Date: 11 Oct 96 12:10:29 EDT

From: "Zach Symm" <104675.2134@CompuServe.COM>

Subject: re: my trip

Everyone, Y'all read my mom and Gene's story so here is my version of the trip.

My mom gene and I have big plans to go to the Carribean on our 37ft. sailboat Rainbow Chaser. In prepartion for the big trip we moved our sailboat from Austin to of course y'all probally heard about that so I will not go into details but this about our trip down.It took two weeks getting ready and replacing things for the trip, but the big day finally came. We had so many last minute things to do that it was late when we were able to leave the marina. Just before dark when we got to the ship channel a large ship caused a big rocking wake. But then we relized the real problems was tugboats taking barges to port. They made rock constanly with their wake!!!

When we got to the Galveston ship channel we could not find our destination because there were ships, bouys, and onshore lights confusing us. After we anchored we got no sleep because of mosquitoes. They almost carried us away. When we finally got up we (after no sleep) noticed were we were. We also noticed a boat that was lucky to be afloat, the name was Tea Cup. Tea Cup wouldn't be my cup of tea because it is a junky old boat (in other words it was a mess).

Now we began again to start sailing, the day was beautiful with clear water and seven knot winds, just like I or any one else would like it to be. I had some pizza and Gatorade for supper. About sevenP.M. the winds realy picked up and we dropped our one thirty jib and put up our working jib to get better control of the boat, at eight o'clock we dropped our staysail. By nine we reefed our main and by eleven we had winds up to fifty knots and ten to fifteen foot waves. At this point I was laying on the floor in bewteen bouts of seasickness. Of course I was getting bounced around.

As our trip continued things stayed windy and bouncy. One time my mom was going up the stairs when a big wave hit. The handhold came off and she fell into the stove. We later found out that the handhold had only two small screws holding it on. The replacment would have to wait till the trip was over. Another time Gene was sitting at the nav desk when another whopper wave hit. Gene was thrown over to the other side cut his eyebrow and was on top of me. It took a few minutes to get untangled.

Because we were making such poor time we decided that by dropping the sails and motoring we would get there faster. Seveal hours later at around twelve o' clock approaching Port Aransas we again were confused by lights. There was one single green bouy that really fooled us. Gene thought it would lead us into the ship channel instead we got into the surf. As soon as Gene relized that we were in the surf he spun the wheel and tunred out. One wave from a breaker poured a bathtub full of water into the galley. Everything got wet with salt water. We did make it out to deeper water. After breathing a sigh of relief we looked and found the real channel by following a large boat in.

When we got tied up we just fell in our berths and didn't look at the mess the boat was in. Since the trip I have not eaten any pizza yet, but I am ready to sail again.

Zach Symm

Aboard Rainbow Chaser