Well, last October some friends and I put the AI's through a buffet of coastal conditions as a 'test-case', since I am starting a guiding and rental service in the area (my hometown of Port O'Connor near the Matagorda Island Nature Preserve) where we had our adventure .
I must say these boats performed beyond all our expectations. We had a lot of dolphin company as shown by the video below:
My friends are four Filipino's from Odessa, TX, and we all met in Port O'Connor, TX; this trailer was jack-knifing a turn into the RV park and blocking the road at 3 am in the morning!
Since there was a cold front en-route we decided to break the expedition up, day 1 - sail to island during the day and back at night before the cold front hit, day 2 - sail to the island and camp after the cold front hit, day 3 - sail home.
They made some wooden benches with grooves to bungee onto the aka's - this allowed use to put ice chests on top of that - it worked out well. These guys were putting ice chests full of steak, watermelons, mangos, pineapples, more steak etc.
We arrived at the 'J-Hook' (a point on Matagorda Island) and proceeded to grill, fish, and watch the dolphins who hang out a few feet from the bank.
And a fast sail at sunset back to Port O'Connor before the norther' hit! It was wet, wild, fast, and fun.
We slept in town while the north wind howled, and then went the 'back way' back to the island to Sunday Beach where I did a little crabbing with a drum-stick.
We setup camp right!
The next morning we heated up the soup and had some sardines, oddly the coyotes (which were there as tracks were everywhere) didn't disturb anything, but even in South Texas it can be chilly in the fall.
All the pics and video were done by this guy - Alan ApTorre.
It was hard to capture dolphins with still pics, so look at the videos for them.
We are planning to do this again many times, and we plan to be involved in the Texas 200 Regatta (which is more like 250 miles this year).
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:47 am Posts: 75 Location: Texas Gulf Coast/Dallas, Texas
Windshark, it's good to find you here. I'm Tim, I met you at Mariner Sails just before you headed to Port O'Conner. You had told me about the Kayak rental and guide service that you were planning to start. I was talking to Aris (Mariner's owner) just this last week about you and he said things were going good for you down there. Glad to here it.
I'll be down Memorial Weekend for the annual "PACK" trip to Matty Island. Most of the guys take there yaks and gear by mother boat to the island to camp and fish for the weekend. I have been thanking about sailing my AI to the island instead of taking the mother boat for a while now. Since I just purchased a second AI in March a friend and I will be sailing to the island together. We are planning on camping in the old state park area on the bay side. We're planning on sailing through the back lakes and marshes and fishing on the way to the island the first day. Then fishing around camp until Monday when we will return. I'm really looking forward to this trip as it will be the first excursion trip I have made on my AI.
I noticed on your 2nd day map that you had sailed through the bay lakes or marshes. I'm curious as to how that went. How was the water depth and was there plenty of room to sail though this area? We are planning to leave the bait shop on 7th street (forgot the name) and sail part of the same route but continue heading southwest to the old park/airport through these back lakes.
I'll look you up when I'm in PO in May. I should be in PO late the 23rd or early the 24th. Keep in touch and let me know how things are going with you. Can you send me your contact info or address so I can find you? See you soon.
_________________ "Riding The Island Wind" RIPIT (Tim) '08 Red Hibiscus AI w/2013 replacement hull, Lovin' it!!! '11 Golden Papaya AI (for a chap) '10 Outback w/sail '11 Tarpon 160