>> This journal is starting Part II of the Gohlke's cruising trip aboard s/v Liberty. The eldest son (of 2), Chris - age 14, writes this log. Part I ended in June 2010 upon the arrival of Liberty into Marina del Sol, Clear Lake, TX. I forget exactly which "Day #" that was, so I will start this log at 751, which may be corrected at a later date.
>> About Summer 2010: This past summer may be chonologged by me at a later date, but for now, this is it. We moved the boat to Legend Point Marina (thumbs down) because we could get an apartment in the same complex. We got this to give us a place to stay while working on the boat. Dad worked until the end of October - "lawyering" in Vegas. Work started afterwards, which explains why we just left on March 10th. We had a busy summer. It was my grandparent's 50th anniversary, so they took their 17 children/grandchildren/great-grandchildren on a cruise to Cozumel, Jamaica, and Grand Cayman. We had a great time, but no detail here. My cousin Bethany married Jason Ferrell (who has a daughter Ethne), so we went to that wedding. Drove the pickup out to August work-weekend at the ranch, and then to hunting weekend in November. I got to drive the pickup out there. Dad shot two deer - an 8pt. white-tail that I spotted, and a huge Axis he saw walking Axis Alley. It was over 200lbs., and the rack was a good 3ft. high. We had a European mount made! I'm gonna get to hunt next year. J Went to the ranch for Aunt Cornelia's 106th birthday party in January. Gary Knippa, the musician, sang "I've Been Everywhere" one night, and I started making a version for the ranch which turned out great. In October, we went to my other grandma's place in Delaware for a month (she moved). Had a good time. For Halloween, we went to New York and saw Side by Side - now landlubbers. I was a gangsta vampire, and it was good for me. Christmas was quiet in the apartment, and everyone got great stuff from everyone. We got a .22 rifle from "Santa". Only shot it once at the ranch, but we blew off about 500 rounds. Grandma and Grandpa got us an amazing wakeboard, too. Can't wait to try it!! Thanksgiving, too, but for that we had Uncle Gary & Aunt Carol who live over at Seabrook Marina aboard their s/v Ruach. We saw them a lot. We went to Unc's church in La Porte. I also worked for his marine repair business twice @ $8 an hour. I wished he called me more often. My great-uncle Jack Bauer died in January, and we went to Littlefield, TX for the funeral. In February, to start moving back on board, we moved to Marina del Sol. We left the apartment in January. We met more folks at MDS in a week than we had the rest of the summer, plus we knew some people who had been there forever, like Ms. Amber, Jack & Freddy, and Diver Dave. We met Brian - a single guy who did just about everything, and Gordon, his wife, and their 15 yr. old triplets Matthew, Chantelle, and Sarah. Oh, also, we saw like none of our old Pearland friends except for Erik and the Loewens. We saw them a number of ++ fun times, including New Year's Eve.
As for me, I think I've kinda changed this summer - gotten more grown up. I'm not the kid who left Kemah in February '08, who is more or less who I was in June '10. For starters, I seem more distant/different from the rest of the family, and conflicts/week has risen. They also don't seem to like the way I just go around and do everything - that invisible "attitude" only known to the holy. On another note, I seem to practically live off music. I have gotten gigs worth of rap, pop, and classic and alt rock. I get clearance $1 cd's from Half Price Books and have a bunch of iTunes gift card cash. As I write this, I listen to Lynyrd Skynyrd and Kings of Leon. Similarly, I write and semi-perform raps. Never to anyone but myself and occasionally Josh, but they are all J. I think my top influences are Eminem, 3OH!3, Bruno Mars, Rihanna, and the Black-Eyed Peas. I like hip-hop like Usher, too. Switching, I love cars, too. I have found my dream car: one of the 50 1964 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadsters. They go for about $35,000. I like lookin' on ebay.motors at '64 T-birds, '67 Chevelle SS, 80's slant-back HMMVs, and 90's soft-top Jeeps. In a year and a half, I can get my license, and I'm looking at Jeeps in particular, 'cause they run at $4-15,000. We sold the pickup for $1850. For a while, we thought it would only be $1250, and I said that if they'd keep it, I'd buy it when I turned 16. Mom said we might work something out anyway. J If anything, Josh is more dim-wittedly annoying than ever.
March 10, 2011 Day 1132
I'm going to add something else to my journal everyday - where we are, how we're feeling, and how our environment is around us. J
>Baffle Point, Bolivar Peninsula, TX, USA
>tired, busy >rolly, chilly
Here we go again!! Like I said, this is just Part II, not a third trip, so get that straight. Also, I know this is going online (if Ma ever types it in!), so I'm not going to spill my guts. Don't feel bad, I don't do that to anyone - not even my Teddy Bear who seems to have been sitting there for me for 14 years. I am not a pampered zoo spectacle. Also, I am writing to/at all of y'all folks "aaahh"-ing online. This is not a "Dear diary" situation.
Got the last laundry/showers/payments/mail/good-byes/cleanup/all-that-crap done by 1:00 or so, and then got ready to cast off. Gordon and the whole family came over with KFC for a little save-time/good-bye lunch. We said good-bye to everyone, and that's like everyone, and went on our merry way. We packed provisions underway. It was awfully chilly and breezy, but we could only jib-sail because of all the stuff we didn't want to fall/crash/fly. School starts tomorrow again. We have had a "no-time" break. It's 10th grade, so I've got some papers to work on for American Government and English II. Anchored at sunset at Bolivar Peninsula. Need to do some more work tonight. Adios. More newz in the mornin'.
March 11, 2011 Day 1133
>Taylor Bayou, TX, USA
>good, itchy, relaxing >still, chilly, piranha mosquito-y
On a one to ten, today was a 4.5 - it got better this evening, maybe a 6. We sailed through a bunch of the Texas Coastal Plains - aka the middle of stinkin' nowhere. Except for some ghostly tows (we never see any people on them), we saw no people for, like, hours. I did school for 6 hours. If you think that homeschooling is a breeze - think again! Six hours of writing papers with your mom as your teacher, alongside your brother who likes to hurt you crammed on your bed where your teacher likes to take away everything from iPods to grounding and can actually refuse to help you at all. I repeat - homeschooling is not a breeze! Got to Taylor Bayou this evening early. The tows stopped coming by around 6:30, so it's calm. We saw "a gator" along the bank. Actually, I shined the spotlight at the marsh looking for reflecting eyeballs and saw one (maybe) which then moved away, so gator ho!
P.S. You are so dang lucky I am writing this 2 ½ hours later… much happier entry now.
March 12, 2011 Day 1134
Okay, I/Mom figured out that we are actually at day 1134 if you count summer/fall '10. Otherwise it's Day 881. Personally, I say I should pick 900 or 1100 and start, to make it easy, but Mom rejected that, so it's 1134.
>Calcasieu River, LA, USA
> contented >calm, mildly buggy, constant buzz, neighbor
Well, today wasn't amazing, but it wasn't all that shabby either. We are in LA now (bayous - not Hollywood), and anchored in the cal-ca-shoe river nearby Bayou Choupique (shoe-pick). Except for the chemical plant looming overhead, lit-up and buzzing, and the occasional tow, and our crazy neighbor, everything would be content. Our crazy neighbor is s/v Perigrine - a younger man and someone else who came into Taylor Bayou late last night, are new to cruising apparently, and couldn't seem to get their Fortress to set in Louisiana gumbo (some of the world's best holding 'cause everything sinks and sticks).
We arrived around 4:00 this afternoon, after a complete and complex day of motorsailing. The winds were gusty, so we had trouble setting the sails right, as well as navigate the winding ICW and numerous 6-packs. I did school and hung out with Josh. Helped sail some too. School has been troublesome recently, but we are trying to make it kind of work out, in a way. Fished a bit this evening and played chess, but no luck in either department. Ate very salty bone-in pork chops that we had to use a knife and fork on (Mom's rule) L. Now we are all settlin' down for a nice springtime nap. When out in the water, there arose such a clatter, I opened the hatch to see what was the matter. Oh … just another tow.
March 13, 2011 Day 1135
> Mermentau River, LA, USA
> tired, relaxed > still, pretty
Soooooo … we kept moving today. The ditch is far from exciting. School is not fun. The tows brumble on by for hours on end. I learned that a standard barge is 200' X 35'. For some reason I thought it was 60' X 30'. Today's goal was the Mermentau, and we made it by around 4:00. I think … Maybe it's just that nothing important enough happened for me to remember, except going through a boring little lock around 8:30, but I lack memories.
Today the clocks changed. We gotta be up an hour earlier now. DST is so overrated - screwing with a perfectly good day! L L Dad heard fish jumping early this morning, when his clock changed on him and woke him at 4:30. I'm going to get up real early tomorrow and try to catch something.
This evening, s/v Peregrine arrived. They 've been kinda following us because they 1)don't know the area; 2) don't have good chartbooks; 3) barely know how to run their new boat or navigate the ICW. They were running out of diesel, so they rowed over and we sold them about 6 gallons. Then they came and had a drink. Travis is the younger guy who is crewing and doesn't know how to sail (from Durango, CO), but kina understands the boat, the surroundings, and the navigation. Rex is the older man who owns the boat and is taking it to live on in Marathon, FL. He at least knows how to sail. But being from a small town in Nevada (and how does he know how to sail, again?!), traffic of any sort - barges, cars, anything - scares him. So, of course, we gave 'em a drink, told a story of when we were starting out, and gave them a copy of an ICW guide we have. It was pretty late before they finally left and we got to eat sausage and old potatoes. Can't wait for morning.
P.S. We're staying here tomorrow, too.
March 14, 2011 Day 1136
> Mermentau River, LA, USA
> a little stressed, full-bellied > rainy, breezy, light chop
Well, today was kinda lazy, but I'll get back to that. Now we will to back in time 15 minutes. It is 9:15. I had just strategized Josh's final 3 checker kings into a corner and jumped them all in two moves. That was following my first win in 6 games of chess. I was pretty elated, and Josh was somewhat sour, seeing as I ended about a 10 game winning streak abruptly and solidly. A couple of minutes later, the cabin light is out, and Josh and I meet in the middle, I going to my cabin, he to say goodnight to Mom and Dad. He was awfully pushy, so I asked him what was up, taken aback by his seemingly poor sportsmanship. He punched me in the gut in the dark, saying he thought I "had my fists raised in anger." I was upset, but let him pass without the full blown fight I wanted. To be more subtle and humorous, I crouched upon the stairs and waited for him to come out. A couple of minutes later (aach! cramps!), he sauntered out and I said "HAH!" He clawed me in the face like a frightened cat in a corner and let loose a blood-curdling girl's scream of horror. I jumped down with a grin, Dad came out, and Josh was so horrified he started to cry! I came to bed and Dad calmed Josh and he is angrily sleeping next to me. But now we're even!
As for the day, we stayed in the river and lounged about, cleaning up, doing school and working on projects. My dad has hit a minimalist stage, where he wants to get rid of practically everything, but Mom tries to counter as best she can. He had me going through all the fishing gear in an attempt to get everything into a 1'X1'X1.5' container, if that. This is the third fishing purge, and we have about a third of the old gear. This hit me hard. There is no way I'm going to let him make me drop anything else. Humpf!! On a similar note, I woke at a quarter 'til six this morning to try to fish. 1.5 hours and no luck, but I got about 100 mosquito bites on my hands and feet, and a few on my face. Interestingly, these turned into red dots, not bumps, which do not itch, but look like a plague. Ick! You know, I do 98% of the fishing admin., and fight 2% of the fish. I'm going to change that this year. I'll do the admin., but maybe I'll try for 40% fighting, maybe 50%. I've got as big a claim as any. I understand it all, and have experience, muscle, and 130lbs. to back it up. Harumpf!!
Peregrine left for Intracoastal City today. We'll go tomorrow. Played Farkle tonight. I won by about 3000 points.