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Old 14-02-2016, 20:48   #1
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Port Arthur Tx to New Orleans

I'm starting to look at moving my Islander 28 from Port Arthur to New Orleans after Feb. I have a good selection of available crew who sail the Texas end of the route, and the boat is fitted out well. Now I'm looking for outside advice from folks who have made the trip both on the ICW and on the outside or even a combination.
My preference would be outside From Sabine Pass to the Atchafalaya then ICW from Morgan City on. I know that section of the ICW from fishing my whole life in south LA.
For advice up till now I've heard everything from "no way, too dangerous" to "pick your window, have fun, and watch out for rigs at night"
I assume the reality of that trip lies somewhere between.
I'll listen to all advice! I don't know wether to shove off after the next front or start looking for a trucking company!
I'd love to hear from sailors who frequent the area with some real knowledge rather than those who have never done it and never will.
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Old 14-02-2016, 21:15   #2
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Re: Port Arthur Tx to New Orleans

I have only done the inside, but I love that whole stretch of the ICW. Beautiful scenery, few people, and great anchorages.
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Old 15-02-2016, 01:42   #3
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Re: Port Arthur Tx to New Orleans

I would totally take the trip before trucking. The only issues from Morgan city on, will be when you actually get to NOLA and have to go through a couple of locks and crossing the river to the ICW on the east side. If you have plenty crew and the time I would have a great time and enjoy yourself. Just be vigilant at night on the ICW if you don't stop to tuck in and anchor..

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Old 15-02-2016, 07:27   #4
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Re: Port Arthur Tx to New Orleans

One thing I have is good crew. And unlike some of them, I actually look forward to the ICW section. Beautiful country. Till we reach the locks at least. If it were not for the huge increase in oil rig density from the Atchafalaya on, I'd be tempted to stay on the outside if the weather was right. I'd want a hell of a full moon to do it with though!
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Old 15-02-2016, 07:34   #5
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Re: Port Arthur Tx to New Orleans

I really can't understand why anyone would prefer the outside other than speed. Ocean sailing is kind of dull compared to the ICW. No scenery, little wildlife, less comfortable, no anchorages. Never really got it.
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Old 15-02-2016, 08:43   #6
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Re: Port Arthur Tx to New Orleans

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I really can't understand why anyone would prefer the outside other than speed. Ocean sailing is kind of dull compared to the ICW. No scenery, little wildlife, less comfortable, no anchorages. Never really got it.

Combined with shallow water, unfriendly wind direction and all sorts of hard rusty things. Not to mention getting upstream on the atchafalya can be tedious.

I also vote for an inside passage east, I'd go west outside though.


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Old 15-02-2016, 09:50   #7
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Re: Port Arthur Tx to New Orleans

Hi, I have done both from Corpus and if you go offshore you may want to look sharp at night. We even saw a 6" steel pipe on a ramming angle about 4 feet out of the water. Have look at this.
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Old 15-02-2016, 10:10   #8
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Re: Port Arthur Tx to New Orleans

The comments you've received about it being a risky trip are not far off base, reality is that it is a potentially dangerous trip on either route. This is a heavily industrialized coast line so a potentially dangerous place to be. From Lake Ponchitrain east is a much better section of coast for a recreational vessel.

Outside, Ive sailed by unlit production platforms and drill pipe sticking out of the water...rather disconcerting to see that go by a few feet away at night.

Inside, lots of commercial traffic...especially in places like the intersection at Morgan City...you can find yourself suddenly in close quarters with lots of big traffic ... like big tugs towing submersible rigs in for maintenance...wow. Though ashore in Morgan City you can find some great food.
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Old 15-02-2016, 10:13   #9
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Re: Port Arthur Tx to New Orleans

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Originally Posted by Zeke69 View Post
One thing I have is good crew. And unlike some of them, I actually look forward to the ICW section. Beautiful country. Till we reach the locks at least. If it were not for the huge increase in oil rig density from the Atchafalaya on, I'd be tempted to stay on the outside if the weather was right. I'd want a hell of a full moon to do it with though!
Well...beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it requires a very positive perspective to find this section of coast "beautiful". Though there are some interesting places to stop.
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Old 15-02-2016, 10:34   #10
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Re: Port Arthur Tx to New Orleans

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
The comments you've received about it being a risky trip are not far off base, reality is that it is a potentially dangerous trip on either route. This is a heavily industrialized coast line so a potentially dangerous place to be. From Lake Ponchitrain east is a much better section of coast for a recreational vessel.

Outside, Ive sailed by unlit production platforms and drill pipe sticking out of the water...rather disconcerting to see that go by a few feet away at night.

Inside, lots of commercial traffic...especially in places like the intersection at Morgan City...you can find yourself suddenly in close quarters with lots of big traffic ... like big tugs towing submersible rigs in for maintenance...wow. Though ashore in Morgan City you can find some great food.
I'll drink to that!
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Old 16-02-2016, 10:41   #11
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Re: Port Arthur Tx to New Orleans

Oil rigs themselves are not that off putting but drill pipe out of nowhere, that is more than scary enough to keep me on the inside passage. More and more this is looking like an ICW trip all the way.
My first quote for trucking it over was $2800. If I can get it down to a thousand, it would be well worth it.
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Old 16-02-2016, 11:08   #12
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Re: Port Arthur Tx to New Orleans

You can always go outside to Cameron go in the jetties then a quick right turn on the ditch (ICW).
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Old 17-02-2016, 08:20   #13
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Re: Port Arthur Tx to New Orleans

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Originally Posted by Zeke69 View Post
Oil rigs themselves are not that off putting but drill pipe out of nowhere, that is more than scary enough to keep me on the inside passage. More and more this is looking like an ICW trip all the way.
My first quote for trucking it over was $2800. If I can get it down to a thousand, it would be well worth it.
Don't forget about marina fees for pickup and cranes for the mast unstepping/stepping...

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