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Old 25-09-2010, 21:49   #1
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Help Plotting My Course Home ?

Hello folks;
my offer has been approved and upon completion of the survey i'll be sailing her home in a month or so from moss point, mississippi to galveston bay.
She's a 1991 Hunter 37.5.
i don't know how to read a gps, can anyone tell me how long it should take to get home, i should have about 8 days to sail and get back to work.
the boat is equipted with Autohelm Navcenter Chart Plotter.
one way or another i will be making the trip.
no radar so i'll probably just be gunkholing and need to know the approximate hours it should take.
I should be able to turn on the gps and see my position on the map, that woud help a lot.
please help.
thanks
richard
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Old 25-09-2010, 22:10   #2
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Perhaps I am misunderstanding your question but it seems like a really basic thing to ask for someone planning a fairly long trip on a boat.

Do you have the paper charts and know how to read them? That would be your initial planning tool for the trip. I do hope you understand that the GPS is not a gadget that will show you exactly how to get from one place to another. It will give you a position but you do need to know where you are in relation to the land, channels, etc., how to read depths, what different markers and buoys are about.
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Old 25-09-2010, 22:36   #3
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Welcome to the forum. Your Chart plotter may have a demo online, try starting there. Maybe think about taking aboard a captain for the first leg or two to help get your bearings. At the very least please talk to an experienced captain and the locals before the "gunkholing" attempt, the ICW may be a better alternative.
Cheers, be careful, and have fun!
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Old 26-09-2010, 03:07   #4
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See if your gps has a simulator mode.marc
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Old 26-09-2010, 03:13   #5
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Google Earth is pretty good for route planning. Use the "Ruler" tool, set on nautical miles. Of course, you'll need to estimate how many miles per day you can typically sail or motor before dropping anchor. Does that section of the Gulf have any cruising guidebooks? If so, get your hands on one.
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Old 26-09-2010, 03:34   #6
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This is an interesting navigational problem.

Click on the image below and you will see the light blue line with is a quick plot of a likely route.
All that writing and little black squares are oil rigs.
I didn't quite know there would be that many!
This is only one part of the navigational challenges of this passage. Also if you look carefully at the chart there are a multitude a shipwreck icons. Needless to say that means extra caution needs to be used.
The whole 419 nms is a nav pain in the butt, by the looks. At 4.5 knots it would take you 4 days solid sailing, with overnight stops, much more. But I can't see stopping overnight would be much less stressful.

Further the number of shipping lanes that you would have to use to keep clear of shallow areas (in the first 100 miles) means you would be close to large ships all the time.

To me it looks like quite a complicated passage and I would have to really take some time with it.

Need a good chartplotter.

I think you need a good nav person as crew.
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Old 26-09-2010, 07:44   #7
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Can someone comment on likely weather conditions for that route in October - November ?
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Old 26-09-2010, 08:00   #8
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The Pilot charts for Oct & Nov show mostly favorable winds and currents. Here's Oct. Nov's similar.
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Old 26-09-2010, 08:02   #9
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Leeshore, short waves (confused), SE winds..though right now we have a North wind I don't think it will reach out offshore, nor last.

IMHO next-
Remember to note the draft, you cannot anchor coastal without serious risk to vessel and at the very least a good way to loose your rode. If ICW not an option, a straight track after a jaunt south may be better on boat and crew.

Also be very careful anchoring near ICW, that holds risk too...It is an industrial area, not quite the friendliest place for recreation boaters. Having said all that, we do boat here and have a blast, we are very careful and know that the gulf is a very tough place at times.

Hope that helps,
Erika
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Old 26-09-2010, 08:46   #10
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Welcome to the board. IMHO you should take a basic navigation course before you go, such as the basic boating course offered by the US Power Squadrons. It will help you keep out of trouble.

As others wrote, it would also be a good idea to take experienced crew, if you can. It might even be a good idea to pay a captain to go with you and give some on-water instruction. If you can't afford a licensed skipper, you might inquire at the local colleges and try to find a student with sailing experience (perhaps on the sailing team) who would go with you for food/expenses and a modest wage.
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Old 26-09-2010, 09:32   #11
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Welcome to the board and I hope you have many happy years sailing. You may want to take the advice about experienced crew to heart. It would be a shame to hear we'd lost a new member of our community right at the beginning of their adventures. Despite the mostly favorable winds and currents, they are still likely to be quite strong for a novice.
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Old 26-09-2010, 09:38   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
The Pilot charts for Oct & Nov show mostly favorable winds and currents. Here's Oct. Nov's similar.
that is a great map hud, thanks so much.
looks like the currents will take me to my front door, might not even need the sails or motor...lol
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Old 26-09-2010, 09:42   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean Girl View Post
Leeshore, short waves (confused), SE winds..though right now we have a North wind I don't think it will reach out offshore, nor last.

IMHO next-
Remember to note the draft, you cannot anchor coastal without serious risk to vessel and at the very least a good way to loose your rode. If ICW not an option, a straight track after a jaunt south may be better on boat and crew.

Also be very careful anchoring near ICW, that holds risk too...It is an industrial area, not quite the friendliest place for recreation boaters. Having said all that, we do boat here and have a blast, we are very careful and know that the gulf is a very tough place at times.

Hope that helps,
Erika
thanks erika;
not sure yet if i'll use the icw, i think it more fun to go south and across the gulf a ways, probably faster too.
i still trying to nail down a friend so we can sail 24/7 and make a quicker trip.
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Old 26-09-2010, 09:59   #14
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thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishwife View Post
Welcome to the board and I hope you have many happy years sailing. You may want to take the advice about experienced crew to heart. It would be a shame to hear we'd lost a new member of our community right at the beginning of their adventures. Despite the mostly favorable winds and currents, they are still likely to be quite strong for a novice.
thanks for the welcome fishwife;
i have sailed many years in the bay on a 26 foot sloop although i know very little about charts and nav.
my main concerns are that i'll need to complete the trip in about 8 days and one can't be positive about the stamna of the standing rigging.
maybe i'll motor/sail the icw.
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Old 26-09-2010, 10:09   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
This is an interesting navigational problem.

Click on the image below and you will see the light blue line with is a quick plot of a likely route.
All that writing and little black squares are oil rigs.
I didn't quite know there would be that many!
This is only one part of the navigational challenges of this passage. Also if you look carefully at the chart there are a multitude a shipwreck icons. Needless to say that means extra caution needs to be used.
The whole 419 nms is a nav pain in the butt, by the looks. At 4.5 knots it would take you 4 days solid sailing, with overnight stops, much more. But I can't see stopping overnight would be much less stressful.

Further the number of shipping lanes that you would have to use to keep clear of shallow areas (in the first 100 miles) means you would be close to large ships all the time.

To me it looks like quite a complicated passage and I would have to really take some time with it.

Need a good chartplotter.

I think you need a good nav person as crew.
thanks marc;
i've been enjoying your and other's posts on here for a few weeks now.
i can't wait to be a part of the crusing community, full retirement in about 16 months!!!
nice plot chart you posted there, a little confusing to me, i'll be looking for a chart of the area and then your's may be more helpful to me.
I'm going to look for someone to come along, with experience hopefully.
not having radar yet concerns me with night sailing, i suppose with help i could run 24/7 down the icw.
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