Sailing with Colly
Small Craft Advisor|September - October 2020
Sailing the bays of Texas is not exactly crystal clear water, gentle breezes and sugar-white beaches.
Gerald McKimmey

The water is more grayish, or sort of brown if the light hits it just right—kind of like the water that comes out of the washing machine drain. The winds tend to settle on either zero knots or 30 knots, rarely anything in between, and from late April until October the sun will bake you like a potato or boil you like a lobster.

The bays are shallow, which makes for a lot of chop, and there are loads of shells— sharp little shells that’ll make you bleed, not the big beautiful, colorful shells you bring home to put on a shelf. Approaching the barrier islands is always interesting because they shoal out about a football field away from the beach. You can end up anchoring in a foot-and-a-half of water and barely see land. Naturally barge traffic comes through at all hours leaving wakes that create a special version of the “Big Breaker at the Beach Party Water Park.” All that said, it is what it is, and if you’re in Texas and want to voyage in a 15-foot sailboat, this is where you go.

My friend Colly and I have been doing stuff together for about 40 years now. He’s a curious combination of obsessive-compulsive and hyperactive. It’s a disastrous mix of a need for order and attention to minute details, with an overlay of hyperkinetic energy and distractible creativity—a battle rages constantly with neither side of his personality ever winning.

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