be carefull and stay out of everybodies way. The main things are I would motor across if I had to cross it. There are two boaters cuts for recreational vessels to use. Make sure there are no incoming freighters, (monitor channels 12 & 13). Then cross quickly keeping a lookout on each side. The freighters make a BIG wake so be prepaired. They are faster than they look, and they don't, (can't), stop. Like a train, if you can see it you're too close, wait until it passes.

Same for the ICW. If you're just going to cross it, I would treat it like the shipping channel. If you plan on using it, It is a great shortcut up and down the coast, get an AIS, you'll thank me someday.
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Old 01-04-2012, 14:44   #5
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Re: Hello from Clear Lake, Texas

Welcome. We are in Kemah while we refit getting ready to do a few years cruising.

I had a bad experience and then an amazing experience with Bay Area a few years ago. The instructor I had a bad experience with is no longer there- seems I wasn't the only one to have issues!

I highly recommend getting in a class with Joe Laughlin at BASS if you can. He was everything you could want in an instructor and absolutely turned a bad experience into a fantastic one. I'm sure there are other great instructors but he stood out for all the right reasons.
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Old 01-04-2012, 17:41   #6
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Re: Hello from Clear Lake, Texas

I had to google AIS. Pretty neat, similar principles to flying an airplane.

Mimsy - Thanks for the recommendation. Good to know that they are proactive about those types of things. BTW, that refit looks like a heck of a project. Good luck and have fun on your upcoming cruise.
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Old 01-04-2012, 17:53   #7
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Re: Hello from Clear Lake, Texas

It really isn't that big of a project. Anybody else would be out cruising on her now but I am married to Captain Perfecto so its not just done, its done perfectly, immaculately and takes 3 times as long.
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Old 01-04-2012, 18:13   #8
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Re: Hello from Clear Lake, Texas

Ah, well I can appreciate the pride in workmanship. I'm sure our first boat will need work, and I am somewhat looking forward to learning the craft of marine maintenance. I can only hope the previous owner will have taken the same pride in thier work.
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Old 01-04-2012, 18:51   #9
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Re: Hello from Clear Lake, Texas

Welcome to the forum. I was just in your area last weekend for the boat show. I did my ASA101 class (only one so far) with South Coast Sailing. It's right on the other side of the street from the Kemah Boardwalk Marina. The guy I did my class with is no longer there (work transfer) and the others working there are very helpful.

All the best in your adventures!
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Old 01-04-2012, 19:00   #10
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Re: Hello from Clear Lake, Texas

Thanks Dan 78, I'll look into them as well.
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Old 01-04-2012, 19:05   #11
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Welcome aboard CF! You've got a very exciting couple of years coming up. Hope we get to meet up at some point down in CL/kemah area

Phil
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Old 01-04-2012, 19:09   #12
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Re: Hello from Clear Lake, Texas

Welcome! I hope to be passing down the coast this fall. Have you been in touch with any Galveston Bay Cruising Assn. folks?
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Old 01-04-2012, 19:37   #13
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Re: Hello from Clear Lake, Texas

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Good to have you here.
kind regards,
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Old 01-04-2012, 19:55   #14
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Re: Hello from Clear Lake, Texas

Phil - Thanks for the welcome. Exciting, indeed. I live 20 minutes from Kemah on the other side of I45, though I work in Sugar Land.

Pat - I have not. Wow, there are quite a few clubs and associations around. Never really thought about racing. Our Captain on our USVI day sail said a good way to get experience is volunteering for crew. He said hang around the Marina on race day and more often than not, someone will need an extra pair of hands. Well, I wasn't really into the loitering thing, so I never did that. On the other hand, we have the internet now so I guess it is a little easier for introverts like me to find those opportunities.
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:03   #15
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Re: Hello from Clear Lake, Texas

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Mike.
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