Destination Port Mansfield - Memorial Day Weekend, 2003

Our country continues expressing our gratitude to the Greatest Generation, those who served in World War II. Their courage and commitment reaffirmed democracy and paved the way for the new century. We recently celebrated Memorial Day, recognizing sacrifices made by our all Armed Services in preserving our traditions. We enjoy the bounty of a great nation as well as a safe and beautifullaguna and harbor unsurpassed for year round boating.

Each day on the water we pass by additional monuments of stone and sand easily taken for granted. Around us are endUring contributions created by thousands employed in the public works projects before World Warn. Their efforts gave us the cuts and jetties for Port Mansfield, Arroyo City and the Brazos Santiago (the ICW also), making safer and sounder passageways for future generations. As the contributions and experiences pass down from each generation, we should pause, reflect and give thanks. We enjoy a simple excursion on the water. We are taking the Gulf route to Port Mansfield. There is always much more involved in our simple pleasures. It is very important not confuse the destination with the voyage. A voyage is like a story but more about that later.

I thought of those who went before as we made our first excursion to Port Mansfield as new members of the LMYC. There have been several "generations" of LMYC (and it's predecessors) who have made the trip to Port Mansfield. Seven boats made this excursion to Port Mansfield. Port Mansfield is an active, pleasant Texas coastal port with new residential and commercial sites surrounding a convenient boat basin. Several small restaurants and marinas are within walking distance of private and public docks.

Four sailboats gathered at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday) May 24th 2003 at Barracuda Cove before embarking out the channel and into the Gulf. .Soft breezes from the East-Southeast gave way to 15 to 20 out of the Southeast in the mid-aftemoon. Our initial course was set for 0 degrees due North, changing to 340 degrees as we approached the Port Mansfield cut. Other boats took various means and measures to get to the destination. Some took delight in a quick trip taking as little as two and one half hours (Mike and crew. Others took longer much longer (sailing, sailing. sailing, sailing). Some paddled away the hours (go Patsy and Gail).

Our voyage was not a single story. It is not confused with the destination. Different points of view would characterize the voyage as:

Another found it rather dull reading a book while his friend Otto Pilot lead the small regatta toward the sunset at Port Mansfield. Depending on who tells the story there were many voyages to Port Mansfield that day. There were porpoises, flying fish. and birds of all feathers (a pair of Frigates driven off by a tern). The porpoises followed several boats for nearly two hours executing barrel rolls, tail slaps, clear-the-water jumps and playfully eying my cute helmsmate at the wheel from two feet away from the stern.

Upon arrival. we drank and ate dockside at El Jefe's restaurant. Several members who journeyed by car joined us. They were also part of the voyage. It was wonderful to be part of such a nice group of friends enjoying the golden orange sunset. The quality and quantity of the food and drink was very good. The burgers were big and the freedom fried onion rings spectacular (sorry George). Sandy kept our reviving our tired spirits with rousing toasts and tributes. Most of us had a safe and direct return on the ICW (special thanks to Gerard Mittelestaedt for crewing the return). Wes diagnosed that Paper Dragon had some engine trouble at arrival and he and the Dragon returned the following Saturday.

We learned a great deal from the many voyages to Port Mansfield. Remember the traditions and those who have gone before us. God willing, there will always be more "first timers" making the excursion. It is a destination with many other untold stories.

John Pinkerman

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