15th Annual Toy Run Captain's Information Sheet
Saturday December 2nd - Launch & Departure Details
1. We will be leaving at Freeport, Surfside Marina / Bridge Bait and Tackle (BBT) around 9am. All boats should be in the water and be ready to head west before then.
3. High tide in Freeport Saturday morning is 12:17am at 1.3’, and low tide is 7:30am at -0.2’. Plan your launch accordingly, the earlier the better for those with deeper drafting boats. Surfside Marina, across the channel from BBT can launch boats up to 40' long with their forklift at a reduced fee. Please be prepared to pay with cash. Overnight slips are available for Friday night. Call Surf Side marina 979-230-9400 if you need a slip or any other assistance from Surfside Marina.
4. Departure will need to be done on time at 9:00am in order to insure we can cover the 46 miles to our half-way point at Matagorda Harbor by 11:00am. First time captains, you will have two slow spots where you may have to wait. The first spot are the locks at the Brazos River. The second is the swing bridge at Sargent. Be patient, the wait is usually not more than 10 minutes, max.
5. We will travel together in groups to help any boats that need assistance. Our primary VHF communications channel will be 68 the entire weekend. If you cannot join us from Freeport for departure, the next two spots with launch ramps are in Sargent or Matagorda Harbor.
Saturday Trip Plan between Freeport and Port O'Connor & Lunch Stop at Matagorda Harbor
1. The total one-way distance from Freeport bridge to Port O'Connor is about 79 miles, but our first stop will be around 11:00am in Matagorda Harbor which is 46 miles from Freeport. This stop will be a combo bathroom / lunch / poker run stop. There is no 93 octane fuel at this stop, but there is 93 in POC at the Fishing Center, another 32 miles west of Matagorda Harbor.
2. Everyone is on their own for lunch at Matagorda Harbor. There's plenty of bulkhead space in the Harbor to dock your boat and stretch your legs. Poker Run players will pay their $20 per hand here and collect their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th cards for each hand - "Poker Card" drawing will be held at the bottom of the Waterfront Restaurant, in the bar area.
3. The Waterfront Restaurant is across the street from Matagorda Harbor and is a good spot if you'd like to get out of the weather for a sit down lunch. They open up at 11:00am. Prices are reasonable and the food is great!
4. Diesel / 87 octane gas are both available at Matagorda Harbor. The next available fuel is 32 miles west, at our Port O'Connor destination. We would like everyone to be finished with refueling, lunch, etc. and back in the ICW, ready to head west to POC by no later than 1:00pm.
5. The final leg down the ICW and the trip across Matagorda Bay into POC can be easy if the weather is good and you know where you're going. If you've never crossed Matagorda Bay, don' have a chart plotter, or need any help please be sure to keep visual contact / follow another boat who knows the way. The low winter tides in Matagorda Bay will require that you stay in the ICW channel to avoid accidental grounding, and we will be crossing the bay at low tide this year. If we have no delays or problems on this leg of the trip we should arrive in POC around 2:30 - 2:45pm.
Arrival at Port O'Connor, Dinner, the Boat Parade and the Famous After Party
1. As soon as we arrive at the jetties just east of POC we want to form up in one line and run our boats single file together down to Froggie's Bait Camp and then back to Clarks Inn. A TV crew will be filming us so honk / wave and let them know we've arrived. We will then off-load all toys at Clark's Inn. Due to limited turning / dock space at Clark's Inn we ask those Captains who have reservations at Clarks to go ahead and dock first. Once unloaded, everyone is free to relax or start decorating their boats for the parade. This will also be the time and place for Poker Run players to pick up their 5th card for each hand, and buy an optional 6th card if you feel the need. Look for the "Poker Card" sign, upstairs on the veranda overlooking the boat slips at Clarks Inn.
2. Port O’Connor Chambers of Commerce has graciously offered dinner for our group in the parking lot of Clarks Inn. Our plan is to start serving dinner 5:00 - 5:30pm, just prior to the parade safety meeting. Please let us know ahead of time how many of you expect for dinner to help them prepare for our arrival. For those who prefer to dine at a restaurant there are several (Josie’s, Hooper’s, Hurricane Junction, and several others) within 5 blocks walking distance of Clarks.
3. If you plan on being in the boat parade please fill out the 2017 Boat Parade Registration form. The form can be downloaded on the Toy Run website at www.poctoyrun.net
. The plan is to have all the Toy Run boats go as one group, and we will get in the parade line after the local boats line up. There is still a safety meeting scheduled for 5:30pm on the boat dock at Clark's Inn. One representative from each boat must attend this brief safety meeting. The parade starts at 6:30pm sharp about 3 miles west of Clark's Inn, at the Coast Guard dock, and proceeds back east to Clarks Inn for judging and awards. Feel free to cruise close to the docks and throw out beads and candy, "Mardi-Gras" style. The crowds / kids on the docks love it. Cash prizes and trophies will be awarded.
4. Our after party is at Hurricane Junction (1502 W Maple St).
Sunday Return Trip To BBT
1. Thanks to the Port O’Connor Lady’s group Sunday morning breakfast is free and served buffet style at Clark's Inn. You can dine there on the 2nd floor veranda overlooking the ICW, or pack up and eat on your way back to Freeport.
2. Most folks usually do their own thing on Sunday, some leave early, some leave late and we normally don't return to Freeport as a group. Follow a friend with a GPS back across Matagorda Bay to avoid getting stuck on an oyster reef / sand bar.
Logistical / Misc Information
1. Boat / motor repair service and parts are available in POC, they are not opened on the weekend but should you need assistance they will receive a message if you call and leave a message Coastal Bend Marine, 1808 W. Adams Ave., 361-983-4841 at www.coastalbendmarine.com
. They are certified for Yamaha, Suzuki and Evinrude service. Robby Sanders, 361-983-2058, is available to help boats in distress near Port O'Connor.
2. If you have any problems or need help before or during the Toy Run you can contact any of the Toy Run organizing Elves:
Jerry Karnes - cell phone 281-684-1117 or email [email protected]
Jeff Kuper – cell phone 832-788-4484
Colton Pratka – cell phone 979-257-9945
Blaise Moy – cell phone 830-583-5068
Jason Fry - cell phone 281-960-8047 or email [email protected]
Wendy Fry - cell phone 940-390-3747 or email [email protected]
4. The lockmaster monitors VHF channel 13
5. Contact numbers:
Bridge Bait (Freeport) – 979-239-2248
Surfside Marina (Freeport) – main - 979-230-9400
Waterfront Restaurant (Matagorda) – 979-863-2520
Inn at Clarks (Port O’Connor) – 361-983-2300
Tigrett Realty (Port O’Connor) – 361-983-2671
American Inn & Suites (Port O’Connor) – 361-983-2606
Coastal Bend Marina (Port O’Connor) - 361-983-4841
US Tow (Port O’Connor) – Robby Sanders cell - 361-983-2058