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Old 28-08-2013, 15:05   #1
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Gulf of Mexico Navigation-Lake Pontchartrain

Does anyone know of an inexpensive, efficient, and user friendly chart plotter? I'm plotting from Lake Pontchartrain to Cat island(30 13.305 N, 89 06.275) right off of the Mississippi and Louisiana coast lines. Any advice or insight on the trip would be useful. Pending weather windows, I'm looking at making the journey to the isle late September. I'm searching for used 20-25' seaworthy vessel that I can outfit and tweek over the coming weeks.
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Old 29-08-2013, 07:30   #2
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Navigation-Lake Pontchartrain

Sea Green..

The cheapest and most simple way for a one time journey would be to use your laptop with OpenCPN free navigation software. NOAA provides free maps of all the US.

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Old 29-08-2013, 08:12   #3
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Navigation-Lake Pontchartrain

Sea Green.

Total distance approx. 37 nm.

Suggested route as a .gpx file: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3t9...it?usp=sharing

Surveyed depths: http://pubs.usgs.gov/ds/739/images/C...ar_DS_1200.jpg


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Old 29-08-2013, 08:43   #4
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Navigation-Lake Pontchartrain

Sea Green...

Here´s a short video from a visit to Cat Island: cat island mississippi gulf coast - YouTube

Tore
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Old 29-08-2013, 08:51   #5
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Navigation-Lake Pontchartrain

The charts are incorrect for Cat Island, as they are for most of the MS sound, since Katrina.

Go to ActiveCaptain, will have good recent info. If you have a smartphone, try Memory-Map software for navigation.

Smuggler's Cove, the usual anchorage, is filling in and last I went was 4' or less. This is the only anchorage of the MS islands which is protected in an east or north wind, which you are likely to get in September

With a shallow draft or beachable boat, you can get into South Bayou.

Little Bend is ok in a southerly wind but if you have any north in it you'll bounce.
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Old 29-08-2013, 10:45   #6
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Navigation-Lake Pontchartrain

Sea Green..

This picture gallery of Cat Island will make your mouth water for sure:Mississippi

Tore
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Old 29-08-2013, 14:16   #7
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Navigation-Lake Pontchartrain

This is all excellent information. I'm aiming to be floating on 2.9-3' draft. Tore, my jaw dropped at the Smugglers Cove pictures. I'm planning on spending a few days on Cat Island, then moving onwards towards Ship or Horn Island. Again, if I'm blessed with a good weather window. Tam, I gave Memory-Map a download. Seems to be top notch. Especially for a buck. I was having issues putting my fingers on charts for Cat Island on NOAA. Appreciate it folks!
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Old 29-08-2013, 16:24   #8
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Navigation-Lake Pontchartrain

Sea Green..

Here´s a few calibrated Google Earth maps of Cat Island in .kap (.bsb) format you can use in OpenCPN. Set ´Enable chart quilting´ and it will be a continuous map.

It shows the latest depth contours for 2013. Might be helpful..

Download here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3t9...it?usp=sharing

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Old 29-08-2013, 16:29   #9
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Navigation-Lake Pontchartrain

Where are you sailing from?

We've sailed out to all of those gulf islands. From in the lake the hardest part is probably just waiting for the bridges. Stay in the marked channels in the middle ground then stay in the middle of the rigolettes. Once you're out into the ICW its pretty easy to get to the islands.

Be careful out there though, sometimes a storm cell will hit unexpectedly. Everyone I talk to has a story about Dauphine island in particular as the storms funnel down Mobile bay. We got hit there pretty hard on a night that was supposed to be clear.

Have fun and good luck!
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Old 29-08-2013, 17:30   #10
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Navigation-Lake Pontchartrain

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Originally Posted by Target9000 View Post
Where are you sailing from?

We've sailed out to all of those gulf islands. From in the lake the hardest part is probably just waiting for the bridges. Stay in the marked channels in the middle ground then stay in the middle of the rigolettes. Once you're out into the ICW its pretty easy to get to the islands.

Be careful out there though, sometimes a storm cell will hit unexpectedly. Everyone I talk to has a story about Dauphine island in particular as the storms funnel down Mobile bay. We got hit there pretty hard on a night that was supposed to be clear.

Have fun and good luck!
The RR bridge on the Rigolets is the worst. I think I waited 3 hours for it to open last time I went through.
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Old 29-08-2013, 17:39   #11
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Navigation-Lake Pontchartrain

where on ponchartrain are you slipped--we were in slidell and made many trips thru rigolets from eden isles--call csx rigolets on vhf for opening the bridge--watch for crab pots from just past rigolets thru to mississippi sound, and some in the sound as well...the barrier islands are enjoyable--

channel was well marked through bourne lake and rigolets as well as icw through the barrier islands.


by the way--the man at csx rigolets loves my husky female lounge singer voice.. bring a lady with a sexy voice and you will get that damned bridge open in 15 minuets i swarez.....

worked well for me......
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Old 30-08-2013, 05:58   #12
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Navigation-Lake Pontchartrain

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
where on ponchartrain are you slipped--we were in slidell and made many trips thru rigolets from eden isles--call csx rigolets on vhf for opening the bridge--watch for crab pots from just past rigolets thru to mississippi sound, and some in the sound as well...the barrier islands are enjoyable--

channel was well marked through bourne lake and rigolets as well as icw through the barrier islands.


by the way--the man at csx rigolets loves my husky female lounge singer voice.. bring a lady with a sexy voice and you will get that damned bridge open in 15 minuets i swarez.....

worked well for me......
I'll have to drop your name next time.
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Old 30-08-2013, 06:09   #13
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Navigation-Lake Pontchartrain

sugaaaah, he doesnt know my name ..but he has a lovely loozeeyannn accent.....and i was impressed, as buddy boaters told us we would be waiting hours--lol--i guess the lovely man is a sukkaaahhhh for a sexy voice..i always thanked him also and waved as we sailed by. a lil nice goes loong way....

so bring a deck fluff for a little bit of the trip who has the ability to open the gates of......rodlmao....

good thing he didnt see my typoing instead of hear my voiceless.....
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Old 30-08-2013, 07:04   #14
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Navigation-Lake Pontchartrain

Sea Green..

Perhaps the cheapest way to navigate your trip is to buy a 7-8" Android tablet and install the free OruxMaps nav. prog. which easily converts any .kap/.bsb chart through it´s OruxMaps Desktop facility.

For really detailed satellite images,I have made up this quick view app of TopoQuest which you can download here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3t9...it?usp=sharing

Tore
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Old 30-08-2013, 09:25   #15
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Navigation-Lake Pontchartrain

Sea Green..

Here are some more detailed Google Earth calibrated .kap charts showing all the shallow water. (Maps A-E)

Download here: https://drive.google.com/folderview?...2M&usp=sharing

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