Archive for the 'Texas' Category


Sunday, October 7th, 2007

Anchored on the Rio Chagres, Panama, Central America

[Rio Chagres, Panama; March 2007]

The Time machine is GONE! Bought sight-unseen. Joshua’s dad Jeff was in town (here in Portland) visiting the past couple of days and when he left Texas, arrangements were in the works to have John Dzerk, who runs the local boatyard, come with a crew and disassemble the boat, install in on a flatbed, and prepare it for the journey across the US to Canada (the new owner is from the vicinity of Georgian Bay, Ontario). We, of course, wanted complete photo documentation of the event. So Jeff flew back yesterday and we got the call a few hours later: there is now a big gaping hole in his yard where it used to stand. The boat’s already gone.

We were all totally shocked: that was FAST. And incredulous: it’s… just… GONE? “Like, what do you mean, ‘gone?’” We hoped maybe Dennis got pictures of the loading action. Jeff called back a second time: they forgot the motor!!! (We knew for a fact that the new owner would be wanting that.) Then we got another call: Jeff had hopped in his truck and drove the motor to the boatyard; the boat was there, sitting quietly in three pieces on the flatbed. Jeff took lots of pictures. Jeff’s assessment: boat looked good—ready for the road.

The buyer was a guy who found the boat through our website; he had been searching for a Brown 31 specifically and had looked at a number of them. However, he was in Canada and not able to fly off every time he saw a new Searunner to view it personally; instead, he arranged to have a surveyor come look the boat over and send him a complete survey.

Out of ten billion surveyors in the Rockport area, the buyer chose, at random, the one surveyor who for some reason had a poor reputation among the multihull crowd. Oh well, what can you do? We were a little nervous though because we didn’t really know what that meant. Did he consider them inherently poor vessels and created hugely biased reports? This was, after all, a home-built boat (albeit a damn well home-built boat); was it that he did not “appreciate” the fine aesthetic that is the backyard boat? The surveyor did the survey and sent it off to the buyer and the buyer was nice enough to forward us a copy. And, it was a great survey! The guy did a very good job from what we could see—thorough, very detailed, totally professional (and unbiased if it was in fact true that he did not favor multihulls), and best of all, very positive. All the problems he found and noted were things we knew of and he didn’t find any surprises. We were happy. The buyer was happy and emailed to let us know it was a go. Dennis, the broker in Texas we had managing the affair, emailed us shortly thereafter with the paperwork.

It is funny too because the night before we got the official “sold” emails, Joshua and I were taking a walk and talking about it as if it was still ours, as if we were just on our way back to it for the evening. We were talking about how easy it was to have such a little boat, how you needed merely three knots of wind to move, and how well the boat put up with an insane variety of conditions with nary a peep. It pointed awesomely (multihulls are not known to point very well). And it is a fast boat for one of its era—a cruising design from the 70s? And it routinely goes 7-8 knots like nobody’s business. We used the boat hard for over two years and had amazingly few problems—a busted traveler here, a sprung cheek block there, oh, and the rudder thing. But still, I think that is pretty good—nothing that we were never able to fix ourselves, certainly. The boat was really designed and built well. I’m happy someone will be able to enjoy it in our stead.

Coxwell Reunion

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

Many Many pictures of the Coxwells. Cheyenne designed the graphic above which was used to make flags and can wraps to commemorate the event.

Rockport, TX

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

Quail for sale. Lamar, Texas

Making the big transition from mobile trimaran life to solid land living? Not that difficult. Standing head room, flush toilets, and toilet paper so thick and durable you could probably upholster your couch with it just don’t take a lot of effort to get used to. And the refrigerator! It is so huge I find myself just casually putting whatever in it. Extra coffee mugs that won’t fit in the cupboard, uncooked rice, etc. I forgot that normal people wash dishes in hot water—we haven’t had hot water (on purpose) for nearly two years. (Washing dishes in hot water works really well.) Of course the first shower I took, I squirted out way too much shampoo thinking I needed my usual quarter cup or so to work up a vague froth like in salt water, and then suddenly I had to think sharp in order to manage the unbelievable volume of lather I generated. Fresh water is unreal! Joshua’s dad’s place has a mechanical DISHWASHER. There is a garbage disposal, except it doesn’t work, and this made me much more upset than I obviously had any right to be. I got to do my own laundry for the first time in over 18 months (Mexicans and Central Americans do not let the gringos touch their machines, which isn’t quite as grand as you might think) and I get to use detergent of my own choice, which is to say, detergent that doesn’t leave your clothes radiating an industrial Power Scent over an area the size of a Wall-Mart parking lot. There is an oven. I feel like such a primadonna.

Our days have been taken up with miscellaneous and varied boat projects: sanding, varnishing, epoxying, sanding, grinding, scrubbing, sorting, glassy-eyed into space gazing, minor constructing, filling, sewing, fiberglassing, and sanding. We’ve made no less than twelve billion individual trips to hardware/lumber/Wall-Mart stores.

Cheyenne, Jeff, and Joshua

Rockport is teeming with family members (Joshua’s clan) and evenings here are alive with parties, cocktail activities, sailing events, and dinners. Usually Joshua’s dad asks us: “Want to come meet so-and-so at [one of five places in Rockport] for dinner?” We’ll say, “Well, we’ll maybe sit this one out after last night.” “Okay. You should come; let’s go.” “Um..” So, we find ourselves out a lot. Trying to figure out how to order something that doesn’t come on a plate the size of a turkey platter. (The trick is you can’t. You just have to take the remainder home for breakfast, lunch, and dinner the following day.)

Night action in Rockport consists of bars. Bars with live cover bands on weekends. We have been to enough of them by now that I recognize the cover bands by name. Early on in our visit, we went out with Bill (Joshua’s uncle) and Danielle (his daughter), Danielle’s wedding party (the girls), and later met up with her mother and mother’s husband, and in fact, the entire rest of the folks of Rockport Town. The night ended several hours later at with Danielle singing on stage with the cover band and rounds of drinks with names like “Slippery Nipple” and “Skittles” being ordered and consumed. For those of you with a demented sense of humor, a “Slippery Nipple” is a nauseating concoction of Bailey’s and butterscotch schnapps, served warm, and in our case, in 24-oz styrofoam cups. Which, you know, classy! I think you are supposed to shoot it down. A “Skittles” is served in a curiously shaped cup that gives one the impression one is drinking from a spraypaint canister lid. Red Bull beverage is poured into the outer ring and a mixture of vodka and, I believe, sour apple and peach schnapps go in the middle. Another one you are supposed to drink fast, not because this gets the deal over with faster but because when you mix this ungodly creation together in your mouth, it is supposed to taste like skittles. As in the brightly colored chewy candies. This is a drink you order in a bar. In Texas.

hand painted sign. BBQ Shed. Lamar, Texas

Another fascinating evening was a band concert we found ourselves attending. Joshua’s cousin is in the Rockport High School band/orchestra/marching band/etc. and this was the last concert of the season. Everyone was going. What the hell, we figured. Starting off the night was the beginning band, playing a collection of mercifully short numbers with names like “Symphonic Shuffle” in addition to the requisite Souza march. The concert attire was white shirt, blue jeans, and white shoes, which was a grave mistake because it was difficult not to be completely distracted from the musical genius happening above by the army of stampeding feet beneath, and not all entirely to the beat of the same drummer either. Being the last concert of the year, and therefore the last high school concert ever for the graduating seniors in the band, there was lots of familiar name calling and friendly chiding of the section leaders, some award mentioning, and sniff sniff I’m-so-proud-of-these-kids moments on behalf of the director. It was at the same time anthropologically fascinating and horrifying. Mostly because I was in band/symphonic band/orchestra/marching band/you-name-it-spin-off. My parents went to those concerts. I hardly know what to say.

Turtle Release

Monday, July 16th, 2007

Kemp's ridley sea turtle hatchlings release Padre Island National Seashore, Texas

Kemp's ridley sea turtle hatchlings release Padre Island National Seashore, Texas

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Kemp’s ridley sea turtle hatchlings released at Padre Island National Seashore (July 7th).

New Tyrone

Saturday, July 14th, 2007

West Texas

Somewhere in West Texas. Rest areas have free wireless!

Cheyenne Weil, Joshua Coxwell