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2009 Texas 200 blog

Page history last edited by Kevin 14 years, 5 months ago

It's been a week since the 2009 Texas 200.  We've had some great accounts of how various people's trips went, and some great video, and a ton of pictures.  The only thing is, it's all starting to feel a little jumbled together here on the blog, with whatever came in last at the top.  So I'm doing some housekeeping.  I'm going to make some categories; "Accounts", "Videos", "Pictures", whatever else I think of.  If something new shows up I'll put it at the top of its category, and I'll put a NEW! next to it so it stands out.  I hope this will make the blog a bit easier to follow.  I'm going to leave the day by day accounts that were posted during the cruise as they are, at the bottom of the page.  If you have any new updates, send them along and I'll add them. 



Trip Accounts:

John Turpin's story "Tetra and the 2009 Texas 200....well, Texas 140!"   NEW!

Skip Johnson's story of mast breakage and jury rigging on Corpus Christi Bay

Cathy Wright's "The Voyage of the Dingleberry" 


Tom Best's story about flipping his Sea Pearl


Laurent's story about dismasting and repair


Kevin O'Neill's post game report







Skip Johnson's P52 cruising along in Corpus Christi Bay:


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I think this is the last of the Lea's videos.  Good work, nice footage!


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Here's another vid of the dolphins sailing with Pete and Tom.  Video by Tom Allen:


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And here is Kevin and Matt Nicolin in a Core Sound 17 in the Corpus Ship Channel.  Video by Andrea Lea:


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A nice video of Kevin's boat, taken by Pete Brigaitis.


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A nice video taken by Andrea Lea on the Michalek Philsboat in Corpus Christi Bay:


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Quick video before full update:

Pete Brigaitis here. I've arrived home and will be writing up a full trip report in the coming days. I just wanted to post this great video clip caught by my crew Tom Allen while sailing into the Upper Laguna Madre. This action kept up for several miles. Absolutely amazing.


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Photo sets:


Andrew Linn:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/alinn/sets/72157619856503813/  NEW!


Stan Roberts:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/39529531@N07/


Eric Rybczynski:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/39499367@N06/sets/72157619827294520/


Chuck Pierce:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/17493676@N03/with/3626798121/


Yves Nerisson:   http://kerness.blogspot.com/


Chuck Leinweber:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/27708975@N02/sets/72157619656591605/


Stephanie May:  http://picasaweb.google.com/LazyLadyMay/Texas2002009#


Andrew Tatton:   http://picasaweb.google.com/simplemadness/Texas2002009#






The main field will leave Army Hole for Magnolia Beach. Shrimp boil this evening!


Eight AM update from Peter Brigaitis on John Turpin and his boat, "Tetra": "John on tetra had an encounter w a reef...he is ok, but tetra might be a loss." 


Eight PM update: We have not heard from anyone, but the couple of pictures that forwarded along tell enough of a story.

Congratulations, kudos and cheers to everyone!


Peter Brigaitis at the helm of the celebratory shrimp boil. It's also his birthday!


Kevin O'Neill reunited with his bride. 





Today's course calls for leaving Paul's Mott and sailing to Army Hole.


At approximately 10 AM, Shorty shared this message he received from Susie (Skip's wife, perhaps?):

     "Susie again ..  Just talked to Skip...He is pulling out at Arkansas Pass,

     waiting on bus to get closer to car...broken mast yesterday...fixed that

     and cut down sail... spent night near Corpus Christi past ship channel. 

     Planned to go on this a.m.,  but after a while, with winds coming

     up decided not to continue.  He's fine and plans to go on to the finish by land."


While most are following the agreed-upon course, several of our sailors have opted out and are resting comfortably at Rockport. This group, which includes Peter Brigaitis, Tom Allen, Andrea Lea, Phil Lea, John Lucius (update: John Lucius actually sail from Paul's Mott all the way to Magnolia Beach, approximately 50 miles) and some others, all sailed together and arrived as one group. They have rented a car to fetch their trailers.


This Twitter update from Andrea Lea: "we are off the water and resting."


As of 6 PM, we have not received any updates from the main field.


(Drying out at Rockport, submitted by Peter Brigaitis)



(John Lucius in Magnolia Beach, submitted by Peter Brigaitis)



("The crew of Dingleberry" submitted by Peter Brigaitis)

[Editor's note: Peter said these two were real troopers with whom he was quite impressed.)







Today, Wednesday, the group will leave the

Padre Island Yacht Club where they spent the night and head to Paul's Mott.


Note that Laurent Coquilleau is now sailing with Kevin O'Neill after Laurent's boat's mast broke.


At 8:55 AM, we have these Twitter updates from Andrea Lea:

     - "pulling out today in stormy conditions- reefing the sail and hoping for the best. fresh water will feel good!"

     - "not as bad as we suspected- in chorpus christi bay- our boat feels small!"


Around 1 PM, Andrea Lea posted this Twitter update:

     - "in lydia ann channel-do not want to repeat the last 3 hours! bailing is over rated!"


[ No further updates have been received as of 4:30 PM. ]


Around 5:30 PM, Peter Brigaitis reported in, saying he, Tom Allen, Kevin O'Neill, Laurent Coquilleau, and some other boats were all safely in at Paul's Mott. It was a tough day on the water, and we are awaiting further updates. Afternoon winds are apparently stronger than expected, and Peter, erring on the side of caution, is considering cutting the trip short.


As of around 7:30 PM, this Twitter update from Andrea Lea and Phil Lea: "we have decided, along w/ 3 other boats, to cut the trip short and cut out to rockport at the crack of dawn. we have pushed Phillip's repair"


We received this from Stuart J. Benbow

"Hello, I'm relaying a message that was posted to the pdracer group at 4:17pm EST today from Andrew Linn to David G. by phone with his permission:

     'Andy called. Conditions are still a little hairy for our contingent of little

     PDRs. The flock is all sailing together. They're currently about 1/3 of the way

     thru the course, but have fallen behind a bit due to unexpected repairs to

     rigging, etc. Andy is running with what sounds like the stub of his daggerboard,

     about half of what it should be.

     Andy remains upbeat, as do (Andy tells me) the

     rest of this Brave Band of Adventurers.

     In related news, Brian Pearson - who finished his Michael Storer designed Raid41

     in time to enter the T200 slightly late apparently had a mishap. His boat was

     found by another participant, floating on its side, and with Brian nowhere to be

     found. From what I understand, Brian was later seen hitching a ride on another

     boat. No word yet on whether the two will be re-united and continue the journey.'"

     [Editor's note: PDRs refers to a small boat design called a Puddle Duck. At least two or three were on the course last year. The T200      course is difficult on everyone, but perhaps more so on the PDRs. These are very determined sailors in the PDRs.]


7:30 PM Update: Peter says the Puddle Ducks all arrived safely around 7:30.


More updates as soon as we receive them.




("Entering corpus christi bay- day 3" submitted by Andrea Lea)


("End of a long hard day. A couple boats had to be towed,

several realized their boat's limits and are cutting the trip short by a day." Submitted by Andrea Lea)





Tuesday, the group leaves the Land Cut camp and sails to the Padre Island Yacht Club.

Update: Boats have started arriving at the camp as of a little after 2 PM.


This just in from Marty Williams and Kim Apel

"Left at 8am arrived @ 3 broke a rudder and fixed it. Broke a mast step, made the last 10 miles under mizzen alone. We will soldier on to Corpus and try to make proper repiars. All is well we will sleep well tonight. Keep us and all our sailing buddies in your prayers"


I just heard from Peter about Laurent Coquilleau's situation. Apparently, after his mast broke, Laurent made it to a deserted shore by himself, and was able to make enough of a repair to the mast that he could raise the jib sail. To everyone's surprise, Laurent came limping in under jib power around 2 AM! He sailed again today and Peter reports he was within view. It seems unclear if he will be able to continue on without his main sail, but kudos to him for this herculean effort! 


Twitter update from Andrea and Phil Lea: "we made it thru day two! mast holder broke midday yesterday-phillip macGyver rigged it and is now doing a better repair-3 days left."


Dan is doing a rudder repair, but we don't know anything more specific at this time. See picture below.


Notes that came in with Andrea Lea's photos:

     - "John Wright's platypus got t-boned at the dock" (see image below)

          (Editor's note: John's boat was successfully repaired this evening.)

     - "End of day 2, several repairs being made, great group all helping each other!"


We received this from Shorty: "From Susie [Skip Johnsons] wife... He called earlier.... 'He's doing fine today after a few problems yesterday. There are some broken boats but no injuries. Lost  or forgotten parts and personal belongings seem to be a problem.'  He's given or loaned out some extra of both.  Having a good time,  about to go eat sea food."


This from Marty Williams and Kim Apel: "We made it today under one sail! The main sail has been fixed. We are mostly confident for tommorow.  We had dolphins with us for over 6 miles, not one or two but a huge group. They were All over the boat.

We could have been covered in dolphin snot if the were any closer. We have a good plan for tommorw. Keep us in your prayers."


This from Peter Brigaitis: "Tomorrow, the route to the Paul's Mott camp site has us sailing past Sharmock Island into the Corpus Christie ship chanel, past the ferries and and then the Lydia Ann channel. Once at Paul's Mott, some of the boats are considering sailing an extra ten mile leg past several chains of islands and through dugouts to the Ayer's Dugout fish camp, a dugout that is leased to one of the Texas 200 sailors." Pete also reported sailing with groups of huge dolphins for several miles, as well. Apparently, Tom Allen was able to grab a bit of video footage of the dolphins that they will post upon their return. :)


Also, Laurent Coquilleau has left his heroic but broken boat at the Yacht Club in the care of the members there, and he will continue the 200 with Kevin O'Neill on his proa.



(Chuck and Sandra Leinweber, submitted by Andrea Lea)


(Submitted by Andrea Lea)


("End of day 2. Packing 'em in at Padre Island Yacht Club. Several repairs being made, great group all helping each other!" submitted by Andrea Lea)


("John Wright's platypus got t-boned at the dock", submitted by Andrea Lea)


(Tuesday sailing, submitted by Peter Brigaitis)


(Tuesday sailing, submitted by Peter Brigaitis)


(Tuesday sailing, submitted by Peter Brigaitis) Nice view of the hard cover Tim built for the front of the cockpit area. On Thursday this would save us a TON a bailing time. Tom says "Thanks a million, Tim!"


(Tuesday sailing, Tom Allen get comfortable. Submitted by Peter Brigaitis)



(Dan's on the fly rudder repair (it's a tradition) submitted by Peter Brigaitis)



(Kevin O'Neill @ Snoopy's for sunset cocktails, submitted by Peter Brigaitis)


(Yves Nerisson who built a beautiful Northumbrian Coble - submitted by Peter Brigaitis)


(Tom Allen on the mobile home shuttle to Snoopy's - submitted by Peter Brigaitis)


(Motley Crew on the Snoopy's shuttle - Submitted by Peter Brigaitis)


(Submitted by Peter Brigaitis)





On Monday, the group leaves from Port Mansfield and sails to the Land Cut camp.


Update: 7 PM

     It seems that Laurent Coquilleau's mast is broken. I have no more information than this. Will post more as I learn more. :<



As of 9:30 AM, boats are in the water. Best of luck to our sailors!


>>> If you have pictures or updates, send them along to 2009Texas200@gmail.com and we will post them on this blog. If you Twitter, let me know your username and I will publish select tweets.  When sending data, please include your name so I can properly attribute pix and quotes. If you just want to call in your updates, feel free to ring me at: nine-four-zero, three-eight-two--two-seven-two-four. Leave a message, and don't forget to spell your name. <<<


This in from Andrea Lea: "Bye to Port Mansfield!"

(Monday morning launch from Port Mansfield. Phil Lea, submitted by Andrea Lea)


Twitter update from Andrea Lea: "we are ICW marker 104 to port. phillip is enjoying the performance of his boat. sunny and beautifiul on the water."


(Monday morning rigging and launch, submitted by Peter Brigaitis)


(Monday morning rigging and launch, submitted by Peter Brigaitis)





9 AM Update:

     We are inside of 24 hours to launch. Today, boats will be put into the water and rigged, and the trailers will be relocated to the end point, 200 miles up the Texas coastline.


Twitter updates from Andrea Lea and Phil Lea:

     --- "Phil and I checked in with Texas200 organizer, our boat is loaded and tied up at Port Mansfield.

          I am driving van/trailor to end point."

     --- "just drove thru a boder patrol check site. officers were everwhere, some with dogs.

          only question they asked me-are you a US citizen?"


Andrea Lea shared this pic of Chuck giving instructions this morning.

(Chuck's Sunday morning instructions, by Andrea Lea)


(Chuck's Sunday morning instructions, by Pete Brigaitis)



(Chuck's Sunday morning instructions, by Pete Brigaitis)



1 PM Update 

     Kevin O'Neill reported in from just outside Magnolia Beach, the final destination to which everyone has relocated their vehicles and trailers. Laurent Coquilleau started the day driving much faster than Kevin, but then got lost, leaving Kevin to reach Magnolia Beach first. As far as Kevin is concerned, this would make a perfectly acceptable model for the imminent week of sailing.


Back at the beach in Port Mansfield, Peter Brigaitis reports that he is part of a small skeleton crew of people who remained with the boats. He also reports it is bloody, stinking hot, and that another shower may be in order.



4:50 PM Update

     The shuttle bus made a pit stop and Andrea Lea submitted this pic:

(Shuttle bus pit stop, submitted by Andrea Lea.)


For having spent the entire day on the road, they look to be in good spirits. :)  I asked about the mood, and Peter responded, "Forty four people- twenty two purchased burritos and the other twenty two bought forties!"  In good spirits, indeed!


Back on the bus. 


(Shuttle bus, submitted by Andrea Lea.)


Will post updates as I receive them.






It's 9:40 PM, so significantly less than two days to launch, if you want to get picky about it.


Kevin O'Neill called to report he will be arriving in Port Mansfield around midnight. Kevin pointed out that 90.3 on the FM dial delivered a fine mix of blues and gospel north of Corpus, but the signal faded quickly on the far side of the city. A sad thing, too, since someone lifted his iPod and he left his music cds back in Lake Jackson. With long stretches of HWY 77 rolling by silently, he was thankful to find the blues/gospel station. He was even more thankful when his phone rang, thankful that is until he raised the phone to his ear only to be reminded that the last task he undertook prior to leaving the house was to clean out the cat box, making phone conversations something of an olfactory torture session.


Peter Brigaitis and Tom Allen have arrived in Port Mansfield. Peter called His Lovely Wife to advise her he had arrived safely, but that he and Tom were busily working on the boat. He promised a more thorough update as soon as they were settled.


(by and of Pete Brigaitis)


(by Pete Brigaitis, of Tom Allen and boat)



Across Texas, people are packing, loading, and traveling in anticipation of the imminent launch.


Tweet from Phil Lea and Andrea Lea: "Phil and I are packing for the Texas200. Will leave this afternoon for Port Mansfield Texas." Phil and Andrea are traveling thirteen hours to get to the T200.



Two images we have received from Noel Nicholls, skipper of BluByu:


"doubled the size of the rudder"



Safe travels, everyone!







Welcome to the Texas 200 blog coverage. Through the course of the Texas 200, we will post updates from anyone who cares to submit them. Over the next seven days, feel free to send your pre-race updates to this site, too. Contact us at 2009Texas200@gmail.com with updates and/or questions.





How to Ward off Broken Hulls

Fiberglass repair kit - June 4, 2009


If you want a surefire recipe for cracking a hull, make sure you don't have a fiberglass repair kit with you. I think of having a kit as a kind of majic amulet. If you have it, you probably won't need it. Here's mine:


 From leftish to rightish: About a yard of fiberglass cloth (6.oz I think), the puffed-up latex glove is filled with wood flour, below that are medicine measuring syringes for getting precise epoxy/hardner ratios, best part is they're free from your local pharmacy. I sure my pharmacist thinks I'm a junkie by now. Latex and nitrile gloves, epoxy and hardner in empty water bottles, chip brushes.



Stuff it all in an empty paint can...



Hammer the lid home, and you're good to go. Should be pretty much impervious to leaking, I hope.


Pulling out for Port Mansfield in two days.




Update from Pete B on modification to Tim Rinkevich's Core Sound 17. (May 30, 2009)


So last year whilst beating across Espiritu Santo Bay, Tim and I took on A WHOLE BUNCH of water. There was a decent chop out there and our sailing angle relative to the steep swell would occasionally put the top third of a wave over the deck and into our laps. Not very pleasant. The shear volume of the water coming into the cockpit eventually worked its way around the seat hatches and into the side tanks. Tim must have spent an hour at Army Hole bailing the side tanks with a large sponge. I don't think he remembers that time fondly...


Now most people would have just tried to make the seat hatches more watertight, which he did. But being the proactive kinda guy that he is, Tim thought to himself, "hey, wouldn't it be great to keep the water out of the boat in the first place." I think he's onto something there. In fact, that's right up there near the top of the list of sailing cardinal rules. 1. Pointy side up 2. Water on the outside.


So, in a fit of inspired ingenuity, he made an "expedition cover" for the front end of the cockpit. It raises the height of the coaming and provides a cover, with another bit of coaming at the aft end, to shunt away the majority of those swells that make it over the bow. The nice thing about it is that it still allows room for a crew member to sit forward of the thwart. (In fact, it makes an awfully nice beer holder armrest. The plan is to have it held down from a few internal lashing points. It's lightweight so it's not for walking on, but it's easy to step around it on the side decks. The whole thing probably weighs 15-20 lbs. Brilliant!


It's getting a sealing coat of epoxy today.











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