April 14th trip to Corpus Christi

On Saturday, April 14, 2007, Ruthless departed her HarborWalk slip at 10:30 AM for a return trip to Corpus Christi, Texas. Wind was blowing from North at 5-10 Knts. and the temperature ranged from 50-60 degrees. The desired course was to motor down the ICW to Freeport with the hope of heading offshore for a night trip across the North Gulf of Mexico to Port Aransas, Texas.

We arrived at Freeport at 2:30 PM.  Wind was 18-22 knots with gusts to 30-35 knots.  The crew decided to continue motoring down the ICW with the intent of transiting offshore at the Matagorda Ship Channel.

We arrived at Matagorda, Texas, City Marina at approximately 7:30 PM.  We tied up and enjoyed a seafood pasta dinner after everyone had a round of cocktails, beer and shrimp cocktail.

The alarm was sent for 5:30 AM Sunday morning.  Wind was calm and the air temperature was a chilly 38 degrees. After a quick breakfast of sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast tacos and fruit, Ruthless departed Matagorda and passed through the Colorado River channel locks behind a tug and barge flotilla.  Don Lemke chose to navigate the old ICW channel across Matagorda Bay and at markers 99 & 100 Ruthless came to an abrupt halt after snagging a sandbar that extended out into the marked channel.  Capt Lemke regained control of the vessle and manuevered her into deeper waters.  At 10:30 AM we passed the end of the Matagorda Ship Channel jetties and vectored our heading toward Port Aransas, a distance of about 48 miles.

The wind remained calm all morning and remained below 10 knots. out of the NE.  With our boat speed of 7.5 knots under auxiliary power, we deployed the main to satisfy our desire to be called a sailboat.  Mid-afternoon the wind began to shift around out of the East and then SE, increasing to 12-15 knts.  At approximately 4:00 PM, the auxiliary engine died.  The two Don's quickly evaluated that we must have run out of fuel on the main engine tank and changed the feed to the port tank.  The engine restarted with some hesitation.  About two minutes later the crew began to complain about a strong burning electrical odor.  It was determined the engine starter had stuck when the engine was restarted and had burned up.

Since we were a sailboat, we decided to sail on to Port Aransas and hopefully on to Corpus Christi.  By the time we reached Port Aransas around 6:00 PM., the wind had died again to below 5 knots.  Capt Anderson decided to call on Boat US, using the unlimited towing option of our membership, for a tug into the Port Aransas City Marina.  Ruthless spent the next three days awaiting a new starter.  On Thursday, April 19th, Capt Anderson piloted her on to Corpus Christi and docked her in her slip.


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