Letters from Mike – One Month Ago


by Michael Beebe – Rockport, Texas – USA

One Month Ago

One month ago, Hurricane Harvey showed up, disrupting many lives along the gulf coast. And just today it dawns on me the amount of birthdays I missed; a brother, two sisters and my daughter; whose wedding anniversary also went by the wayside. My apologies to all.

We were gone, but here at the same time, and when getting back here in real time the busyness was all consuming. A few days ago, I started thinking of sailing. Then I knew progress was being made, Linda was actually planting flowers in between cleaning and repairing chores.

So today I went sailing, took the little Red Top, my 12’ Lehman. Went south to see the view from the water of Harvey’s wake. From a distance, I could see the first house on the out-lying islands was gone; just posts remain. Sailing yet further south on the ICW before heading out across the flats to a cut into the bigger bay, Aransas bay, through a channel that would be tricky if the markers were missing, water being murky, they were, thankfully, still in place.

The actual cut was much wider and deeper, deeper I found out while chasing down a treasure on the shore. Stepping out and pushing off the sand along the edge of the cut was gone, never touched bottom.

The wind was south east, 15 to 16 the weather man said. Sailing away from the cut across the shoals out into the bay, soon the remains of the second house was visible as well.

I’d call this a good scouring by mother nature except for the amount of debris left everywhere.

When we were chased out of Rockport four weeks ago I took with me my carving tools and some wood with the end result to be for my daughter Rebecca and her husband Conner. Looks like it will be arriving around Christmas, I’d tell you all what it is, but then that would spoil the surprise.


Third Time

Yesterday was the third time I went sailing since Harvey blew through the area. This will also be the last account of keeping track of counting the times anyway. That stuff gets old fast.

There was a Sea Fair going on up at the Rockport beach area the past three or four days. So I thought I’d sail north from Cove Harbor and take a look sea from the water. The wind from the north was light with a promised strength increasing throughout the afternoon.

Linda canceled the noon lunch with the kids so off I went. I was hoping to get far enough north to ride the same norther back down with the hoped-for increase in wind speed.

It worked as promised by the Weather Underground web site, thank you very much. As an added bonus, with the water being high, I figured I could go a bit further north and come back along the beach, getting in close, real close.

The beach being neigh empty, and with the increase in depth of water I was able to get up to about fifteen feet off the beach. It was pretty cool. What normally was ankle deep was now knee deep and with both lee boards up it was a real gas.

Thinking doing such in California the federalies would have swooped down upon me, this was pretty neat. Sailing past the only three people using the beach, husband, wife and their child, sharing a very short conversation as I sailed past, I learned this morning just who these three were, employees working on a house owned by one of the coffee regulars at the office, small world.

Sailing back to Cove was a downhill ride, one in which I had to be mindful of just where I was, distance wise, off the beach. The sun was setting and now in my eyes making the many piers, between the city beach and Cove Harbour that had been blown asunder, with too many piles just below the waters surface hard to see.

It was a good sail all in all. The Lehman 12’ is a fine little craft; does this area just fine. I’m thinking of removing the lead in her belly and replacing with removable water ballast; ballast that can be removed or added to depending upon wind strength.

A bit much too involved some might say. I’ve learned to listen politely and go my way. I also learned if I was to listen to the many programed OSHA thinkers of today, they’d have me doing all my sailing from an armchair or in groups of the many I’m trying to get away from.

Sailing back into Cove I got two compliments on the little gal. The second being the memorable one. A young boy, 8 or 10, who had just come in ahead of me with his dad on their power boat, walked down the dock asking to look at my boat, said it was nice. “Sure, go ahead”, I said to the young man.

In relating this incident to my wife, I told her, “I set the hook”. I then showed him where it was set up for sleeping out at the local islands. And told him to “Climb aboard, if you like, while I go get my trailer’, He did and I did.

Afterwards, climbing into his dad’s truck he looks over and waves, saying, “Thank you”.


  1. Good on ya, Mike. Inviting that boy aboard is the only way we’re ever likely gonna’ get new guys.

    I usually ask any little kids hanging around the launch ramp (It doubles as the only public swimming beach here on Diamond Puddle) to “help” me with the mooring lines, fenders, etc. I’ll usually tell ’em to go ask mom if it’s OK to go aboard and sit in the captain’s seat. On occasion, we get whole family groups climbing aboard. Often there’ll be a spontaneous knot tying lesson with cleat hitches and bowlines. Little kids learn that stuff quickly, especially when they get to teach mom. Nevahknow.


  2. I know they’re tongue in cheek, but the digs against California do get old. We ain’t all like the same Baywatch folks y’all might imagine.
    For example, even as a Californian, bad as that is, I was able to find much to love in Texas, on your very coast.
    Enough to want to return again, and again.
    Perhaps, I’ll leave the California plates at home, next time. 🙂


  3. I sorry Robert, about California. The state is chosen mostly because I spent sixty years there myself. I’ve some stories about Texas as well. The general decline actually applies everywhere, some more along. Please no offense ment personally. I’ve many good memories there as well.

  4. Michael,
    None at all taken, and you said it all. Mayhaps a big city in Texas would have the federales breathing down your neck, too, eh? 🙂
    As I said, I totally understand the jokes about this crazy place, but I want everyone to know it ain’t all Hollywood and rules, rules, rules.
    You always wrote fantastic tales, and I enjoy them very much. Thanks for the time and effort putting them down.
    I know want it takes to just do half as well. 😉
    I appreciate your efforts, and hope I didn’t rock the boat. Hehe.


  5. Michael,
    i just found this site and read “you” first because it said ROCKPORT. Our son, Jason, (wife, and now three children) moved there last year following work. Had a 45′ trailer moved in until that could find permanent housing, staked it to the ground, and returned to Damon, to endure Harvey. Upon their return, their trailer was the only one upright and still intact. They were here (WA.) yesterday, but flew home early to tend to a sick child. He has a fishing kayak now and loves the area. We are scheduled to visit in December.

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