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Rockport Beach, Texas

1/31/11

In A Fog As Usual

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

Since the OFM is generally in a fog, it seemed proper to go walking in the fog. WOW this feels very natural to my head. All around the Rockport Beach area including this stop are one set of pavilions.
It was a bit cool at the start of the walk but an hour later the jacket and long sleeve shirt were way too much clothing.

Over at the boat ramp the morning fog was closed in very well. It was not my idea of ideal weather to be out boating, but you could hear one person running his boat quite fast out there in the blinding fog.

Today was the day a lot of folks affected by the electrical failure to move out of the campground. A good part of the afternoon was spent helping one older lady move her stuff to her new location over in Fulton. Two loads of paving stones were loaded, moved and unloaded for her. Her new location is a very nice campground. Her new site is seen in this next picture.
This is the first load of paving stones. These are the 18”x18”x 2” thick model and they are a bit heavy for me.

Then the next load was smaller paving stones but the quantity was larger.

The Truck never even noticed that it was loaded with concrete paving stone. However it did ride a good bit smoother than normal. Anybody want to bet against me that my back will be very tender tomorrow morning?

A change of plans for the next few months is being put into effect as of tonight. The coast here at Rockport is a very nice location in the spring and fall. For this spring the plan is to mainly stay in place here in the campground, more or less. A few trips out and about for a few days are expected to happen. Big Bend is still on as soon as they quit the freezing weather nonsense out there. Later a trip up into central Texas for some Texas Hill Country hiking and wildflower viewing is also in the plans. Heck maybe Billy Bob, http://billybobsplace.blogspot.com/ will come to Sinton and we can play that golf course. But for the most part the coast beaches and other delights may be the location of my trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

1/30/11

Unbelievers

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

No special adventures surrounded me today but a couple of interesting things where noticed. The weather turned out very nice most of the day with only a couple of very light sprinkles. My list of chores was finished off and the laundry completed also. It was a very productive day. Check out this high temp for the day inside the Castle.

Some of the folks that have to move out to facilitate the campground electrical repairs were here to move their units to the storage yard while the repairs are accomplished. Some folks do not believe that the RVs should have to move for construction equipment to work. The owner is willing to give them back the pro rated rent they did not get to use. Make trouble and it becomes eviction and no money is owed for unused rent.

We have blizzard conditions expected for Tuesday night into Friday. It makes me glad the Castle is an Arctic Fox brand that can laugh at the predicted 28 degree lows. My body does not laugh at those temperatures. My arthritis really does not like the bitter cold temperatures.


The folks across from the Castle heard about the chance of hail last night. They took action to “protect” their car. From their conversation it seems that the man of the group has some special affection for the car. It looks like an ordinary car to me. When the wife started to brush some dust off the roof, the man called out for her to stop, it might scratch the paint. That is too much love for a mechanical object to me.

Vehicles are simply a tool for the effort of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

1/29/11

Hard Core Fishermen

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: Aransas Pass, Texas

While out roaming around this afternoon, the wind picked up and the clouds for tonight’s thunderstorms arrived. That, of course, does not deter the hard core fishermen. These two folks were on a sand bar exposed by the low tides. As you can see they got there in kayaks. Notice the bushes in the background bent in the strong wind. THESE TWO WERE FLYFISHING IN THAT WIND. How in the world did they keep the line going in the intended direction is way beyond me!
That picture was taken from a short pier at the boat ramp. When my gaze went to the ramp, it was noticed that a couple of yakkers were coming in to load up. Oh boy and away may feet took me to visit them. Both of the fellows were fun to visit. Both considered the wind too much for paddling a yak.

One fellow had rigged a nice way to carry his rods and yak. He lived in San Antonio so the trip to this ramp is about three and a half hours minimum. From the back before the yak is loaded is a nice over all view.

Notice the straps across the bed of the truck. They hold the fishing rods.
Here is a close up of the front strap and how the rods fit into it.

At the rear the strap has loops to hold the rods in tightly. The straps were made up at home and look very well done to me.

The yak is slid in under the rod straps and has its own straps to hold the yak in place. After that the bed cover is unrolled to cover the top side of the equipment.

When the Team returned to the campground, all kinds of excitement was going on. It seems that a third of the park was out or about out of 120 volt electricity. A main underground line had decided to quit working. Now it will have to be replaced. After getting information from the normal repair company, the owner had to let about thirty sites know that they would have to vacate the camping sites for at least two weeks to allow repairs to be done. A back hoe and trenching machine will be needed to do the repair and the crews will need room to do their work. Then the occupants could come back in after the repairs if they choose.

When the Team returned from Aransas Pass, there were all sorts of stories and attitudes being expressed. It is not the owner’s fault that the repair is needed. By the time of this blog writing many of the affected sites were without power so the owner has acted responsibly in my opinion. He is looking at a $50,000 or more repair job. The campers have until next Wednesday to find other accommodations. The Castle accidentally is not involved in the repair section of the campground.

The good news is that there are plenty of campground sites in the area for folks to move to. The bad news is that a few of the sites had folks in them that have settled in like nothing could ever happen that they might need to move again. This is another excellent reason, along with hurricanes, that the Castle and Truck will always be mobile capable. It does not hurt to be full boondocking capable either.

Speaking of boondocking; that is a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

1/28/11

Mr. Simple

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

When the big excitement for the day is Wal-Mart not having what you went there to buy, then your life is really simple. This is Mr. Really Simple writing tonight. It was a maintenance day on the Truck and the Castle. Six items resided on the list at the start of work this morning. Four were accomplished. The two remaining will get done tomorrow along with another that was added a few minutes ago.

A major attitude change that we responsible full timers try to instill in would be full timers is that the maintenance continues on. There is always laundry, house cleaning, vehicle maintenance and of course checking for caulk failures on the RV. It is not all play and no work. However there is a lot more play than when cubicles got in my way.

The highlight of the evening was sitting in the Truck down at the Rockport Beach eating a chocolate malt waiting with the camera for the sunset to get right for this photograph.
After all that terribly hard work it was time to get back to the Castle and rest. Supper turned out to be a wonderful, delicious and colorful salad.

Phooey more chores. The bowl and fork had to be washed. Now it is rest and recovery time for more work tomorrow trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM. a. k. a Mr. Really Simple

1/27/11

Free Camping Location

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: Padre Island National Seashore, Texas

No ice on the Truck this morning, but the itch to roll some tires was too strong to resist. Maybe the new header picture will give you an idea for going out to play also. It was a lot nicer on the beach than the header shows.

The arrival at PINS visitor center matched lunch time perfectly. Please enjoy my dining room view.
With a temperature of 69 and really bright sunshine, my picnic lunch was enjoyed with leisure and lazy being a large part of the meal. Can you blame me?

A long walk was planned for the beach and my shoes were ready to go. But first watch out for all the new thorns on the prickly pear cactus along side the trail to the beach. They will jump out and hurt you.
Those little fuzzy looking thorns would take hours to get them all out of you. And when you think you are finished, GENTLY rub a cotton ball over the area to find the thorns you missed the first ten times you were finished plucking thorns.

It always amazes me at the way the white tail deer seem to like to frolic on the beach. Today there were tracks all over the place. From up in the brush, over the dunes and down into the surf was lines of deer tracks. Many times a canine foot print would also be close by. It is not know if it was coyotes or later in the day leashed dogs sniffing along.
Here is the deer track on the left and the canine print on the right. My tracking ability does not include time and date stamping of tracks capability. Make your own guess and we will call it correct.

A couple of Canadian fellow bloggers, http://roadtrip-06.blogspot.com/ and http://wanderingwillystravels.blogspot.com/ , are camped down on the free camping beach. Check out their blogs.

No activity was seen at their rigs when the Truck took me past them. The beach was in pretty good shape for driving today so the Team made it onto and off the beach with no trouble. The available beach in the above picture goes on for many miles. There are no facilities on this beach. Only two things are provided. The first is a great opportunity to get buried to the axles of your RV and vehicles. The second is a chance to wake up in the night hearing the salt water waves splashing against your rig because a very high tide came in. The dump station and drinking water is back over north of the visitor station about four miles away from the beach entrance to this area.

Getting the Castle flooded in the surf is too exciting for my idea of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

1/26/11

Campgouges

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: South Padre Island, Texas

A massive effort went into an adventure today. But let us start at the beginning. Two of the eyes in my head slowly opened as the first light of the dawn came into the Castle. There was a funny sound outside like something whimpering. So after first things first, my barely almost awake body slithered outside in the cold to see what was happening. It was the Truck whimpering “Let’s get out of here”.

The poor Truck had a coating of ice on it and did not like it at all. A plan was made to head south since the Truck has wheels and check out some warmer climate after breakfast for me. And we did. Nine hours of driving later we made it back to the Castle much wiser in the ways of the Rio Grande Valley campgouges. No, that is not misspelled.

On the road down, highway 77, there was evidence of some significant rains in the fields along the highway. Many had deep ruts from entering the field too soon and others had standing water waiting to soak in or evaporate.
About three hours after leaving the Castle to fend for itself in the cold, the Truck Team got to the spot near Raymondville where the palm tree lined highway announces that you are entering the RGV.

The end destination was South Padre Island where they typically are ten degrees warmer in the winter than the Corpus Christi area. Along the way some of the not full campgouges were checked for possible stays. This is where an education was received on new gouging efforts of the “resorts” that look like ordinary cramped commercial campgrounds. After getting quotes for monthly stays of $400 to $600 some added as an after thought later in the conversation that there is also a charge for electricity and garbage. Then sort of as an aside it was mentioned that there is also a resort fee of $3 a day. Very quickly this Team vacated the places. There were a few trashy looking places we did not even stop at that might have been cheaper.

As you make your way out highway 100 to Port Isabel and South Padre Island there are campgrounds scattered along the route. When the Team entered Port Isabel and then SPI the density of the folks and traffic was serious. We looked around anyway and even walked out onto the beach at the one free spot we found to park. Everything on the island seems to have a price tag to get another few dollars out of my pocket. This is definitely a first class tourist trap. Make no mistake; Port Isabel and SPI are about the nicest and cleanest tourist trap we have ever been in. Actually tourist traps are fun to visit, but living in one is not my idea of fun.

The weather was wonderful, 71 degrees and bright sunshine, but after an hour or so the Team hit the road back to the Castle. On highway 100 is a vendor of who knows what but the exterior of the store is neat to see.

If it had not been so late in the day, it would have been fun to mess around and see what the shop was all about. There was only about an hour to spare to get back to the Castle before darkness would start to interfere with my driving, so that opportunity will wait for another time in my life.

Even a 400+ mile was worth it to get out and try to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

1/25/11

One Bright Spot Named Lily

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

It started with a cool damp morning and nothing happened until late in the afternoon. A reader had arrived in town and sent a comment of where he was. So a nice visit with Jerry G. was made for an hour or so. His puppy Lily is a real treat to pet and play with. Then it was back to the Castle and more laziness.

Email was active for most of the day to my surprise. Several emails about details on one thing or another kept me from boredom. Another reader is coming to town tomorrow but we will miss each other. Ratzzz.

The day finished with 63 degrees and sunshine so maybe tomorrow will be nice and get me out trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

1/24/11

Grumbling

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

Some grumbling about the prices of fuel for moving around has been heard lately in the campgrounds and at the fishing locations. Checking the latest diesel prices against two months ago gave me a budgeting number for my travels. The current price of diesel here in Rockport will add about $50 a month to my travel costs. That is enough to notice but not enough to stop me.

The normal way an RVer compensates for that higher fuel cost is to take longer to go places. The good part is that by staying an extra day of not traveling will force me to examine the local area more deeply for adventures. That can often be a very good thing.

My buddy John, http://www.travlinwithjohn.blogspot.com/ , has finally made a decision about the stupidity that is going on at the campground where he is spending his third winter. The original owner passed on and the new owner seems hell bent on driving everyone out of the campground with their stupidities. Check it out for your amazement!

Meanwhile nasty weather is limiting the opportunities for excitement and wild adventures. Until things change we will have these silly boring blogs until some new way is figured out to try to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

1/23/11

Nasty Picture

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

A day of nothing but goofing off was the “adventure”. Rain and drizzle with decently warm temperatures kept me from any exciting adventures.

However this picture from my son’s town in north Alabama tells a great tale about living in Rockport, Tx.

As an Rver, if this is what you see when you go to the store, then it is time to roll dem wheels south to the sunshine and warmer weather. For it is in the sunshine and warm weather where the best attempts live for trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

1/21/11

OFM Webcams

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

These are the webcams that are used in viewing areas of interest to me.

The first is of the Rockport Beach Park area. It is convenient to check the fog, traffic etc before setting out from the campground to go play.
http://weather.weatherbug.com/TX/Rockport-weather/weather-cams/local-cams.html?camera_id=RCKTM

This next one is of the Port Aransas beach front a short distance from the jetty. It gives me a good idea of what the waves are behaving like and if the tides are running low or high.
http://www.coastalsurfing.com/imageloader/

This next one is located in Marathon Texas at the north end of the road going to the Persimmon Gap entrance to Big Bend National Park. The view is to the west but the park is to the south. It is about 35 miles to the park gateway.
http://www.marathonmotel.com/webcam.php

A view of the Diablo East boat ramp at Amistad National Recreation Area is seen in this next camera view. It allows the usual checks on sky, water level and water roughness. This is a main boat ramp to the lake and is also the location of the free RV dump station and potable water.
http://www.nps.gov/webcams-amis/camera0.jpg

The next link takes you to the ferry cameras at the Port Aransas ferries. By checking all the cameras you can check the weather and traffic load to see if it is worth your bother to try to use the ferries. The ferries sometimes have back ups of over an hour to board the ferry.
http://www.cityofportaransas.org/ferrycam.cfm

There you have an idea of the main tool in my checking to see where to go for an adventures in trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

1/20/11

Wrong Way Waves

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

The story today is the incoming cold weather and the wind. By noon the temperature was dropping towards the mid 30s tonight. Most of the day was spent on laundry and chores. The chores did not get finished but the laundry did get finished and put away. There is not enough room to leave it out, so it has to be put away.

Since the cold weather is holding the Castle in Rockport and blog subjects are in short supply for now, it is a good time to remind folks that this is not promised to be a daily blog. Normally my fat body has to write something to relieve all the hot air built up inside the fat.

Late this evening a break was taken with a ride to the harbor and Rockport beach enroute to the Whataburger food production facility. The weather has driven most folks inside for the next couple of days. This morning started with tee shirts and shorts and has finished with long pants and a coat. The beach looked odd with the waves moving and breaking AWAY from the beach!

The salt water pool normally has a few folks just sitting and enjoying the view in the evening. However it was deserted.

On the way out of the Rockport Beach Park, a stop was made to get a picture of the wind ripping the palm trees up. Check out that rigid looking flag in the background. Those palm fronds will be ragged by morning.

That bum Tioga George is down in Mexico in shorts and tee shirts enjoying the warm beach. Go ahead and check his blog out. http://blog.vagabonders-supreme.net/2011/01/schmoozing.html

George definitely knows how to try to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

1/19/11

Pot Scraper

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

When the most exciting thing you have done all day is get out a new pot scraper, then it has been a slow day.
Very late in the evening a get out of the house trip was taken to the harbor to toss lures at the water. Catching a fish was not expected and that is how it turned out. There was one person over on the rock pier. Look for the red dot on the left side of the pier.
The air temperature was a pleasant lower 60’s, but the breeze had a chill to it. Before long my fingers were cold and stiff. A move to behind the Aquarium building got me into the sunshine and out of the wind. AHHHHH now that is more like it. Still no fish but at least it gave an opportunity for a sunset picture.

It was a nice to an easy day of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

1/18/11

Dune Roaming

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: Mustang Island State Park, Texas

More than one question came to me about sea beans. Here on this website is the best info than has come my way. http://www.seabean.com/what.asp
More pictures of the latest bean might help you in identification of it. My effort on identification has not started yet.

The fog went away while my lunch was being eaten. Therefore all plans were laid aside to go beachcombing. On the way down to MISP the temperature rose to a great temperature.

A short attempt was made at driving on the beach but that diesel weight seemed to want to head for China so it was back to the day use parking lot. After gearing up a stop was made at a post to let it take my picture.

From there the Beachcombing Team headed for the foot entrance to the dunes and beach.
About three miles were covered in the nearly four hours of beachcombing. A couple of neat wind sculptures were recorded. The first one was about four inches high and is now named Curly Tip. It was extremely delicate looking.

Did you know that sand monsters live under the sand at the beach? Yep they sure do and are very hard to catch. You don’t believe me! Well here is a picture of one sticking its three inch long tongue out at me.

At another spot a large sand crab was spotted. A very careful approach was made in the effort of getting a picture. It turns out the crab was fresh dead so the picture was easy to get.
My seed pod search was very successful. This is a new style of seed to me. When it was first seen, it looked like a sand covered golf ball. It is washed up some in this next picture but will need more cleaning tomorrow.

The temperature was dropping faster than the sun was going down so it was time to leave. Here is a picture of the OFM starting up a dune to go back to the Truck, courtesy of a handy broken post and the Canon self timer.

Today that unbelievably handsome fellow worked very hard at trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM

1/17/11

Beach Junk

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: MISP, Texas

While crossing the ferry to Port Aransas the Travel Team had to wait on a sea going barge. It looks like a small ship from the front but it is not.
A tow boat is fitted into the v shaped rear of the sea barge and the two cabled all together for the duration of the voyage. In this next picture you can see the propulsion and steering vessel tucked into the back of the barge.

At one point in my life, the project was designing docking and loading facilities for these barges. Those were fun projects.

The beach was the planned location for the hunt and the target was washed up seeds. Mustang Island State Park was the closest beach worth stopping at. The search started immediately after parking in the mostly flooded parking lot for day use folks. A decision was made in the parking lot to head out to the south beach for the hunt. The weather was less than the best as you can see from this picture taken of me by a guard post and the self timer of the camera.

Hey Sis the Christmas present works really well.

As the beach entrance road opening was approached a lot of noise was heard above the roar of the surf. It was the huge group of scouts having fun.
HMMMMM maybe another direction is wise. The likely have trampled or picked up any seed pods that have washed up in that direction. A left turn was made and the path was set towards the Fish Pass jetties.

During the first pass along the beach the search was along the water line of the very low tide. There are plenty of beautiful shells for the shell collectors in the park. You never know what you will find either. A boat canopy was lying in the sand with wavelets washing over it.

It would be a good bet that some boat owner is not happy about this leaving the boat. They are not cheap items to replace.

The pass along the beach did not provide me anything of “take home” interest. A lot of things are neat to stop and examine closely. If only Tamia’s advice had been remembered and a magnifying glass taken along it would have been even more interesting.

On the pass back to the Truck a route farther up above the wash line was taken. There is different stuff up in this line. Lighter things make it farther up onto the beach. Sure enough after a mile or so there it was. A bean seed was sighted. This one is different in some ways from my other one found last year. For one thing it is about 1/5 as large. This one is a little larger than a quarter. It is very fortunate that it was even spotted amongst the sea grasses residue.
That is a size 10 EEEE shoe in the picture. The path back to the Truck yielded more interesting items but only the seed pod came on back to the Castle. It doesn’t take much to satisfy the need for trying to have tooooo fun. TheOFM.

1/16/11

Packery Fun

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: Packery Channel, Texas

It was a cold dreary day in Rockport so the Truck insisted we ride on down to the Gulf and mess around. The adventure was good. The Travel Team parked in the very nice paved parking lot and eventually the Walking Team worked on out to near the end of the jetty. The walk was slow because everyone and even Buddy the dog wanted to visit. Buddy is a Golden Retriever who likes to steal your fish and run off with it.

It took a half hour just to clear from the parking lot. On the walk along the side of the channel were several family groups of very nice folks. Each one had to be visited on the way out to the end of the jetty. The current was running strongly and nobody was catching any fish. One pair of guys had not even lost a shrimp in an hour. Now that is bad fishing.

As the chosen path approached the jetty; a sight not seen by my eyes in a long time on the coast came into view. The boulders that line the channel had been receiving wind blown sand for a few days along with the nasty drizzle of rain. This caused some dangerous bridging of the boulders by the sand. It makes for a very nasty surprise for the unsuspecting.

Should you walk out on to the sand and step on a bridge, you will fall into the crevice that is hidden. Normally it is a minimum of a severely sprained ankle or knee or both. In a worse case scenario you will bust your head open on the boulders. Flowing blood is common when this type of fall into the barnacle encrusted rocks happens. Here are a couple of pictures of some of the bridges that had fallen in.



The drop on each of these was in excess of three feet. The salt water coast has all sorts of ugly surprises available to make your life miserable, but that has been said before in this blog.

Meanwhile back to the walk. There were an amazing number of surfers out playing in the water today. My count was fifteen of them challenging the waves. All of them that were seen up close were middle age or older men. None of them were young adults or kids to my surprise. Here are two of them paddling back out after a successful ride in to the beach. If you cliky the picture you will be able to make out one more centered across the pic near the horizon.

Now for the exciting part of the adventure. As my path approached the end of the jetty, it was noticed that a fellow was near the end taking pictures with a long telephoto lens. My progress stopped when the top surface was only damp instead of puddles of water. While my attention was on getting a great shot of the wave action, the fellow put his camera away and started back to shore. When he had made about thirty feet a wave broke across where he had been standing. It is not the froth and splash that is being talked about, but about a foot high rush of solid water. It would most likely have knocked him off his feet. The handrail would have saved him from going onto the rocks, but it would have hurt.

During the time of my picture taking at least four more waves washed across the walkway. In spite of my efforts this next picture was the best shot of my forty some attempts. If you look closely at the walking surface you can see where a small layer of water is about to wash across the walking surface. Catching a big one coming across eluded me.

Nearly every wave was splashing me a little or maybe more than a little but getting the picture for my readers was the most important thing……almost. Safety was first and this OFM was not about to get out on the end for a more spectacular wave shot.

Back at the parking lot were three fun and nice folks to visit. One fellow was learning to throw a cast net. It always looks easy but when you try it it becomes a monster to do. My advice from my years of tossing a cast net had him doing well enough soon to get them lots of bait fish.
While we were doing lessons the clouds went away and the sun came out. We shed several layers of clothing in a big hurry. The temperature went up to 63 and the sunshine was hot. Yep the OFM even got a bit of a pink on his face. A new fishing technique that had been passed on to me was tried out. It took a little while before the technique was mastered, but mastering it did happen. Now the fish have even more reason to fear me.

By the time the Truck got me home, my body was all tuckered out from all this trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.

1/15/11

Fat Flounder

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

A comment brought up the subject of adding a small generator to the Truck engine. Here is my answer to that plus some; as is usual for a hot air specialist, more information.

The alternator on the Truck can charge the RV batts if it comes to that. Using large gage jumper cables works just fine. That was done in my past a few times. If my RV batts are way down; a generator or the Truck alternator can get them full in around four hours. Batts have maximum charge rates that they can accept without damage. It is called the C/20 rate. No generator times at most places means no vehicle running to charge either. So you see there is another solution if the clouds are too dense for the panels and there is no electrical receptacle available. Electrical seems to me to be the easiest to solve problem when boondocking. Waste water holding tanks always seem to be the main limiting factor for me.

It has been rain of and on all day and tonight the rain is heavier than any of the day. At least it has been warmer. We peaked out about 61 for an hour or so. The Castle has only needed a Yankee candle and my hot air to keep it warm all day. The hairless Chihuahua, Pepe, has been out for a few walk attempts today. Twice he was heavily rained on and had to return home to regroup. On this outing he looks very sharp in his lamb’s wool jacket.

For a snack this morning a ripe tomato was sliced into thick strips, some sliced peppers put on top, garlic powder sprinkled on top and them some fine ground pepper over it all.
It looked very good and tasted even better.

Late this afternoon the Truck forced me to go for a ride. We ended up at the harbor just watching the heavy mist surround and hide nearly everything.
A few minutes after the picture above was taken, a nice fellow came walking along the breakwater fishing. When he passed and got near that bunch of boards barely sticking out of the water, he got a good hit on his lure. Lo and behold it was a nice large flounder. The flounder was very fat and will be a great asset to a meal in the near future.

Tomorrow is another day of rain forecast so there is no idea what will be done in the effort to try to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM

1/14/11

Battery Chart

Comfort Castle Location: Rockport, Texas
Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas

Another drizzling grey day here at the paradise called Rockport, Texas. The Truck has not moved today. The OFM has not moved much either.

The cold grey weather is giving the new batts a hard workout. Of course this is good since it lets me know the new batts abilities. Several readers who are looking to set up an electrical system for boondocking are watching my results to help them make decisions on their system size and style. Last night at bedtime the bats were down to 12.15 volts. We are now on day six of grey low solar input days. The old batts made it a day and a half at best. So the new set of batts has really enormously extended my boondocking time to maybe electrically unlimited if some sun shows up on occasion.

Now for those who do not have any idea what all the voltage readings are about here is the chart that the Team uses for battery usage.


My chosen bottom line is 12.0 volts absolute. At 12.06 drastic curtailment of electrical usage will be put into effect. Candle light will be used to save the electricity for things like running the water pump for water and keeping the refrigerator control circuits operating. The Castle’s style of heating does not require any electrical use. If the furnace was used, the seven amp fan motor would eat batts very fast.

It is heartening that even without tilting my panels; some gain is made each day on the batt charge. Tilting would not get me enough solar input to gain a lot on cloudy days but it would help. It is deliberate action on my part to test the set up without tilting in this campground so that if the system bottoms out it is easy to plug into normal 120 volt for charging.

Why not a generator you ask? For two reasons a generator is not in my known future. One is that many places on my bucket list do not allow generator use or only during hours that the walking Team would be out chasing pictures for the blog.

The second is that the decent small generators are all gasoline powered. The Truck is diesel so siphoning some fuel from the fuel tank would do no good. That means a container of gasoline would have to be riding in the bed of the Truck all the time. That is not something that is preferred for this Team from my previous experience carrying gasoline in the back of a truck.

There is no attempt on my part to say that my way is the correct way. It is just my way at this time. So make your own choices and meet me out trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.