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2019 Texas 200 starts and somebody angered the Wind Gods
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Author:  CaptnChaos [ Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:09 pm ]
Post subject:  2019 Texas 200 starts and somebody angered the Wind Gods

There have been some very interesting developments in this year's Texas 200 event which I've been following with interest. I just heard from Greg Matt who I sailed with last year in Texas. During previous events there are usually very strong winds out of the south which makes for an exciting sleigh ride during MUCH of the trip.

This year has the winds all backwards from previous years. Winds will be out of the North on Monday. Considering the first day's camp is 62 miles away, that makes it almost impossible if you're going into the wind. The other obstacle that makes this scenario so interesting is day one will be tacking in a narrow section called the land cut. A place where large freighters occasionally share the waterways.

This year there are four Hobie Islands participating in the Texas 200. Normally the participants depart early Monday morning but to beat these shifting winds, Greg said that the Hobie island sailors have decided to get underway immediately after they drop off their trailers (Sunday late afternoon) at the finish and take the shuttle bus back this afternoon. That way they can take advantage of the remaining winds out of the south tonight. I'm sure they're tired after 400 miles of being on the road today but I was assured that they will be hopped up on caffeine and sugar to keep awake tonight. And they will start out as two groups of two sailing together unless one group catches the other during the night which is possible. I hope everyone is safe and they have a nice night sail tonight with a bit of moonlight to light their way. I always worry about the possibility of hitting an unlit channel marker or bouy at night and collapsing an ama. Which is why I always have keep out lines on my boat to prevent that. Winds will be out of the southwest 10-14 tonight which is pretty good. They die down considerably in the morning before shifting from the north.

They are in a pretty remote area tonight and starting from Port Mansfield Texas. For more information about their route you can look it up on the Texas 200 website which is http://texas200.com/Route.html Another less common weather event they will be dealing with is thunderstorms. Looks like they're slated to get more than their share during the week. If I hear more from Greg, I'll post here if anyone is interested.


Author:  CaptnChaos [ Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2019 Texas 200 starts and somebody angered the Wind Gods

Just heard from Greg Matt and it sure sounds like they've had a heck of a time. Him and Mike were just stopping at Snoopy's after two days of tacking ,very little sleep and a lot of bad weather with lightning and rain. Their adventure almost ended when they first launched their Hobie Islands as Mike (who launched with Matt) didn't notice the power lines and they bent his mast and knocked off his mast topper. It was a bad connection so I couldn't hear if there were any of sparks or ??

After leaving Sunday late afternoon, they sailed 12 hours through the night until 5 in the morning when they found a pretty beat up stilt cabin to tie up to so they could konk out on the dock to get a couple hours sleep. He said it was tough tacking at night with the gps and it required all their attention. Speaking of GPS, Greg's GPS lost the backing plate so the batteries are exposed. Mike's GPS completely died. They have paper maps if Greg's finally dies due to moisture getting in it, but that's not a great option when picking your way through some of the reefs. There is another Hobie that they see and sail with occasionally but I'm not sure why they're not all sticking together. And a fourth Hobie may not have even started. But I'm not sure.

It was a long day Monday into the wind and it was dark when they finally arrived at where they deduced Camp 1 was supposed to be. They used their lights but couldn't see any signs of a camp. Finally they pulled ashore and dragged their boats along the edge for awhile until they found a place that they could anchor and set up camp. In the morning they discovered there were other Tx200 people nearby after all.

Greg says it looks like all the other tx200 boats he's seen are using their motors. After getting something to eat and drink at Snoopy's I thought I heard him say they were going to make their way to the same place him and I camped last year at the edge of Corpus Christi Bay. If so they will sleep well tonight ... that's a great place to camp.

Here's to hoping that the weather gets better and their remaining falling apart gps continues to work.


Author:  CaptnChaos [ Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 2019 Texas 200 starts and somebody angered the Wind Gods

Some really interesting feedback coming in from the Texas 200 Facebook group. There have been a lot of plan B, C, D, etc.s being played out. A couple people decided to do the course backwards and of course those with motors are motor sailing which is allowed since there really aren't any rules and nobody gets bent out of shape with motors. The Key element is being out there with everyone and the love of sailing which is the common denominator. I think these two elements distinguish the the Texas 200 from the other challenges out there. This challenge is for fun and not a race per se. Of course when you have a bunch of sailboats going in the same direction at the same time, it's always a race : ) And to say it's a great group of guys, gals (and kids) is an understatement. An adventurous group.

So saying all that, last night the Coast Guard had to rescue someone who was bit by a rattlesnake at Army Hole. He's doing all right fortunately and at a hospital now. Another father / son team anchored their boat and made camp to wake up and find their boat gone from the storms that were blowing in the night. Coast guard is looking for the boat. Not sure how it was or was not secured.

Greg Matt has vowed to not ever sail at night again on this trip and I agree with him here. My defining moment in the Everglades challenge was when I sailed on a dark night in open seas when a bad storm with 35mph winds came up. Stupid decisions made on my part but once out there you have to be at the top of your game and vigilant.

The other really nice thing about the Texas 200 is it doesn't cost much at all to participate. And they have this really organized shuttle bus to help you get your tow vehicle and boat trailer at the finish. Not a for profit venture at all.


Author:  CaptnChaos [ Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 2019 Texas 200 starts and somebody angered the Wind Gods

And for the wind forecast this morning... winds out of the north at 3mph until afternoon when it gets better but still out of the north.

Author:  CaptnChaos [ Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 2019 Texas 200 starts and somebody angered the Wind Gods

Even though there doesn't seem to be any interest here on this forum, I'll still continue updates as I get them. Hobie forum is not at all like it used to be a few years ago unfortunately. Times change ...

Here's the skinny on the Father / Son crew that lost their boat:
Well "Another Adventure" has lived up to its namesake and decided to go 'walkabout' on its own during the big over night storms of Monday night at Camp1.

We had planned on sleeping on the boat, but when lightening started erupting all around camp 1 at about 10pm, we decided that prudence was the better part of valor and took our tent to sleep ashore. The boat was in 2ft of water and had 75ft of anchor line, however when we emerged from our tent at 6:30am on Tuesday morning, we were shocked to see no sign of the boat.... nothing at all on the horizon for miles... man that sinking feeling is not fun.

Thanks to Blair for lending me his vhf so i could call the cost guard and report a missing boat adrift.

Tom Thomas Bodine graciously gave Nicholas and I a ride back to Marker37 Marina where i called towboat.us.

We found the boat 4 1/4 miles south of camp1, anchor and line still attached, hard aground in about a foot of water (must have been quite a storm wind)

Tow boat helped pull us into deeper water , where we then started motoring back north (through yet another thunderstorm with marginal viability ).

We have the boat safely back to Market 37 marina now.

Given the continuing fcast of storms and north wind, Nicholas and I have decided to finish here and come back again for another go next year

All's well that ends well.

Author:  Pollo de muerte [ Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2019 Texas 200 starts and somebody angered the Wind Gods

FWIW, I'm reading along. I just don't have much to add.

Author:  walt [ Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2019 Texas 200 starts and somebody angered the Wind Gods

Im following also!!!

Author:  bosab [ Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2019 Texas 200 starts and somebody angered the Wind Gods

I am reading along as well! I got a big sail on my not Hobie Island so we might need to go for a sail sometime later this summer. Still won't be a fast as a Hobie but that was never the plan.


Author:  CaptnChaos [ Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 2019 Texas 200 starts and somebody angered the Wind Gods

Thanks for the feedback guys. Charlie (bosab) yes, we need to get on the water and Don's also ready for a trip around here.

So back to the updates. I'm sorry to say that this weather has crushed this year's event for the Hobie Islands and probably everyone else without motors. All the Hobie's are out at this stage. Adam Creech with his TI made it the farthest and ended it at the boat ramp at Goose island State Park ... he said he was just plain tired of peddaling. On Wednesday morning Greg and Mike decided to end it while checking the weather. They thought it would not be fun trying to fight their way upwind in 25 mph winds with heavily loaded islands. I can't say I blame them one bit. This year's weather was without a doubt worst case scenario all the way around. One for the books for the Texas 200.

There was another Hobie at the start that after looking at the weather reports decided to not do battle with the weather this year. That must have been a tough decision for them but ultimately we're all captains of our own vessels and must make the correct safe decisions for us. Especially with all that lightning and driving rain.

I give all the people who participated this year major kudos for their efforts and decisions. Hopefully we'll hear more from Greg or any of the other Hobie participants this week !


Author:  CaptnChaos [ Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2019 Texas 200 starts and somebody angered the Wind Gods


Just officially heard from John Fitzpatrick and his daughter with a Hobie Tandem island. They DID begin the challenge after all and put forth a major effort ! The speculation I heard earlier was incorrect about them not starting. John posted a bunch of pictures and it looks like they made it to around Corpus Christi Bay but I'm not completely positive. They have some great pictures and I will say without a doubt their campsites are the most civilized looking of all the Hobies. What a great experience between father and daughter.

Like everyone else though, they had to drop finally. Knees are killing them pedaling three days into the wind.


Author:  CaptnChaos [ Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2019 Texas 200 starts and somebody angered the Wind Gods

Well the results are in and it appears out of 63 boats only one boat made it to the finish without a motor. It was a badass father son team
Here's what the guy wrote
"My son Joshua Davis and I were the ones that made it. . I'm glad that it was tough. This was our last hurrah before he leaves for the Navy. It was unforgettable and required two men to accomplish. Not a dad and a kid trip. "

Approximately 13 - 18 boats with motors also made it to the finish. I also saw a picture of one boat that had the mast ripped off his boat.

The guy who was bit by a rattlesnake is out of the hospital after his anti-venom treatments and is back home

A crazy year for sure. And this is my last update, thanks for following,


Author:  vetgam [ Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2019 Texas 200 starts and somebody angered the Wind Gods

Greg here. Thanks for all the posts you made Jim. I just noticed them today. This year was brutal. I have to say that I only know of 5 boats that sailed this event without motors and made it as far as Corpus Christi. Four out of five of those were Hobie Islands! There were only 4 Islands out of about 63 boats that started the event. All of us should be damn proud of what these boats can do when others are giving up or giving in to motors. Hobie's rock!

We sailed mostly at night and much of the time under intense lightening. I had not experienced such heavy downpours sailing like we had. Mike and I lost radio contact early on but stayed in visual site. His GPS died and I dropped the back of mine in the water. Navigating the shallows at night with only one GPS and no radios was our biggest challenge. There was no moonlight after about midnight and we would loose sense of direction. My GPS somehow reset itself in such a way that I was having to relearn a new menu system while trying to navigate with no visibility and trying to guide Mike through the dark. After 12 hours of this we became a bit unglued and had to sleep in a bug infested repmote section of the land cut. Mike was so tired he didn't even put up his tent. He just laid out his sleeping pad and slept on it without any cover. I don't know how he handled the bugs. I slept in the netting of my tent but lacked the energy to put it up.

Why is it that the more miserable and challenging the conditions are, the more fondly you look back at it all? Can't wait for next year. Hope many of you can join us. Hope to make to the Everglages Challenge one of these years. May do the Mississippi 100 later this year.

Author:  walt [ Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 2019 Texas 200 starts and somebody angered the Wind Gods

Wow!!! Even rattle snakes thrown in to the story.

What type of boat was used by the father and son who did the whole thing without a motor?

Author:  CaptnChaos [ Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 2019 Texas 200 starts and somebody angered the Wind Gods

walt wrote:
Wow!!! Even rattle snakes thrown in to the story.

What type of boat was used by the father and son who did the whole thing without a motor?

This is all I could find about the father/son team and their boat.
George Davis IV looking forward to your write-up. In the meantime, please tell us something about your boat. The “who’s coming” page lists it as a Coastwise 14. However, I can find nothing about this evidently very capable craft.


Author:  vetgam [ Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2019 Texas 200 starts and somebody angered the Wind Gods

The typical Texas 200 craft is a Pocket Cruiser. These are small trailerable sailboats usually under 22 feet. Most do not have a fixed keel although some do. Many of the owners built their own boats, often from kits. Islanders have always felt welcomed. Most of the group sleeps in tents on islands or beaches that have been designated camps at the end of each day. A few sleep in their anchored boats. It really is a wonderful experience. I have never been bothered by the heat because the winds off the Gulf moderate the heat.

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