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Old 09-05-2015, 12:58   #16
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

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Originally Posted by sandy stone View Post
Well, I guess a Deerfoot wouldn't have any trouble crossing the Gulf. Besides going down the river, you can also depart NO by going into the ICW from the Industrial Canal. The green bridge at Michoud has a charted clearance well over 100 feet.
Second the suggestion to get on Active Captain.
Sandy,

I thought they still had the GIWW closed, but I guess not. It was finished last year (shows how often I use it these days).
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Old 09-05-2015, 13:50   #17
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

Cowboy Sailor has the plan, East from NO then follow the curve. East of Mobile most of the commercial traffic dies down. Most of the bridges in Florida open but not in the Keys or Sanibel. Ii doubt if you can get into Tarpon Springs but you can anchor out and dinghy in, it's a good stop. You can get under the Skyway bridge in Tampa Bay, St Pete is a good stop. You can get part way into Matanzas pass behind Ft Myers Beach but would need to tie up at a marina on the ocean side of the bridge. 3 to choose from. Marco is another good stop to anchor at Factory Bay or Smokehouse Bay.


After that you are 80 or so miles Key West.
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Old 09-05-2015, 15:49   #18
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

It is an easy shot direct to the Dry Tortugas, much easier than trying to follow the coast. Several rigs the first few days but they are well lit. I picked up my KP46 in Houston, and chose the direct route as I was bound for JAX, and had an uneventful sail. The Tortugas are a nice stop, then only 60 miles to Key West. Nice shakedown for you new boat as well.

Enjoy

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Old 09-05-2015, 17:23   #19
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlwaysFORSAIL View Post
You can get part way into Matanzas pass behind Ft Myers Beach but would need to tie up at a marina on the ocean side of the bridge. 3 to choose from. Marco is another good stop to anchor at Factory Bay or Smokehouse Bay.


After that you are 80 or so miles Key West.
Methinks there are 65' power lines there before the bridge!


FWIW, the "Big Bend" has some great places to visit if you are being leisurely. BUT you go a long ways out of your way from the rhumbline.

If you run straight to KW, right now you should have a beam reach the whole way (the cold fronts are about done for the summer).
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Old 09-05-2015, 18:12   #20
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

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Originally Posted by capngeo View Post
Methinks there are 65' power lines there before the bridge!
No power lines before the bridge.
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Old 09-05-2015, 19:49   #21
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
No power lines before the bridge.
Then what pray-tell are these big ugly sticks in the water with wire on them?
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Old 09-05-2015, 20:21   #22
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

The original post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlwaysFORSAIL View Post
You can get part way into Matanzas pass behind Ft Myers Beach but would need to tie up at a marina on the ocean side of the bridge. 3 to choose from. Marco is another good stop to anchor at Factory Bay or Smokehouse Bay.


After that you are 80 or so miles Key West.
Your comment:

Quote:
Originally Posted by capngeo View Post
Methinks there are 65' power lines there before the bridge!
I take it you are referring to Matanzas Bridge, hence my response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
No power lines before the bridge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capngeo View Post
Then what pray-tell are these big ugly sticks in the water with wire on them?
You then post a pic of the Jolly bridge at Marco Island, which is no where close to Matanzas pass, nor Factory Bay, nor Smokehouse Bay. No affect on the original suggested destinations.

FWIW, the wires in your pic are at 85', not 65' as you 'thinks'.
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Old 09-05-2015, 21:26   #23
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

Thanks for all the replies, everyone. Very helpful. The Gulf Coast sounds great, but I have to admit I am NOT looking forward to the Lower Mississippi!! Doesn't sound yacht friendly at all? The shipping company's latest bulletin says that they will be dropping us at one of the "mid-stream buoys" wherever that is? By the sound of it there is little in the way of marinas or safe anchorages downstream of there and what sucks big time is that we are not allowed to board the yacht with any luggage or provisions! I had figured on a couple days in a marina to prep for the crossing ( actually I had figured St Pete's as Tampa was what we agreed on!) Ho Hum, fun and games. I think there's some muesli and UHT milk on board...
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Old 09-05-2015, 22:34   #24
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

Mac,

Sadly this stretch of the lower Mississippi is just not set up for recreational boats. To be honest it isn't also a pretty dangerous place to be in a non-metal boat. Work boats figure a pretty high down rate due to lower drive units being damaged from floating debris, and the currents can be very dangerous, particularly when the river is flowing high. Right now the gauge is running about 13 feet, which equates to about a 4kn current (at the Carrolton gauge mile 102). The upside to the current is that it's a quick trip downriver at least...

You could lock through, but depending on your schedule it may not work. I think the delay right now is about 24hours, but the website is notorious for being out of date. Once you lock through however there is a very nice marina right there, or two more within a few miles of the industrial canal mouth to the lake.

If you do go down river, there are a lot of options. Pretty much all along the coast there will be plenty of marinas that will fit you easily. Slidel, Bay Waveland, Pass Christian, or Gulport are all pretty easy to get into and have full facilities easily accessible. They are all common places for boats from New Orleans to head to for the summer since sailing on the coast is much better than on the lake.
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Old 09-05-2015, 23:03   #25
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

Thanks Greg, you are spot-on with the current. The loadmaster on the Sevenstar vessel quoted it as being 4.2kn at our drop-off point. If I lock up into the lake is there another way I can get into the Gulf with my 82 ft overhead clearance? Just checked out Active Capt. site, which is a great resource! I am looking forward to getting clear of the River ASAP - workboats and funboats don't mix well IMO.
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Old 10-05-2015, 05:46   #26
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

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Originally Posted by Macaway View Post
Thanks Greg, you are spot-on with the current. The loadmaster on the Sevenstar vessel quoted it as being 4.2kn at our drop-off point. If I lock up into the lake is there another way I can get into the Gulf with my 82 ft overhead clearance? Just checked out Active Capt. site, which is a great resource! I am looking forward to getting clear of the River ASAP - workboats and funboats don't mix well IMO.
I thought I was pushing the limits of Lake Pontchartrain with 66' air draft.. 82' sheesh! Honestly, if you get to Lake Pontchartrain from the locks, you won't clear the Twin Span (interstate 10 bridge from Slidell to New Orleans) or the Rigolets bridge. Both are 72ish feet.

What all do you need done to your boat before the crossing?

With the river running quick like it is, you could motor down. If your boat does at least 8-9 kts under power, plus a 4kt current pushing you, that 13kts. If they drop you off in NOLA, let's round up, that's 110mi to Main Pass. You could do that in 8 hrs. Go out of main pass or even the next one, Pass Loutre and that puts you on the east side of the river. Those two passes aren't as busy as South and Southwest Passes. It's only 80 miles or so from Pass Loutre to Mobile Bay. 114 to Pensacola. Click image for larger version

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On the other hand if the Industrial Canal is open, you could head through the lock from the Miss river. Check here http://www2.mvn.usace.army.mil/od/lo...s.asp?lockid=3 for information on the industrial canal lock, call if need be the number is at the bottom of the page. Check http://portno.com/bridges for information on the Claiborne and Florida Ave bridges . Then hop on the ICW and shoot over to Lake Borne and from there the Gulf. It's about 60 mi from the industrial canal lock to Gulfport via the ICW. Click image for larger version

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Old 10-05-2015, 05:52   #27
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

Also, depending on your draft, at the pin "E" on the ICW route, there's a marine that is accessible from the Rigolets and you don't have to go under any bridge. Just through the Rigolets train bridge by Lake Borne. My dad used to own the marina(retired), my boat is still there at the moment getting refitted. But they should be able to pick up your boat. They have a 60ton lift. Lake Catherine Island Marina is the name. I draw 7ft so if your close to that you should be fine coming down the canal. The Rigolets is deep.

I no LONGER have any affiliation to this marina. (:

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Old 10-05-2015, 06:46   #28
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

Quote:
Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
The original post:

Your comment:
I take it you are referring to Matanzas Bridge, hence my response.

You then post a pic of the Jolly bridge at Marco Island, which is no where close to Matanzas pass, nor Factory Bay, nor Smokehouse Bay. No affect on the original suggested destinations.

FWIW, the wires in your pic are at 85', not 65' as you 'thinks'.
No Sir, I was talking about Marco, as Smokehouse and Factory Bays ARE located there! (unless someone moved them in the last couple months since I've been there).

Also (FWIW) I was speaking from memory without the benefit of a chart as to the height of the wires, purely out of cautioning the OP (recently a 40' tall sail boat struck those wires at the entrance to Marco Island Marina), as the marked clearance is ONLY over the navigable channel (which we all know one is supposed to not anchor in)

I am sure you are very knowledgable about these waters, as am I (over 40 years of commercial and pleasure experience from NO to KW). My only goal in posting to this thread was to help the OP with my local knowledge; it seems your's is to attempt to be condescending with your (somewhat incorrect) local knowledge.

In an effort to avoid further thread drift, I would be glad to further discuss this matter by PM should you like.
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:01   #29
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

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No Sir, I was talking about Marco, as Smokehouse and Factory Bays ARE located there! (unless someone moved them in the last couple months since I've been there).

Also (FWIW) I was speaking from memory without the benefit of a chart as to the height of the wires, purely out of cautioning the OP (recently a 40' tall sail boat struck those wires at the entrance to Marco Island Marina), as the marked clearance is ONLY over the navigable channel (which we all know one is supposed to not anchor in)

I am sure you are very knowledgable about these waters, as am I (over 40 years of commercial and pleasure experience from NO to KW). My only goal in posting to this thread was to help the OP with my local knowledge; it seems your's is to attempt to be condescending with your (somewhat incorrect) local knowledge.

In an effort to avoid further thread drift, I would be glad to further discuss this matter by PM should you like.
No condescending intent, just trying to provide the OP with the correct facts.

It's clear (now) that you are referring to Marco Island, not Matanzas Pass.

Sticking with the originally suggested anchorages and as shown on the chart below, the CPA to the wires you mention is the entrance to Factory Bay, which is still ~.75nm from the wires. Entrance to Smokehouse Bay is further from the wires. Hence, the wires have no play entering/exiting Factory Bay or Smokehouse Bay as suggested in your post. The real story is the OP will need to be concerned about water draft, as there is no air draft restrictions for these 2 anchorages.

You are correct that the wires you mention are in play at the entrance to the Marco Island Marina, which was not a suggested destination in any previous posts. And yes there is a low span where sailboats have made contact with the wires. But there is also a high span which is used by sailboats entering/exiting the marina (with the exception(s) you cite that cause sparks and island-wide power outages). Per the marina dockmaster, there is one sailboat mooring at the Marina that has an 82' mast. The wires are charted at 77', but the spans/poles were replaced ~5 years ago and are now higher than charted. I would suggest any sailboat entering the marina to converse with the dockmaster about where to cross under the wires.

This is my local knowledge as a 15 year resident/boater/sailboater in/around Marco Island.

YMMV
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Old 10-05-2015, 09:30   #30
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

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Originally Posted by Macaway View Post
Thanks Greg, you are spot-on with the current. The loadmaster on the Sevenstar vessel quoted it as being 4.2kn at our drop-off point. If I lock up into the lake is there another way I can get into the Gulf with my 82 ft overhead clearance? Just checked out Active Capt. site, which is a great resource! I am looking forward to getting clear of the River ASAP - workboats and funboats don't mix well IMO.
Once you lock through you can take the GIWW (Gulf Intercoastal Water Way) from the Intercoastal canal to the mouth of the Riggolets. The only fixed bridge is 130' so you should be fine. With your height you will have to ask all the draw bridges to open, but unless you are there at rush hour I don't think any of them have restricted opening times.

My suggestion if you choose to lock through is to keep going past Seabrook marina get out of the industrial canal and turn left. This will take you to the inner harbor, which has good facilities, and is in a nice part of town. Within walking distance to a good grocery store, a chandlery, West Marine is just around the corner, and two of the yacht clubs in the city.

Seabrook is where we have our big boat worked on, and I have no major complaints. It just isn't very convenient to the rest of the city. And it's only one more draw, which normally takes about 2 minutes to open.

I should point out that you access the GIWW from the MRGO. The complete run of the MRGO is closed, but the dam they build is below the turn off point. This is still technically a commercial stretch, but with very few boats on it. Most commercial stuff comes up the river, and most of the recreational from the lake. The GIWW typically just services vessels few cargo ships doing business inside the industrial canal.

When you make it in, feel free to come up to NOYC and have a few beers with us.
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